2015 Diversity, Learning, and Student Success: Conference Highlights


Thursday, March 26, 2015

7:00–8:00 p.m.

Keynote Address: Note to Educators: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies, San Francisco State University

What are the material conditions that affect urban youth before they even enter our classrooms?  What does it mean to develop educational environments that are relevant and responsive to these conditions?  How should these educational spaces define success for students and educators?  Dr. Duncan-Andrade will draw on his 20 years as an urban educator to examine the types of social toxins that young people face in the broader society and discuss the impact of these conditions on student identities.   He will then analyze the kinds of educational environments that respond to the social toxins that emerge from racism and poverty.  He will discuss the implications for educators from all sectors of the higher education community.

Friday, March 27, 2015

7:30–9:00 a.m. 

Posters and Continental Breakfast

Explore creative approaches to making diversity an essential element of student learning, to developing high-impact practices that respond to students' different ways of knowing, and to making equity-minded frameworks a guiding principle for curriculum development from cornerstone to capstone.

9:15–10:30 a.m.

Plenary: Student Voice, Student Empowerment, Student Agency

George Sanchez, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and History, and Vice Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives; and a Panel of Undergraduate Students—all of the University of Southern California

What do students wish that educators knew about the kinds of learning experiences that best encourage and support their interests in making sense of the world and becoming global citizens?  How can campus educators include students in conceptualizing and designing the experiences that will help them identify and achieve their highest educational aspirations?   Students will share their ideals for higher education and talk about the kinds of experiences that motivate and support their learning and connections to the compelling issues of their time. 

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. LEAP Challenge Forum

Preparing Students to Create Solutions for Our Future

Leigh Ann Litwiller Berte, Associate Professor of English, Margaret Davis, Professor of English, and Tiffany Thomas, Major in Writing and Psychology, Minor in English, Class of May 2015—all of Spring Hill College; Geoffrey Chase, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Director, Center for Regional Sustainability, Anthony Rodriguez, Major in Biology, Minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, Class of May 2015, Citlaly Cheema, Major in International Business (emphasis in Arabic and the Middle East), Minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies and International Security and Conflict Resolution, Senior, and Karen Islas, BS, Civil Engineering, Class of May 2014—all of San Diego State University

Moderator:  Susan Albertine, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success—AAC&U

Across this Centennial Year, AAC&U will launch the LEAP Challenge—the next stage in AAC&U's Liberal Education and America's Promise initiative designed to prepare students to integrate and apply their learning to the unscripted challenges of our fast-changing global society. How can we ensure that liberal education works at peak for all college students, whatever their background, educational goals, and intended careers? This forum will showcase students' stories about the kinds of learning in college that matters to them; examine how institutions can foster programmatic, integrative, and scaffolded approaches to these kinds of learning; and consider indicators to determine if students are actually achieving these essential learning outcomes

Saturday, March 28

 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

 Plenary: Intentional and Strategic Connections Among Diversity, Learning, and Student Success

Johnnella Butler, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Spelman College

As students and our understanding about the world evolve, so must our concepts and practices of inclusive excellence evolve. A leading scholar of interdisciplinarity and inclusivity, Dr. Butler will share her latest thinking about infusing diversity and student success practices throughout a campus' culture. She will address how campuses can bring all voices to the table to develop curricula that address both completion and inclusive excellence to provide a quality education to everyone regardless of race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability.