Thursday, May 30 • Denver, CO

2024 Chancellor’s Summit on adult education

We are excited to invite you to the 2024 Chancellor’s Summit on Adult Education! Engaging breakout sessions and an insightful keynote with Subha Barry will provide inspiration and new ideas for welcoming and engaging adult students. This event is free of charge for attendees due to generous support from our event sponsors.

  • When: Thursday, May 30
    8 AM – 4:30 PM (Closing Reception from
    4:30-6:30 PM)
  • Where: Denver Community College Auraria Campus
  • Cost: Free
  • Register here!

“Adult learners are counting on us to make education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to their lives. And we are counting on them to power our economy in the years ahead.”

Joe GarciaChancellor


Thursday, May 30, 2024

8-9 AMParticipant Check-in and Breakfast
Room 250 – Tivoli Turnhalle
9-9:20 AMOpening Remarks
Chancellor Joe Garcia
Colorado Community College System
9:20-10:50 AMKeynote Speaker
Subha V. Barry 
President, Seramount
Room 250 – Tivoli Turnhalle
11-11:45 AMBreakout Sessions #1
11:50 AM-12:50 PMLunch and Door Prizes
Keynote Speaker
Jason Levin
Executive Director
Western Governors University
1:10-1:55 PMBreakout Sessions #2
2:05-2:50 PMBreakout Sessions #3
3-3:45 PMBreakout Sessions #4
3:55-4:40 PMBreakout Sessions #5
4:45-6:45 PMClosing Reception
Sponsored by WGU
Room 640 – Zenith

Keynote Speakers

Subha V. Barry

Gen Z, poised to become a significant part of the talent pool, represents the most diverse generation in US history. They are passionate and will proudly bring their values and beliefs with them from college to career. Concurrently, employers are prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, intertwining them with talent recruitment strategies. The critical role of higher education in bridging equity gaps and setting Gen Z up for success in the workplace is paramount.

Seramount President Subha Barry will explore why DEI is not just about representation but also drives innovation and leadership, emphasizing the vital link between educational institutions’ DEI efforts and graduates’ success as part of the 21st-century workforce. In addition, she will shed light on how companies are preparing to address potential protests in the workplace amid the discord on campuses across the U.S.

Subha Barry is a C-suite leader and an Advisor who brings a unique perspective on the alignment of corporate culture to talent strategy and business results. As a transformational change agent, she has a proven record of identifying and accelerating new business creation, driving sales, and increasing profitability.

She is the president of Seramount, now part of EAB. Seramount is a strategic professional services firm dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Here, she drives the firm’s vision, strategy, and business development.

Prior to Seramount, Subha was SVP and Chief Diversity Officer at Freddie Mac, where she served on the firm’s management committee and led their Foundation. During her 20+ years at Merrill Lynch, Subha was a Managing Director and the company’s first Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, driving strategy, infrastructure and execution with a lens on both global and local community.

She has taught Gender Policy at Columbia University and speaks passionately about the ability to drive innovation by embracing diversity and creating a culture of inclusion. She serves on a number of boards aligned with her passions—education, cancer research, and women’s advancement.

A native of India, Subha holds a BA from Bombay University and an MBA and MS in Accounting from Rice University. She enjoys golfing, reading poetry and rallying for social change. She has two grown children and lives in Naples, Florida and New Hope, PA with her husband.

Photo of Jason Levin

Jason Levin

Transitioning traditional programs to a Competency-Based Education (CBE) format can be daunting – and feel as though you need to reinvent your model. What is CBE? Simply put, it measures skills and learning rather than time spent in a classroom. Students earn competency units (the equivalent of credit hours) when they demonstrate their skills through completing assessments. Cultivating faculty buy-in to this strategy can be similarly difficult. Contrary to these beliefs, CBE can be applied as pedagogy without drastically altering a program’s structure or delivery, while also fulfilling the needs and assuaging the concerns of faculty members. 

In this interactive discussion, led by learning experience designers from WGU Labs, we will begin by exploring the different learning models within the CBE framework to help you better understand which might best align with the needs of your institution. We will highlight how other colleges and universities have woven key elements of CBE into their existing time-bound, Carnegie Unit models with success. We will explore how to create faculty buy-in by highlighting the benefits of a CBE model, while ensuring that their concerns are understood, and support is provided to help transition courses. 

