Top 10 Higher Education Conferences of 2019  By

Top 10 Higher Education Conferences of 2019

Higher education is constantly changing and improving. To keep up with new technology, teaching methods, and curriculum changes, it’s crucial to attend higher education conferences. It’s the perfect atmosphere for educational professionals to discuss new skills, build connections, share innovative ideas, and exchange their best practices with one another.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best higher education conferences in 2019. Take a look and find out which one will be the most beneficial for you to attend, and don’t forget to look for home rentals or home exchanges at your chosen destination if you are able to extend your trip beyond the conference dates.

1. ISTE Conference

Date: June 22, 2019 (Preconference). June 23-26, 2019 (Conference).
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Attend the best event in ed-tech!”


ISTE Conference Image. Photo of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As one of the most respected non-profit organizations for technology in education, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is hosting its annual “Bold Educators Active Change” ISTE conference this June. Choose from 1,400 sessions! With 16,000 educators, and 550 companies attending, this conference is sure to not only inform educators of the latest tools and strategies used in education but will offer massive learning opportunities for teaching professionals. If you are a professor or are currently working at a higher education institute as an education policymaker, a library media specialist, an administrator, an industry rep, or a tech coordinator, this conference is sure to leave you with tremendous food for thought. ISTE, proudly sponsored by Microsoft, is known to serve over thousands of education stakeholders universally, via support services and organizational membership, and is proud to transform learning and teaching strategies respectively.

With the organization’s mission “to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation,” the ISTE conference is expected to be one of the most inspiring tech-education conferences yet. If you’re planning to stay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

2. NACUBO 2019 Annual Meeting

Date: July 13-16, 2019
Location: Austin, Texas

“The NACUBO annual meeting is the place for networking, information gathering, education, and entertainment.”


NACUBO 2019 Annual Meeting Image. Photo of Austin, Texas.

The membership organization NACUBO, standing for National Association of College and University Business Officers, represents over 1,900 colleges and universities across the United States, with the aim of “advancing the economic viability, business practices and supporting higher education institutions in fulfilling their missions.” NACUBO is proud to provide community service opportunities, professional development activities, and advocacy efforts, for chief business and financial officers.

The NACUBO 2019 annual meeting opens opportunities for academic professionals to explore the most recent knowledge and trends in regards to campus finance and administration. Listen to speeches by some of the world’s most influential campus leaders, tech experts, journalists, attorneys, and authors, as well as business officers who represent colleges and universities globally, as well as across all of the United States.

Register for this meeting to learn about fresh innovative practices, and collaborate with peers and industry strategists. If you are an academic professional who is interested in new innovative ideas that can help to foster your institution towards excellence, the NACUBO annual meeting is sure to leave you enthusiastic and inspired with new ideas for your institutional and professional interests.

If you’re planning to stay in Austin, Texas for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

Related: Taking a Sabbatical? What You Need to Know

3. BbWorld

Date: July 23-25, 2019
Location: Austin, Texas

I love the BbWorld Conference. It’s making a huge difference. I attended the Q&A session with Blackboard Leadership and it gave a lot of hope for the future of digital teaching and learning. I gained so much confidence in the company and the vision Blackboard has in using technology to drive student success.

E-Learning Specialist, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

BbWorld Image. Photo of Austin, Texas.

Attend the BbWorld and learn all about what really makes an academic institution stand out. This conference is known to gather education professionals from all over the world who want to make change happen. If you are looking to take your learning programs to the next level, this conference offers opportunities with deep-dive expert sessions about innovations in education and professional development. Join exchange best practices that you can put into action in your institution.

This conference provides opportunities for some great academic and professional connections with other education advocates.

If you’re planning to stay in Austin, Texas for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

4. Distance Teaching & Learning Conference

Date: August 6-8, 2019
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

“This is the best conference I have ever attended. I am coming away with so many new ideas and professional connections. Excellent attention to detail and thoughtful planning made this a memorable event that touched me personally and professionally. It is very clear why this conference has so many repeat attendees. I loved it!”

-2018 Distance Teaching & Learning Conference Attendee

Distance Teaching & Learning Conference Image. Photo of Madison, Wisconsin

This conference is specified to provide the best strategies, solutions, and practices for this growing category of academia. The conference gathers professionals from an array of academic specialties who are involved both in distance education and in online learning. If you attend this conference, expect to connect with online learning leaders from all over the country and the world. This conference is really a community of educators who want to share some of the best ideas concerning innovative ways to teach and support online learners. Meet other professionals within your field of expertise, and leave this conference inspired with new ideas to approach your work and put your research into practice.

Extend your professional development with these opportunities:

If you’re planning to stay in Madison, Wisconsin for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

5. NACAC National Conference

Date: September 26-28, 2019
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

NACAC National Conference Image. Photo of Louisville, Kentucky.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling is hosting its annual NACAC National Conference at the end of September. With over 6,000 counseling and admission professionals attending, this conference aims to offer opportunities for innovation, best practices, and new trends for higher education leaders. Attend this conference and participate in over 100 educational sessions, 14 learning lounge sessions, 14 exhibitor presentations, five pre-conference workshops, seven tech lab sessions, 10 pre-conference seminars and much more. You will learn about strategies that can help your institution grow to its utmost potential.

