Advisors Track

The advisor track offers training opportunities specific to the roles advisors play in the Best Buddies chapter. Speakers, workshops, and forums are designed to provide teachers the information and skill-building needed to manage and empower the student leaders of the Best Buddies movement.

This year’s track will offer the additional benefit of continuing education certificates for attending advisors. Certificates will be provided for 10 hours of professional development in the areas of leadership, post-secondary transition programming, social and emotional learning, mission advancement and philanthropy, and volunteer management. This continuing education opportunity is offered in addition to the training provided on the Best Buddies mission and program management strategies to ensure all attendees are informed, prepared, and empowered to lead their chapters for a strong year.

Trainings are appropriate for advisors of middle school, high school, and college chapters, as well as host site coordinators. These specialized trainings are designed specifically for the unique leadership roles of advisors and facilitated by experts in the fields of disability, transition, and education.  Training sessions are offered in small group breakouts, presenter forums, speaker panels, and workshops. The weekend’s opportunities strive to offer advisors the information they need to be successful in guiding mission success on their campus while offering networking opportunities and peer to peer best practice sharing.

Please see the frequently asked questions below for more information or email leadershipconference@bestbuddies.org.

Frequently Asked Questions  

What is Leadership Conference?

The Best Buddies Leadership Conference (BBLC), now it’s in the 29th year, is held annually in July at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Over 2,000 participants of the Best Buddies movement attend from across the globe to participate in workshops, breakouts, and forums focused on advancing the Best Buddies mission of inclusion and acceptance. In 2018, BBLC will be held July 20-23.

What types of trainings are offered at BBLC?

Trainings are split into seven core tracks, based on the participant and their area of focus.

Students who serve as officers in their Best Buddies school chapter can attend the Middle School track, High School track, or College track, based on age. All tracks are open to students with and without disabilities.

School faculty who serve as their Best Buddies chapter’s advisor can attend the Advisor track; this one track is open to advisors of all programs (elementary through college).

Advocates with and without disabilities seeking to enhance their professional development and public speaking skills can attend the Ambassador track; this track is open to people with and without disabilities who work to bring awareness to the Best Buddies mission.

Individuals with IDD who are employed or seeking employment through Best Buddies Jobs program can attend the Jobs track; sessions are split based on employee area of focus.

Community leaders who serve as Best Buddies advisory board chairs or board members can join the Community Leaders track; this track focuses on development, fundraising, promotional skills, and other areas geared towards advancing the Best Buddies program in different markets.

What does the Advisor track entail?

The Advisor track is comprised of leadership development sessions ranging from lecture style, to panel discussions, large group presentations, and Lunch & Learns. The diverse training styles offer advisors the opportunity to customize their conference experience and select trainings that will directly benefit their role in the Best Buddies movement and their leadership position in their school chapter.

This year, Best Buddies will offer professional education programs, activities, and learning experiences toward continuing education for advisors who wish to receive contact hours toward their state’s professional education requirements. The trainings will meet the requirements of interpersonal skills in a school environment, access to post-secondary education options for students with disabilities, and activities in the area of inclusive classrooms.

What learning experiences are offered for continuing education?

The Advisor track at the 2018 BBLC will provide trainings concentrating on social and emotional learning, job transition planning for students with IDD, developing student leadership among all learners, and advocacy and allyship, specifically inclusion and anti-bullying strategies.

These trainings will be offered in small group learning forums, in addition to conference-wide presentations from innovative keynote speakers, panel discussions with champions of the disability rights community, and luncheons with Best Buddies leaders.

How many contact hours can be claimed and under what topics?

Best Buddies anticipates ten hours available to claim in continuing professional education programs, activities or learning experiences throughout the conference. The following breakdown outlines the hours assigned to each topic:

  • Social and Emotional Learning: 2 hours
  • Engagement and Philanthropy: 1 hour
  • Job Transition Planning: 2 hours
  • Leadership & Empowerment: 3 hours
  • Best Buddies Mission Advancement: 2 hours

Lesson objectives and learning outcomes will be available from each facilitator this spring for advisors to present to their district’s credentialing office in advance of registering for the conference.

How can I claim these hours?

Professional development hours are offered to advisors who have registered for the Advisor Track at the 29th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference. To do this, please select GENERAL REGISTRATION at www.bestbuddiesonline.org/bblc; from this page, you will be prompted to select your conference track. Please choose ADVISORS.

Those who have registered for the Advisor Track to receive professional development hours must submit the conference registration fee of $650; this price includes professional development hours, housing in the advisor living-learning community, and all meals. Payment information is listed below.

What if I want to attend the Leadership Conference Advisor track, but do not wish to seek professional development hours for my participation?

Advisors seeking to participate in the Best Buddies Leadership Conference without claiming professional development hours may still attend all advisor sessions; however, they will not be presented with credential certification following each training.

Advisors seeking to attend sessions without claiming the professional development hours should still register for the ADVISOR TRACK; however, these individuals will not pay the full $650 for hours. Payment requirements are listed below.

How much does participation in the BBLC Advisor track cost?

For those seeking to claim ten hours toward continuing education, the weekend training will cost $650. In addition to the professional development hours received, advisors will be housed in a special living and learning community separate from student attendees on the Indiana University campus. This will include private rooms, an advisor dining area, and access to upgraded amenities.

For advisors not seeking professional development credits, the conference will cost $350 which includes housing, meals, and access to all sessions.

Payment for participation in the Advisor Track should be made here: https://www.bestbuddies.org/bblc/pay/. Payment invoices are also available on the Best Buddies Leadership Conference site.

I need to attend BBLC as a chaperone to my students by district requirements; am I able to stay in their dorm and provide direct support throughout conference?

Advisors seeking to attend conference as a direct support to students may select the CHAPERONE tab when registering for conference at www.bestbuddiesonline.org/bblc. In the chaperone role, advisors will stay in a private dorm on the same floor as their students and provide support in transitioning to morning activities, to all sessions, at mealtimes, and during evening events. Advisors who participate in this role are encouraged to serve as Ambassador Speech Coaches during the day; speech coaches work with individuals with IDD seeking to develop their public speaking and self-advocacy skills. Speech coaches support the writing of speeches and presentation skills of ambassadors throughout conference, which results in a final speech at the close of conference.

How can I register for BBLC?

Advisors should register for Leadership Conference by visiting www.bestbuddiesonline.org/bblc; on this site you may select whether you wish to receive professional development hours or not, or whether you wish to participate as a chaperone. All advisors must be registered by June 15th.

Support Calls

If you have questions about this track or your attendance as an advisor at Leadership Conference, the LC training team is available to meet with you to discuss your specific questions and concerns. Please see the call-in dates and times below and dial in to speak directly with Best Buddies staff who can address your needs.

April 24 @ 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT

Dial in: 917-386-2142
Access Code: 927-2310#

April 26 @ 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PT

Dial in: 917-386-2142
Access Code: 927-2310#

April 30 @ 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT

Dial in: 917-386-2142
Access Code: 927-2310#

May 10 @ 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT

Dial in: 917-386-2142
Access Code: 927-2310#

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