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January 10, 2020

Extended Regular Registration Deadline

January 13, 2020

Hotel Room Block Cutoff

NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students

Workshop Student Success Veterans

The NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students is the association’s premiere event designed for student affairs practitioners supporting military-connected students. The symposium is your exclusive opportunity to share evidence-based practices from your campus or organization. Learn from leading researchers in the field and engage with other professionals committed to supporting military-connected students.

Check back often—we'll be making updates on a rolling basis.

Presented By

Regular Registration Deadline EXTENDED!

We're extending our regular registration deadline to Friday, January 10, 2020. Space is limited to register now to save!


Military-connected students comprise a growing population in higher education, and are those who enroll in postsecondary education with current or prior service with the military and their dependents. These students are also diverse in terms of demographic characteristics and service backgrounds, placing an important role on student affairs professionals and leaders to develop comprehensive, targeted, and meaningful support services to encompass the needs of these unique students. The Symposium provides opportunities for professionals and other stakeholders to share and learn ways to effectively support military-connected students.

This 2.5 day symposium features keynote sessions; research, policy, and best practices presentations; and workshop style sessions to help professionals develop or enhance their programming and services for military-connected students.


Pre-Symposium Workshops

Pre-conference workshops take place on Saturday, Februray 1, 2020 from either 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. and require participants to pre-register for a fee. Pre-conference sessions are designed as highly specialized opportunities to discuss a specific topic or program.

Saturday, February 1, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Straight Talk for Veterans: Creating a Success Environment for Veterans in College

What are the components of a campus environment that fosters success for your student veteran population? A clear articulation of what your campus should do for veterans should drive campus programming, within the context of the potentially changing needs of your veteran population. This session starts with framing transitions in ways most campuses haven't considered and moves into what cornerstones support the success of your veteran population and concludes with setting the stage for employment success.


David Vacchi, Higher Education Consultant, Fortify Associates
Janine Wert, Director of Veterans Services, University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Student Veterans of America Chapter Advisor Training

Strong SVA Chapters provide the cornerstone to a veteran-inclusive campus community, connecting student veterans to the larger campus community. Chapter Advisors play a pivotal role in ensuring their campus has a healthy, thriving, and supportive chapter. They provide guidance to student veterans on how to operate effectively within the university as well as providing continuity during leadership changes. An SVA Chapter advisor is often the bridge between the veterans and military-connected students and the campus faculty, staff, and administration. And, helps to educate the larger campus community on the benefits and importance of veteran inclusivity.

This workshop will provide an introductory training for campus staff on best practices about advising an SVA Chapter and will lay the groundwork for national SVA Chapter Advisor training starting in 2021. The workshop will end with an interactive discussion session allowing participants to engage with SVA staff on specific topics or questions.


Kevin Jenkins, Program Manager, Chapter Support and Programs, Student Veterans of America

Saturday, February 1, 2020 | 3:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Diversity and Inclusion Work in Veterans’ Services

Serving student veterans in higher education? Do you know who those veterans are?  This session will provide an introductory overview on the identity, and identity development, of underrepresented and often overlooked military-connected students on campuses. This session explores how the multiple identities, and intersections of identities, among student veteran populations can affect their willingness to access the veteran services and spaces on campus. Identity development among student veterans not only impacts their willingness to access these services and supports, it also impacts their retention and completion rates –which ultimately impacts these students across the lifespan.

This session will specifically consider the following: Womxn/female veterans, veterans of color, disability services, LGBTQ spaces, first generation students, and an overview on the basis on intersectionality of identity. Participants will be engaged with group activities including: visualizing a veteran, stand up and be counted, and privilege for sale. Through this interactive session participants will begin to understand their own biases and consider those in relation to veteran populations. Participants will be encouraged and guided in consideration of how diversity and inclusion work on campuses must extend beyond the designated “spaces.”


Christine Black, Assistant Director, Office of Equity and Diversity, University of Scranton
Crisann Hanes, Graduate Advisor, Colorado State University

Strategic Planning for Military-connected Student Success

Join a workshop led by military and veteran services professionals from a variety of institutional types to learn about the Council for the Advancement for Standards in Higher Education’s (CAS) standards and guidelines for Veterans and Military Programs and Services, ways institutions have used the CAS standards to evaluate their programs, and create a framework for strategic planning for your military student initiatives. This workshop will explore promising practices using the CAS standards and benchmarking data to produce a game plan for enhancing services, resources, and activities that will support military student success. The workshop will emphasize data-driven, empirically proven approaches to strategic planning. Attendees will leave the session with the framework for a self-study, benchmarking plan, and strategic plan template. 


