Emerging Leaders Program

Engaging and Inspiring Diverse NACADA Leaders

The NACADA Emerging Leaders Program attempts to build a sustainable community of strong NACADA leaders representative of diversity across the membership.

In accord with the association's Diversity Statement, the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program was created to:

  • encourage members from diverse groups to get involved in leadership opportunities within the organization,
  • outfit participants with the skills and tools necessary to pursue elected and appointed leadership positions,
  • increase the number of leaders from diverse groups, and
  • encourage and assist members of populations who are under-represented in the association's leadership to attend state, regional, or annual conferences.


The Emerging Leaders Program provides a structured platform that aims to build an inclusive and sustainable community of strong NACADA leaders. Leadership includes elected and appointed positions, as well as informal roles including but not limited to (for example) influencing the field of writing for a NACADA publication, chairing a Region sub-committee, or serving as a faculty mentor at a NACADA institute (2013 NACADA Leadership TaskForce report).

Self-Identified Underrepresented Populations. NACADA provides opportunities for leadership for our diverse membership across identity groups, geographic regions, and professional levels. Here are some examples of areas of underrepresented diversity identified by our Emerging Leaders in their application materials:







Hispanic or Latinx


Military or Veteran












Small or Rural College

Emerging Leaders Program Objectives

  • To identify potential local, regional, national, and global leaders from member groups who are under-represented in the association's leadership who are interested in leadership development and leadership involvement in the association.
  • To identify Mentors from among experienced NACADA leadership to guide Emerging Leaders through a two-year leadership development program as they grow in their leadership in the association.
  • To provide Emerging Leaders with a two-year leadership development program which will develop their leadership skills for the association.
  • To provide opportunities for Emerging Leaders to reach out to colleagues and peers from under-represented groups and serve as Mentors to future NACADA leaders.
  • To provide the support network needed and desired to foster a strong leadership development program for underrepresented populations in our association.

NACADA Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) | July 2024-July 2026

Emerging Leader application deadline May 15, 2024

Mentor application deadline May 15, 2024

Notification in June 2024

Program begins July 2024

Emerging Leaders and Mentors say...

I want to reinforce how important the relationships are and have been and continue to be with my mentor, with folks in my cohort with the other mentors and just how impactful those relationships are still for me, both professionally and personally.

- Vanessa Correa
George Mason University

I'm really proud of the different connections I made with a lot of different people. It was fantastic. I had a great opportunity to do a lot of different professional development opportunities outside of NACADA.

Our mentors and a couple of other colleagues presented at a conference. I've also had an opportunity to submit and have published a couple of different articles through Academic Advising Today, also partnering with some of my cohort colleagues. So I had a great experience.

- Cindy Firestein
Simmons University

I will say that this is and has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. I love this program and the friends I have made and the opportunities that it has provided me.

- Jared Burton
Pima County Community College

When attending conferences, multiple invitations were extended to become involved in NACADA in various ways. The ELP program shifted those 'invitations' to 'expectations' for me, in every good way. As advisors, we know how important it is to help students articulate specific goals, support them throughout the process, hold them accountable when necessary, etc. The ELP created this same kind of 'optimal mismatch' of challenge and support for me, that allowed me to learn, develop, grow within the advising profession.

- Susan Anderson
University of St. Thomas

The Emerging Leader Program has not only increased my involvement within NACADA, but it has also influenced how I do my job, and how advising is structured on my campus. The involvement that I have had, the opportunities that I have been exposed to and the life long connections I have made, make ELP one of the best experiences I have ever had; not only professionally, but also personally. Thank you NACADA for such an amazing program!

- Heather Doyle
Dalhousie University

I would say for me the benefits of being a mentor was just really making friendships more than anything. I think why most folks are hesitant to apply as mentors is, they feel that they don't have enough experience to be mentors, and I would argue that is not true. If you have been in any type of leadership role - served as a chair or been involved in a conference - something in NACADA. You are eligible, and you can help someone else navigate how to get more involved in NACADA.

- Cecilia Olivares
University of Missouri-Columbia

The bit of advice for someone who's on the fence about applying to become an ELP mentor, I would say, do it. It is an incredible experience.

- Nathan Vickers
University of Texas at Austin