“These aren’t just good strategies (and they are!) but, when integrated systematically, they are transformative experiences for both students and instructors.” –Jim Kain, Neumann University, PA

The 2018 conference will be held at the Doubletree Hilton Anaheim-Orange County, CA on April 12-14, 2018.

For the April 13th Pre-Conference schedule please click here.


Friday, April 13
6:45am-8:15am Conference Check-in and Hosted Hot Breakfast Buffet
8:30am-10:00am Session #1: Opening Session (90 Minutes)
10:00am-10:30am Networking and Beverage Break
10:30am-12:00pm Session #2: Breakout Sessions (90 Minutes)
12:00pm-1:15pm Hosted Buffet Lunch
1:30pm-3:00pm Session #3: Breakout Sessions (90 Minutes)
3:00pm-3:30pm Networking and Beverage Break (Poster Sessions)
3:30pm-4:30pm Session #4: Breakout Sessions (60 Minutes)
4:30pm-5:30pm Session #5: Reception to Honor Presenters – Everyone Welcome (snacks and cash bar)
Saturday, April 14
6:45am-8:15am Hosted Hot Buffet Breakfast
8:30am-9:30am Session #6: Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)
9:45am-11:15am Session #7: Breakout Sessions (90 minutes)
11:15am-11:45am Networking and Beverage Break
11:45am-12:45pm Session #8: Closing Session (60 minutes)


Thank you for putting this together and having good presenters with valuable content.– Sylwia Kulczak, Rio Hondo College, CA

Thank you – this was an amazing conference! – Nicole Adsitt, Cayuga Community College, NY

2018 Keynote Session with Dr. Elizabeth F. Barkley

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Dr. Elizabeth F. Barkley, Ph.D. is Professor of Music History at Foothill College, Los Altos, California. With four decades as an innovative and reflective teacher, she has received numerous honors and awards, including being named California’s Higher Education Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, formally recognized by the California state legislature for her contributions to undergraduate education, selected as “Innovator of the Year” in conjunction with the National League for Innovation, presented with the Hayward Award for Educational Excellence, and honored by the Center for Diversity in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Additionally, her Musics of Multicultural America course was selected as “Best Online Course” by the California Virtual Campus. She was also named one of two Carnegie Scholars in the discipline of music by the Carnegie Foundation in conjunction with the Pew Charitable Trusts.

A popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter, her interests include engaging students through active and collaborative learning; transforming F2F and online curriculum to meet the needs of diverse learners; the scholarship of teaching and learning; and connecting learning goals with assessment. Barkley holds a B.A. and M.A. from University of California, Riverside and a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. Her books have been translated into multiple languages and include Learning Assessment Techniques (co-authored with Claire H. Major, Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2016), Collaborative Learning Techniques (co-authored with Claire H. Major and K. Patricia Cross, Wiley/Jossey-Bass, Second Edition, 2014), Student Engagement Techniques (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2010), Crossroads: The Roots of America’s Popular Music (Prentice Hall, 2nd Edition, 2007), and three interactive digital textbooks for Kendall Hunt in conjunction with Great River Learning: Crossroads: The Music of American Cultures (2013), World Music: Roots to Contemporary Global Fusions (2012), and co-author with Robert Hartwell of Great Composers and Music Masterpieces of Western Civilization (Kendall Hunt, 2015). Her most recent book, Interactive Lecturing (co-authored with Claire H. Major, Wiley/Jossey-Bass) will be released in February, 2018.

2018 Program coming soon.

2017 Program

(Thursday, April 20, 2017 Pre-conference Session descriptions, click here)

Breakout Sessions #2 (90 minutes) 10:30AM-12:00PM Friday

    Session 2A: An Introduction to On Course (MS, RF, PC)
    Presenter: Deb Poese, Director, School of Education/Faculty, Mathematics, Montgomery College, MD
    Summary: New to On Course? Wondering what it’s all about? This session will provide an overview of the On Course approach to student success. Participants will learn 1) the success principles that are the foundation of On Course, 2) how On Course is different from most student success approaches, 3) data demonstrating the success of this method, and 4) On Course resources available to support your students’ academic success and retention.

    Session 2B: Maximizing Quadrants and Potential: Active Learning Strategies for Time Management (AE, SL, AG)
    Presenter: Joselyn Gonzalez, Student Success Course Faculty/Coordinator, El Centro College, TX
    Summary: To use Stephen Covey’s Time Management quadrant system effectively in their lives, students must first thoroughly understand each quadrant and how their current personal and academic lives align with each one. Students struggle with understanding the difference between “urgent” and “important;” this is monumental not only to comprehending how the quadrant system works, but how to manage the activities within the quadrants. In this activity participants will progress through each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy as they first participate in a modified version of the jigsaw activity and then are asked to physically get in the quadrants and live! This session would benefit any individual who would like to incorporate or teach time management to students, but has been specifically used with FYE instructors and workshop facilitators, such as advisors.

