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2023 Institute on the Curricular Approach™

October 22, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - October 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm PDT

2023 institute on the curricular approach

the widely adopted go-to professional development experience for individuals and departmental teams who want to implement a Curricular Approach on campus

22-25 October 2023 // Long Beach, California

 the Institute on the Curricular Approach is proudly sponsored by

Join student affairs and higher education colleagues on a journey equipping you to lead organizations toward a curricular approach to learning for all on your campus at the Institute on the Curricular Approach (ICA)! This learning experience is dynamic and valuable. Participants will be able to explore how to lead, design, and implement a curricular approach. ICA Faculty will offer learning opportunities including large group keynotes, smaller sequenced sessions, faculty consultations, institutional showcases, and more. Wherever you are in your journey individually and organizationally toward a departmental or divisional curricular approach, this institute is a straight-forward way to obtain clear direction from higher education and student affairs professionals experienced with a curricular approach.

Through participation in ICA, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Apply the 10 Essential Elements of a Curricular Approach
  • Design, implement, and assess a Curricular Approach
  • Learn from other institutions implementing a Curricular Approach through Showcase presentations
  • Get feedback from Institute faculty about your Curricular Approach through Faculty Consults

A Curricular Approach is a paradigm shift from traditional educational approaches to an intentional, developmentally sequenced one, defined by institutional mission and purpose. Staff members using a Curricular Approach first identify clear learning goals and outcomes grounded in the history, culture, mission, and purpose of each institution. Then staff members identify student engagement strategies that can provide opportunities for students to achieve these learning goals and outcomes. Goals are sequenced, pedagogy rooted in scholarship of teaching and learning, and campus partners incorporated from throughout the institution. A Curricular Approach uses assessment to inform a process of continuous improvement.

Shifting to using a Curricular Approach is not superficial nor is it simply utilizing learning outcomes to guide programming. A curricular approach utilizes the 10 Essential Elements to think about student learning and a refined leadership mindset.

Vernon A. Wall headshotKeynote Speaker: Vernon A. Wall

Vernon A. Wall has accumulated over 30+ years of professional Student Affairs experience at Iowa State University, the University of Georgia, UNC-Charlotte, and UNC-Chapel Hill and has experience in Greek life, new student orientation, student activities, leadership development, global education, and university housing. Vernon currently lives in Washington DC and is the Director for Business Development at LeaderShape, Inc. Vernon is also President and Founder of One Better World, LLC – a consulting firm specializing in engaging others in courageous social justice and equity conversations.

With degrees from North Carolina State University and Indiana University, Vernon is the consummate scholar-practitioner. He has received several awards for his contributions to the quality of student life, is a nationally known speaker in the areas of social justice and leadership and is one of the founders and facilitators of the Social Justice Training Institute. Vernon’s volunteer involvement with ACPA began with his graduate school professor, Dr. Nancy Evans. Nancy was chair of the Commission for Professional Preparation (Commission XII at the time). After attending his first conference, Nancy (who was the Chair of the Commission) asked if he would be interested in joining. In Nancy’s words: “We need some graduate student voices on this cranky – but wonderful – group.” After a year, he became a Directorate member of the Commission and went on to chair the Task Force on Recruitment. Later, he became a member of the National Careers in Student Affairs Week Executive Committee – which ultimately developed into what we know now as National Careers in Student Affairs month. He served as program chair and as a member of the executive committee for the Sexuality & Gender Identities Coalition (the Standing Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness at the time). He has also been an active member of the Commission for Student Involvement (Commission IV at the time) and the Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs (which is now represented by some amazing networks). Vernon coordinated the professional development “Roadshow” Beyond Tolerance— based on one of the two books that he and Nancy Evans co-edited. He also served on the Executive Council as a Member-at-large and as one on ACPA’s representatives on the ACPA/NASPA Blue Ribbon Task Force on Consolidation. After serving on several convention planning teams (including one of the joint ACPA/NASPA conventions) in various capacities, President Nancy Evans asked him to be the Convention Chair for her convention in Long Beach in 2002. It was at this conference that he and Nancy unveiled the Voice of Inclusion Award. Vernon also worked for 5 years in the ACPA International Office as Senior Director for Professional Development, Research and Scholarship. Vernon is a past President of the association and presided over the 2021 virtual conference experience.

institute features

This learning experience is an institute and not a conference. Sessions are organized and sequenced to meet the needs of professionals and organizations at different places in their journey. Each session is also sequenced with learning outcomes to create an integrated, developmentally sequenced, experience for the participants. Showcases are also offered from a variety of institutional sizes and types to give concrete examples of how a Curricular Approach can be implemented consistently across campuses but also tailored for each unique campus context.

Whether it is your first Institute or your twelfth, you will leave inspired with new insights, new collegial connections, new examples and innovations, and new energy. We have representatives from all sizes and types of institutions who have benefited from the Institute experience.



Foundations Track
The Foundations track is for participants who are first-time attendees to ICA, are new to designing and implementing a curriculum, or are campus partners wanting to better understand the curricular approach. This track will engage around areas related to the 10 Essential Elements of a curricular approach, learning organizations, organizational change, the process of designing/implementing a curricular approach, assessment, and how to move forward beyond the institute.

