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NCSS Conference Registration Scholarships for First-Time Attendees

National Council for the Social Studies believes that high quality professional development is important to the professional growth of social studies teachers, and to the outcomes in the classrooms in which they teach. This is especially true for early career teachers. NCSS is pleased to offer a limited number of registration scholarships to teachers who have never been able to attend its annual meetings in the past for lack of financial support. The NCSS First Timers’ Scholarship Fund supports attendance by early career teachers who have never attended an NCSS Annual Conference. All teachers from DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia who meet the qualifications are eligible to apply.


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Scholarship Information

What does a Conference Registration Scholarship cover?

The scholarship covers the conference registration fee for the 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC and a one-year regular membership in NCSS. It does NOT cover additional expenses including:

  • travel, lodging and meals
  • ticketed events such as tours or clinics
  • substitute teacher to cover your class while you are attending the conference

Attendees will need to cover these costs with district or personal funds.

Who may apply for a 2016 scholarship?

The intent of the scholarship is to enable teachers from diverse ethnic groups and/or who teach in high-poverty schools who have never attended an NCSS conference before to take advantage of this premier professional development opportunity. Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • first time attendee at an NCSS conference
  • full-time preK-12 school teacher from DC, Delaware, Maryland, or Virginia supported by the school administrator in the desire to attend the conference. Priority will be given to applicants who:
  • have a diverse background and/or experience
  • are in their first five years of teaching
  • are working in a high-poverty school

If your district has committed to fund your registration, please do NOT apply for a scholarship.

How do I know if I work in a high-poverty school?

The U.S. Department of Education defines a high-poverty school in three ways:

  1. The school is in district that serves at least 10,000 students from families living below the poverty line. OR
  2. The school is in district in which at least 20% of its students are from families living below the poverty line. OR
  3. The school receives Title 1 funding. If you are not sure whether your school meets any one of these criteria, consult your principal or district office for clarification.

Why do I need to get support from my principal or other administrator to apply?

In order to take full advantage of the conference, you will need permission to be absent from your classroom on Friday, December 2, 2016. You will also need financial support to cover the cost of a substitute. Your principal or administrator may be able to access professional development funds that will defray some of these expenses.

Now that I know I qualify, how do I apply?

Applying is easy. Once you have received permission from your principal or administrator to attend the 2016 conference, simply fill out the online 2016 NCSS First Timer Conference Scholarship Form . Be sure to attach a current resume as a Word document or PDF to the online form where indicated. Hit the submit button and you are done.

What is the deadline for application?

We encourage you to apply as soon as the application is online (May 1 or earlier) while administrators are still budgeting professional development funds for the 2016-17 school year.

There will be two rounds of scholarship admissions:

  • The first round of scholarship applications will be open from May 1 to September 15.  The deadline for Round 1 is September 15.
  • Based on funds available, a second round of scholarships will be open from September 16 to October 16.  The deadline for Round 2 is October 16.

However, if your district is planning to fund your registration, please do NOT apply for a scholarship.  NCSS will not refund registrations for scholarship applicants that have been paid.

When will I find out if I received a scholarship?

You should receive an email indicating the status of your application by September 25 (Round 1) or October 28 (Round 2). If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive a special conference registration form for scholarship awardees. NCSS will not be able to refund registration already paid for you by your district if you receive a scholarship. The scholarship is intended for those teachers who do NOT have financial support for the registration.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Contact the First Timer Scholarship co-coordinators: Gayle Thieman ( or Melissa Collum (

Washington conference co-chair: India Meissel (

Maryland scholarship coordinator: Karen Muir (

DC local arrangements co-chair: Scott Abbott (

Virginia local arrangements co-chair: Wesley Hedgepeth (