Call for Concurrent Sessions

Our online proposal submission system closed on October 16th. Please watch for more ways to present at special events!

Peer-Reviewed Sessions and Sessions of Special Interest are now Concurrent Sessions! This year's Concurrent Sessions should fall into one of the strands (formerly tracks) listed below. Please read through the guidelines listed on this page before developing and submitting your proposal.

Learn more about the guidelines for this year's submissions:


Definition of a Concurrent Session

  • Should add educational value to the conference.  Sessions that offer value by means of education, information, or professional development to attendees will be given preference in the selection process.  Sessions will be most effective if case studies, testimonials, timely information about professional issues, best practices, and/or innovative solutions to everyday challenges are presented.
  • Fits one of five strands related to the conference theme.
  • Is instructive and educational, non-commercial*, and no longer than 60 minutes. If you would like to hold an extended-length session or Pre-Conference Workshop, please indicate the requested length of time in the comments section.  
  • Submitted by an individual presenter or a team/group composed of AAFCS members and/or nonmembers.
  • Is peer- reviewed and evaluated for selection based on merit and value added to conference programming, association, and/or profession.
  • Should utilize one of three session learning formats:   
    Experiential Learning

*Commercial information distribution and related presentations are limited to the Expo and exhibitor learning labs.  Organizations and companies interested in participating in the conference should call 1-800-424-8080 or email

Educational Objectives

Participants in the AAFCS 109th Annual Conference will be able to:

  • Describe how the family and consumer sciences field focuses on and contributes to meeting basic human needs (physiological needs plus safety, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization). 
  • Examine the relationship between mental, emotional, and social health and its impact on the decisions and behaviors of individuals, families, and communities.
  • Support the development of essential skills needed to help individuals and families build character, improve communication, strengthen collaboration, promote resiliency, and maintain healthy relationships throughout the lifespan.
  • Utilize research-based information, skills, and strategies for developing and enhancing the social and emotional competence of children, youth, and adults. 
  • Design educational programs that address and support the social, emotional, and relationship needs of diverse audiences.  
  • Provide effective tools and resources that help individuals and families manage physical, social, mental, emotional, environmental, or financial relationships and challenges at major life stages.
  • Validate the critical role of FCS professionals and programs providing high-quality and effective social and emotional learning opportunities and relationship education.
  • Discuss the psychosocial aspects of food and nutrition choices and behaviors, financial practices, and apparel, textile, and interior design decisions. 
  • Assess the psychosocial effect of the near environment (clothing and shelter) on individual and family well-being and decision-making.
  • Articulate the relevance and uniqueness of the integrative, synergistic approach that family and consumer sciences professionals use to address complex societal issues associated with relationships among individuals, families, consumers, communities, and the environments in which they function.  
  • Engage in professional networks that cultivate collaborative relationships and advance the mission and body of knowledge of family and consumer sciences. 
  • Showcase best practices, award-winning scholarship and relevant research, and association programs and initiatives.  


This year, all Concurrent Sessions (formerly Peer-Reviewed Sessions and Sessions of Special Interest) should fit one of the following five strands (formerly tracks), regardless of primary content area. Bullet points below each strand are potential session topic suggestions ONLY--please feel free to get creative! We encourage you to bring new and innovative ideas to conference--get excited and create excitement for others!

Helping Build Healthy Relationships

Potential Session Topics:

  • Communication Skill Development
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Identification and Management of Toxic Relationships
  • Trends and Emerging issues in Marriage and Divorce
  • Effective Parenting Programs and Models
  • Dating Violence
  • Ways to Reduce Child Neglect and Abuse
  • Caregiver Roles and Relationships
  • Victim Advocacy and Prevention
  • Family Violence
  • Multi-Generational Relationships
  • Healthy School/Campus/Workplace Relationships
  • Impact of Finances on Relationships
  • Relationship Between Eating Disorders and Emotions

Elevating Research and Scholarship
Potential Session Topics:

  • Awards Presentations
  • Best Practices for Conducting and Publishing Research
  • How to Apply for Awards, Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships
  • Research Grant Funding
  • Oral Research Presentations
  • Highlights of Current and Relevant Research Studies 

Activating Engagement and Leadership
Potential Session Topics:

  • Public Policy and the Future of FCS
  • Service Learning
  • Volunteerism
  • Mentoring
  • Governance Sessions 
  • Board and Business Meetings
  • AAFCS Community Events

Rejuvenating Programs with Effective Tools and Resources
Potential Session Topics:

  • First-Year Teacher Support
  • Educator Recruitment and Retention
  • Best Practices for Instruction and Assessment
  • Effective Strategies for Teaching FCS Core Courses
  • Uses of Google Classroom
  • Program Funding
  • Integration and Use of Educational Apps and Technology
  • Application and Emphasis on STEAM Concepts
  • Student Organizations/Youth Development

Tackling Social and Emotional Wellness
Potential Session Topics:

  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Bullying
  • Social Psychology of Clothing
  • Mindfulness
  • Character Education
  • Importance of Self-Care
  • Stress Management and Creation of a Healthy Work/Life Balance
  • Resiliency and Overcoming Obstacles
  • Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
  • Impact of Mental Illness on Individuals, Families, and Communities
  • Impact of Body Image on Social and Emotional Health
  • Improvement and Maintenance of Social and Emotional Healthy Among Aging Populations
  • Design of Personal Living Spaces to Promote Social and Emotional Well-Being
  • Effect of Color on Mind and Mood
  • Emotionally Healthy Homes
  • Financial Implications of Maintaining Mental Health or Managing Mental Illness
  • Financial Stress