During this discussion, we will share 5 key CBE elements and how these elements can flex to fit any context. We will also showcase examples of institutions that have transformed courses for optimal CBE delivery into online learning environments. Join us to learn how your institution can adapt CBE elements to create an experience that meets the needs of your learners, faculty, and administrators. Lastly, we will share a faculty buy-in guide to support re-imagining the role of faculty in a CBE mindset through supporting students in active learning.           
As Executive Director of WGU Labs, Jason has combined a non-traditional accelerator with product research and development capabilities to tackle big challenges in education. Under Jason’s leadership, WGU Labs invents de novo EdTech products and provides high-quality research and product design and development services to early-stage mission-aligned organizations. WGU Labs was born out of the Center for Applied Learning Science, which Jason founded in 2018 to increase student outcomes through scientifically sound and engaging EdTech products. The Center was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant with Carnegie Mellon University and won the J-PAL Education, Technology, and Opportunity Innovation Competition. Jason has more than 15 years of experience in data analytics and business intelligence and served as WGU’s VP of Institutional Research for seven years. In this role, he created the Student Success Research Pipeline and experimented with innovative approaches to improve student outcomes. His Leadership & Communication course won an innovation award from the Online Learning Consortium in 2017. Before WGU, Jason worked at Kaplan University leading the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, responsible for data analytics, assessment, and institutional research. Jason was an early champion of modern data warehousing and leveraging business intelligence to advance higher education outcomes, and he welcomes new opportunities provided by advancements in technology. In his free time, Jason spends time with his family and enjoys Utah’s famous snow.  

Breakout Session 1
11-11:45 AM

Room 440 Adirondacks

Bridging the Divide: Increasing Access to Technology, Digital Literacy Training, and Community Resources for Adult Learners of Color

Dr. Chelsea Herasingh, Otero College

Our project aims to address the multifaceted challenges faced by adult learners of color at Otero College, particularly focusing on the digital divide, housing instability, and transportation costs. The initiative consists of two primary components: 1) The implementation of a pilot program catering to 10 adult learners, providing semester-long laptop checkouts, digital literacy training, and financial assistance towards internet bills contingent on progress in training, and 2) Direct financial support is being offered, covering expenses such as internet, housing, transportation, and vehicle repairs. In addition, holistic student support, including case management, benefits screening, and community referrals, are being offered. The program aims to mitigate disparities and enhance student success by providing essential resources and support to ensure academic achievement for all students.

Dr. Chelsea Herasingh is the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Otero College. She transitioned to Otero from the Community College of Aurora seven years ago with a personal commitment to ensuring students at rural colleges have equitable access to the resources and programs that are available at urban institutions. Over the past five years, Otero has concentrated on establishing holistic, wrap-around support services for students. Otero’s grant project aims to address the interconnected obstacles of the digital divide, housing accessibility, and transportation costs that are faced by adult learners with the overarching goal of fostering a more equitable educational environment.

Lamar Community College PLA Effort

Larry McLemore, Lamar Community College

Learn how Lamar Community College is helping adult learners apply their life work and experiences to the higher education environment.

Larry McLemore is the Vice President of Academic and Student Services at Lamar Community College.

Pikes Peak State College-Closer to Completion: Accelerated Offerings to Focus on Serving Adult Learners

Gary Walker, Pikes Peak State College

Pikes Peak is using institutional data on stopped-out students to strategically create short-term class offerings of certain courses over Spring and Fall 2024. These classes will be supported by peer mentors who help students connect with college resources.

Gary Walker is a Navy veteran and the Associate Vice President for Instructional Services and Credit for Prior Learning at Pikes Peak State College (PPSC). He was English faculty and chair at PPSC for nearly ten years. He now uses his classroom experience and knowledge of higher education to help bridge gaps, foster connections between college stakeholders, and facilitate student success.

