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Spotlight Sessions

9:30 am – 10:30 am
Spotlight Sessions

Achieving the Dream of Equity: Moving from Academic Marginalization to Academic Advancement Using a Culturally Relevant Approach
Does culture in higher education matter? Many would argue that not only does it matter, but it is integral to the academic success of students who are socially marginalized. Consider the promise of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in dismantling barriers to achievement.


  • Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Associate Professor of English Education, Teachers College, Columbia University


ATD Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT) Alignment to Accreditation

Finding data to inform strategic planning, encourage broad-based involvement, and show evidence of improvements in institutional quality are critical throughout the accreditation process. The “Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool: Alignment to Accreditation” demonstrates ways colleges can use the results of this assessment to inform decision making. A panel including a former commissioner, the publication author, ATD coaches, and staff from two colleges that have taken the ICAT will demonstrate use of the tool and discuss the importance of documentation of the process and the implications relative to accreditation.



  • Terri M. Manning, ATD Data Coach, Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Research Services, CEO, Center for Applied Research, Central Piedmont Community College
  • John Nixon, ATD Leadership Coach, Former Commissioner and Project Lead for Rewriting ACCJC Standards
  • William Heineman, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, Northern Essex Community College
  • Donna Kragt, Dean of Institutional Research and Planning, Grand Rapids Community College


The William Trueheart Forum on Equity and Excellence

Changing the Game, Enhancing Financial Stability, and Student Success
Approximately one in three American undergraduates receives a Pell grant and therefore is considered low income. Striving to be academically successful while at the same time ensuring that basic financial needs are met is a heavy burden, and many community colleges are exploring how to help and ensure these students’ success. For low-income students to be successful, colleges need data, resources, and model practices and policies that have proven outcomes. This session will highlight the release of new reports featuring national data from Achieving the Dream and the Center for Community College Student Engagement. Key stakeholders will discuss the national landscape and what colleges are doing to help students overcome financial insecurities.



  • Regina Stanback-Stroud, President, Skyline College (CA)
  • Oscar Cerna, Research Associate, MDRC
  • Tanya Ladha, Associate, Center for Financial Services Innovation
  • Cindy Lenhart, Achieving the Dream
  • Evelyn Waiwaiole, Director, Center for Community College Student Engagement



Emerging Lessons from the Field
Achieving the Dream's funded learning initiatives are offering insights and lessons related to innovation and reform. This session will highlight emerging work of Open Educational Resources (OER), Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS), and the Working Student Success Network (WSSN). Together, these initiatives are being implemented at more than 70 institutions.



  • Karen Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream, Inc.
  • Jean Goodnow, President, Delta College
  • Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Educational Pipeline, The State University of New York
  • Terrence Leas, President, Big Bend Community College
  • DeRionne Pollard, President, Montgomery College



Miami Dade College’s Guided Pathway for Student Success and Organizational Agility

This session will describe the journey Miami Dade College embarked on five years ago to transform the student experience, and the intentional processes it implemented to build additional capacity to sustain the improvements in student performance and progression.


· Lenore P. Rodicio, Executive Vice President and Provost, Miami Dade College


Set Your Data Free! Empowering Faculty with Course-Level Data to Drive Student Success
Pierce College knew that providing institution-level data would not be enough. The college sought to provide faculty with direct access to their own data (and the data of their colleagues) along with the ability to sort student achievement data by course, section, modality, timeframe, subsequent success, and a variety of demographic measures. To this end, Pierce's Center for Engagement and Learning began providing frequent training to help faculty members understand their data and how they could be used to inform change. Facilitating program improvement can be challenging because of high expectations for positive student outcomes based on rigorous coursework. Yet Pierce College faculty can now use dashboards connected to real-time data to identify disconnects among content coverage, mastery, and success in subsequent classes. Learn how and why Pierce College changed its culture and is empowering faculty to use Tableau software to foster institution-wide dialogue about student success data.



• Tom Broxson, District Dean, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Pierce College

• Matt Campbell, Vice President, Learning and Student Success, Pierce College

• Erik Gimness, Director of Institutional Research, Pierce College

• Carly Haddon, Data Solutions Specialist, Pierce College




3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Spotlight Sessions

The Changing Role of Advising: Lessons Learned from the Field
With increasing attention on redesigning the student experience as a core student success strategy, three organizations have engaged in research and analysis of the changing role of advising through initiatives such as Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS). Panelists will share their findings and perspectives on lessons learned across the field as colleges leverage technology-mediated advising redesign as an integrator of student success.


  • Gates Bryant, Principal, Tyton Partners
  • Donna Desrochers, Associate, rpkGROUP
  • Mei-Yen Ireland, Director of Integrated Student Support Strategies, Achieving the Dream
  • Melinda Mechur Karp, Assistant Director, Community College Research Center, Columbia University


Collective Impact Ecosystem for Regional Student Success
This session will provide an overview of a tremendously successful collective impact partnership between William Rainey Harper College (a comprehensive community college) and its three feeder school districts which serve 23 communities in the Northwest suburbs. The session is geared toward presidents and senior leaders who seek to understand: Can we all get along? What does it take to create a successful partnership? And how is success measured?


  • Kenya F. Ayers, Vice President and Board Chair, Northwest Educational Council for Student Success
  • Ellen Wagner, Vice President of Research, Hobsons
  • Kenneth L. Ender, President, William Rainey Harper College
  • Brian Harris, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington 220

Sponsored by Hobsons.


Defining Equity for LGBTQ Faculty and Students
In recent years, more attention has been given to issues of equality facing LGBTQ students at community college campuses. Increased awareness has sparked a surge in student- and faculty-led changes to protect the rights and access given to LGBTQ students campus-wide. Among some recent policy changes have been the rewriting of non-discrimination policies related to gender identity/expression, identifying all-gender bathrooms, providing campus-wide educational offerings, and creating safe spaces where students and faculty can feel supported on campus. Panelists will discuss how equity for LGBTQ students is approached, successes and challenges of implementing changes, how the larger campus community has adapted to new policy decisions, and the ultimate impact on student equality.



  • Susan Burleson, Vice President, Student Success and Communications, Davidson County Community College
  • Matthew Campbell, Student and eQuity Committee Member, Austin Community College, South Austin Campus
  • Sukisha Moragne, Co-Chair of the ACC LGBT eQuity Committee, Counselor/Associate Professor, Austin Community College, South Austin Campus

Guided Pathways: An Insider’s Perspective
Colleges that have been immersed in Pathways work and those new to it will share reflections and lessons learned about doing the work on their campuses. Panelists will share what it takes to sustain the momentum and what it takes to succeed as well as how this work builds from the foundation of the ATD work at their institutions.



  • Sonya Christian, President, Bakersfield College
  • William Law, President, St. Petersburg College


Improving Outcomes by Changing Mindsets: Scaling up an Evidence-Based Program
Many community college students under-perform and drop out because their beliefs about themselves—such as "I'm just not a math person"—hinder their motivation and preclude their success. Sarah Gripshover, Director of Research at Stanford University's PERTS, will explain how colleges can help students overcome such demotivating beliefs and will present results from a new online program that increased persistence and achievement over a two-year period. She will also describe how colleges can implement the program on their own campuses starting in fall 2017.

Participants will learn:

· how students' beliefs about intelligence influence their motivation and achievement;

· how mindset programs affect students' beliefs in targeted ways that improve outcomes—and what mistakes practitioners commonly make when trying to implement such programs; and

· how to implement an existing, evidence-based mindset program on your own campus for free.


  • Sarah Gripshover, Director of Research, PERTS
  • Ron Sloan, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Ivy Tech Community College


No Data, No Justice: Pierce College’s Relentless Pursuit of Equity

Pierce College outlines its path to increased retention, completion, and closing achievement gaps in its first four years with Achieving the Dream.


• Tom Broxson, District Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics 

• Michele Johnson, Chancellor, Pierce College District


Reflections: Institutional Progress and the New Capacities
With implementation of the Institutional Capacity Assessment Framework and Tool, colleges will have a common language to discuss challenges and successes at their institutions. ATD coaches have been immersed in the new tool and framework and will share their perspectives on how colleges are performing with regard to the seven capacities.



  • Karen Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream


  • Christine McPhail, Leadership Coach, Achieving the Dream
  • John Nixon, Leadership Coach, Achieving the Dream
  • Diane Troyer, Leadership Coach, Achieving the Dream
  • Ted Wright, Data Coach, Achieving the Dream
Sponsored by Ellucian. 


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