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2022 NCHEP FAQ

Q: When and where will the 12th NCHEP be hosted?

A: The next NCHEP is scheduled for October 11-14, 2022, and will be hosted virtually on Zoom. 

Q: Why is this year’s conference virtual?  

A: While we are conscious that an in-person conference unites the community in ways that a virtual one cannot, this choice (which was taken in concert with the Alliance’s Board) will make this event safer, more sustainable, and more accessible. We also believe that with this form of advanced notice and consistent schedule, organizations will be better able to budget and plan for in-person conference participation. We understand that some may be disappointed about the decision to only meet in-person every other year, or may wish to know more about the factors that led to this decision, so we have provided further details below. The in-person gathering in Denver, together with the virtual presentations the following week, proved to be a very powerful moment for this community: we are still thinking about the many significant conversations generated last November, and we are actively integrating your feedback and suggestions into our future planning efforts. If you are interested in learning about the community’s feedback, please take a moment to read our recently launched Exit Report. We want to take this as an opportunity to actively and publicly reflect on the many variables that contribute to the success and viability of the next and future conferences. 

  1. Material Considerations 

The first consideration we ought to make is a material one: the financial costs associated with hosting an in-person conference are increasingly becoming unsustainable on a yearly basis, especially for a non-profit organization such as the Alliance (you will find a more detailed breakdown of the NCHEP costs here). Furthermore, attending a conference presents a set of expenses that many community members cannot afford, which has become evident year after year through the increase in requests for Financial Aid.  Since 2017, the Financial Aid Program has been able to support more than 100 attendees on average each year; however, recently the Financial Aid requests nearly tripled the amount of funding awarded. Despite our best efforts at reducing costs and raising funds to support the program, there are significant financial barriers to hosting NCHEP as a truly accessible event. 

  1. Virtual Participation

This leads to a second reflection: we witnessed a very enthusiastic attendance during our Virtual NCHEP in March 2021 (1,767 registrants) and throughout the 11th NCHEP Virtual presentations in November 2021 (240 participants). Many participants could connect from around the country, and a significant number of currently incarcerated scholars could share their academic work and take part in online conversations around a variety of topics. 

  1. The Unpredictable Nature of the Pandemic

Finally, the reality of the global pandemic is shifting every day, and we are not in a position to predict if traveling and in-person convenings will be safe in the near future. Moreover, the costs associated with last-minute conference cancellations would put a huge strain on the Alliance. 

Q: What is the theme of the 12th NCHEP and how was it decided?

A: With the feedback of the community, via an open Planning Session and a survey, we decided that the theme of this year’s conference is What’s Next? Higher Education in Prison and Its Future(s). The simple question “What’s Next?” takes into account the many perspectives, hopes, and agendas that exist within the field of higher education in prison. Among the ideas that this question promises to engage, we might collectively ask: Is prison abolition the goal to achieve? And if yes, how is higher education in prison advancing this mission? Alongside this vision, and as Pell has been reinstated, how is the field focusing on defining “quality education” in the carceral setting, on the creation and growth of programs, and on guiding reentry efforts? Additionally: How can we ensure that the voices of formerly incarcerated students will be placed in, and adequately trained for, leadership positions? Are programs committed to support their students after release in their pursuit of housing, employment, and on-campus education? 

Q: Will the 12th NCHEP be a hybrid conference?

A: No, the 12th NCHEP will be a fully virtual conference. The sessions will be hosted on Zoom, and all registrants will also have access to the Whova app (which will allow them to network with other participants, create a personalized schedule of events, and much more). 

Q: What are the submission deadlines for the 12th NCHEP? 

A: For all the 12th NCHEP formats, the deadline for submissions is May 23, 2022 at midnight ET. 

Submissions from scholars who are currently incarcerated can be sent in three different ways: 

  1. Directly through the submission portal https://www.conftool.org/nchep-2022/; or
  2. With the support of a delegate through the submission portal; or 
  3. Through regular mail: Alliance for Higher Education in Prison, Attn: NCHEP Submission, 1801 N. Broadway, Room 417, Denver, CO 80202 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at nchep@higheredinprison.org or via the mailing address above.

