Past Focus Zone Sessions

Who Still Needs an Online Program Manager?

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

The online modality of academic programming, particularly at the graduate level, is the fastest-growing segment of American higher education—a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. For the past decade, colleges and universities have had two options to go online: manage it entirely in house, or partner with a traditional online program management (OPM) firm. This is a tough choice; few elite institutions have succeeded in building a large and excellent online presence internally, and traditional OPMs require ceding control and flexibility while forcing high tuition revenue shares (65 percent or more) and long-term contracts extending a decade or more. This is akin to taking out a payday loan, and no college or university should take such risks. With $10 billion in education tech investments, colleges and universities now have the opportunity to bring external assistance for just the services they need, including marketing, recruitment, instructional design, retention, or any combination thereof. By tailoring services to their needs (versus the one-size-fits-all approach of the OPMs that is rarely the right size) and even augmenting their own internal capabilities, institutions have the opportunity to save millions of dollars—creating enormous surplus gains compared to the OPM model. In this session, Noodle Partners will discuss navigating the growing number of options to create and manage online programs, and the comparative pros and cons of a traditional OPM.

Speaker: John Katzman, CEO, Noodle Partners, Inc.

Sponsored by Noodle Partners, Inc.

Delivering Online Student Support Services for Gen Z

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

If we are to engage, inspire, and retain our Generation Z students we must include them in the development of the learning tools that support their education. In a 2015 report by McCrindle Research, this generation was described as the “most connected, educated and sophisticated generation ever.” We also must identify and leverage specific strategies to deliver services to these students. Foothill College (CA) started to develop a virtual new student orientation and learned the value and crucial need for understanding and embracing changing technology expectations for these “digital integrators.” Faced with this very real challenge, the college took a giant leap and collaborated with industry partner Innovative Educators to create and implement a unique student-to-student online orientation that is informative, engaging, and inspiring. This workshop will provide insight into the formulation of this plan, how it was operationalized, and what the outcomes have been since implementation.

Denise Swett, Vice President of Student Services, Foothill College (CA)
Jessica Wilson, Instructional Designer, Innovative Educators

Using Personality Science to Improve Student Success

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Student success (i.e., retention and graduation) is essential to the financial success of every institution. While colleges and universities have relied on cognitive ability tests (e.g., the SAT and ACT) for decades, important non-cognitive factors predictive of school performance have largely been ignored. This presentation describes how insights from personality science can be used to better predict who will persist and graduate, resulting in millions of dollars in potential savings. A newly developed instrument—the Applicant Success Assessment (ASA)—for measuring non-cognitive factors (i.e., personality and motivation) related to student success is described. Results from two colleges currently using the ASA are presented.

Speaker: Ryne Sherman, Senior Consultant, Stevens Strategy, LLC

New Business Models for Higher Education

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

As institutions of higher education continue to cut costs and raise prices, higher education must have innovative and sustainable approaches to their business model. This session will discuss how institutions of all types and sizes can use the macro trends shaping higher education to shape their strategic priorities, and will present ways in which institutions can use these trends to align their strategic agendas with their fiscal priorities. A Q&A will conclude the session.

Speaker: Rick Beyer, Managing Principal, AGB Institutional Strategies

Beyond the Resume: How to Prosper in an Executive Search

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

The landscape of higher education is changing more rapidly than ever, as are the expectations of College and University Presidents and their senior leadership teams.  The days of simply submitting a resume and landing a dream position are behind us.  It is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd during your job search, not only for the simple reason of obtaining your next position in higher education, but also because the future of the institution depends on securing the right candidate.

In our experience, senior executives tend to focus on what they are currently doing in the search process instead of showing how their current and past successes will translate into success in the opportunity for which they are applying.  Topics to be covered in this session include how to approach a search consultant, cover letter best practices, and interview etiquette.

Richard Allen, President, RPA, Inc.
Jim Heffernan, Search Consultant, RPA, Inc.

Enhancing Student Learning through Early Engagement and High Impact Practices

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

This session will highlight the value of early engagement and the impact proactive outreach can have on institutional student success. There is much support for the value of student engagement in high impact practices (i.e. freshman seminars, meeting with career center, peer leadership, learning communities, undergraduate research, service learning). Early engagement and proactive outreach allows an institution to identify and recommend student success best practices to larger populations, specifically first-year students. Session participants will leave with a greater knowledge and understanding of proactive and reactive interventions that prompt student success provided through institutional examples and success metrics.