    Session 2C: Emotional Intelligence and College Success (RM, EQ)
    Presenter: Skip Downing, Author, On Course & Founder, On Course Workshop
    Summary: How many students will your college or university lose this year because they can’t manage their emotions? In this interactive session—a condensed version of the presenter’s full-day pre-conference workshop on Emotional Intelligence (EI)—we will focus on what EI is, why it is critical to student success and retention, and how to help students manage test anxiety.

    Session 2D: Brain-Friendly Instruction: Enhancing Lifelong Learning (BA, AE, RW, DS)
    Presenter: Eileen Zamora, Faculty Emerita, English & Learning Skills, Southwestern College, CA
    Summary: Traditional methods of instruction can leave both students and instructors feeling that they have been swimming against the tide. Why? Current brain research has demonstrated that some traditional instructional methods are not in alignment with the way the brain learns best. Come and learn five principles for brain-friendly instruction and experience structures and strategies that will enable you to awaken and engage the brains in the classroom–both the students’ and yours!

    Session 2E: Classroom Strategies to Grow Student Motivation (RM)
    Presenter: Mark McBride, Faculty, Communications/College Success, Eastern Florida State College
    Summary: A lack of student motivation has long been the bane of higher education. It not only disrupts student learning, it kills teacher enthusiasm. According to motivational experts Deci and Wlodkowski, we can’t motivate our students to do anything; however, we can influence them to find their own motivation. In this session, designed for teachers across the curriculum, we will explore why students lack motivation, examine research-based techniques that promote it, and share our own tools that spark student interest. In the end, participants will leave with ready-to-use strategies to help their students find their Inner Motivation.

    Session 2F: What’s Self Esteem Got to Do With It? (RF, EQ)
    Presenter: Robin Middleton, Faculty Emerita, Student Development, Jamestown Community College, NY
    Summary: For many educators, the issue of Self-Esteem seems an unlikely/unnecessary topic in a student success class, but research tells us that the two are deeply entwined. Low self-esteem is often expressed by poor attendance and participation, as well as procrastination and simply “giving up.” In this workshop we will explore factors related to self-esteem and experience strategies that address some of these factors to help students develop a realistic, healthy sense of self, allowing them to set achievable goals with the knowledge and confidence that they are competent enough to succeed. Participants will leave with at least three strategies for empowering students to believe in themselves.

    Session 2G: A Learner-Centered Class from Day 1: Syllabus Station-to-Station (RM, MS, AE, IN)
    Presenter: Al Trujillo, Faculty, Earth Sciences, Palomar College, CA
    Summary: Do you dread the stares of your students on the first day of class, when you go over the syllabus with them in painstaking detail, and they just sit there, looking at you expectantly (and perhaps trying to do some sneaky texting under their desks)? The first day of class sets the tone for the semester, and in this session you’ll experience a fun, active, On Course learning activity called station-to-station, which is a strategy that you can use not only to cover your syllabus, but also a wide variety of other course materials. Learn how to set the right tone for your class, starting on day one!

    Session 2H: Raising the Bar: Take Your Student Success Course to the Next Level (RF, PC, AG)
    Presenter: DeRhonda McWaine, Department Chair, College Preparatory Department, San Jacinto College North, TX
    Summary: Are you ready to take your student success course to the next level? Are you ready to implement specific success initiatives and programs within your course to raise the bar for student achievement? Having an effective course is the first step; the second step is to enhance the effectiveness of your course by instituting programs that are directly related to an increase in student retention, completion rates, and fostering stronger connections. In this session, specific programs/initiatives (along with supporting data) will be provided to all participants. Participants will be given strategies on how to scale up (implement into an entire college wide program) or scale down (apply to a single course) the presented initiatives. At the conclusion of the session, participants will have the tools needed to implement all or parts of the initiatives within a course and explore and discuss the data that supports the initiative. All individuals who have an invested interest in the success of students within a given course would benefit from this session and they will receive practical information that can be implemented into any student success course.

    Session 2I: When Students Feel They Matter: Building Community and Interdependence (AE, RW, IN)
    Presenter: LuAnn Wood, Student Success Coordinator/Faculty, Reading, Century College, MN
    Summary: As educators, we know the importance of building community for our students. When done well, we help students become more interdependent. As student populations in colleges become increasingly diverse, there is a greater urgency for educators to find ways to ensure all students feel a sense of belonging and connect with each other. The Noel-Levitz Survey of Student Engagement has shown that students are more successful in their classes if they feel connected to part of a larger community. The following activity will help educators foster a community of learners who are ready to value what others bring to class discussions and group projects. In this session participants will engage in the activity entitled, “Mattering and Marginalizing,” based on the work of Nancy K. Schlossberg. Her work on “Mattering,” the need to feel you belong and matter to another, is the basis for this student exercise. Walk away with directions and handouts to replicate this activity with students and colleagues on your campus.

