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NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar

Key Dates

  • Nov. 2, 2020: Application opens (8 a.m. Eastern time)
  • Nov. 30, 2020: Application closes (5 p.m. Eastern time)
  • Feb. 3-5, 2021: Emerging Leaders Seminar virtual dates

This professional development event provides leadership, educational and transitional programming for current graduate assistants and interns from NCAA member schools, conference offices and affiliate organizations. The three-day virtual program educates, develops and connects selected participants and equips attending young professionals with the skills necessary to accelerate their career progression in college sports.

What participants learn

Participants walk away with valuable insight into college athletics, a more in-depth understanding of self-awareness and group dynamics through the DISC assessment and program case study, and an expansive network of peers and industry leaders to call upon throughout their professional journey. Through this exposure, participants return to their current roles with applicable skills and knowledge that will help them succeed in the next steps of their career.

The program features presentations from prominent industry experts, including NCAA national office executives who inform attendees about the national governing body’s role in the college sports landscape. Through breakout presentations and panels, participants can explore potential career avenues while building valuable connections within their areas of interest. Additional professional development topics will include crucial conversations, evaluating fit and office culture, self-care, navigating the job search, and managing others. Overall, participants strengthen their professional network and knowledge of college sports while building leadership skills that prepare them to succeed personally and professionally.

How the virtual platform works

The NCAA will utilize an interactive and engaging virtual platform to execute the Emerging Leaders Seminar. Participants have many options to connect with each other, including facilitated small group breakout rooms, networking hubs, collaborative case study spaces, and an exhibit hall where participants can speak with industry professionals and other attendees. The platform will enable attendees to build a strong sense of community within the program, replicating the cohort-model of in-person programming in the digital space. 

Who is eligible

Participants must be a current intern or graduate assistant within an athletics department at an NCAA member school, conference office, affiliate organization or the NCAA national office. Individuals must have completed a bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply for the Emerging Leaders Seminar.

How to apply

The online application for the Emerging Leaders Seminar is available via the NCAA Program Hub.


For information about the Emerging Leaders Seminar, email

Check it out

Previous participants of the Emerging Leaders Seminar talk about how the program developed their careers in college sports.