Revising & Evolving Track
The Revising & Evolving track is for participants who have attended ICA/RCI in the past or have designed and implemented a curricular approach on a campus. This track helps experienced ICA participants work to evolve and advance their curricular approach. Participants will deeply examine their strategies, sequencing, pedagogy, equity-minded assessment, and organizational context to refine and strengthen the effectiveness of their curriculum.

Strategic Direction Track
The Strategic Direction track is for participants who are charged with leading a curriculum or for participants who serve at the director level or above. This track is specifically suited for architects of a curriculum and organizational decision-makers. This track is about strategic leading and thinking. Participants will explore navigating political partnerships and structures. They will learn strategies to enhance collaboration, gain buy-in from stakeholders, share their curricular journey through storytelling, and assess their preparedness for organizational/cultural change.

Team Registration

Consistently, some of the best feedback we receive from participants is from those who attended as members of an institutional team. While individual attendance is perfectly fine, if you can register as a team, we encourage it so you can learn together in real time and build or advance your Curricular Approach together. Team registration rates are available!

Demographics of institute participants (based on 2022 Institute evaluation data):

Team Attendance Years Attending ICA
Attended without a team: 7% First time attendee: 70%
Attended with two to five colleagues: 43% Returning attendee: 30%
Attended with more than six colleagues : 49%  

Registration Rates

To take advantage of team registration rates, all participants must be ACPA members through 25 October 2023.
All team members should be registered at the same time.


  • Registrant 1: $629         • Registrant 2: $629
  • Registrant 3: $529        • Registrant 4: $529
  • Registrant 5: $529        • Registrant 6: $529
  • Registrant 7: $429        • Registrant 8: $429
  • Registrant 9: $429        • Registrant 10: FREE
Please note that we are unable to “hold” space for team members that are not yet hired/determined. You can choose to transfer registrations between individuals prior to 22 September 2023 and manage that process on your own through event registration. If you need to transfer a registration after 22 September 2023, there will be a $50 fee, as this process must be completed by the staff after that date. All other registration policies apply to team registrations. 

Before 18 August 2023                      After 18 August 2023

$629                     $829

membership must be active through 25 October 2023

Before 18 August 2023                      After 18 August 2023

$269                     $369

membership must be active through 25 October 2023

Before 18 August 2023                      After 18 August 2023

$829                     $1,029

consider becoming a member of ACPA to save $200 on your registration price!

Before 18 August 2023                      After 18 August 2023

$369                     $469

consider becoming a member of ACPA for $39 to save $100 on your registration price!

Registrations can be paid by check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. All fees must be prepaid. Purchase orders are not accepted. Refunds will be given for cancellations, received in writing at ACPA by 22 September, 2023. After 22 September, 2023, there are no refunds.  A processing fee of US$50 per registration will be charged for credit cards declined or to change payment methods after the initial payment is processed. The conference may be cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. In this case, the fees will be fully refunded; however, ACPA will not be responsible for other additional costs, charges or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines and/or travel agencies.

lodging & transportation

The host hotel for the Institute is the Hilton Long Beach.  The 2023 Institute on the Curricular Approach hotel block is full. If you have not booked your hotel, you can check availability for reserving a hotel room at the full nightly rate at the Hilton Long Beach. Additionally, other hotels nearby include the Residence Inn Long BeachHyatt Regency Long BeachHotel Maya Long BeachCourtyard by MarriottRenaissance Long BeachWestin Long Beach, and Hyatt Centric. Please note these hotels will require travel to the hotel for the institute. Transportation is not provided. If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact ACPA Director of Convention & Events, Brian Hopkins, at [email protected].


Monday, 23 October 2023

  • 7:30am – 8:30am // Name Badge Pickup
  • 7:30am – 8:30am // Breakfast
  • 8:30am – 9:00am // Opening and Welcome
  • 9:00am – 10:30am // Plenary
  • 10:45am – 11:45am // Session #1
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm // Lunch
  • 1:00pm – 2:00 pm // Institutional Showcase #1
  • 2:15pm – 3:15pm // Session #2
  • 3:30pm – 4:10pm // Curricular Dialogue Circles/Faculty Consult #1
  • 4:20pm – 5:00pm // Curricular Dialogue Circles/Faculty Consult #2

Tuesday, 24 October 2023

  • 7:30am – 8:15am // Breakfast
  • 8:30am – 9:30am // Session #3
  • 9:45am – 10:45am // Institutional Showcase #2
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm // Session #4
  • 12:15pm – 1:45pm // Lunch/Keynote
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm // Session #5
  • 3:15pm – 4:00pm // Spotlight Showcases #1
  • 4:15pm – 4:55pm // Curricular Dialogue Circles/Faculty Consult #3

Wednesday, 25 October 2023

  • 7:30am – 8:30am // Breakfast
  • 8:45am – 9:45am // Session #6
  • 10:00am – 10:45am // Spotlight Showcases #2
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm // Institute Closing


October 22, 2023 @ 4:00 pm PDT
October 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm PDT
Event Category:


Hilton Long Beach
701 W Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90831
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