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2017 Teaching & Learning Conference, Long Beach, California

A Memo from the APSA Executive Director, Steven Rathgeb Smith

Teaching and Learning Conference at the Westin Long Beach, 10-12 February 2017: Information Updates on Labor Situation at Hotel

APSA signed the hotel contract for the 2017 TLC meeting at the Westin Long Beach in May 2016. At the time, the hotel did not disclose they were engaged in a dispute with the Unite HERE union over the process which employees of the Westin would use to decide whether they want to unionize. The hotel’s position is that they are willing to have a vote to unionize among their workers under a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The union instead wants a card-check neutrality agreement.Importantly, APSA’s hotel contract with the Westin did not include a labor dispute clause allowing APSA to terminate the contract without penalty.

I have held extensive discussions with the hotel and the union as well as the Convention and Visitors Bureau and other associations that have recently held conferences at the Westin. At this point, a relocation of the meeting to another venue would cost APSA over $90,000 in a cancellation fee. We may also incur additional expenses in the process of relocating. Many members have already booked their hotel and airplane tickets. Indeed, over 115 people have already registered for the conference.

So the APSA leadership has decided to move forward with holding the conference at the Westin. We are also taking the following steps. 1) I will continue to undertake outreach to the union to discuss possible ways in which APSA can address union and worker issues including possible programming in connection with the conference; 2) We have revised our review procedures for hotel contracts to ensure that this situation does not recur; 3) We have created a new contract template for all future hotel contracts to ensure that a detailed labor dispute clause is included in any hotel contract; and 4) Any TLC presenter who has already booked their airplane ticket will be reimbursed their re-booking fees if they choose not to attend.

We are committed to holding a very successful meeting and supporting teaching and learning in the discipline. We are also interested in your feedback so let us know if you have any questions or comments. You can respond directly to me at [email protected] or Dan Gibson on the APSA staff at [email protected]. Thank you very much.

Steven Rathgeb Smith
Executive Director of APSA

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2017 Teaching & Learning Conference

**Advance registration closes February 3, 2017**

Join APSA for a unique meeting to promote greater understanding of high-impact practices and innovative methodologies for the political science classroom. The conference provides a highly interactive forum for scholars to participate in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Sessions focus on sharing pedagogical techniques and trends in political science education for students at all educational levels and learning institutions. We welcome proposals from all educators who teach political science and related subjects—university faculty and administrators, high school teachers, graduate students, research scholars, and others.

We invite proposals for paper presentations and engaging workshops. Papers are presented in a collaborative working group environment, in which the participants in each track learn about and discuss each other’s research for the duration of the conference. This working group model has proven to be highly effective at enhancing the instructional effectiveness and scholarly productivity of conference attendees.

Workshops are designed to be highly interactive and provide hands-on experience. Each workshop will demonstrate a learning tool or technique in which participants could immediately implement at their institution. Examples of workshops at previous Teaching and Learning Conferences include using mapping software to teach students how to visualize political information, creating campus-wide initiatives, and using innovative tools to enhance student learning.

Conference Format & Track Themes

View the 2017 Teaching & Learning track themes. Every attendee selects a track in which to participate for the duration of the conference. The conference uses a working group model so that all attendees in each track will serve as, and be listed as, discussants for that track's presentations.

Schedule at a Glance

View the 2017 Schedule at a Glance. Times are subject to change.

Pre-Conference Short Course

A pre-conference short course on Advanced Placement Government and Politics Courses will be held Friday morning, February 10. This session will be of interest to both AP and college educators. Learn more and sign up to participate.

Registration & Hotel Reservations

Register online before advance registration closes on February 3, 2017. On-site registration will be available.

Registration Rates:

  Early Bird Rate
Register by December 15, 2016
Standard Rate
Register after December 15, 2016
APSA Member* $255 $280
Non-Member $350 $400
Student Member* $155 $180

*Please note that membership must be current at the time of the conference in order to receive the member rate. Please check your membership status before registering. If it expires in advance of the conference, please be sure to renew before registering to get the member rate.

Refund Policy: APSA does not refund conference pre-registration payments if a registrant is unable to attend the Teaching & Learning Conference. Please finalize your plans to attend the conference before registering.

The 2017 TLC will be held at the Westin Long Beach.

APSA TLC guests will receive a discounted rate of $179/night for single or double occupancy. Make your hotel reservations online here to receive the group rate.The deadline is January 16 to receive this discounted rate. Rooms and rates are available on first-come, space available basis.

About Long Beach:
Located in the heart of sunny Southern California, Long Beach blends urban sophistication with the relaxed atmosphere of a beachside community. It’s home to cutting-edge museums, award-winning restaurants and a thriving, multi-faceted arts and culture scene. Satisfy your inner urbanite at downtown Long Beach’s vibrant waterfront scene. Explore its eight distinct neighborhoods that lead to Long Beach being voted one of America’s “Most Walkable Cities.” Visit museums, tour a 1930s ocean liner, the Queen Mary, and watch sea lions at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific. Enjoy live performances and cruise Naples canals. Spot dolphins at play on your way to Catalina Island. Or take a short jaunt to Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood, or other Southern California attractions.

From downtown Long Beach, LAX and Orange County airports are less than 30 minutes away while the ultra-convenient, affordable Long Beach Airport is seven minutes. Explore Long Beach on foot, bike or onboard the free downtown Passport shuttle. Downtown’s First Street Station connects you to Los Angeles attractions and surrounding cities.

Check out Visit Long Beach for more information.

Hotel Disagreement
The APSA has recently learned of a disagreement between the Westin Long Beach, site of the 2017 Teaching and Learning Conference, and UNITE HERE Local 11 regarding the process which employees of the Westin would use to decide whether they want to unionize. APSA is monitoring this situation very closely and will post updates and relevant information on this page.

Any questions or comments may be sent to Dan Gibson at [email protected], APSA Director of Communications and Marketing.

Travel Grants

APSA is offering a select number of travel grants to first-time attendees, current PhDs and unemployed APSA members presenting at the 2017 Teaching and Learning Conference.

The deadline for travel grant applications is now closed.


Michael Brintnall Teaching & Learning Award: Supports attendance at the conference. The award may include conference registration fees and a one-year complimentary APSA membership. Contingent faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and faculty whose departments do not provide travel support are particularly encouraged to apply.

CQ Press Award for Teaching Recognition: Recognizes a political scientist who has developed an effective new approach to teaching in the discipline. The award seeks to honor a wide range of new directions in teaching.

The deadline for nominations is now closed.

Exhibits & Sponsorships

Learn more about exhibit, advertising and sponsorship opportunities and view 2017 Exhibitors and Sponsors »

Teaching & Learning Conference Program Committee

The program committee for the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Political Science sets the themes for the meeting and oversees the formation of the conference tracks:

  • Sara Moats, Florida International University, Chair
  • Kevin Anderson, Eastern Illinois University
  • Amber Dickinson, Oklahoma State University
  • Benjamin Gonzalez, Highline College
  • Elizabeth Matto, Rutgers University
  • Chad Raymond, Salve Regina University
  • Boris Ricks, California State University, Northridge

Stay tuned: More Conference Details Coming Soon!
More details for the 2017 Teaching & Learning Conference will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

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American Political Science Association
1527 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036-1206
(202) 483-2512 • Fax: +1 (202) 483-2657

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