Professional Development

What are NSDA CONNECT and NSDA LEARN?

In August of 2019, the NSDA moved its professional development courses and discussion boards from www.NSDAConnect.org to our own website so we can improve our offerings by incorporating materials available exclusively to NSDA members. A plus: no additional login required!

NSDA CONNECT is the name of our discussion forums for member coaches only. The forums serve as a place for coaches to connect with each other and as a way for the NSDA to get feedback from members.

NSDA LEARN is the name of our new set of self-paced online professional development courses. Upon successful completion of a course, member coaches will be able to download a professional development certificate documenting their time spent taking the course.

If you are interested in authoring a course, please email Matt, at matt.bopes@speechanddebate.org.

Professional Accreditation

As of March 2020, the NSDA will offer an updated accreditation program for coaches and educators. Our Professional Accreditation Program recognizes coaches and educators who are committed to furthering their education and skills to better meet the needs of their students. 

The first available level, the Speech and Debate Coaching Endorsement, is open to anyone who is an active NSDA coach member and may be completed online at one’s own pace. As part of this endorsement, one will take a variety of professional development courses via NSDA’s professional development platform NSDA Learn and the National Federation of State High School Associations’ online learning center, NFHS Learn.

The requirements for this foundational endorsement are: 

  1. Active paid NSDA Coach’s Membership
  2. Successful Completion of the Intro to NSDA Coaching Course on NSDA Learn (1 Hour)
  3. Successful Completion of the following NFHSLearn Courses:
    1. Adjudicating Speech and Debate (3 Hours)
    2. Understanding Copyright and Compliance (3 Hours)
    3. Protecting Students from Abuse (1 Hour)
    4. Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (3 Hours)
    5. Bullying, Hazing and Inappropriate Behaviors (3 Hours)
    6. Engaging Effectively With Parents (3 Hours)


When a coach has met each of the above requirements, they may apply for the endorsement via the link below. As part of the application process, coaches are asked to upload completion certificates for each course and pay a $25 fee.  Processing takes approximately two weeks and applicants will be notified of their approval status via email. 


Active coach members who have previously earned an NSDA accreditation may, upon completing the required courses, apply for this endorsement for free. Anyone interested in doing so should contact Lauren McCool at lauren.mccool@speechanddebate.org before applying.

Conference Video Archive

Interested in what sessions have been offered in the past? Looking for a new resource to improve your teaching or coaching? Check out our National Conference Video Archive!
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