    Session 2J: Don’t Limit Your Challenges…Challenge Your Limits: Using MindTap for On Course to Help Students Overcome Obstacles (BA, TD, SL)
    Presenters: Essie Childers, Faculty, Education & Reading, Blinn College, TX; Sarah Seymour, Product Manager for College Success, Cengage Learning
    Summary: Digital tools, when designed and utilized from a learner-centered perspective, can help first-year students overcome many of the learning challenges they face in online, hybrid, and even face-to-face course environments. In this session, participants will explore MindTap, the online learning tool created specifically for the On Course text, and how it addresses specific student challenges such as poor reading abilities; ineffective self-assessment, self-reflection, or study skills; lack of digital confidence; poor time-management skills; and difficulty understanding real-world applications of the course content. This session will benefit any instructor who is ready to help students move beyond what they may perceive as their personal limits and discover the joy and power of lifelong learning.

Breakout Sessions #3 (90 minutes) 1:15PM-2:45PM Friday

    Session 3A: Introducing Culture in the Classroom: Gaining Self-Awareness (BA, RF, DS)
    Presenters: Romana Hughes, Assistant Provost; Desmond Morris, Director of Distance Learning, Texas Christian University
    Summary: In the Introduction to University Life class at Texas Christian University (TCU), one of the included topics is “Respecting Cultural Differences.” This topic is designed to be an introduction to TCU’s Core Values: Academic achievement, personal freedom and integrity, the dignity and respect of the individual, and a heritage of inclusiveness, tolerance, and service. As incoming freshmen, many of our students have not had a lot of exposure to self-awareness of culture. In this session we will share three strategies we have used with our students that have proven to be effective tools to provide students with the opportunity to gain self-awareness, engage, share, and learn about the various cultures in our small 15-student classroom. These strategies build inclusiveness, respect of individuals, and tolerance. Faculty and staff that work with students on the topic of culture, and who are interested in active and engaged learning, will want to attend this session.

    Session 3B: Words, Words, Words: Everybody Can Teach Vocabulary (AE, RW)
    Presenter: Michelle Andersen Francis, Faculty, Reading and Chair of Professional Development, West Valley College, CA
    Summary: Research has empirically demonstrated that vocabulary is necessary and predictive for student success. However, vocabulary instruction is often arid and vapid. This session will demonstrate active learning strategies to help students learn a plethora of words. Participants will leave with an overview of the research on why vocabulary is important and will have a toolbox of strategies they can immediately use in their classrooms to teach vocabulary. Vocabulary can be fun!

    Session 3C: Social Identity, Stereotypes, and Success: Is There a Link? (RM, BA, DS)
    Presenter: Eileen Zamora, Faculty Emerita, English & Learning Skills, Southwestern College, CA
    Summary: Gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, and political affiliation are just a handful of ways in which each of us identifies ourselves. What makes these identities important or unimportant to us? What impact do our social identities have on our success, academically and otherwise? In this interactive session, you will determine the various social identities by which you and others may define yourselves, as well as analyzing some of the stereotypes associated with those identities. You will discover that how we define ourselves can create an obstacle to academic success of which many students and educators are unaware: stereotype threat. You will learn the conditions under which stereotype threat exists and its effect on academic performance based on research by Dr. Claude Steele and others. You will leave this session with proven strategies to minimize this threat to your students and yourself. This session is appropriate for all educators, counselors, and administrators. Handouts and links to online resources will be provided.

    Session 3D: Becoming Your Own Hero: Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as a Model for Successful Students (BA, RW, EQ)
    Presenter: Jim Kain, Faculty, English, Neumann University, PA
    Summary: How do teachers help their students have that change in perspective that allows them to see themselves as creators of their education? One way is to take advantage of our cultural store of films and tales and re-view them through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s model of The Hero’s Journey. Students have no problem recognizing the key features of the journey in many of the films and stories they’ve seen. But when asked to reflect, share, and reflect again on the significance and relevance of these concepts in their own lives, they often startle themselves with a new-found perspective, allowing them to see themselves in the role of hero in their own journeys. This workshop will take you through that process of becoming your own hero.

    Session 3E: Self Awareness and Learner Effectiveness (BA, RF, SL)
    Presenter: Jonathan Brennan, Faculty, English, Mission College, CA
    Summary: Students often face challenges in achieving their goals because they are unaware of how they can get in their own way. They can lack mindfulness, focus, and awareness of their strengths, liabilities and habitual patterns. Research on metacognition and academic learning reinforces the importance of students’ developing their capacity to be reflective and aware learners, understanding their own learning process, as well as their patterns of learning obstacles. Research on mindfulness practices indicate that they change how the brain responds to stress, strengthen connections in the prefrontal cortex and reduce reactivity in the limbic system, ultimately improving learning outcomes. This session is designed for educators teaching any discipline, and will present research, resources, and awareness strategies to bring back to the classroom or a student success program.

    Session 3F: Belief in Self: I Can Do This! (BA, RF, EQ)
    Presenter: Mark McBride, Communications/College Success, Eastern Florida State College
    Summary: Twenty years ago, Alfie Kohn wrote, “Of all the factors that determine how students will respond to failure, research has shown that the most important one of all is how they have come to explain that failure.” Many students arrive in our classes with psychological baggage that fills their minds with negative chatter. The bottom line for them? Success is hard to come by. In this session you will experience strategies that help students recognize destructive thoughts and replace them with positive, self-affirming ones. By session’s end, you’ll have tools to take back to your students and maybe even an extra shot of your very own I-can-do-this attitude.

