The Beacon Conference was established in 1993 to recognize, celebrate, and showcase the academic achievements of outstanding students at community colleges in the mid-Atlantic region. The conference is held each year on the first Friday in June, and it encompasses a wide range of disciplines (see "Beacon 2016 Submission Guidelines").
Students work with faculty mentors from their colleges to prepare and submit research papers that demonstrate outstanding scholarship and originality. Submitted papers are then read and ranked by community college professors with expertise in a particular discipline. The top three papers in each panel are selected for presentation at the conference. Student presentations on each panel are judged on originality and quality of research, written work, and oral presentation by a judge from a four-year college or an expert from a renowned institution in the field. The judge for each panel chooses the most outstanding presenter. Outstanding presenters and their faculty mentors are recognized at the closing session of the conference, and each receive $100 awards.
Beacon 2016 will be held on Friday, June 3 at Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ.