Welcome to the 2018 National Conference

Dear Leaders:

Welcome to the National Council on Student Development 2018 annual conference.

First, I want to thank you all for the opportunity to serve the National Council on Student Development (NCSD) as its next President. I welcome the opportunity to increase our collaboration and open space for new partnerships. To that end, I remain pleasantly optimistic about the future of the organization to build on its legacy, discover new foundations and create pathways for the next generation of students and community college professionals.

The 2018 NCSD Annual Conference highlights promising student development research and practices at community and technical colleges. This year’s conference theme: Guided Pathways: The Conversation Continues, reflects a national movement in higher education toward increased efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.

The mission of the NCSD is to “provide professional development for higher education student development professionals. Further, it supports the understanding of and respect for all community college students and professionals through advocacy and education.” In our quest to provide value and ensure continuous alignment with the American Association of Community Colleges’ mission of “Building a Nation of Learners by Advancing America’s Community Colleges,” we must challenge ourselves to know and remain current in the emerging trends of students, community colleges and the communities we serve.

This call to action is an important step to arrive at a vision leading to:

  1. problem solving through a movement of action in the new era of complexity we are currently facing;
  2. creating shifts to eradicate inequity in our system; and
  3. establishing “Life Long Learning Centers of Transformation” (3LCT).

It is our great pleasure to welcome each of you to three days of promising student development research and visionary practices. We are equally proud to have nationally recognized leaders and keynote speakers, Dr. Walter Bumphus, Dr. Deborah Garrett and Dr. Elva Concha Leblanc, the first executive vice chancellor and provost for the Tarrant Count College.

We thank each of you for bringing your expertise to this gathering. You, as organizational leaders, have the vision, the knowledge, and the experience to help us pave our way into the future. You are truly our greatest asset today and tomorrow, and we could not accomplish what we do without your support and leadership.

Sonya Pearson, Ph.D., J.D.
President, National Council on Student Development