Mobile Bay Battlefield

Frequently Asked Questions

National Teacher Institute: July 9-12, 2020

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Find the answers to your questions about attending the American Battlefield Trust’s 2020 National Teacher Institute
American Battlefield Trust Event

Planning your trip to the 2020 American Battlefield Trust's National Teacher Institute



What are the dates of the event?

July 9-12, 2020.

Who can attend the American Battlefield Trust National Teacher Institute?

This event is primarily intended for K-12 educators and administrators, but we also allow the following professionals to attend:

  • K-12 educators and administrators.
  • Museum professionals.
  • Librarians.
  • A limited number of adjunct and full-time college professors. 
  • We also welcome a limited number of upper-level college students, who are Education majors.

What is the theme of the 2020 National Teacher Institute?

Into the Depths of History. 

When does registration open for the event?

Mid-November of 2019.

Where will the 2020 National Teacher Institute be held in Mobile, Alabama?

All lectures, breakout sessions, and meals will take place at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel. All tours will depart from, and return to, the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel.

The hotel is located at 64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602.

Phone 251-438-4000.

We have a block of rooms for participants. Participants may book their rooms at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel for $129 per night (plus tax). Be sure to mention that you are with the American Battlefield Trust Teacher Institute to receive the group rate. You must make your reservations on or before June 17, 2020, to receive the group rate of $129 per night. Click here for the room block link.  

Do I need to stay at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel to participate in the National Teacher Institute?

No. You can stay anywhere, but we highly recommend that you stay at the host hotel. 

What if the American Battlefield Trust room block is sold out at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel? What should I do about a room?

First, check with the American Battlefield Trust to see if the room block is indeed full. If the block is full, you will need to make reservations at another hotel. There are many in the area. Click here for more information about area hotels.

Why did the American Battlefield Trust not block more rooms at the hotel?

We have to play a guessing game as to how many participants will attend and how many will actually stay at the hotel. If we do not fill a certain number of rooms, the American Battlefield Trust is charged for those rooms not booked by participants. 

Is there a parking fee at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel?

Yes, we have a reduced parking rate of $12 per day in the attached parking garage. 

What is the closest airport to Mobile?

There are three (3) airports to choose from. 

Mobile Regional Airport (MOB) is the nearest airport to the venue (25-minute drive). 

Pensacola International Airport (PNS) is about a one hour drive from Mobile. 

Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) is a one hour and twenty-minute drive from Mobile. 

How do I book a flight?

For those that hate to fly, but have to do so, we suggest checking both Kayak and Southwest Airlines. These cover most major carriers in the United States.  

Does the host hotel have a shuttle to and from the airport?

Unfortunatley, it does not. 

Do I need to rent a car while I am in Mobile?

That is entirely up to you. The Trust will provide bus transportation for each of the included tours. Those buses will pick up at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel and drop off there as well. If you decide to go into Mobile of Pensacola or tour any other historic sites, you will need to provide your own transportation.

Does the hotel have shuttles to any destinations?


Does the Trust arrange my travel arrangements, including my hotel, airfare, and rental car?

No. You must make your own reservations and pay out of pocket for them. If you are a scholarship winner, be sure to keep your travel receipts for submission later.




When can I apply for a travel scholarship?

We will start accepting scholarship applications on January 15, 2020.

How do I apply for a travel scholarship?

Check our Scholarship Application Page for more details.

What do you look for on our scholarship applications?

We review each application carefully and look at a variety of criteria, including but not limited, to the number of scholarships received in the past, distance traveled to the event, quality of answers, time and effort put into your answers, financial need demonstrated. 

Do you have any advice for scholarship applicants?

Just like you can tell with your students, we can tell when someone has put little to no effort into their scholarship application. Take the time to answer each and every question thoroughly. 

Be honest. We do check your answers. Lying on your application immediately disqualifies you. 

Check your email (including your spam folder) and don't miss your deadlines.

How will I be notified if I won a scholarship?

