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Aspiring Educators Conference

Fight for the present. Shape the future.
Aspiring Educators Logo, text reads: Education. Activism. Solidarity.

The NEA Aspiring Educators Program (AE) is the leading voice for the next generation of educators. The mission of the NEA’s Aspiring Educators Program is to advocate for education professionals and to unite its members and the nation in fulfilling the promise of public education. Its mission is to also prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.

Aspiring Educators Request for Proposals

Aspiring Educators meet each year at the end of June, before NEA's Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly. We are now accepting applications to present at the 2024 Aspiring Ed Conference. The conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from June 29 – July 2.

The purpose of the Aspiring Educators Conference (AEC) is to offer future educators the opportunity to connect with their colleagues, learn about their profession, and take action on important education issues affecting public schools and communities.  The Aspiring Ed Conference is designed to support experiential learning that provides opportunities for NEA members and leaders to develop the knowledge and skills articulated in the NEA Leadership Competency Framework. The AEC is for NEA members and leaders, regardless of experience level, membership type, or educator category. With that in mind, NEA views a Request for Proposal (RFP) as a solicitation for a training design that directly supports the purpose of the AEC. The proposal must incorporate content from the competency domains and clearly explain how the use of the content will help develop the KSAs outlined in the framework.

To submit an RFP for the upcoming 2024 Aspiring Ed Conference, please use the link below.

Aspiring Ed Conference RFP Submission

The deadline to submit a proposal is 11:59PM ET on December 15, 2023.

Presenters will be notified of selection by February 15, 2024.

Registration for the Aspiring Ed Conference will open in May 2024.

Preparing A Successful Proposal

Proposals are expected to offer engaging, interactive, solution-oriented sessions that enable participants to return to their universities and/or communities with new ideas, skills, and a plan of action for making a difference. The proposals should be written to articulate how the session will apply to multiple NEA membership categories and work environments.

A team of reviewers evaluates and rates all session proposals. Reviewers consider the following questions when evaluating proposals; please consider them carefully as you prepare your session descriptions. Provide enough details for reviewers to fully understand your plans. 

  • How well does this proposal utilize NEA’s leadership competency framework and instills the skills, knowledge, and behaviors articulated in the competency description?
  • How well does this proposal advance NEA's strategic objectives?
  • Does the proposal include a session description that clearly identifies which specific leadership experience level (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3) for which it is targeted?
  • Will your presentation demonstration proven practices and push the leading edge of the profession?
  • Does the proposal adequately explain what will occur in the session? How engaging is the presentation likely to be?
  • How do you expect your presentation will deliver positive, solution-oriented outcomes supported by data and other evidence?
  • Will the session require and inspire action on the part of those participating?
  • What are the expected outcomes for your session? Do these outcomes support the AEC’s purpose?
  • Does the presenter have credentials and/or experience in delivering this content?
  • Does this proposal include examples that are inclusive of all membership types and take into consideration the varied work environments of all NEA members?

Important Information

  • Be sure to fill out the presenter's form in its entirety and include the names of all potential presenters on the online application. If you presented at previous with us before or at other NEA conferences, you must still complete this form.
  • Presentation titles should not exceed a maximum of 100 characters, including spaces and punctuations.
  • Presentation descriptions should not exceed a maximum of 1000 characters including spaces and punctuations.
  • To help maximize the number and diversity of presenters and perspectives, each individual is limited to two proposal submissions.
  • NEA will pay for travel and hotel accommodations for two nights only for the Primary Presenter in accordance with our travel guidelines. (Note: Honoraria/fees and work release time are not reimbursable, and payment for substitutes is not covered). NEA will not cover expenses for Secondary Presenter(s).
  • NEA will provide specific guidelines and information for travel arrangements and accommodations. NEA will also provide specific follow-up guidance and agreements for all presenters.
  • All presenters ARE REQUIRED to register for the AEC by the registration deadline. Failure to register may result in your session being canceled and replaced.
  • If your proposal is accepted, you will receive additional information and have an opportunity to finalize session information after you receive your acceptance notice.
  • NEA will NOT accept/make changes to the primary presenter that was identified in the original RFP application to receive NEA travel accommodations after confirmation of your acceptance to present.

We ask that you carefully review this guidance and utilize it as a reference as you complete your application. 

If you have questions about the submission, please contact Andrea Prejean [email protected] or May Montgomery-Robinson at [email protected].


The School Me Podcast

The School Me Podcast

Designed with early-career educators in mind, the School Me podcast is your on-demand audio destination for advice from fellow NEA members and educators who have been there, done that. Whether you're looking for classroom management tips, leadership inspiration, or simply a reminder of why your work is so important, we've got something for you.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.