Students in Debate
Why Should Students Debate?
Competitive debate fosters tremendous relationships for students between their coach, team, and even their school. It also provides a fun, competitive atmosphere to learn about current issues, develop new skills, process and defend different points of view, and grow into a young leader.
- Academic Success
Debate is recognized at a national level in colleges and beyond. The skills taught and developed in debate prepare young people for academic work in all disciplines and fields, and helps students become highly proficient at critical reading, critical thinking, organization argumentation, and time management.
- College Admissions
Students enrolled in speech and debate programs, especially in urban public schools, have shown significantly improved reading and writing test scores for college. They also have the ability to develop connections between themselves and Universities throughout Kansas and the nation. Ad Astra will utilize these connections, as well as the professional mentorship relationships we develop, to help prepare students for college.
- Critical Thinking
Fostering critical and creative thinkers is central to the mission of Ad Astra Debate. We aim to meaningfully collaborate and build students’ thinking skills through our competitions and activities.
Hear what our students have to say:
Aryan Waghmode – East 2021, John Hopkins 2025
For me, debate is more than the art of communicating; it’s the art of thinking. Debate has transformed not only the way I present my ideas but also how I fundamentally think about the world. Without hesitation, the skills developed, knowledge learned, and connections made through debate have been foundational to my success so far as a student.
Carlos Cedilla – East 2019, Washburn 2023
Speech and Debate not only propeled my young self’s ability to communicate ideas to a broad range of audiences effectively; it gave me a framework of research and analysis to help come to my conclusions. The activity empowered my advocacy on a wide amount of issues, for which I am very grateful.
Stephanie Le – KMC 2017, Newman University 2020
Although I had no special talent in speech or debate, it helped me to gain self-confidence and develop my research and speaking skills. I was able to realize my own potential and use my voice in meaningful ways that I didn’t know I was capable of. Speech and debate was a challenge for me; however, I would not have found strength in myself or be as knowledgeable as I am today without it.
Dominika Cornejo – KMC 2016, Dartmouth 2020
Speech and debate is an invaluable resource that prepared me for academic success and my career. No other academic or extracurricular program emphasizes the development of critical thinking, communication, and research skills like speech and debate. Participating in speech and debate in high school afforded me ample opportunity to develop and hone these skills which has proven to be indispensable in my continued academic pursuits.
Debate Student Toolkit
NDCA Novice Packet
NDCA Open Evidence
The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) serves students by providing leadership for the administration of education based interscholastic activities
National Speech & Debate Association
The NSDA provides recognition and support for students participating in speech and debate activities nationwide.
National Catholic Forensic League
The NCFL is committed to providing participants, judges, coaches, and volunteers the opportunity to pursue excellence in their endeavors.
The National Debate Coaches Association
The NDCA provides all debate coaches, regardless of type of debate, region, or pedagogical style, with avenues for professional development.
The National Individual Events Tournament of Champions
For students, NIETOC will provide an educational workshop focused on improving speaking skills, excellent competition and a chance to meet speech competitors from all over the nation.
National Debate Coaches Association High School Policy
This wiki is an attempt to compile and share information about arguments made by high school debate teams throughout the country to democratize the process of intelligence gathering.