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All sessions at the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison, regardless of format, are 75-minutes. A general description of each presentation format and  conference tracks is provided below.
Presentation Formats

Individual Paper Presentation
An individual paper is authored by one or more people, but ideally no more than three authors will represent one paper. The content review committee will group individual submissions together by theme so that your paper will be delivered alongside two-three other individually submitted paper presentations. Each presentation will last 10-15 minutes with about 45 minutes overall for all three-four papers. A moderator, selected by the content committee, will oversee group discussion and manage the roughly 30 minute Q&A period that typically closes out the session.

Panel Discussion
A panel discussion could be:

1. A pre-organized panel where three-four presenters submit together around a theme or issue. Your submission should include a moderator who will introduce the presenters, facilitate discussion and ask questions. The format is similar to an individual presentation above, but for a panel, you must submit a moderator with your proposal.

2. A pre-organized panel discussion that is less formal and emphasizes discussion rather than a set of separate presentations on a question or problem. In this format, your submission should still include information for all panelists and a moderator. The moderator will introduce panelists to the audience, facilitate a discussion among the panelists, manage time, and manage any Q and A that takes place. These sessions are designed to facilitate discussion around a shared topic, issue, or action, and allow attendees to discuss and share ideas with each other on a topic of shared interest with the aid of a moderator. The participants and moderator should have a predetermined set of questions for discussion and should include an outline of the discussion in the proposal. Additionally, the panel participants should have a clear plan for engaging the audience and should articulate their approach in the proposal. Ultimately, the goal of a panel is to create new knowledge/understanding as a result of the discussion. A moderator must be identified with your submission.

Performance, Creative Works or Media Session
A Performance or Creative Work proposal should use artistic media to explore a particular topic relevant to the conference theme. A high-quality submission will make very specific and considered statements about the logistics of the session, including space considerations, time allotments, and the terms (if any) of audience engagement. In addition to performance-based presentations, creative exhibits or installations are also invited for an individual session, but will be relocated after the session, meaning flexibility and impermanence should be carefully considered as an element of any proposed performance or creative work. Media presenters can share a film, video or audio clips, or projects (entire or excerpts) that use new media. The viewing of or listening to media should not take up the entire session; presenters should instead build dialogue or other ways of engaging the audience into their proposed session descriptions. Presentations that also include a discussion of the use of new media for projects and/or discussion of the process of working with media outlets will be given preference.


Poster Session
A poster is designed to display information, typically research, so that conference attendees may view your work. Posters combine text, graphics, and other visual data to present your project in a visually interesting and accessible way. Participants will design and craft a poster/exhibit that they bring to the conference. During the conference there will be specific times designated for conference participants to meet and engage with those who created the posters and make presentations. The NCHEP offers a series of supports for poster presenters, including: templates, best practice overviews and financial support to print posters. All of this information can be found here, on the NCHEP website.

Work-in-Progress Paper 
In a Work-in-Progress Paper session, participants gather to workshop or discuss a set of pre-circulated papers with the papers’ authors. Work-in-progress submitters offer a single paper (similar to an individual paper) with the interest of receiving feedback in the style of a workshop. This type of presentation works especially well for researchers and writers working toward the publication of an individual paper, assembling of an edited volume or journal, and other related projects. The session will be facilitated by a panel of respondents who will also review all of the papers prior to the session and would be willing to offer substantial feedback prior to and during the session (occurring at least two weeks before the conference). Work-in-Progress papers may or may not be completed manuscripts but will be far along in the writing process so that they are receiving feedback on a formative (draft) version of the manuscript.

Workshop/Training Session

Specific training on topics related to the field like grant-writing, strategic planning and building a new program are invited. We welcome submissions that involve a workshop format around training participants in a style that is interactive. A facilitator sets the agenda, poses opening questions, and organizes participant activities and discussions for the Workshop. The session can focus on specific skill development, problem-solving, spreading/accessing resources, or work and conversation on particular issues. Workshops should have clearly outlined learning objectives and details for how they will be achieved. Participant numbers may vary, and presenters should be prepared for audiences of many sizes.

Conference Tracks

Collaborations and Partnerships: Working Across Campus, Corrections, and/or the Community
Proposals that explore problems practically concerned with the day-to-day practices of collaboration and partnership across the diverse #higheredinprison landscape make for great candidates in this track. As the field’s stakeholders routinely work across institutions of higher education, with or within the Department of Corrections, and with the broader community, for example, the hard work of collaborating and partnering often emerges as an important point of discussion at the national conference each year.

Elevating Voices: Narrative, the Arts, and Creative Expression
Proposals may seek to elevate or profile voices within the higher education in prison community. Many may also seek to do so in formats that are not as common and/or easily recognized in academia. In particular, this track is best suited to represent the voices and experiences that have not been well-represented or remain marginalized (e.g., people currently incarcerated or family members of people currently or formerly incarcerated) and/or presentation formats such as visual or multimedia arts, prose or poetry, and more. Proposals that seek to expand the complexity and influence of various voices within or even outside the current confines of the field and do so in ways other than the “traditional” conference paper or panel format are most welcome.

Equity in Policy and Practice: Access, Quality, and Pathways to Campus
“Equity” means many things to theHigher Education in Prison Community. It can mean, for example, upholding the same quality standards and access to opportunities that exist in other higher educational contexts in spite of students’ incarceration status; it can also mean maintaining sustained attention to how race, gender, ability, economic status, and other dimensions of identity, status, and experience impact every dimension of the field, from teaching and learning to curriculum development to partnerships and program structure. Further refracting these meanings through associations with policies and practices in the field opens many ways to discuss the hard work this community does in opening accessible and quality pathways to (and from) campus.

In the Classroom: Perspectives on Teaching and Learning
Proposals addressing any aspect of “in the classroom” experience or approaches would be relevant and welcome here. Proposals are encouraged to take an expansive and holistic approach to understanding what classroom space involves in an educational landscape undergoing dramatic change. Similarly, proposals should  take an expansive view of what it means to teach and learn (and who embodies these roles and the modes of teaching and learning ) across today’s higher education in prison landscape.

Surveying the Landscape of HigherEducation in Prison: Research, Evaluation, and Assessment
More than just a home for proposals on “research” in the field, this track solicits proposals that again take the most expansive and holistic view or understanding of the higher education in prison field imaginable. Proposals exploring any problem related to research, evaluation, and assessment would be most welcome; “data” on the field of higher education in prison remains an area in sore need of community-wide enrichment and development.

The Politics of Higher Education in Prison: Advocacy, Activism, and Abolition
The 2020 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison will mark the Tenth Annual NCHEP. While the movement for higher education in prison expands and has, in many ways, transformed national and even international conversations on the politics of higher education in prison (and mass incarceration more broadly), many important contests regarding the movement’s ongoing advocacy, activist, and abolitionist efforts remain up for grabs. Proposals taking an expansive view of politics (i.e. more than electoral, partisan, and state or federal, for example) are most welcome in reconfiguring understandings of the political itself within and related to the field of higher education in prison.