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pre-conference workshops

Individual and Team Academic Coaching

Brandon Johnson Director, Center for Academic Achievement | Florida Gulf Coast University

Natasha Ziegler Academic Success Coordinator, Center for Academic Achievement | Florida Gulf Coast University

Has your institution thought about starting an Academic Coaching program?  Or, are you looking for ways to enhance an existing programming?  Academic Coaching is growing in popularity among learning centers and is an effective method to impart crucial academic success skills to students.  This interactive preconference session will provide a detailed review of the Academic Success Coaching model in the Center for Academic Achievement at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Attendees will participate in discussion about academic coaching, the intricacies of the CAA coaching program, and participate in a mini training of our Academic Team Coaching sessions. This is a response to the increasing demand for coaching services.

Session Takeaways: 

  • Have a detailed understanding of the benefits of academic success coaching
  • Opportunity to brainstorm how this could work on their campus
  • Leave with the initial steps for implementing or enhancing existing Academic Coaching programs
  • Resources and training needed to create or sustain a coaching program

Effective Training for SI Leaders

Julie Collins Executive Director, International Center for Supplemental Instruction & Director, Academic Support and Mentoring | University of Missouri-Kansas

So much to cover; so little time! What must (and should) be included in your training for new and returning SI leaders to set them up for maximum success from day 1? In this interactive session, participants will engage in activities and discussions regarding various components of training, and will leave the session with ideas for topics and activities customizable for their particular institution.

Invigorating Your Tutor Training Program

Kathleen Volk Academic Support Program Manager, Learning Commons  | Carroll University

Does your tutor training program need a revamp? Training is the cornerstone of our tutors’ professional development in their roles as peer educators. Everyone trains tutors differently, depending on constraints in budgets, time, staffing, and more. Finding the right fit for your learning center may seem like an insurmountable task. This preconference session will encourage you to identify and work on challenges in a workshop-style format with guidance from the session leader. Kathleen Volk has made significant changes to the tutor training program in the Carroll University Learning Commons, most notably designing a hybrid model (online and in-person tutor training) and training tutors by level of experience. She will share conceptual models for these formats as well as several unique training activities. Expect 1-on-1 contact with Kathleen leading up to the session to help define your goals and get started making bold moves in changing how you train tutors.

11:00a to 12:00p | FREE LUNCH to attendees of a morning and afternoon pre-con


Tuesday, October 2

8:00a to 11:00a

The New Director's Toolkit

Alan Craig Director, Learning & Tutoring Centers (retired) | Georgia Perimeter College

Are you a new learning center director? Learn how to gain traction in your new environment and develop the basis for an action plan for the next year as well as a multi-year strategic plan. In this session, you will be presented with a multitude of ideas, resources, and tools to develop or enhance key facets of your learning center to increase its impact. Topics may include: conducting an informal review, developing vision/mission, planning, program design and implementation, training, budgeting, status reporting, creating a tutor handbook, managing and improving daily operations, developing an annual report, implementing an advisory board, dealing with bureaucracy, and more!

Water You Waiting For? Use Your Strengths to Enjoy Your Best Conference Ever!

Melinda Coleman Director, Center for Student Learning | College of Charleston

Michelle Futrell Director, Undergraduate Academic Services | College of Charleston

How do you typically experience conference? Feeling guilty because a) you left your staff in charge of your center?, b) you left your spouse in charge of your kids?, c) you’d like to skip a concurrent session and hang out at the pool?, d) all of the above?

Hey, we’ve been there, too! Let’s jump in the water and figure this out together, but this time we’ll take our Strengths along!

You’ll come to this session equipped with your Top 5 Strengths by taking the Gallop StrengthsFinder Assessment. A certified Strengths trainer will help you understand your Strengths and learn how to really put them to work for you. Then you’ll make a conference game plan that utilizes those Strengths, and finally partner up with an accountability buddy to help you stay on the Strengths track during and after conference!

Session takeaways include:

  • Ways to use Strengths for you, your staff, and your center
  • A personalized game plan to get the most out of the conference
  • An accountability partner to encourage and support you during the conference and beyond!