You will be notified on or before March 22, 2020, if you have been awarded a scholarship. All applicants will be notified via the email that you provided on your scholarship application.  You will be required to respond to the email notifying you of your scholarship. If you do not respond by the date and time stated in the acceptance email, you automatically forfeit your scholarship, and it will be awarded to someone on our standby list. Every scholarship recipient must confirm their acceptance with the American Battlefield Trust Education Manager, no exceptions

I was awarded a scholarship in the past, but I was a no cancel-no show. Can I still qualify for a scholarship this year?

No. Any person that accepted a scholarship in the past and no-showed are automatically disqualified from receiving scholarships, our Traveling Trunks, and Field Trip funding.  

What do travel scholarships cover?

Travel scholarships will reimburse you for the following travel expenses: gas, tolls, cab fare/Uber's, airplane or train tickets, and hotel stays. These items will only be reimbursed for Teacher Institute related travel, within a reasonable timeframe of the beginning and end of the Teacher Institute. We will not reimburse you for hotel stays outside of the Mobile, Alabama area. 

What items do travel scholarships not cover?

Travel scholarships do not cover first-class accommodations, meals, room service, WiFi fees, airport parking, hotel parking fees souvenirs, admission to museums or other entertainment attractions. The American Battlefield Trust reserves the right to revoke any scholarship for what is determined to be abusive behavior or inappropriate expenses. 

I won a scholarship, does the American Battlefield Trust pay for all of my travel up front?

No, you must keep your receipts and submit them with your reimbursement form after the conclusion of the Institute.

I was awarded a travel scholarship, do I have to stay at the host hotel?

No, but we strongly suggest that you stay at the host hotel, the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel. We have negotiated the room rate of $129.00 per night for the Institute participants. 

I was awarded a travel scholarship and now cannot attend, can I transfer my scholarship to a friend?

No. There is a waiting list for travel scholarships. If you cannot attend the Teacher Institute, your scholarship will be awarded to the person on the waiting list.    


Attendance, Tours & Deposits:


Why can’t my spouse and children join me at the event?

The Teacher Institute is designed for an adult audience; we do not cater to children at the event. Kids would be bored and out of place. Our goal is to have an environment that is conducive to teacher development, and we truly want to focus on educators.

We also strive to keep the event free of charge for educators. The average cost per person for the event is $575.00. Should we allow non-educators to attend the cost would sky rocket. 

Any non-educator spouses are also not permitted to attend the Institute proper. They are free to travel to and from the event with you, but they are not permitted into the Institute breakout sessions, tours, meals, etc. Our goal is to keep this event free to teachers while providing as many travel scholarships as possible. If we allow non-educators to join us, the quality of the event will suffer greatly. We would have to cap the number of participants (it would fill to max capacity quickly), eliminate travel scholarships, and select second-rate venues due to budget constraints. Also, our breakout sessions are designed for teachers, the average history buff will walk away unsatisfied from many of our breakout sessions, as they are not geared toward them.

When will you announce the lineup of tours, lectures, and breakout sessions?

November of 2019.

Is there any prep that I need to do prior to the Teacher Institute? (Required readings, prepared lesson plans, etc.)

No. We will put together a suggested reading list, but we understand that you are on summer vacation, and like your students, don't want to think about assignments. 

What is the dress code for the event?

We ask that you take into consideration that this is a professional development event. Business casual is suggested for our breakout sessions and lectures. For tour dress, you should lean towards casual-comfortable a hat, closed toed shoes and long pants are suggested for battlefield tours. 

Can I change my tour selection once I get to the Institute?

No. Tour space for 2020 will be limited. We will have timed tickets for a number of facilities. 

Do I need to sign up for any breakout sessions or lectures in advance of registration?

No. If you are registered for the event, all you have to do is show up to the breakout sessions classroom at the designated time. 

Do I have to pay extra for the tours and do I need a car to get there?

No, we pay your entrance fees and bus you to and from the tour locations on Saturday and Sunday. 

Can I drive myself to the Saturday tour locations and meet the group there?


What time will the events end on Sunday?

No later than 12:45 PM.

What does my $100 deposit cover?

Your deposit ensures you a spot at the National Teacher Institute and allows you access to all events throughout the weekend.

Why do I have to put down a deposit?