Room 640 Zenith

Lessons and New Developments of a Skills-Based Online Training Program

Megan Castro, Torrie Costantino, and Arlette Stratton, Colorado Community College System

The Rapid IT Training and Employment Initiative (RITEI) team will discuss lessons and new developments as an entirely remote online-based skills training program. The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is one of four recipients of the national Jobs for the Future Rapid IT Training and Employment Initiative (RITEI) grant, which began in Spring 2022 and will conclude in January 2025. Through the RITEI program, CCCS colleges will train up to 400 Coloradans via online platforms in a CompTIA A+ Certification or one of the seven Google IT Professional Certificates at no cost to students. Learn about the strategies CCCS has incorporated into the program to increase adult learner participants and successful outcomes.

Torrie Costantino is an Academic Affairs Program Manager at CCCS. She has spent eight years working in higher education in student outreach and success as well as in career and technical education and workforce development. Torrie is a two-time graduate of Arizona State University where she studied English Literature for her bachelor’s degree and Family and Human Development for her master’s degree.

Arlette Stratton is a Student Affairs Program Manager at CCCS. During 14 years working in higher education she has gained extensive experience in academic advising, success coaching, student development, and the implementation of student supportive services. Arlette is a graduate of Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, earning her Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Student Affairs. She is currently working towards obtaining her Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Higher Education at the University of Colorado Denver.

Megan Castro is the RITEI Career Coach at CCCS. She has worked in higher education for 13 years in varoius student services roles including success coaching, new student orientation, and career advising. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from CSU Pueblo and a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Educational Psychology.

Room 250 Tivoli Turnhalle

Meet Gen Z: Career Focus from Your New Adult Learners

Dr. Christina Hubbard, EAB

Gen Z turns 27 this year and they are more career-inspired than ever before! Join this session to learn tactics to actively support students’ professional aspirations, such as providing early career advising, awarding credit for prior learning, flexing support to accommodate working students, and clearly articulating the value of earning a community college education. In this session, you’ll learn about:

-The latest research on student career development expectations;
-Advice on integrating career support across the student lifecycle; and
-Success stories from EAB partners leveraging technology to help students meet their academic and professional goals.

Christina Hubbard is a Senior Director in Research Advisory Services at EAB. Dr. Hubbard has spent twenty-five years in higher education building experience in advising, instruction, program management, student access and success, and serving post-traditional student populations. She is an Associate Professor at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has taught for the past 15 years. Dr. Hubbard holds a PhD in education from George Mason University, where she published her dissertation on the role of holistic advising on the persistence of low-income adult community college students. She also has a Master of Education in Student Affairs from Regent University and a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension.

Room 320-A Baerresen Ballroom A

Achieving the Dream for Adult Learners

Dr. Reyna Anaya, Clair Collins, and Dr. Angela Marquez, Community College of Aurora

Through the Achieving the Dream (ATD) work, the Community College of Aurora (CCA) has identified three priorities to focus on during the first three years as an ATD School. Based on external and internal data, ATD Priority 3 will focus on Adult Learners specifically: CCA will develop tailored efforts, academic programing, modalities, and support services that encourage persistence and complete and career readiness of Adult Learners (ages 25 and up). A team of representatives from all divisions across the campus was identified to engage in this effort of discovery and innovation. CCA is currently in phase one of a three-phased approach involving:

  1. A needs assessment to understand who our adult students are, their needs impacting their education, and what they need to be successful and a gap analysis to inform a student-centered design approach to identify recommendations for opportunities to improve.
  2. Development of programs and services (or revision of current offerings) to meet the needs of our students.
  3. Implementation of the programs and support services that will best encourage success for adult learners.

Dr. Reyna Anaya is the Senior Student Affairs Office & Dean of Student Success, Clair Collins is the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Pathway Success, and Dr. Angela Marquez is the Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Chief of Staff,at the Community College of Aurora.

Room 320-B Baerresen Ballroom B

Embracing PLACE: Creating Education Pathways for Indigenous Communities

Dr. Lisa M. Snyder, Pueblo Community College – Southwest Campus

The PLACE framework for creating educational pathways encapsulates a holistic approach to education that prioritizes partnerships, learning innovations, achievement, community impact, and broad engagement. This framework suggests a place-based education strategy that leverages local strengths and addresses specific community needs through active and engaged learning. PLACE serves as a reminder that educational institutions are not just in a community but are a vital part of its ecosystem, contributing to its well-being, resilience, and growth. This presentation focuses on the Ute Adult Learner Success Program and how a place-based community engagement model (PLACE) was used to create successful pathways into a construction trades program.

