The next General Education Student Conference:

September 27, 2024

Location: TBA

First and foremost, this event is designed to recognize the exceptional academic learning experiences our undergraduates have in their General Education courses. To participate, students must be nominated by their professor and must have produced outstanding work, whether in the form of an oral presentation, a written essay, a research project, or similar assignment. Those who accept their nominations are then grouped into panels just as if they were presenting at a professional conference. In this way, the conference also allows undergraduates to practice valuable public speaking skills. 

Anyone in the campus community can attend the conference sessions. The conference is always held on the Friday afternoon of Family Weekend. All students who present, their families, and their faculty mentors are invited to be our guests at a celebratory banquet in the Festival ballroom immediately following the proceedings.

View the 2023 Program

View Program Archive

What do participants say about their experiences with the conference?

“It taught me how to branch out of my comfort zone to better myself.”

“The Gen Ed conference was an opportunity to really see the benefits and importance of the Gen Ed courses students take here at JMU.”

“This showed me how I could use writing as a powerful tool to connect with people.”

“From here on out, I plan to achieve that level of excellence in my future work.”

“I won’t be afraid to explore myself a bit deeper to find a truly compelling essay topic.”

“All of the presenters wrote about topics they were passionate about.”

“It showed us that college is the time to find out who we are and to grasp every opportunity that we have here.” 

I teach a General Education course. How do I nominate students?

Calls for nominations are issued in November for student work produced in the fall semester and again in April for the spring semester.

Faculty may nominate as many students (either individuals or as a panel) as they wish, provided they have produced excellent, inventive work in General Education classes. Faculty should be willing to mentor students selected to present at the conference during the preparation of their conference abstracts. 

  • Only General Education teaching faculty may nominate students for the conference. However, students are welcome to solicit a nomination from their professors.
  • Only student work produced during the academic year immediately preceding the annual conference is eligible.
  • Be creative: past examples of nominated work include posters, speeches, debate presentations, academic papers, digital video, group presentations, visual presentations, and musical performance.
  • Once we receive your nomination forms, the General Education office will contact your students and ask them if they would like to present at the conference. 


For Parents/Family
  • Your JMU student will receive a banquet invitation via email. Each student may bring up to four guests total.
  • Bring the camera!
  • Parking is in lots C10, C11, C12, D3, R4 and East Campus Parking Deck. Please see the Campus Map for location of the recommended lots and Family Weekend details for more parking information.
  • Arrive in ample time before your student's presentation. Once a room reaches capacity the doors are closed.
  • Attend other panel sessions of your choice.
  • Observe and appreciate the excellent academic work your student has exhibited in class.
  • Join us for a banquet in honor of your student's academic success.
  • Meet the faculty member who nominated your student.
For Student Presenters
  • Invite your roommates and classmates to your presentation!
  • Professional attire is expected. Suits are not required, but please be neatly dressed, well put together, and professional looking.
  • Come prepared.
  • Join us at the beginning of the conference to observe your peers present their papers.
  • Join your family, your nominator and other General Education faculty at the banquet.

Please reach out to with any questions!

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