In our work as leaders, educators, and scholars, the members of the College Language Association remain dedicated to the mentoring and professional development of those at all stages of their careers. Through professionalization sessions at the annual convention to comprehensive mentoring of emerging scholars throughout the year, we strive to always be a resource and a guide as central to the Association's founding mission. Provided below are some of the mentoring and professional development opportunities made available to our members as well as key resources developed by CLA members to aid in this goal.

Mentoring and Collaboration in the College Language Association

The College Language Association is a site of collaborative learning and mentoring for emerging scholars, as demonstrated through the in-depth conversations held with undergraduate and graduate students at each annual convention. In 2019, for instance, panelists on two Expanding Undergraduate and Graduate Research Methods Towards Black Feminist and Intersectional Methods panels saw students come together with the support of Dr. Sarah Ohmer of CUNY-Lehman College to share their research and discuss strategies for effective presentations. The video below provides a recap of that experience through the lens of Chanta Palmer.


Credit to Chanta Palmer

As the students acknowledged in a post-convention report to the CLA Executive Committee and CLA members, our "mentorship and hard work on the conference has stimulated transformation in us and our communities." Some key takeaways from the experience included: "the importance of community and making connections to succeed in the academic world," the opportunity to "collaborate on both a friendly and professional level," "work[ing] on skills needed to navigate in a professional academic setting without having to switch into the double consciousness of being in a white space or white atmosphere," and the need to "foster a collaborative undergraduate research environment."

Past Professional Development Sessions

  • Designing Courses: Syllabi, Teaching, and Leadership Workshop (2019)
  • Effective Advisement and Mentoring: Considerations of Mental Health, Academic Needs, and Student Advocacy (2019)
  • From Dissertation to Book Special Session (2019)
  • Life Inside and Outside the Academy: A Discussion with Trudier Harris (2019)
  • CLAJ Publication Lab: Publication and Editing for Graduate Students and Junior Faculty (2018)
  • Digital Humanities: Creating a Successful Online Writing Course (2018)