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NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program Conference

Limited-resource institutions are invited to attend the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) Conference. The AASP Conference provides a broad-based schedule of programming that benefits chancellors and presidents, athletics departments, academic advisors, registrars, development and those interested in the academic success of student-athletes. It also provides the opportunity for inter-institutional discussions on issues and solutions among individuals from institutions that may have similar missions, demographics, challenges and success.

Keynote Speaker:

This year, we would like to announce that Soledad O’Brien, Award Winning Journalist, Documentarian, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, will be joining the conversation to add insight and a valuable perspective.  Be sure to register for the 2017 conference so that you don’t miss out on her keynote address.

Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer. O’Brien was the originator of Black in America and Latino in America. In June 2013, she launched Starfish Media Group, a multiplatform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories. Also, in June 2013, O’Brien joined HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel as a correspondent, and joined the Harvard University Graduate School of Education as a visiting fellow for the 2013-14 school year. In 2010, she wrote a critically-acclaimed memoir The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities, which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences. O'Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she anchored the network’s Weekend Today. Soledad O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University and currently lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan.

Through the power of storytelling, Soledad O’Brien brings a fresh perspective on diverse and contemporary issues to foster change in your own community or organization.

Soledad has established herself as one of the most recognized names in broadcasting by telling the stories behind the most important issues, people and events of the day. A champion of diversity, she gives voice to the underserved and disenfranchised through her Emmy-winning reporting and acclaimed documentary series, “Black in America” and “Latino in America.”

With eloquence and a measured ability to make often-divisive issues such as race relations, social inequality and mass incarceration accessible to all, she moves audiences to delve deeper into the headlines that shape our lives, outlooks and daily interactions.

On stage, Soledad draws from her life and career to stimulate thoughtful conversation on the roles we each play within our communities and organizations, leaving audiences with memorable takeaways on the power of individuals and companies to make meaningful and lasting change.

Session Highlights

  • Chancellors and Presidents’ Summit held on the afternoon of July 27
  • Athletics Directors Summit held on the afternoon of July 28
  • Big Ideas…Short Time: These sessions are designed to spread ideas in the form of short talks with the goal of you taking the ideas back to your campus to support the success of your institution and student-athletes.
  • Coaches and Student-Athlete Panel - This is the first year that the AASP Student-Athlete Career Development Award will be awarded to two student-athletes from limited-resource institutions.  The award winners will be highlighted in a panel discussion along with coaches offering their perspective on achieving academic and athletics excellence.  More information about the Student-Athlete Career Development Award at
  • Let’s Talk About Transfer - This is a two-part conference-wide session that will include a viewing of selected video clips and NCAA transfer research data.  The second part of the session will include a panel discussion that will highlight the voice of transfer student-athletes, a former junior college coach, NCAA research staff, and two academic advisors who worked closely with transfer student-athletes.
  • Sport, Justice, Leadership and Expression: A Facilitated Case Study on Activism in Intercollegiate Athletics - Throughout history, college campuses have existed as spaces where diverse perspectives, opinions and means of expression have interacted, and the athletics forum is not exempt from these actions. In this session, attendees will have an opportunity to review and discuss the multiple facets of student expression, activism and athletics on campus. Panelists will share contextual information and attendees will participate in a case study activity to dialogue about a variety of relevant issues, such as the first amendment and safety and welfare.
  • Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Faculty Athletics Representatives (FARs) Summit – In response to requests from conference attendees, Dr. Carray Banks, Norfolk State University, and Dr. Anna James-Taylor, Texas Southern University, will host a Summit for the faculty athletics representatives, from their respective conferences, to discuss a variety of topics.

A more detailed schedule will be posted in the next few weeks.


Registration is now closed. Please contact for inquiries

AASP Homepage

The NCAA provides support for schools as they work to meet the NCAA’s academic standards via the Accelerating Academic Success Program, which assists Division I schools as they develop programs and systems designed to increase graduation rates and ensure academic success.

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