2017 IPDS: New Professionals Orientation, University of Wisconsin—Madison

 June 12-16, 2017

Registration fees:

      Early (by May 1) Regular (May 2-22) Late (May 23-June 5)
Member $725 $775 $850
Nonmember $910 $960 $1025

Housing fees: Single Room $284, Double Room $190




IPDS: New Professionals Orientation has been refined over its more than 40-year existence. The program offers participants an opportunity to share information, exchange materials, learn new techniques and theories, discuss opportunities and threats, and network with colleagues in a challenging and supportive environment.

Anyone who is new to the college union and student activities profession should attend regardless of title. Because the program format facilitates a small-group feel, the bonds formed with colleagues can last a lifetime, often with IPDS "classes" holding reunions.

Participants leave IPDS with:

  • An understanding of professionals' role as community builders through their work interacting with campus constituencies and providing programs and services 
  • A better understanding of current trends and challenges within the profession 
  • Personal and professional growth through reflection 
  • Improved communication through open discussion and debate 
  • Understanding of how to apply theory in a practical setting 
  • Team-building and leadership development programs for their campus
  • Problem-solving skills 

Sessions vary in delivery to allow all participants a chance to experience various adult learning styles. Those covered at IPDS are lecture, group work, quick-paced idea sharing, facilitated round-tables, peer-to-peer learning, and touring university facilities.


Core competencies typically covered:

  • Communications
  • Facility Management
  • Fiscal Management
  • Student Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Human Resource Development 

  IPDS Class of 2012

What participants have to say:

"The very thing that attracted me to the seminar was the curriculum. It had a great living-learning potential. Dealing with topics such as unions and the academic mission as well as marketing are critical to our roles in the union. In addition, when you throw in sessions like the ones [about multiculturalism and] experiential education, you’re sure to hit it big with the participants. I loved the program—it’s as simple as that!"

"I found the conference content beyond my expectations in every sense. It was truly exceptional. I would highly recommend it to peers."

“Coming from the professional world to the collegiate environment, I found ACUI to be extremely informative and valuable in my new role I was able to learn some of the intricacies about working on a college campus and in the union specifically. I took away a new appreciation for my position, my co-workers, and the importance of my work. I know that I am a better director because of it!”

“Many takeaways from this program. Professional development dollars well spent!”

"I learned a lot that I could take back to use on my campus in addition to bonding with my fellow participants."

"IPDS was a great opportunity to meet some very interesting people and experience. A refreshing approach to higher education. I truly enjoyed myself."

"I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to take part in IPDS, as I am a new professional in the field. I value the information I learned and took home, and cherished the relationships and friendships that were built."

Resources from IPDS 2015

Resources from IPDS 2014

Resources from IPDS 2013

Resources from IPDS 2012

Resources from IPDS 2010


Updated Feb. 20, 2017