SMCS Review Process & Presenter Expectations

Chelsea O'Brien, Communications Co-Chair

October 30, 2017

I know February seems like the distant future, but it will be upon us faster than we think! The planning committee for the Symposium on Military-Connected Students has been hard at work for months building the program. We want to be transparent about the process of curating the symposium, so below I have outlined some of the steps we have taken to make sure the event meets your expectations.

Our selection process for programs is intense. Each session was assigned a selection committee member, so every single session was reviewed at least once, with the goal being reviewed by multiple individuals. After the review deadline, the committee met for two conference calls reviewing each proposal as a group. Sessions were considered based on a wide range of criteria including topic, relevance to the field, level of targeted audience, applicability to a wide audience, and presenter background. Those who reviewed our sessions provide a valuable service, as it allows us to have well-informed conversations about each proposal.

Those who submitted proposals were notified of the committee's decision shortly after our most recent conference call. Some presenters were asked to make changes or if they would be comfortable switching the type of session (doing a poster session versus an hour-long session, for example). Other presenters were assigned a coach to make sure they were on the right track. The deadline of accepting the responsibility to offer a session just recently passed. All presenters who agreed to offer their session will now be expected to participate in a webinar to learn how to be the best presenter possible. We are working hard to make sure sessions and presenters will meet attendees’ high expectations.

This blog will also be highlighting some of the presenters as well as the keynote speakers in December and January. We want you to know who you will be learning from. We want you to be inspired by the wide variety of opportunities available. We also want you to know that there will be options for you, even if you have been in the field for 10+ years.

We have taken past feedback to heart and hope that you are excited for the symposium in February. We have tried to move away from just offering Veterans 101 sessions; we know some of you are far beyond needing to understand the five branches of the military. However, we still want to offer sessions for professionals who are new to our field. We worked to find a balance to provide learning opportunities for those new to the field, those who have been around for a few years, and for those who are looking for what’s next.

After the conference we want to hear from you -- What did you learn? What will you be implementing? What can we do better? What do you wish more sessions would focus on?

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