Tuesday, October 2

12:00 Noon  to 3:00p

Taking Control of Your Assessment Plan

Mary Fraser Director, Student Academic Success Center  | University of New England

Laura Sanders Assistant Dean for Student Success, College of Engineering | Valparaiso University

The call to assess your programs can feel like a tall order when you already feel like you are managing an unleashed torrent of work. This workshop will help you develop a solid foundation of a sustainable assessment plan to build on. In part one you will collaborate with peers on the creation of a syllabus for your center that describes overall outcomes that can be tied directly to institutional goals. Part two will take your outcomes to the next level by brainstorming effective tools to measure them. Finally, part three will focus on development of a communication strategy for sharing those outcomes with the community to generate shared expectations and support. You can expect to takeaway an outline of a syllabus for your center, examples of assessment tools to provide data to help you tell your center's story, and some practical ways to communicate that story to students, faculty, the administration.

Student Driven Decision Making: The Intersection of Pedagogy, Space, and Technology

Stacey Blackwell Senior Director, Learning Centers  | Rutgers University

Juan Jimenez Associate Dean Overseeing the Library & Tutoring Programs | Western Technical College

In an age of ever-changing technology and ever-increasing demands on learning center spaces and services, making decisions about how to design centers and choose technologies can become a daunting task. This workshop is designed to provide a framework for decision-making that accounts for the intersection of pedagogy, space, and technology in learning centers. The workshops will provide a theoretical framework for the decision-making process, provide specific case studies of centers that have been designed according to this framework, and incorporate paired activities, small group work, and large group discussions. Collaborations across departments and fundraising will also be addressed through the case studies. Participants will leave with a rubric for space design, a worksheet to support the planning process of their own centers, and an annotated bibliography of relevant sources. The goal of this session is to help participants make decisions about space and technology that will meet the current and future student needs.

Producing High-Value Academic Products: A Systematic Approach to Studying and Learning

Leonard Geddes Institutional Consultant

Students are responsible for producing academic products. These products are expressed as solutions to math problems, answers to test questions, writing assignments and the like. If they desire to produce high-quality products, then they must have a studying and learning system they can trust. The ability to consistently produce exceptional academic products seems like an unattainable dream to many students. However, this workshop brings these dreams closer to reality. This session presents a needed fresh perspective on studying, learning and academic performance. Attendees will learn how to help students optimize academic work and maximize their products.

The workshop is divided into the following three phases. Students with inadequate, incompatible or insufficient academic vision are like blind persons feeling their way through tricky situations.

This phase presents studying and learning in a systematic way. We’ll help students sharpen their academic vision and see learning as a predictable process that is much easier to navigate.

Phase 1 – Establishing Academic Vision The setbacks students experience in their learning and performance can be traced directly back to problems with their academic vision. This phase proposes a systematic approach to studying and learning.

Phase 2 – Improving the System This phase demystifies academic work. Participants learn ways to enhance students’ mastery of the five core stations (e.g., class, reading, note taking, studying and writing) that produce academic products.

Phase 3 – Working the System This phase includes activities and exercises that help maximize student performance. Once students start operating from this productive learner perspective, they’ll make better grades and actually enjoy their academic success.

Social Media Bootcamp; Engaging with Students and Building a Social Media Presence

Rob Baron Assistant Professor of Communication | Austin Peay State University

Research shows that an increasing number of adults have at least one active social media profile. Looking around the typical college campus, it’s clear that most college students spend substantial amounts of their days “plugged-in” to their own digital world through their social media accounts. How then, does a “brick and mortar” learning center break into these students’ digital bubbles? This session will provide learning center professionals with the tools and tactics they need to engage and connect with students through social media. Attendees will learn about the role that social media plays in modern marketing, branding, and outreach efforts. They will then work to identify a specific brand identity for their learning centers, consider the strengths and weaknesses of various social media platforms as tools for student outreach, and develop social media engagement strategies that they can enact when they return to campus.

CRLA Certification for Your Tutor Training Program: The Basis for Achieving Level 1

Roberta Schotka Certifications Director, ITTPC & IMPTC | CRLA Board

This hands-on session provides an introduction to CRLA's Level 1 tutor training program certification. Attendees will learn the history and benefits of program certification; how to begin the certification process; how to prepare a successful application and how to design effective tutor training using standards, outcomes and assessments as a guide. Participants will receive a packet of relevant handouts and worksheets and will learn both how to develop their own Stage 1, Level 1 tutoring program and how to successfully complete the CRLA's ITTPC application process.

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