If you’re planning to stay in Louisville, Kentucky for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

Related: 10 Reasons to Take an Unpaid or Paid Sabbatical

6. Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE) Conference

Date: October 3-4, 2019
Location: San Antonio, Texas

The Advancing Improvement in Education Conference (AIE) is about inspiring educational leaders to be the change needed to improve student outcomes for all. At this conference, participants will walk away inspired, motivated, and capable of strengthening the relationships and structures needed to improve success.


Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE) Conference Image. Photo of San Antonio, Texas.

Register here for the Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE) Conference, which is specifically designed to “connect leaders to inspire accountability, innovation, and school improvement through partnerships and research-based best practices.” The conference this year is set to focus on inspiring educational leaders to be “the change agents that are needed in today’s world to improve student outcomes for all.” The true aim of this conference is to help academic professionals create academic structures that create a positive impact on students in colleges and universities.

Interactive sessions are intended to focus on the following areas of higher education:

  • Texas A-F Accountability
  • Effective Schools Framework
  • Equity
  • ELL, Dual Language, Bilingualism
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Strategic Planning
  • Teacher Recruitment, Induction, Retention
  • Restorative Practice
  • SPED
  • Data-Driven Instruction
  • Instructional Leadership

If you’re planning to stay in San Antonio, Texas for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

7. Leadership in Higher Education Conference

Date: October 3-5, 2019
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

“The Leadership in Higher Education Conference was created to bring much-needed professional development resources to academic leaders.”

-Leadership in Higher Education

Leadership in Higher Education Conference Image. Photo of St. Louis, Missouri.

This year’s Leadership in Higher Education Conference aims to advance your academic leadership skills, by integrating concurrent sessions, comprehensive presentations, roundtable discussions, and poster sessions. This conference promotes the exploration of best practices, trends, and strategies in academic and administrative leadership.

Some of the main topics that will be covered in this conference are the following:

  • Academic and administrative professional development
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Program and department evaluation and assessment
  • Institutional culture and climate.

If you’re planning to stay in St. Louis, Missouri for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

8. AACRAO 2019 Annual Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference

Date: November 3-6, 2019
Location: Dallas, Texas

“Recognized as the foremost provider of practical solutions, promising practices, training, research, and guidelines for enrollment management practitioners looking to maximize student success, improve operational efficiency, and enhance the financial well-being of their institution.”


AACRAO 2019 Annual Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference Image. Photo of Dallas, Texas.

The Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is a professional association that is non-profit and voluntary. Its members consist of over 11,000 higher education professionals, coming from over 2,600 international higher education institutions. AACRAO’s mission is to “provide professional development, guidelines, and voluntary standards to be used by higher education officials regarding the best practices in records management, admissions, enrollment management, administrative information technology, and student services.”

AACRAO is hosting the annual Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Conference, welcoming international educators, senior enrollment leaders, academic advisors, student success managers, and institutional researchers, who are part of any higher transnational and international educational institutions (including community colleges, graduate and professional schools, and baccalaureate/graduate colleges and universities).

The conference provides attendees with significant opportunities for learning programming techniques, exposure and access to leading enrollment managers, as well as access to a select group of exhibitors and corporate presenters.

SEM Conference session topics will include the following:

  • Delivering exemplary student service
  • Creating effective enrollment management plans
  • Leading campus strategic planning
  • Utilizing financial aid more effectively
  • Models for effective transfer programs
  • Implementing data-driven decision making
  • Improving student access and success
  • Implementing leading-edge technologies

9. AACU Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

Date: November 7-9, 2019
Location: Chicago, Illinois

“A voice and a force for liberal education in the 21st century.”


AACU Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference Image. Photo of Chicago, Illinois.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities aims to “advance the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy.”  The conference that AACU is hosting this November focuses on higher education, specifically in relation to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The goal of this conference is for all STEM faculty to leave the conference “equipped to effectively implement best practices for undergraduate STEM teaching within any institutional context, for any student demographics, despite existing systems of oppression.”

It is a unique conference experience that consists of over 500 STEM administrators and faculty members. Explore diverse worldviews and perspectives for innovation, life choices, discovery, and social change. This conference aims to advance STEM higher education practice and research, as well as policy.

If you’re planning to stay in Chicago, Illinois for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

10. ASHE Conference

Date: November 13-14, 2019 (Pre-conference). November 14-16, 2019 (Conference).
Location: Portland, Oregon

ASHE Conference Image. Photo of Portland, Oregon.

The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) is hosting its 44th annual conference in November and welcomes researchers, faculty, practitioners, scholars, and even students, to join their forces and “reimagine the study of higher education.”

The conference consists of over 500 research and scholarly paper presentations, 100 roundtable presentations, and 40 poster presentations, all concerning innovative empirical insights in the study of higher education. Register for this conference to network with other academic students and professionals, and listen to distinguished keynote speakers. This conference is filled with insightful presentations and fun events, including the 10th Annual ASHE Dash 5k Run and 1k Walk!

If you’re planning to stay in Portland, Oregon for a longer timeframe, check out a variety of listings here.

Related: Travel Resources for Professors.

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