The NA4SA Academy

Raise YOUR hands for some valuable and intensive Advisor Training!

NA4SA has as a core goal promoting student leadership and engagement through supporting the adults who work with students. Since our founding as an organization to bring together summer workshop staff, we have grown to also include those who work with students in activities outside of the classroom, as well as leadership educators. Our programming has also expanded to meet the needs of our members and their different roles and contexts, helping to professionalize student activity advising and leadership development in schools, and giving our members the tools, skills, knowledge, resources, and competencies they need to be successful, regardless of their role, title, or context.

To further our mission, we are excited to announce the debut of the NA4SA Academy in 2023. This program is designed for activity advisors, leadership classroom teachers, and summer leadership workshop/camp staff and directors to help them receive the professional development they need to be successful. The education that NA4SA provides goes beyond our annual conference, and the Academy will provide both general as well as context specific knowledge for our membership to succeed.

The Program Concept

The purpose of the NA4SA Academy is to provide support for activity advisors (regardless of their type of organization, or if they work with middle or high school students), leadership class teachers, and summer leadership workshop/camp staff and directors. The Academy will help each group excel in their role, develop their network of other professionals beyond just the National Conference on Student Activities, and provide them with the most recent scholarship in advising and leadership pedagogy.

The Academy was created with the recognition that each group has unique needs that are specific to the domain where they work, but that at the core of their work is the same goal, and that participants need both specialized knowledge pertaining to their role, as well as general knowledge about student leadership and engagement in order to be successful.

The NA4SA Academy will both provide this foundational knowledge for everyone who works with student leaders, as well as the specialized knowledge they need to excel. It will be valuable no matter how much prior experience participants have, and is designed to ensure you have the tools, resources, and support you need to be successful in your role.

Check out the promotional materials below, and feel free to share them with fellow advisors in your school or state:

A picture containing text, sign, red Description automatically generated Program Announcement 

A picture containing text, sign, red Description automatically generated Promotional Flyer 

The Academy Format

The NA4SA Academy will contain three levels, to both provide this foundational knowledge for everyone who works with student leaders, as well as the specialized knowledge they need to excel. Each level will contain modules participants will work on over a 10-to-12-week period.

The modules have been designed to impart the knowledge our members need, and most of the modules will be conducted asynchronously to provide flexibility for participants. Each module will also feature a virtual meeting for participants to review the material collaboratively and to learn from one another, and there will also be a one-on-one session for each participant at the conclusion of each level as well.

This programming will include topics such as:

  • The history of student engagement
  • The “Why” of student leadership
  • The importance of effective communication
  • A Strengths-based approach to student development
  • Personal growth and focus
  • Major contemporary leadership theories
  • Identifying School & Community Needs
  • Leadership From a Campus Perspective
  • Training student leaders
  • Knowing, being, and doing in leadership
  • Leadership ethics
  • Personal, organizational, and global leadership
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) in Student Leadership

The first step is Level I, which is open to any adult working in student leadership development. In Level I, participants will learn essential knowledge on a variety of topics that is relevant to anyone working with student leaders, and individuals will be able to learn from their peers in different contexts as well, to help participants build a professional collaborative network of people throughout the country. By focusing on these common competencies, we will be able to develop a "common language" and basic shared knowledge in student development across the various groups of our membership.

Level I is Only the Beginning!

After completing Level I, participants will be eligible to start Level II of the Academy program, which will feature individualized pathways specifically designed for activity advisors, leadership teachers, and summer workshop/camp staff members. Individuals may elect to enroll in one, two, or all three of the Level II pathways, depending on their needs and their roles.

After completing at least one of the Level II pathways, participants will be able to apply to complete Level III. In this level, participants will demonstrate mastery both in a specific domain, as well as with their general knowledge of student engagement and leadership, and also, give back to NA4SA and others. In doing so, we will further our goal of professionalizing activity advising and camp staffing, and provide to leadership instructors the professional development they need.

By participating in the Academy program, you will receive:

  • Membership in NA4SA
  • Access to specially designed NA4SA content
  • A Credly microcredential
  • Membership in a professional network like no other
  • The evidence you need to demonstrate your competence in student engagement and leadership development

Spring 2024 Cohort - Schedule & Registration

The meeting dates for the Spring 2024 Level I Cohort are as follows:

  • Monday January 29
  • Monday February 12
  • Monday February 26
  • Monday March 18
  • Monday April 1
  • Monday April 15

All meetings will be from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Registration for Level I of the NA4SA Academy is now OPEN for only $40. Individuals who attended the 2023 National Conference on Student Activities in Boston will be able to register for a discounted rate of $30 through the end of December! Group rates for individuals from the same school or State Association will also be available.

A picture containing text, sign, red Description automatically generated Online Registration Closed

NA4SA believes in the power of student engagement and student leadership, and this program continues our long tradition of offering support for adults who support students in schools across the US. Whether this is your first (or 50th!) year in leadership development, we guarantee you will find something of value in the Academy!

If you have questions about our new Advisor Academy, please contact NA4SA President Tom Heethuis at or Educational & Engagement Coordinator Dr. Felix Yerace at

Our Friends & Sponsors

Please CLICK on the images below to visit their websites!

National Association of Secondary School Principals


Alliance for Student Activities

Cool Speak

Dynamx Digital

Mike Hall Speaks




Five Star Students


The Fisher Agency