• Home
  • Events
  • How to Enjoy the Conference in Louisville

How to Enjoy the Conference in Louisville

The 2019 AACTE Annual Meeting is just 12 weeks away! As you prepare for your stay in Louisville, Matt Wales, AACTE vice president, membership, events and special projects, offers some helpful tips to help you make the most of your time at the conference and in the host city:

What features of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) make it a great host location for the AACTE Annual Meeting?

The KICC is truly a state-of-the-art facility. The KICC was closed in 2016, to undergo two years of construction enhancement and renovation. Having just reopened in August 2018, AACTE attendees will experience our General Sessions and Deeper Dives in a brand new, 40,000-square-foot ballroom that allows us to accommodate more seating, more space for networking, and additional, technological capacity for increased interactivity during these AACTE sessions.

Additionally, the KICC is directly connected to the Louisville Marriott Downtown, which will host a number of members’ sessions, as well as our affiliate partners meetings and our evening receptions on Saturday, February 23. Annual Meeting sessions will finish each day at the KICC, which will allow attendees to visit any of the museums, shops and experiences on Main Street (just one block north) or the restaurants and nightlife of Fourth Street Live (just one block south) once they have finished their day.

How will the 2019 Annual Meeting content connect with what’s happening in Louisville?

As AACTE has highlighted in previous blogs, there is a LOT occurring in Louisville, the state of Kentucky, and in the Midwestern region to highlight in educator preparation. Content created for the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting focuses on such programs as the Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation (KEEP) and its combined efforts with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR), effective practices in enacting culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies through global education (such as at the University of Kentucky), and efforts in growing a competent, diverse teacher workforce (such as the partnership between Frankfort Independent Schools and Kentucky State University).

Much of the content attendees will experience at the 71st Annual Meeting in Louisville will address ways to combat structural inequalities in education. These sessions were designed to support two of the Annual Meeting strands, which will delve deep into diversity, equity, and social justice issues in educator preparation: 1) Equity and Social Justice in Education; and 2) Diversity in Educator Preparation. This programming is well-suited to be presented in Louisville; a city that has made notable and substantial progress on issues related to diversity and inclusion within the last few years.

How should attendees plan to take advantage of all the conference has to offer?

From a content-standpoint, be sure to utilize AACTE’s online Event Planner. With the wealth of sessions presented, there is so much to take in, and it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.  The search features on the Event Planner will enable you to find and identify those sessions that meet what you desire professionally, and ultimately create a customized experience at AACTE’s Annual Meeting. Additionally, be sure to spend time in both AACTE’s Gallery and Conference Community Center. Not only can you interact with our sponsors, exhibitors, and partners in the educator preparation field, but also have a chance to grab a coffee while connecting with colleagues and learning about programs at AACTE member institutions.

What are recommended “must-sees” and “must-dos” in Louisville?

With so many new experiences and attractions in Louisville, it’s hard to pick just a few things to see and do. However, at the top of my list would be the Muhammad Ali Center. The Center is an engaging, interactive experience designed around Ali’s six core beliefs, and inspires its visitors to greatness in their communities, countries, and personal lives. Additionally, being a big baseball fan, I would have to include the Louisville Slugger Museum on my must see list as well.  Located just a couple of blocks from the KICC, the museum highlights the past, present and future of baseball, while also giving you a behind-the-scenes look at just how the baseball bats of today are made.

Of course, there are plenty of other experiences in Louisville, and I would encourage attendees to check out the “Destination” tab on our Annual Meeting page. There you can find plenty of links to local restaurants, shopping, transportation, and other essentials.  You can also visit our microsite for the Annual Meeting, highlighting the AACTE 2019 Annual Meeting experience in Louisville, at www.gotolouisville.com/aacte/.


Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE