Spotlight Sessions

Wednesday, February 19
2:30-3:30 pm

Building a Culture of Excellence in Teaching & Learning
Margaret Annunziata, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Davidson County Community College; Cleary, Kathleen, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President, Sinclair College; Monique Colclough, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Belk Center for Community College Leadership, North Carolina State University; Julie Dillon, Faculty Chair, Center for Teaching & Learning, Davidson County Community College; Jonathan Iuzzini Director, Teaching & Learning, Achieving the Dream; 
Audrey J. Jaeger, Executive Director, Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, Distinguished Graduate Professor, North Carolina State University

Building on lessons learned from ATD's recent Teaching & Learning initiatives (OER Degree and Engaging Adjunct Faculty), we will present our four guiding principles for building a culture of excellence in teaching and learning.  We will hear from two colleges at different stages of the journey to build these institutional cultures, and our colleagues from the Belk Center will share early insights from our collaborative teaching and learning case study work at North Carolina colleges.  Attendees will leave this session with a deeper understanding of the need to bring full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and faculty developers into the center of the college's student success work.

College Transformation via Solution Networks: Strong Start to Finish, the Advising Success Network & Every Learner Everywhere
Ryan Kelsey, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Achieving the Dream; Rebecca Hartzler, Program Officer, Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Neal Holly, Assistant Director, Strong Start to Finish, Education Commission of the State; Elise Newkirk-Kotfila, Director of Advising Initiatives, NASPA

Engage with leaders of three Solution Networks Achieving the Dream is working with supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Strong Start to Finish, the Advising Success Network, and Every Learner Everywhere. Panelists will discuss their learnings to date based on their work with colleges as well as opportunities for how these networks can complement each other as part of a comprehensive college transformation strategy.

Disasters Natural and Man-made: Emergency Preparedness on the Community College Campus
Richard Sebastian, Director, Open and Digital Learning, Achieving the Dream

Last year was the hottest on record, and 2020 is expected to be even hotter, causing more wildfires, increased flooding from sea-level rise, and more intense, and less predictable, weather. More and more community college campuses will face the disruptive impacts, and costs, of global warming, from loss of instructional time due to campus closures to significant infrastructure damage. Of course, climate change, while significant, isn’t the only threat facing college communities. Campus leaders must also worry about other ongoing threats to campus safety, such as campus shootings and student protests.

In light of this growing list of threats, what steps can colleges take to ensure their campuses remain safe environments conducive to learning? How can college leaders prepare campuses for more immediate threats, like fires and earthquakes, as well as plan for a longer-term and less predictable threat like climate change? And what impact do these threats, and the response to them, have on students as well as the institution’s educational mission?

Using findings from ATD’s Northeast Resiliency Consortium work, this moderated panel of campus leaders will share their experiences preparing for, and dealing with, their own campus emergencies, both natural and man-made; discuss short-term and long-term strategies for preparing for emergencies and creating resilient campus communities; and explore the crucial leadership role community colleges can take in addressing climate change.

Focusing on Invisible Students: Identifying Strategies for #CCWomenSucceed
Meredith Hatch, Senior Associate Director for Workforce and Academic Alignment, Achieving the Dream; Shauna Davis, Executive Director of Holistic Student Supports, Achieving the Dream; Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founding Director, Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice;
 Dr. James Vander Hooven, Mount Wachusett Community College, Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

For over 15 years, Achieving the Dream has worked with community colleges across the nation to champion evidence-based strategies to increase student success. To succeed in this work, colleges must understand who students are and their unique needs. This includes the large proportion of community college students who are student parents and adult women students aged 25+ years old, two populations that are often invisible on campus. #CCWomenSucceed efforts include elevating student voice, making students’ challenges more visible and highlighting their triumphs. Learn how Achieving the Dream Colleges are working to understand the needs of and to support and increase the success of their adult women students and student parents. Learn how your institution can identify student parents and how Achieving the Dream and stakeholder organizations are identifying and promoting strategies to increase success for women in community college. These strategies include focus on basic needs (child care, food, housing, emergency aid); planning services (career, academic, and financial); scheduling flexibility (accelerated degree programs, credit for prior learning); and engagement and support (mentoring and peer connections; family-friendly spaces on campus). Panelists will also discuss providing holistic student supports where academic and personal supports are interconnected and integrated, not standalone.

From Pockets of Excellence to Engaged Innovation at Scale: Managing and Implementing Whole-College Guided Pathways Reforms
Pamela Anglin, Paris Junior College; Clayton Railey, Cuyahoga Community College; Davis Jenkins, Community College Research Center; Hana Lahr, Community College Research Center

In the past, community colleges’ efforts to improve student success typically benefited relatively small numbers of students. Over the last several years, however, colleges implementing guided pathways have built a culture of shared responsibility for student success by engaging faculty and staff college-wide in examining the student experience, identifying barriers to student success created by the college, and working together to remove those barriers for all students. Through this type of whole-college redesign, colleges are seeing improvements in early student momentum and longer-term graduation rates. In this session, college presenters from small and large, and urban and rural colleges will share what they have learned from this process. Community College Research Center (CCRC) researchers will present findings and guidance for colleges from new research on how colleges are managing the whole-college transformations entailed in implementing guided pathway.

Reviving the American Dream: Examining the Role of Community Colleges
John Friedman, Professor, Economics and International and Political Affairs, Brown University and Co-Director of Opportunity Insights

This session will explore what data says about social mobility across the country, as well as the critical role that higher education and community colleges play in creating upward mobility. Attendees will also learn about The Opportunity Atlas and how it can help them to understand their own impact on social mobility in their communities. Attendees will leave having reflected on how they can use this data to inform their own student success work.
Learning Outcomes:
1. Awareness of the reality of economic mobility in America right now.
2. Understand the root causes of social immobility and how community colleges can play a role in addressing/mitigating these.
3. Leave with actionable ideas for how they can use The Opportunity Atlas data to inform their student success work.

Thursday, February 20
11:30 am-12:30 pm

Bringing OER to Scale: Findings from the Evaluation of ATD’s OER Degree Initiative
Richard Sebastian, Director, Open and Digital Learning, Achieving the Dream; Rebecca Griffiths, SRI; Donna Desrochers, rpk GROUP

In 2016, Achieving the Dream launched the Open Educational Resource (OER) Degree Initiative, a three-year project that enabled 38 community colleges across the U.S. to lower costs and improve educational experiences for students by creating OER degree pathways using freely available and openly licensed instructional materials. SRI, a non-profit research institute, and rpk GROUP, served as research and evaluation partners, examining the academic and economic impacts of OER degrees, and investigating how to scale and sustain OER programs.

During this session ATD, SRI and rpk GROUP will share the findings from the third and final research and evaluation report of the OER Degree Initiative, which is being released during DREAM. Learn how OER courses impacted students’ progress to degree, what the costs, benefits, and return on investment of OER degrees were for students and institutions, and how faculty experienced OER adoption and use. The panel will also reflect on how OER degrees can advance institutional strategies related to access, equity, and quality, and discuss next steps in the evaluation of OER adoption and use.

Building Capacity for STEM Transformation with Achieving the Dream and National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education
Meredith Hatch, Senior Associate Director for Workforce and Academic Alignment, Achieving the Dream; Celeste Carter, Lead Program Director, Advanced Technological Education, National Science Foundation; Kevin Cooper, Assistant Dean of Advanced Technology
Indian River State College

Do you want your college to be a place where all students, including those from groups historically underrepresented in STEM such as women, persons with disabilities, persons of color, and veterans, thrive? Do you want your community to have a diverse, vibrant, STEM workforce? Learn about capacity strategies, coaching, and learning initiative opportunities that come from joint participation in ATD and National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE). Participants will come away with examples of what NSF-ATE is and how their colleges can benefit from participation as well as how colleges that are synching their ATE and ATD experience are transforming and experiencing remarkable results.

It Takes More Than Good Intentions: The Intersection of Equity, Data, and Technology

Tiffany Mfume, AVP, Student Success and Retention, Morgan State University (HBCU); Iris Palmer, New America; Jennifer Hill-Kelley, Holistic Student Supports Coach, Achieving the Dream

This session brings together three distinct views on the role of data and technology in supporting equity and addresses why good intentions may not be enough to ensure that underrepresented students are not inadvertently harmed through the use of predictive analytics. Panelists will examine systemic failures and successes in using technology to scale supports and interventions and identify points of consideration before colleges purchase systems to identify student populations of need. This session promises three unique and dynamic perspectives and food for thought as you consider the intersection of equity, data and the use of technology!

The Road to Excellence: Insights from The Journey of Three High Performing Institutions
Karen A. Stout, President & CEO, Achieving the Dream; Greg Williams, President, Odessa College; Michele Johnson, Chancellor, Pierce College; Mike Flores, Chancellor, Alamo Colleges

Institutional transformation is a complex but necessary undertaking if community colleges are to be successful in dramatically improving student outcomes, preparing the modern workforce, creating opportunities for economic and social mobility, and contributing to a healthy civic enterprise. In this Spotlight, ATD President Karen Stout will interview leaders from institutions that have distinguished themselves in the Aspen Prize and Leah Meyer Austin Award competitions to learn how they approached their reform work and what they believe are replicable strategies other colleges might adopt or adapt.


Upward Mobility: A Tale of Two Colleges

Students and communities benefit from policies and practices that offer opportunities for living wages and economic mobility. In this session, one two-year college and one four-year college will share how they work collaboratively to provide low-income students guidance and support for economic advancement through partnerships with schools, universities, employers and community-based organizations. Attendees will leave with strategies they can apply in their context to improve the skills, better employability and economic growth for families in the communities they serve.

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