NCORE-ISCORE Professional Development Academy

The NCORE-ISCORE Project was created to support Iowa State University’s diversity efforts. It is a yearlong developmental project centered on issues of race and ethnicity at ISU. The project provides an opportunity for ISU students, staff, and faculty to engage in constructive dialogue which includes participating in two conferences: NCORE—a national conference geared towards building multicultural relations and ISCORE—ISU’s local initiative designed to provide an ongoing platform of sharing and applying new knowledge through presentations and workshops.

Each year, Iowa State University supports an interdisciplinary delegation of students and professionals from across colleges and divisions in attending the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE). Students and professionals bring new knowledge gained from their NCORE experience back to the campus community and areas of influence both personally and professionally.


The NCORE-ISCORE Professional Development Academy is a professional and personal development program designed to strengthen dialogic skills and allow participants to engage in productive interpersonal conversations related to equity, diversity and inclusion on campus – with a focus on race and ethnicity. Faculty and staff who are attending NCORE for their 1st or 2nd time may apply for the academy. This 20-person academy includes a series of small-group dialogue sessions prior to, during and following the NCORE Conference.

Academy Objectives

To create space and opportunity for university community members to:

  • Engage in critical thought and reflection around race and ethnicity
  • Process the individual, cultural and institutional impact of race and racism on one’s life and community
  • Demonstrate healthy dialogic practices around race and ethnicity

Upon acceptance into the Academy, to successfully achieve these objectives Academy members will:

Prior to attending NCORE

  • Participate in the pre-departure sessions to build community, practice dialogic skills, discuss expectations for the Iowa State delegation, and review the NCORE conference program.

While participating in NCORE:

  • Engage in the Academy small-group dialogues and reflections each evening
  • Attend all NCORE keynotes with delegation members (faculty, staff and students) to represent Iowa State University
  • Participate in the annual ISU group photo taken on NCORE spirit day
  • Develop your own network through interactions with professionals from Iowa State and across the country at NCORE

Following NCORE:

  • Participate in monthly dialogic practice (e.g., read an article or theory, come together for a discussion, share out how activism is taking place in your sphere of influence, & reinforce community values)
  • Discuss the value of your NCORE-ISCORE experience with your supervisor and/or department chair
  • Serve as a listed Academy participant for faculty and staff interested in joining the Academy
  • Participate in ISCORE as an attendee, and/or presenter, and/or organizer
  • Consider participating in the NCORE-ISCORE panel related to those looking to join the project during the Pre-Conference for ISCORE


Iowa State and the NCORE-ISCORE Project have developed a reputation both locally and nationally of showing united effort and institutional commitment to its community by supporting such a large number of students, staff and faculty.

As an Academy member you will:

  • Develop your critical reflection and dialogic skills while cultivating meaningful professional relationships with Academy members before, during and after the NCORE conference
  • Build your personalized professional development and personal growth prior to, during and following NCORE
  • Engage in a supportive network of professionals from ISU and across the country
  • Obtain the Iowa State group registration discount to attend NCORE
  • Receive a free T-shirt and participate in the annual ISU group photo taken on NCORE spirit day
  • Receive recognition of Academy membership in the ISCORE program
  • Presented a NCORE-ISCORE Professional Development Academy certificate of recognition during the ISCORE Pre-conference
  • Be sent a letter of completion copied to your supervisor and/or department chair following ISCORE

Academy members are responsible for:

  • Paying for their registration to NCORE
  • Logistics; i.e. getting to the conference, shuttle to and from hotel, hotel costs, meals, and any miscellaneous expenses incurred for NCORE
  • Making the most of any professional development opportunities related to the NCORE-ISCORE project ideals at Iowa State University and beyond