Learning Formats

All Concurrent Sessions must fall within one of the following three learning formats: 

  • Lecture:  The lecture format is a formal thematic presentation focused on a particular issue, trend, research problem, question, or topic related to the conference theme and/or strand. It gives more time for in depth exploration of the ideas presented and may be focused on a specific research, paper, or project.  The lecture format is best suited for a single expert lecture. If you have multiple experts on the same topic, please submit as a panel session format.   
  • Panel: In a panel format, two or more speakers will present different aspects, perspectives or thoughts on a particular issue, trend, research problem, question, or topic related to the conference theme and/or strand.  A panel session is a group presentation of a suite of ideas, innovative methods, or discussion by experts on a topic of interest.  Each speaker will have an opportunity to present their information and when all the speakers are finished, there is typically time for discussion.
  • Experiential Learning:  With the experiential learning format, participants will engage an issue, learn a new skill, or develop an action plan or other activity where hands-on learning is integral. The session may begin with explanatory or introductory information and then move on to involve the audience in some type of interactive, participatory activity.  This format is particularly well suited for demonstrations, learning new skills or procedures, debates, exhibitions and so forth that enables attendees to see and/or practice a particular skill, concept or tool.  Proposals should allow for significant involvement and contribution to the learning process from the participants.  Proposals will be selected for the conference based on the timeliness of the topic, the stated learning outcomes, interactive exercise(s), and the degree of active learning. The learning experience should excite and encourage the participants to take risks, question assumptions, and fully engage in the learning process.

Primary Areas of Content

In order to select the best program for this year's conference, you will also be asked to provide a primary area of content for your proposal.

  • Apparel, Design, and Textiles
  • Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Educational Technology/Social Media
  • Elementary, Secondary, and Adult Education
  • Environmental Issues/Quality of Living
  • Family Economics & Resource Management
  • Family Relations & Human Development
  • Food Safety, Health and Wellness and/or Nutrition
  • Healthy Aging
  • Interior Design/Architecture/Housing
  • International/Global Perspectives
  • Leadership/Capacity Building
  • Partnerships and Collaboration
  • Poverty, Unemployment, Food Insecurity
  • Public Policy/Community Advocacy

Concurrent Session Proposal Guidelines

A panel of experts from FCS subject areas will conduct a blind review of all non-commercial concurrent sessions,* and sessions will be evaluated based on merit. Both AAFCS members and nonmembers are invited to submit proposals.

To improve your chances of acceptance:

  • Submit your proposal online. The proposal submission system will open on September 15th, 2017, and close on October 16th, 2017.
  • Be sure the proposal content fits one of the session strands and learning formats.
  • Collaborate with presenters and panelists from outside organizations.
  • Use the selection criteria in the next section as a guide to writing a successful proposal.

Please note: If you submit a proposal and it is accepted, you must be able to present on ANY day of the conference (June 25, 26, or 27, 2018) since the schedule is subject to change.  All presenters MUST purchase a full or one-day registration—the family/guest option is not a valid selection for presenters.

*Commercial information distribution and related presentations are limited to the Expo and exhibitor learning labs.  Organizations and companies interested in participating in the conference should call 1-800-424-8080 or email

Selection Criteria for Concurrent Sessions

Each proposal will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:
  • Fits one of the five conference strands and three learning formats.
  • Presents current research, trends, or new initiatives of FCS
  • Covers a broad spectrum of interest for FCS professionals
  • Includes concepts that are practical and useful for implementation
  • Provides evidence of content validity
  • Demonstrates knowledge of subject area
  • Is creative/visionary
  • Has an integrative focus
  • Allows for participant interaction through instructional design
  • Has clear learning objectives
  • Is logically organized

For assistance with writing learning objectives, please refer to Bloom's Taxonomy of Thinking Skills (

Proposal Checklist

Before you begin submitting your proposal(s) online, be sure you have the following information:


  • Order of presenters (if multiple presenters) 
  • Name 
  • Contact information 
  • Membership status and membership number, if applicable
  • Credential(s) in family and consumer sciences and other relevant credentials or degrees
  • Years of professional experience
  • Place of employment

*information not provided to jurors

  • Title (max. 150 characters) 
  • Description (max. 500 characters) 
  • Length of time
  • Anticipated number of attendees 
  • AV and room set-up needs 
  • Selected strand
  • Learning format utilized
  • Primary area of content
  • Practice Setting targeted
  • Learning objectives 
  • Outline

Proposals Accepted Online Only

AAFCS uses an online proposal management and processing system for submission of all sessions and events. The system will open on September 15th, 2017, and will close on October 16th, 2017. You may edit your proposal at any time until October 16th. If you have questions about your proposal, call 1-800-424-8080 or email

Audio Visual Information

This year, all presenters will be provided with an LCD Projector if it is requested. AAFCS does not provide laptop computers or any other AV equipment other than a screen, cart, and microphone if deemed necessary. You will be able to rent other equipment from the AV company with which AAFCS is contracting. The AV form will be posted in the spring--please make sure to check back!

Please contact with any questions.