Q: Can people who are currently incarcerated submit a proposal and present at the  conference?

A: Absolutely. Those who are currently incarcerated are encouraged to apply and will be able to participate in the 12th NCHEP via Zoom. Additionally, currently incarcerated scholars will be able to send a pre-recorded presentation or appoint a delegate who will read their work. 

Q: Can you tell me more about the submission process for the 11th NCHEP?

  • Can I submit an individual paper?

A: Yes, you can. This year the conference will be hosting ‘Open Conversations’, ‘Panel Discussions’, and ‘Individual Papers’. Please see the full Call for Submissions for more detailed information. 

  • How do I submit a proposal to the 12th NCHEP? 

A: The submission portal will be hosted by ConfTool. All the submission formats detailed in our Call for Submissions are accessible through this portal: 2022 NCHEP Submission Portal

  • When does the submission portal open? 

A: The submission portal opened on April 13, 2022. 

  • When will the submission portal close?

A: The deadline for submissions is May 23, 2022 at midnight ET.

  • When will we know if our submissions have been accepted or declined?

A: Notifications of acceptance or decline will be sent in July. 

Q: How long is a session at NCHEP?  

A: All sessions, regardless of the type, will last 60 minutes.

Q: Who will review my presentation?

A: Each year a team of external reviewers apply and are selected to review submissions. All proposal reviewers have experience and/or expertise related to the topic for which they have been selected as a reviewer, and reviewers represent the dynamic makeup of the field.

Q: How many proposals can I submit?

A: Conference participants may only be the lead submitter for one proposal to the 2022 NCHEP. Conference space is limited, and as the conference grows, we do not have the capacity to support presenters making multiple proposals. It is possible to be a co-presenter on additional sessions, but the session will need to be submitted by someone else.

Q: How and when will I know if my submission was accepted or declined?

A: The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison will represent the decision of the External Reviewers by sending an email or letter to the person who submitted the proposal with an accept/decline decision message included. Presenters who have identified co-presenters in their proposals should also notify their co-authors/presenters at this stage.

Q: If I submit an ‘Individual Paper’ and it is accepted, how and when will I know who else I am submitting with?

A: ‘Individual Paper’ submissions are grouped together based on the topic selected. You will be notified of the other participants presenting at the same time when you are assigned a moderator for your presentation.

Q: What services are available for accommodation requests?

A: NCHEP will make every effort to support accommodation requests and the full participation of all attendees. Please contact nchep@higheredinprison.org no later than September 5, 2022 to request any needed accommodations or include your accommodation request(s) during the registration process. 

Q: Can you tell me more about Registration to the 12th NCHEP?

  • How do I register? 

A: The registration portal will open in May 2022. Once it is opened, this section will be updated to indicate all the necessary links.

  • Registration Fees

A: Registration covers the cost of individual attendance to NCHEP, and it will follow a Sliding Scale structure. 

Q: What does it mean to be an Emerging Scholar, and who can use the designation?

A: Emerging Scholars are, for example, undergraduate or graduate students (formerly incarcerated or not) starting, or at the very early stages of, their scholarly careers. Alternatively, they may be scholars who have little experience with conference presentations. This community may also include those new to the NCHEP conference. The intention of this designation is to ensure that the conference experiences provide effective learning opportunities for all participants, and that the presentation review process is equitable and accessible to communities across the field. If this designation is selected, the Emerging Scholar will present with other Emerging Scholars whenever possible, and scholars accepted under the Emerging Scholars designation will access support from the Conference Planning Team in order to prepare their presentations.

Q: How can I learn more about the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison? 

A: An FAQ page for the National Conference on Higher Education (NCHEP) can be found here: https://www.higheredinprison.org/info/general-nchep-faq. This webpage contains general information about the NCHEP and is a standing webpage that is available all year round. 

Q: How can I ask more questions? 

A: There are three ways to receive more information: 

  1. Send us an email: nchep@higheredinprison.org; or 
  2. Use the Comments/Suggestions link on our website (and we will add answers to this FAQ);

Share anonymous feedback on this year's conference planning by completing this form.