    Session 3G: Stimulating Active Learning in STEM Fields (RM, MS, AE, SL, AG)
    Presenters: Cheryl Rock, Faculty, Food Science and Nutrition, California State University-Long Beach; Elizabeth Metzger, Faculty, English, University of South Florida
    Summary: An urgent need exists to produce undergraduates in science and other STEM fields. This session will provide an overview of active learning strategies and pedagogical activities to improve student learning/student retention, and assessment in science. Participants will engage in activities designed to appeal to and motivate students, such as collaboration, problem-solving, peer/self-assessment through rubrics, and games. This session will illustrate connections between academic life and course content, encouraging students to become life-long learners. While the session will interest STEM faculty, it will also benefit administrators, academic advisors, and program coordinators for student success and retention.

    Session 3H: From Victim to Creator: Change Your Attitude—Transform your Life (RM, RF, PC)
    Presenter: Traci Robichaud-Holler, Faculty, Professional Development and Business Education, Cuesta College, CA
    Summary: Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton wrote, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” According to a Stanford University survey, 87.5 percent of a person’s success, performance, and their ability to overcome obstacles are based on attitude and 12.5 percent is centered on a person’s IQ. In this workshop we will explore how a negative attitude perpetuates a victim mindset and cripples a person’s success not only in the classroom but in life. We will identify–and immediately implement–specific strategies to tackle a negative attitude and empower students, family, and colleagues to improve their attitude and increase their success. Whether you are a seasoned professor, retention specialist, or a student success instructor you’ll be enriched by this workshop. How would you answer? “Attitudes are contagious—is yours worth catching?”

    Panel Session 3I: Facilitating the Facilitators: Strategies for Shifting the Instruction Paradigm (PC, SL)
    Presenters: Tammy Prater, Faculty, History; Vivian Grooms, Faculty, Psychology, Jackson State Community College, TN
    Summary: Establishing best practices for educators who are attempting to shift from a lecture style to a facilitator model is a process every higher education institution is likely to address. In this session, participants will engage in activities used at one community college as they navigated the changes from teacher as ultimate authority to teacher as model learner. By using a Socratic method where active learners can gain knowledge in an activity-driven model, all faculty, staff, and administrators can attain skills which model the behaviors of life-long learners. Participants will leave this session with concrete ideas and actions they can take back to their campuses to model this paradigm shift.

    Session 3J: Student Success and Student Behavior: What’s the Missing Link? (RM, AE, RW)
    Presenter: DeRhonda McWaine, Department Chair, College Preparatory Department, San Jacinto College North, TX
    Summary: Have you ever wondered why students behave in ways that hinder their success? Are students even aware of those behaviors that negatively affect their progress? As educators, we understand the link between student success and specific student behaviors. However, students are often unaware of those links. We can create opportunities for students to participate in success behaviors and reinforce those behaviors. In this session, the presenter will discuss the ICRE Method, explore specific success strategies, and examine research focused on student behaviors and success. At the conclusion of the session, participants will be equipped with activities and strategies that increase success behaviors. Instructors in any discipline, tutors, and retention specialists can benefit from these strategies.

Breakout Sessions #4 (60 minutes) 3:15PM-4:15PM Friday

    Session 4A: On Course Goes to High School: Choosing a Good Road (RF)
    Presenter: Jonathan Brennan, Faculty, English, Mission College, CA
    Summary: How might we improve the excellent results from using On Course with college students? Introduce high school students to a basic set of success principles so that these students can practice life skills before they arrive at college. This session will explore developing college/career readiness in middle/high school students, the latest research on non-cognitive competencies, and how to develop a success pipeline that improves both high school and college retention, persistence and graduation. Educators from all disciplines are encouraged to attend, especially those that are interested in developing partnerships between high schools and colleges.

    Session 4B: I Am at My Breaking Point! (RM, RF)
    Presenters: Daphne Lightfoot and Sylvia Withers, Completion Coaches, Columbia Basin Community College, WA
    Summary: Do you find that your students start the term fired up, motivated and enthusiastic, only to begin showing signs of apathy halfway through the term? They have the desire but lack the understanding of what it takes to be a successful student. This session will highlight the secret ingredient that, when applied, will maximize the success of students. Participants will engage in learner-centered, interactive tasks as they recognize that perseverance alone may not lead students to the results they are seeking. The session provides practical hands-on tools for participants to implement immediately with struggling students.