Henry E. DeVries, II, Ph.D., Management Consultant, Ellucian
Jennifer Latino, Principal Strategic Consultant, Ellucian

Data-Informed Institutional Strategies to be Research Competitive in the Face of Limited Resources

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

In the face of declining federal and state funding universities continue to internally fund a greater share of their research and scholarly activities.  Competing for external funding is like an auction where everyone has to pay upfront whether they win or lose.  And, the playing field is not level.  The need and expectation to be successful has never been higher, the competition greater, and the consequences of failure never more apparent.  As institutions place their bets and allocate limited resources, what information and predictive analytics are most helpful in increasing the odds of success?  This presentation will critically evaluate what information is available to inform resource allocation decisions that support research and scholarly activities and some of the emerging best practices.

Speaker: Brad Fenwick, Vice President of Global Academic & Research Relations, Elsevier

Forgiven: A Guide to Taking Advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) can potentially save your employees tens of thousands of dollars in student loan payments, but navigating the ins and outs of the program can be tricky. The fall of 2017 marks ten years since the introduction of the program and the first time that borrowers loans are eligible to be forgiven. Because PSLF is retroactive, it’s more important than ever to make sure employees understand how to take advantage of the program.  In this session you’ll learn what PSLF is, who is eligible, and how you can help your employees. You’ll also find answers to frequently asked questions about qualifying repayment plans and the employment certification process. Employer and employee one pagers will be provided, as well as a step-by-step demo of Fidelity’s publicly available Student Debt Tool that helps employees understand their loans and repayment options.

Speaker: Caroline Beaulieu, Principal Content Strategist, Fidelity Investments

Improving Student Learning, Retention and Completion with the Nonprofit Gardner Institute

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

With over a century of combined staff expertise and leadership in the student success movement, the nonprofit John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education plays a unique role in providing services and tools to improve teaching, learning, retention, and completion. Specific focus is given to developing and implementing strategic action plans for first-year, sophomore, and/or transfer student success; improving success in gateway courses; and conducting professional development for student success leaders at your college or university. Come visit with us to learn how the Gardner Institute could help improve teaching, learning, and student success at your institution.

Betsy O. Barefoot, Senior Scholar, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
John Gardner, President, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
Andrew Koch, Chief Operating Officer, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Women & Investing: Building for the Future

Monday, March 13, 2017, 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

By 2020, women will control $22T in personal wealth.  Findings from Fidelity’s analysis and our “Money FIT Women Study” show that women are different from men in how they think about and act with regard to finances. However, both employers and retirement service providers have historically treated the genders alike. Considering that 70% of the not for profit workforce are female, this needs to change. This session will discuss why women aren’t engaging in investing even though 74% are proactive about saving. We will discuss key findings that show 94% of female higher education professionals say they want to learn more about financial planning and 75% are specifically looking for information about investing.  We will share the many reasons why women need a different approach, what  resources Fidelity offers to women, and how you as leaders can help address this important issue.

Speaker: Alexandra Taussig, Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investments

The Evolution of Student Success

Monday, March 13, 2017, 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Driven by the Great Recession, recent years have brought dramatic and seemingly permanent changes to the student success challenge.  Provosts and presidents who previously were concerned just with first-to-second year retention and six-year year graduation rates are now directing their intuitions to focus on a far wider range of issues, including supporting the growing population of first-generation students, shortening time and cost to degree, and ensuring post-graduate outcomes. 
In response, many emerging innovations center on the emerging practice of student success analytics, including data-enabled advising and institution-wide data review.  Most savvy institutions are finding that some data sets are more valuable than others, and that data alone won’t solve the problem.  The most progressive of these institutions are now re-focusing their efforts on establishing structures to make use of these new tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their student success enterprise.

Speaker: Ed Venit, Senior Director, EAB

Connected Classes: Audiovisual Experiences Lead to Better Learning Outcomes

Monday, March 13, 2017, 10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Today’s higher education students aren’t just seeking a degree. They’re looking for immersive learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.
Many colleges and universities are attracting tech-savvy students and delivering better learning outcomes by incorporating the latest audiovisual (AV) technologies. Today’s AV experiences combine systems, space and content into an environment where connected students thrive. This presentation, from the leading global trade association representing the AV industry, will explore how forward-looking institutions differentiate themselves by transforming traditional learning spaces into a paradigm for interactivity, collaboration, and communication.  Topics will include:

  • Combining pedagogy, physical space, and technology to create more engaging learning environments
  • Incorporating the BYOD generation into campus infrastructure to boost engagement
  • Transforming one-way lectures into interactive learning experiences
  • Using video collaboration, simulation, and other AV-based solutions to create unique, teachable moments

The presentation will include real-world examples that highlight financial performance and educational results.

Speaker: David Labuskes, Executive Director & CEO, InfoComm International

Five Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Aid Office

Monday, March 13, 2017, 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Findings from a recent study by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) show that college and university presidents are interested in learning how to better incorporate the financial aid office into strategic planning and achieving their institution’s mission. Presidents also indicated they would like to improve their relationship with, and understanding of, the financial aid office in general. In this session, we will share how college presidents, senior leadership, and financial aid directors can foster communication, build mutual understanding and accountability, and work together to achieve the mission of the institution through the use of tools and services available to NASFAA member institutions.

Megan McClean, Managing Director of Policy and Federal Relations, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Mandy Sponholtz, Standards of Excellence Administrator, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Improving the Student Experience with Behavioral Analytics

Monday, March 13, 2017, 1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Customization is key in creating a quality experience for students; however, we know not every student behaves, thinks, or responds in quite the same way. How can we create a quality, customized experience when every student is different? Utilizing a proprietary application called Behavioral Analytics (BA), Wiley Education Services, a leader in strategic higher education consulting, has been able to do just that. BA leverages linguistic algorithms, customized to Wiley, to identify quantitative and qualitative aspects of all student interactions, including engagement, distress, empathy, and student personality style. BA provides Wiley’s Recruitment Services and Student Retention teams near-real time data that is used to customize methods and predict student behavior, such as the likelihood a student will apply and eventually enroll in his or her desired program. In this session you will learn how Behavioral Analytics data informed and improved Wiley’s recruitment and retention strategies, ultimately improving the student experience.

Blaine Johnson, Vice President of Enrollment Services, Wiley Education Services
Molly Joyce, Change Management Manager, Wiley Education Services

Creating a Data-Driven Culture to Achieve Student Success

Monday, March 13, 2017, 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Each and every day, individuals are constantly producing and releasing data about themselves. In fact, over 90% of world’s data was generated over last two years. With the increasing amount of student lifecycle data available from prospects through to alum, institutions are faced with a dilemma of using data to promote academic success without putting students’ privacy at risk. Understanding data and using it to your advantage is a critical strategy to improving student experiences and outcomes.

Join our panelists as they discuss:

  • How to create a data-driven culture to manage outcomes and turn insights into action
  • How to simplify and make sense of data for consumption by non-tech savvy staff
  • When prediction about a student becomes a limited view of their true potential
  • How data can enable the types of personalized service experiences that students have come to expect

Moderator: Lee Perlis, Associate Director of Product Marketing,

Brian Gnatt, Associate Vice President of Customer Experience, University of Maryland University College (MD)
Rebecca Joffrey, IT Innovation Officer, Cornell University (NY)

Information as Transformation – Telling the Story of Educational Excellence

Monday, March 13, 2017, 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Faculty are changing the face of education each day and have a profound effect on students, institutions and communities.  As senior leaders, how do you fully understand the impact of what is happening at your university – and use this information for competitive gains?  Join us as two campus leaders share their experiences about successfully using faculty-focused technology to provide a lens for measuring strategic initiatives and transforming inefficient processes.

Learn how Fayetteville, an ACE award recipient for institutional transformation, implemented on-demand reporting in support of continuous improvement.  This allows them to monitor and reward academic department performance on ten metrics related to major components of their mission and understanding of their overall business model.

Utah State University will share the power of uniting critical faculty activity information with powerful visualizations for fueling overall campus operations and initiatives, as well as streamlining accreditation.

Moderator: Matt Bartel, CEO and Founder, Digital Measures

James A. Anderson, Chancellor, Fayetteville State University
Laurens H. Smith, Interim Provost, Utah State University

Countdown to ACE2019