Ken McRae, CEO, K.D. McRae and Associates
Julie Shank, Doctoral Candidate, Higher Education Program and Educational Psychology, George Mason University
Andrew Sonn, Director, Military and Veteran Services, George Washington University

Keynote Speakers


The schedule was designed to provide participants with interactive and engaging programming, opportunities for deeper discussion, and networking. For a printable schedule at a glance, click the button below.

Please note: Pre-symposium workshops require additional registration and will take place on Saturday, Feb. 1. The official start of the full Symposium will be Sunday, Feb. 2.

The schedule is tentative and subject to change.

For a printable schedule, complete with breakout session workshops, click the button below. The table provides an at-a-glance overview of the Symposium Programming.

Download the full #SMCS20 Schedule
Feb. 1
Feb. 2
Feb. 3
Feb. 4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration Check-in Open

Please check-in with a conference staff member upon arrival to obtain your name badge and other program information.
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Pre-symposium Workshops I

Additional registration required to attend.

3:15 PM - 6:15 PM

Pre-symposium Workshops II

Additional registration required to attend.

7:45 AM - 3:00 PM

Registration Check-in Open

Please check-in with a conference staff member upon arrival to obtain your name badge and other program information.

8:30 AM - 3:00 PM

Sponsor and Exhibitor Tables Open

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Symposium Kick-off and Opening Plenary

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Learning Labs

30 minute sessions design to give participants actionable ideas and tools. Presenters will share ideas for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions.

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Breakout Sessions I

12:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Symposium Break (Lunch on Your Own)

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Extended Learning Sessions

3:00 PM

Networking/Social Opportunities

The Symposium planning committee is currently developing afternoon networking programming to include a Super Bowl watch party. Other options may include a campus tour or activity in downtown Seattle.

As details become finalized, they will be shared here.

7:45 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration Check-in Open

7:45 AM - 5:00 PM

Sponsor and Exhibitor Tables Open

7:45 AM - 8:30 AM

Breakfast with Exhibitors (Provided)

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Veterans Knowledge Community Open Meeting (Optional)

An open meeting for those interested in learning more about the work of the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community.

8:45 AM - 9:45 AM

Morning Keynote: Charmain Bogue

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Breakout Sessions II

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Breakout Sessions III

12:15 PM - 1:45 PM

Symposium Break (Lunch on Your Own) or VKC Awards Luncheon

During this break, you can choose to do lunch on your own, or purchase a ticket to attend the Veterans Knowledge Community plated luncheon.

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Breakout Sessions IV

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Breakout Sessions V

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Breakout Sessions VI

5:15 PM - 6:45 PM

Networking Receptions and Poster Presentations

7:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Registration Check-in Open

7:45 AM - 8:30 AM

Continental Breakfast (Provided)

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Morning Keynote Plenary

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Learning Labs

30 minute sessions design to give participants actionable ideas and tools. Presenters will share ideas for 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions.

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Breakout Sessions VII


Registration is based on NASPA individual membership status.

  • If you are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as an individual member at the $75 rate. This gives you the conference registration and a year of membership for less than the non-member registration fee.
  • If your institution is NOT a member, then you will need to join at the associate affiliate rate of $242 and then you can pay the individual member rate for conference registration. Visit the Membership section of the NASPA website to learn about membership types.
Registration Fees
Early Registration
before 11/29/2019

Regular Registration
11/30/2019 - 01/10/2020

Late Registration
after 01/10/2020
NASPA Member
$425 $475 $550
$625 $650 $675
NASPA Student Member
$155 $185 $230
Pre-conference Workshop
$75 $95 




General Event Questions:

Jake Frasier
Associate Director, Professional Development

Registration Questions:

Tonya Murphy
Assistant Director, Constituent Services
202-265-7500 ext 1180


Refunds will be given for cancellations, received in writing by November 29, 2019, less a $50.00 processing fee. In addition, a processing fee of $50.00 per registration will be charged for credit cards declined.

For a comprehensive listing of NASPA registration policies, please visit this page.


Sponsors and Exhibitors

If you would like to sponsor or exhibit at the 2020 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students please fill out the exhibitor application form below and e-fax back all pages to 202-204-8443 or scan and e-mail to kjerde@naspa.org by January 1, 2020.

Thank You to Our Gold Sponsor


All conference activities will take place at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington.

NASPA has arranged special room rates for conference attendees at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington starting at $189/night (not including 12.40% applicable tax ). The cut-off date to receive the conference room rate is Monday, January 13, 2020. Rooms in the conference block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.

Reserve Your Room Today


Hotel booking information:

Hotel Room Rate / Night
Hyatt Regency Lake Washington
1053 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056
$189.00 - Single/Double

About Seattle

We are thrilled to bring the 2020 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students to Seattle. We hope you will take some time to experience the great things the city has to offer. For more information on discounts, offers, and activities, please visit this website.