The new NASC logo created in 2024.

In January, NASSP announced that NatStuCo would become the National Association of Student Councils (NASC). This change is part of NASSP’s commitment to cultivating the next generation of student leaders. Student council members are our future mayors, state senators, state representatives, federal office holders, and educators. By investing in them today, we prepare them to lead us tomorrow.

Long before our student council program became NatStuCo, it was first known as NASC. The move back to the original name represents NASSP’s renewed vision for student council, an organization that is not just an extracurricular activity but a pivotal platform for cultivating school culture and nurturing future leaders.

As part of this transformation, NASSP is launching two new programs. The first one is a scholarship for students who participate in student council. NASSP will award a total of $100,000 to 80 students in the program at NASC member schools. Applications for the scholarship open in fall 2024 and will be awarded to deserving students. The second program is the National Student Council. This body will consist of students from NASC member schools who will be elected and selected to serve on it. Council members will be actively involved in shaping NASSP’s student leadership conference. They’ll join school leaders for legislative discussions on Capitol Hill, providing the student perspective to policymakers. They will also represent their peers’ voices and articulate student viewpoints on current education issues to the media. Applications for the council open in March.

Principal Leadership talked with Tyler Dashner, NASSP’s managing director of growth strategy, and Ann Postlewaite, NASSP’s director of community, about the change from NatStuCo to NASC, as well as the new and exciting aspects of the program coming this year.

Principal Leadership: What are the main reasons for this change?

Dashner: The restoration of NASC is deeply rooted in the organization’s rich history. NASC was founded in 1931 by a visionary Oklahoma high school student, Warren Shull, who believed that by uniting student council leaders from across the country, they could collectively amplify their voices and drive positive change. With this relaunch and the restoration of the name, we’re recommitting ourselves to the ideas and tenets NASC was founded on. We’ve spent the past two years conducting a comprehensive review of NASC, including audits, surveys, and feedback from principals, advisers, and students. We aren’t just turning back the clock and going back to the program as it was. We’re honoring the remarkable history of this organization and retooling it to meet the needs of 21st century student leaders.

The stage of an NASC general session in 1965. PHOTOS COURTESY OF NASSP

Principal Leadership: How will the new structure help get more schools and students involved in student council programs?

Postlewaite: The new NASC structure is poised to be a game-changer in boosting student council program participation across schools. With the establishment of the National Student Council (NSC), students will gain a unique platform to voice their perspectives on a national scale, engaging with media outlets, Congress, the White House, and the Department of Education. In addition, NASC’s introduction of scholarships further incentivizes students to participate in student council programs.

Principal Leadership: Tell us more about these two new programs—the scholarships for student council members and the National Student Council.

Warren Shull, the visionary high school student who founded NASC in 1931.

Dashner: By offering $100,000 in scholarships to 80 outstanding student council members, NASC is encouraging students to excel not only in their leadership roles but also academically. It recognizes and rewards the exceptional talents within their student council programs and motivates students to strive for excellence academically and as leaders. The NSC is a groundbreaking initiative that will give middle and high school students a voice at the federal level. Students can participate in two ways: by running for one of the 10 officer positions or through nomination by their state student council association as state representatives on the council. NSC is open to both middle and high school students, with four officer positions dedicated to middle-level representation and six officer positions dedicated to high school-level representation. Students who are elected or selected to serve on NSC become ambassadors of their peers but also their school, bringing national acclaim to the school and highlighting the remarkable achievements and initiatives school leaders are championing.

Principal Leadership: If a school has an existing student council, how much might change?

Postlewaite: While the core principles of student leadership and representation remain the same, the relaunch of NASC is more about enhancing, elevating, and enriching the experience for students, educators, and school leaders. NASC is committed to providing comprehensive resources, tools, and training for student council advisers, which can significantly benefit a school’s existing council. From leadership development materials to program management assistance, NASC aims to make an adviser’s role more effective and rewarding. Overall, the relaunch of NASC is designed to build on the strong foundation of student council programs in schools and support our members—principals and assistant principals—in fostering a positive and empowered school environment. Simply put, an effective student council has the power to be a school leader’s greatest asset, and NASC is here to unveil the strategies that will unlock its full potential.

Dates to Remember for National Student CouncilDates to Remember for NASC Scholarships
March 5
Officer applications open

March 26
Officer applications due

April 23
Final officer candidates announced

May 7
Meet the candidates webinar

May 15–17
Officer elections

May 21
Election results announced

August 18
State Representative nominees submitted

September 15
State Representatives selected and announced
Fall 2024
Applications open

November 2024
Applications due

Early 2025
Recipients announced

Spring 2025
Awardees and their advisers receive an all-expenses-
paid trip to Washington, D.C., for NASSP’s National
Education Leadership Awards, which also celebrate
NHS Scholarship Finalists, Principals of
the Year, and Assistant Principals of the Year.

Learn more at

NASC logos through the years.