    Session 4C: Mission Responsible (RM, AE, SL, AG)
    Presenters: Melanie Sanwo, Faculty, English; Tiffany Sarkisian, Faculty, Communication; Nancy Vagim, Faculty, Communication, Clovis Community College, CA
    Summary: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to round up the usual suspects–the Thinker, the Doer, the Feeler, and the Innovator–and take them to task, making them responsible for themselves. While they remain at large, the suspects’ lack of responsibility leads to cutting class, compromising their grades, and undermining the learning goals of every institution. To assist you in breaking up this ring, we offer this Mission Possible training session, during which senior agents—AKA presenters–will lead field agents–AKA conference participants–through engaging, learner-centered activities they can use throughout the semester to foster responsibility in any classroom across the disciplines. It is not an impossible mission. (This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.)

    Session 4D: Hidden Jewels: Mindsets in the Classroom (BA, PC, EQ)
    Presenter: Traci Robichaud-Holler, Faculty, Professional Development and Business Education, Cuesta College, CA
    Summary: Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t you are right.” As we go through life, we interpret our journeys very differently. Those who view challenges through the growth mindset perspective tend to delve deep within and discover gifts and traits that they were unaware of. As a result, they master more skills, embrace opportunities, and experience increased success. Participates will learn how to help students, colleagues, friends, and themselves transition from a fixed oriented mindset and move toward a growth-oriented outlook by (1) identifying and replacing irrational thoughts, (2) challenging their negative self-talk, (3) recognizing their strengths, (4) implementing easy new strategies, and (5) creating a positive attitude. If you’re interested in helping individuals embrace an “I can do this” mindset—then this workshop is for you!

    Session 4E: Learning with Legos® – Using Simple Objects to Teach Abstract Concepts (MS, AG)
    Presenters: Elizabeth Jennison, Faculty, Accounting, Saddleback College, CA; Paula Koch, Faculty, Accounting, El Camino College, CA
    Summary: Ever give a lecture and see a sea of blank faces at the end? Students often struggle to understand concepts because they come from an unfamiliar context. As a result, the concepts go right over their heads. We can provide that context by using simple objects such as blocks or candy to simulate real situations. In this session, you will simulate a manufacturing process using Legos®, learn a little business and accounting, and develop creative ideas to teach abstract concepts in your classroom. Simulations with objects are probably most appropriate for business, economics, and STEM disciplines, but can be used in any discipline to make abstract concepts more concrete.

    Session 4F: Creating Online Learner-Centered Activities (AE, TD)
    Presenter: Chris Strouthopoulos, Faculty, Student Success; San Juan College, NM
    Summary: One central premise of On Course is that learner-centered activities work. Yet, why is it so difficult to create learner-centered activities online? How do we design online instruction that includes the active engagement and magic of the classroom experience? Inspired by these questions, we’ve started transforming our online courses into experiential environments that incorporate learner- centered activities. After briefly sharing our journey and insights, we’ll work in small groups brainstorming new ways for our online courses to engage students in transformational learning. Please bring your passion, your questions, and your favorite online activities/structures.

    Session 4G: Rock’n College Wide Student Success (RF, PC)
    Presenters: Stephanie Atkins, Faculty Development Consultant; Melissa Wilke, English Instructor; Cynthia Kothbauer, Academic Advisor, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
    Summary: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College noticed students were ‘runnin’ out of self-control, gettin’ close to an overload and many were up against a no-win situation. It was then that we knew something had to be done to help students “turn off the noise that was making them crazy.” The choice to embed On Course principles into the culture of the college strategically enhanced the college’s focus on student success. Sing with us as we Rock out the On Course principles, and participate in the analysis of how On Course and our student success course, College 101, have paved the way to increased course completion and persistence. Get a backstage pass to evaluate your own risk levels for implementation of new initiatives. With these initiatives, NWTC students now learn to “Be good to themselves” and take lessons from Journey to “Don’t Stop Believing.”

    Session 4H: Chalk Talk: the Idea Exchange for Educators (RF, IN)
    Presenter: Robin Middleton, On Course Facilitator, Faculty Emerita, Student Development, Jamestown Community College, NY
    Summary: As faculty and staff in higher education, we are in a rewarding, yet challenging, profession that requires continuous growth to sharpen and strengthen our knowledge and skills. is session provides the perfect opportunity to share ideas and resources with other educators deeply committed to student success. Using the framework of a game board, ‘players’ wind their way through the halls of academe, encountering scenarios demanding effective problem solving skills. Reflecting on your own experience as both student and educator, you will deepen your understanding of, and appreciation for, this amazing profession and the role you play in enhancing student success. Join us as we master the eight qualities of successful educators. (And yes, we’ll have fun too!)

Poster Sessions & Reception #5 (60 minutes) 4:30PM-5:30PM Friday

    Poster Session 1: The Factoring Flowchart (P1)
    Presenter: Kyle Mudrow, Faculty, Mathematics, DeVry University, CA
    Summary: Students often get discouraged factoring polynomials. There are too many formulas to remember. Do your students complain about having to learn so many formulas or not knowing when to use each one? The Factoring Flowchart will show them a user-friendly algorithm, along with some new terminology, that will help them select the proper formula to use when factoring any polynomial, along with some new names for some of the formulas so students can remember them, in a way that is simple to use and fun.

