Pre-Meeting Workshops

WEDNESDAY, January 25, 2:00–5:00 p.m.

Using Transparent Assignments to Promote Equitable Opportunities for Student Success

Underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income students comprise the new majority of incoming college students. In order to be responsive to diverse student needs and ensure greater student success, institutions need to be intentional as they investigate student success initiatives. Nationally, data indicates that new majority students are half as likely to graduate from college as traditional students—a devastating statistic. This workshop offers faculty and administrators replicable, evidence-based strategies to combat this inequity. 

An article in AAC&U’s winter/spring 2016 Peer Review ("A Teaching Intervention that Increases Underserved College Students’ Success") identified transparent, problem-centered instruction as a replicable intervention that significantly enhances students' success, with greater gains for historically underserved students. This workshop briefly reviews the findings and then offers opportunities for faculty members and administrators to apply transparent principles to promote equitable opportunities for student success in their own settings in two main contexts: 1) at the level of course instruction, and 2) at the programmatic, institutional, and/or consortial level. Participants will leave with draft plans for using transparent strategies to promote equitable opportunities for student success in their courses and institutions.

Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research and Associate Graduate Faculty, History Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Principal Investigator, Transparency in Learning and Teaching Project

WInkelmes Handout (please cite)
Winkelmes PPT (please cite)


To Dream the Impossible (Pipe) Dream: How a Culture of Assessment Can Actually Happen

Whether it is a culture of assessment, a culture of inquiry, or a culture of evidence, the assumption is that once “it” exists, people will talk about evidence, they will (willingly) engage in data collection, and, at the very least, no one will dread doing assessment anymore.  It can be hard enough, however, to change a minor policy on a campus, let alone effect a culture shift. Culture is the elephant in the room that both halts action (e.g., “This is just the way we do things here”) and encourages hubris (“We know we’re successful!”).

In this workshop, we will take on the unwieldy, amorphous challenge of building a “culture of assessment” by breaking down the term culture and applying its component parts to engage participants in a multi-pronged approach to thinking about the implementation of their own unique visions for campus learning and assessment. Using Dominican University of California’s new strategic vision for the “Dominican Experience” as a case study, along with other campus examples, participants will brainstorm ways to intentionally leverage components of culture to build communication, collaboration, and resource alignment to support their assessment goals. The goal is for participants to develop new approaches for implementation, create deeper levels of intentionality, and be emboldened to take on (seemingly) impossible tasks.

Ashley Finley, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Dominican Experience, Dominican University of California

Workshop PPT


Strengthening Your Infrastructure for Institutional Team-Based Extramural Funding: Resources and Strategies

In the current federal and foundation grant landscape, collaborative, team-based, and cross-institutional proposals are often required, which can be an advantage that makes the difference between “well reviewed” and “funded.” In order to be successful grant seekers, higher education administrators need to create an infrastructure at their institutions that allows them to quickly and nimbly respond to funding opportunities.

In this workshop, the facilitators (who collectively have been granted more than 10 million dollars focused on teaching and learning reform and student success) will provide information about the current grant landscape, lead participants in an institution-specific SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) activity, and provide resources and strategies for effective collaboration and team-building to pursue grants that will fund institutional-level priorities and initiatives. After this workshop, participants will be able to describe the current grant landscape; identify the resources and challenges at their institutions for collaborative and team-based grant writing; articulate institution-level priorities that can attract grant funding; and create an action plan for next steps regarding pursuing grant opportunities specific to their institutional needs.

Katie Linder, Research Director, Ecampus Research Unit (ECRU), and Lynne L. Hindman, Research Coordinator, Center for Teaching and Learning—both of Oregon State University; Andrea L. Beach, Professor of Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Co-Director, Center for Research on Institutional Change in Postsecondary Education (CRICPE), and Erika Carr, Director and Associate Director, Division of Multicultural Affairs—both of Western Michigan University

This workshop is presented by the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network

Workshop PPT

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ACAD Workshop
Liberal Arts Institutions:  Survival Lessons of the Next Decade

So you want to be a college president? It’s possible to make it happen at this workshop that is a simulation of how critical stakeholders in higher education could respond to the challenges of an uncertain future. Facing collapse, if not extinction, smaller liberal arts colleges, in particular, must devise the purposes, structures, and ideas whereby they will survive and thrive. In small groups, participants will work through a change situation (provided) in assigned roles of senior leadership, faculty, students, parents, trustees, alumni, donors, and local/national decision-makers. They will identify the urgency, complexity, and ambiguity of change; experience the kind of communication needed to forge solutions with a variety of stakeholders; and discern institutional and cultural behavior patterns that prompt or impede success and survival in educating for the future. The future is too important to be left to the future. Prepare now with the resulting “survival lessons” from the workshop. 

Karen Erickson, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Southern New Hampshire University; Elizabeth Dunn, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Indiana University South Bend; Anne Hiskes, Dean, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Grand Valley State University; Tracy Dinesen, Associate Dean for General Education and Assessment, Simpson College


ACAD Workshop
Transforming Your Institution for Inclusive Excellence

Undergraduate institutions are responding to changes in student demographics, societal norms, and globalization. To best serve students and prepare them for an ever-changing and hyper-connected world facing intractable challenges, higher education must re-imagine itself to become more learner-centered. We must also examine practices that inherently privilege certain groups who have historically been most successful on our campuses. Change at the institutional level is, by its very nature, difficult and painful; structures, policies, assumptions, and culture must be examined and transformed, requiring intentional, consistent, and persistent interventions.  This highly interactive session presents, as a catalyst, a case study of an institution transforming itself to better serve an increasingly diverse student body. We emphasize the intersection among the demands arising from deep student dissatisfaction ( and the Step Up and Lead for Equity initiative from AAC&U. Workshop participants will explore how to use typical college/university governance bodies to steer change, problem-solve, and set priorities relating to faculty development, curriculum choices, tenure and promotion processes, faculty hiring and retention, assessment of learning, and integration of academic and student affairs. The workshop includes opportunities to apply what is being learned to participants’ home institutions and to receive peer feedback.

Amy B. Mulnix, Director, Faculty Center, and Donnell Butler, Senior Associate Dean for Planning and Analysis of Student Outcomes—both of Franklin and Marshall College