You must put down a deposit to hold your spot for the National Teacher Institute. We also ask for a deposit so that we keep the number of no-shows down. If we did not ask for a deposit, many people would sign up for the event and never attend (which has happened to us in the past). The deposit helps to ensure folks attend, while also giving us an accurate number for tour entrance fees, caterers, and breakout session space.

Can I place my deposit at the door?

No, all deposits must be placed with the American Battlefield on or before June 1, 2020.

Can I get my deposit back?

Yes. You will have until September 9, 2020, to request your full deposit returned to you for the 2020 National Teacher Institute. 

What if I don't place a deposit? 

Anyone who does not place a deposit will forfeit their spot at the National Teacher Institute. They also will not be eligible for other American Battlefield Trust programs such as our Field Trip Fund or Traveling Trunks. 

If I was awarded a scholarship, do I still have to register for the Institute and put down a deposit?

Yes. To ensure your spot at the Institute, all scholarship applicants must register and place a deposit. 

How do I receive my deposit refund after the event concludes?

You will receive an exit survey within three (3) business days after the conclusion of the event. You must complete the exit survey, which will include questions about your deposit and CE certificate.

How long do I have to request my deposit refund?

All deposit refund requests must be received on or by September 9, 2020

How long will it take to receive my deposit refund after I complete the exit survey?

Please allow 14-21 business days for processing.

Can I donate my deposit to the American Battlefield Trust?

Yes, you may request that the American Battlefield Trust keeps your deposit. This tax-deductible donation would be greatly appreciated.

What if I need to cancel my reservation to the 2020 National Teacher Institute?

Should you need to cancel your reservations for the event, please notify the American Battlefield as soon as possible. To receive a full refund of your deposit, any cancellation must be made on or before June 25th, 2020. You will automatically forfeit your $100.00 deposit if: (1) you cancel your event reservation after June 25th OR (2) you register for the event and do not show up!

If you are a scholarship winner, and you don’t attend the event, you will both forfeit your $100.00 deposit, and you will not be considered for any future Teacher Institute scholarships, Field Trip funding, nor will you receive our Traveling Trunk.


Continuing Education Certificate:

How many continuing education contact hours can I earn at the event and how do I earn them?

You may earn up to 20 contact hours—which equals 2 CEU's. The number of CE hours that are provided to each participant will be commensurate with the number of breakout session, tours, etc…. attended by each participant. Sign in and sign out sheets will be provided for each session throughout the weekend. All CE certificates will be processed AFTER the event.

What constitutes one CEU?

One CEU equals ten contact hours of participation in organized continuing education classes and/or training conducted by a qualified instructor. A contact hour is equivalent to one 60-minute interaction between an instructor and the participant.

How do I receive my continuing education certificate?

You will be asked in your exit survey if you wish to receive a CE certificate. If you choose to receive the certificate, you will receive a letter via mail, directly from Virginia Tech, with your certificate in it. Please allow at least six to eight weeks for processing of the CE certificates. This certificate is sent to the mailing address that you have provided to us. Please DO NOT contact Virginia Tech regarding your contact hours. 

How long do I have to wait to receive my 2020 CE certificate from Virginia Tech?

Virginia Tech will start mailing the CE certificates to your home mailing address in mid-September of 2020.

Do I have to pay for my own CE certificate?

No, the cost of the certificate will be covered by the American Battlefield Trust. 

How do I know if my school district will accept the CE Certificate?

It is your responsibility to confirm with your school district if they will accept the certificate letter. The Trust and Virginia Tech only facility the issuance of the certificate. The application of the certificate is up to each individual, school, and school district. 

Are these full college credit hours?

No. This is a CE certificate, not undergraduate or graduate hours, and they cannot be applied toward a college degree program. 

How long do I have to request my 2020 continuing education certificates?

You have until August 7, 2020, to request your continuing education certificate. We will not process any new CE requests for the 2020 National Teacher Institute after August 7, 2020.

Why is there a deadline to request my continuing education certificate?

We contract through Virginia Tech University for the CE certificates. Our contract window can only stay open for a limited time. 


If your questions were not answered by any of the above questions, please contact us at

Teacher Institute
American Battlefield Trust Education Department