Breakout Sessions #6 (60 minutes) 8:30AM-9:30AM Saturday

    Session 6A: Building Positive Self-Esteem through Affirmation and Reflection (RM, EQ)
    Presenter: Stanton G. Reed, Faculty, Business & Accounting, Valencia College, FL
    Summary: Many students’ personal struggles inhibit both their academic and life success. Often times they are conflicted with multiple jobs and various family responsibilities. As a result, students become overwhelmed and withdraw from their academic pursuits. In this session, educators of all disciplines and those individuals involved with student development, will learn techniques to promote student success through “statements of affirmation” and “accounting for yourself.” Participants will engage in lively discussion and receive practical tools to enliven these techniques in their classrooms and workplaces.

    Session 6B: Growth Mindset and Grit in Developmental Math Classes (RM, MS)
    Presenter: Bill Shamhart, Faculty, Mathematics, Glendale Community College, CA
    Summary: Come learn how growth mindset (GMS) and grit can be incorporated into any class. This interactive session will identify and contrast fixed versus growth mindsets. Numerous tools and activities which have been used in developmental math classes as well as in stand-alone workshops will be shared. Participation in learner-centered activities will demonstrate how you can facilitate GMS and grit with students in their classes and on campus. Teachers, counselors and administrators interested in improving student attitudes and facilitating growth mindset in your classes and on campus are invited to attend.

    Session 6C: Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher
    Presenters: Essie Childers, Faculty, Student Success and Reading, Blinn College, TX
    Summary: Community colleges and universities of the 21st Century continues to offer educational opportunities to students from many different cultures and backgrounds. As educators, we must meet the challenge of the changing landscape of our classrooms. It is imperative that faculty pause and reflect on pedagogy to accommodate teaching diverse student populations. Are we teaching the way we were taught? Can students see themselves in the material you have selected for them to study? Do you offer students a volition in their presentations or research? This interactive session will highlight On Course Timeless Wisdom Diversity quotes and practical strategies to aid all faculty and student support staff in becoming a culturally responsive teacher.

    Session 6D: On Coursing Your College (RF, PC)
    Presenter: Maria Parnell, Faculty, Speech Communications, Eastern Florida State College
    Summary: How deep and far reaching could On Course be at your college? The positive influences of On Course are multi-level, multi-faceted, and multiplying at Eastern Florida State College with actions to embed On Course from individual student empowerment, professional development initiatives, and even the college accreditation process. In this session, you’ll explore the many areas in which OC principles can be fostered and, most importantly how you too can develop your own strategies to help On Course your institution.

    Session 6E: The Roadway, Roadblocks, and Rigor of the College Matriculation Process (RM, RF, PC, IN)
    Presenters: David-Anthony Navarro, College Outreach Specialist; Patrick Stumpf, College Activities Coordinator; Ann Brandon, Faculty, English, Clovis Community College, CA
    Summary: For most faculty, the first day of the semester or class session means students have filled a seat. For many students, this may have been an arduous process to make it to the first day of class. It involved the winding roadway of the college matriculation process that is peppered with life’s road blocks and the strictness of each step. We’ll showcase some of the roadblocks and highlight the complexity of each step. We’ll have audience participation asking for solutions to very unique and challenging situations students face and resources to bring resolution. This session is meant to acknowledge the difficulty students face in meeting the requirements of the matriculation process and to work collectively to triage their needs.

    Session 6F: Using On Course Principles for Course Redesign (SL, AL)
    Presenter: Corey Daughenbaugh, Faculty, Philosophy, United States Air Force Academy, CO
    Summary: As a faculty member at the United States Air Force Academy, the presenter has found himself in the interesting position of taking students who have primarily been enrolled in STEM-based coursework and challenging them to learn philosophical concepts and solve problems using more abstract and indirect methods, rather than the somewhat linear approach they may bring into the classroom. Come hear how dissatisfaction with student achievement combined with lessons learned in a three-day On Course workshop prompted a full course re-design to create a new learner-centered classroom model. Participants will be engaged in a discussion of the transition from “before” to “after,” experience some of the newly developed classroom experiences, and consider how they can take advantage of the power of On Course principles.

    Session 6G: Creating an Engaged, Collaborative, and Transformative Classroom Environment (RM, BA, AE)
    Presenter: Chris Strouthopoulos, Faculty, Student Success, San Juan College, NM
    Summary: You know that sinking feeling when once bright-eyed students now show up underprepared, when they bother to show up at all? Or students fail an assessment, yet when you asked for questions, no hands went up? Or when small groups barely talk to one another? At this session we’ll explore the unmet emotional needs driving these behaviors. You’ll learn about the concept of mental state and its connection to the latest research on psychological safety so you can create an even more engaged, collaborative, and transformative classroom environment. Anyone who seeks to create an engaged and energized classroom experience will benefit from attending.

    Session 6H: Getting On Course in a Developmental English Class (RM, AE, RW)
    Presenter: Ashley Dively, Coordinator, Developmental Education, Allegany College of Maryland, MD
    Summary: Many students’ personal struggles inhibit both their academic and life success. Oftentimes they are conflicted with multiple jobs and various family responsibilities. As a result, students become overwhelmed and withdraw from their academic pursuits. In this session, educators of all disciplines and those individuals involved with student development will learn techniques to promote student success through “statements of affirmation” and “DAPPS Goal Setting.” Participants will engage in lively discussion and receive practical tools to enliven these techniques in their classrooms and workplaces, exploring a writing activity created using the qualities of lifelong learning and self-motivation. The presenter will also share prompts and grammar lesson plans created to infuse a developmental writing course with On Course concepts, exemplary student examples and evidence from current and past students about their experiences writing these paragraphs.

Breakout Sessions #7 (90 minutes) 9:45AM-11:15AM Saturday

    Session 7A: The Brain that Does the Work (RM, BA, MS)
    Presenter: Deb Poese, Director, School of Education/Faculty, Mathematics, Montgomery College, MD
    Summary: Student success and degree completion are critical to our work in higher education. At the same time, there is no way to get around the fact that, as David Sousa says very simply in his book, How the Brain Learns, “The brain that does the work is the brain that learns.” How do we find the balance between challenging our students with the “brain work” necessary for learning and providing the support they need to complete the work and achieve success? Participants in this session will explore ways to motivate persistence and encourage personal responsibility for learning across a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on mathematics and science.

    Session 7B: Are You a HIP Instructor? Using High-Impact Practices to Foster A Learner-Centered Classroom (RM, AE, RW)
    Presenter: Ann Brandon, Faculty, Reading/On Course Instigator, Clovis Community College, CA
    Summary: Are your students used to passive learning? Do they sit back and let you, the instructor, do the work? Or, do you have a difficult time letting go of the reins in the classroom? A teacher-centered practice requires less work from students. Research indicates that the only way for our students to increase their learning is to actively engage in learning the content and skills we teach. In this session, you will experience high-impact practices (HIP) that promote meaningful active learning opportunities for your students. Let your students take the reins of their learning with a handful of engaging practices you will take back to your classroom.

    Panel Session 7C: Building Self-Esteem: My Best Self Portrait (BA, EQ, DS)
    Presenter: LuAnn Wood, Student Success Coordinator/Faculty, Reading, Century College, MN
    Summary: How we see ourselves, how our families and friends see us, and how the world sees us contribute directly to our level of self-esteem. In this session, we will explore several strategies that help students recognize their own strengths and victories. In addition, we will look at effective ways that faculty and student services can work to build students’ self-worth in a culturally responsive way.

    Session 7D: Student Behavior and Student Success: What’s the Missing Link? (RM, BA, RF)
    Presenter: Michelle Francis, Reading Professor/Professional Development Chair, West Valley College, CA
    Summary: Infusing the Eight On Course Principles in a college success class is seemingly easy, but it is more challenging to infuse them into a content area course. Participants in this session will engage in various strategies and activities that can be used in content area courses to increase student success and completion rates. Participants will also share their own strategies for how they have implemented the On Course Principles in their classrooms. At the completion of this highly interactive session, participants will leave with ideas to implement in their courses on Monday morning.

    Session 7E: Introducing New Faculty to On Course Principles (RW, PC)
    Presenters: Tonya Greene, Faculty, Chair, Student Success; Cheryl Burk, Faculty, Student Success and Developmental Reading and Writing, Wake Technical Community College, NC
    Summary: Participate in the presentation that Wake Tech Community College uses to introduce new faculty to On Course learner-centered principles and strategies. Come and experience effective and proven ways to raise new faculty’s awareness of the need to both effectively profess one’s content area expertise and simultaneously create learning opportunities and environments that empower students to stay in college to achieve academic success. To fully appreciate the experience, session participants will actively engage as “new faculty.” This session will benefit anyone looking for inspiration to create their own new faculty professional development offering or use in a department meeting to engage and empower current faculty who are not yet familiar with On Course principles and strategies.

    Session 7F: What’s in your Backpack? Helping Students Develop Self-Awareness and Self-Confidence (BA, EQ)
    Presenter: Robin Middleton, Faculty Emerita, Student Development, Jamestown Community College, NY
    Summary: Students bring a great deal of emotional luggage with them when they arrive at college. Some are weighed down with past failures and negative academic experiences, making it challenging to stay motivated when encountering life’s inevitable obstacles. In this workshop participants will explore some of the “rocks” that weigh students down, and discover ways to help students fill their backpacks with the confidence and grit that will help them achieve their goals.

    Session 7G: Study Smarter, Not Just Harder! (BA, SL, IN)
    Presenter: Amy Munson, Director of Instructional Design, United States Air Force Academy
    Summary: The United States Air Force Academy Science of Teaching and Learning program is conducting a study on how students learn about their own learning. The research team hypothesizes that students learn more from peers than from “outsiders” such as faculty members and has set out to develop a peer training and messaging program alongside a faculty training and messaging program using the same three highly successful learning/self-management strategies. On Course structures and strategies were implemented for the training components as researchers shared the benefits of practice testing, spaced practice and successive relearning as defined in Dunlosky and Rawson’s meta-analysis of learning strategies. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to learn more about those three strategies while also learning about how to implement a student “train the trainer” program.

Session 8 (11:45AM-12:45PM, Saturday)

Session 8: Closing Session with Dr. Skip Downing and Dr. Jonathan Brennan
Summary: In this closing session you’ll have a chance to learn more about how other educators have been using On Course strategies to transform their campus, hear from students who have been using On Course strategies, and reflect on your own learning. If you implement just one (let alone a handful) of these innovative efforts on your campus, you’ll contribute mightily to improving the outcomes and experiences of both your students and colleagues. All in all, this session will both inspire and provide you with proven approaches for creating a culture of academic success at your campus. Also, as is our tradition, this session will end with a raffle of some great prizes, including one $495 scholarship to the 2018 On Course National Conference and three $500 scholarships to a 2017 On Course I Workshop.

SKIP DOWNING, Author, On Course: Strategies for Success in College and in Life and founder of On Course Workshops. Dr. Downing has earned degrees from Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Santa Monica, and Carnegie Mellon University. He holds advanced degrees in both English and counseling psychology. He was Professor of English at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) for 32 years. In addition to his role as an academic instructor, Dr. Downing created and coordinated BCCC’s Student Success and Learning Community Programs. These programs teach students how to apply proven strategies of success to achieve their full potential in college and in life. The College Success Program resulted in a significant increase in both student academic success and retention. Skip’s teaching, writing, and consulting are all guided by his belief that the greatest mission of any educational institution is empowering its students to live rich, personally fulfilling lives.

JONATHAN BRENNAN has facilitated student success workshops for faculty from colleges and universities across North America for the last two decades. Dr. Brennan is a researcher in best practices in student success, holds a BA and an MA in English, an MA in Counseling Psychology, a PhD in Ethnic Studies (UC Berkeley), an EdD in Educational Leadership and Change (Fielding Graduate University), and also consults as an Effectiveness and Leadership Coach. Since 2006, he has served as Chair of the On Course National Conference.
Dr. Brennan is a faculty member (and former department and division chair) of the English Department at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. He designed and coordinated an On Course Program at Mission College that significantly improved the retention and academic success rate of students in developmental English, Mathematics, Reading, and ESL. He has chaired the Student Success Committee as well as the Accreditation Committee, served as Vice President of the Academic Senate, and teaches composition, African American and Native American literature, and life skills classes. He has served as director of an academic mentoring program for basic skills students, developed the first year seminar Learning Communities project, and directed research grants for the state of California’s Fund for Student Success and Fund for Instructional Improvement programs.
He was voted Faculty of the Year at Mission College in 1999-2000, and was awarded a NISOD Teaching Excellence Award. In April, 2005, he was awarded the Stanback-Stroud Diversity award from the California State Academic Senate, and in 2008 was awarded the California State Hayward Award for Excellence in Education. His publications include two books on Mixed Race and Black Indian Literature from Stanford Press and University of Illinois Press, and a student success textbook for high school students, Choosing a Good Road.

2017 On Course National Conference STRANDS:

RM: Responsibility & Motivation: Pre-Conf 1, Pre-Conf 2, Pre-Conf 3, 2C, 2E, 2G, 3C, 3G, 3H, 3J, 4B, 4C, 6A, 6B, 6E, 6G, 7A, 7B, 7D
BA: Brain-Based and Self Aware: Pre-Conf 1, 2D, 2J, 3A, 3C, 3D, 3E, 3F, 4D, 6G, 7A 7C, 7D, 7F, 7G
MS: Math & Science: Pre-Conf 1, 2A, 2G, 3G, 4E, 6B, 7A
RF: Retention and FYE: Pre-Conf 1, 2A, 2F, 2H, 3A, 3E, 3F, 3H, 4A, 4B, 4G, 4H, 6D, 6E, 7D
AE: Active & Engaged Learning: Pre-Conf 1, 2B, 2D, 2G, 2I, 3B, 3G, 3J, 4C, 4F, 6G, 7B
RW: Reading, Writing & Communication: 2D, 2I, 3B, 3D, 6C, 7B, 7E
TD: Technology, Distance Learning & Social Media: 2J, 4F, 6C
PC: Professional Development & Institutional Change: 2A, 2H, 3H, 3I, 4D, 4G, 6D, 6E, 6F, 7E
EQ: Emotional Intelligence & Self-Efficacy: Pre-Conf 5, Pre-Conf 6, 2C, 2F, 3D, 3F, 4D, 6A, 7C, 7F
DS: Diversity Strategies: 2D, 3A, 3C, 7C
SL: Self Management & Lifelong Learning: Pre-Conf 4, Pre-Conf 5, 2B, 2J, 3E, 3G, 3I, 4C, 6F, 7G
AG: Acceleration & Gamification of Learning: 2B, 2H, 3G, 4C, 4E
IN: Interdependence, Teamwork & Group Learning: Pre-Conf 6, 2G, 2I, 4H, 6E, 7G
P: Poster Sessions = P1