Dr. Lisa M. Snyder is the Executive Dean at Pueblo Community College Southwest Campus in Mancos, Colorado. She is responsible for overseeing administrative operations and academic and student services across multiple locations, covering an expansive area of 6,700 square miles in five counties. Her previous positions include Vice President for Strategy, Planning, and Effectiveness at SUNY Oneonta and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fort Lewis College. Dr. Snyder holds a Doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Higher Education from Argosy University, a Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from the State University of New York, Albany, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of New York, College at New Paltz.

Room 320-C Baerresen Ballroom C

Gaining Momentum

Kaylah Zelig , Community College of Denver

Marketing to students and potential students did not increase our student participation in prior learning assessment (PLA), so we decided to turn within. We are acculturating the entire college in the benefit to students, and to programs in using PLA. We hope this increased knowledge will help us promote this opportunity to students.

Kaylah Zelig is a Dean of Instruction at the Community College of Denver.

NJC Family Friendly Campus Initiative

Jamie Giacomini, Northeastern Junior College

In Phase One of the Adult Learner Success grant, Northeastern Junior College (NJC) identified several resources and strategies to support the successful outcomes of adult learners in NJC’s student body. One of these strategies is being implemented with phase two of the Adult Learner Success grant, a Family Friendly study room. This session will highlight the Family Friendly study room that NJC is developing as a resource to student parents on NJC’s campus.

Jamie Giacomini is the Director of Adult and Community Education at Northeastern Junior College. Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University and a master’s degree of Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Jamie is passionate about adult learners and advocating for them to access educational and supportive resources needed for their personal success. She enjoys combining adult education into workforce development and leveraging that work into program development that targets adult and nontraditional learners.

Breakout Session 2
1:10-1:55 PM

Room 440 Adirondacks

Indigenous Student Engagement Project

Brett Caskey, Keith Peterson, Hailee Russell, and Nicholas Swails, Colorado Northwestern Community College

Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) has approached the recruitment of Indigenous students from regional tribal communities with intentionality. Through engagement with tribal education offices, CNCC staff has begun to establish long-term, responsive relationships with Indigenous communities and students through individual meetings, college fair attendance, the creation of specialized summer programming and the creation of an on-campus indigenous student space. This session will share out results from the first year of efforts.

Brett Caskey is the Vice President of Student Services, Keith Peterson is the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Hailee Russell is the Controller, and Nicholas Swails is the Dean of Academic Affairs and Online Learning at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

Native American Success Coach

Erika Alvero and Dr. Lisa Snyder, Pueblo Community College

Southwest Colorado is home to one-third of the state’s Native American population and closely borders the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. It is of paramount importance, then, that Pueblo Community College Southwest takes steps to best serve and support Native students, who have historically been underserved and even exploited through the U.S. government’s educational systems. In this presentation, we focus on the work of PCC SW to combat these historical inequities, increase enrollment and retention of Native American students, and build positive relationships with local tribal groups.

Erika Alvero is the Native American Success Coach at Pueblo Community College Southwest in Mancos, Colorado. She has a Master’s in Journalism and Anthropology and is pursuing her doctorate in Anthropology. She was drawn to this work out of a passion for education, learning and a desire to help promote justice in education.

Lisa Snyder is the Executive Dean for Pueblo Community College Southwest.

Room 640 Zenith

The Rural Mental Health Dilemma: How Rural Institutions are Promoting Personal Wellness & Professional Growth Among Students

Sarah Droege, MA, LPC, ACS, Colorado Community College System

Students enrolled at our rural institutions are presented with unique academic, professional, and health challenges. In a post-COVID world, resource deficits and lack of access to quality care are of primary concern for these regions, especially in the realm of mental health services. How are our more remotely situated schools working to combat such endemic voids?

The Rural Mental Health Development Project (RMHDP), supported by SB22-181 Behavioral Healthcare Workforce funding, is seeking to remedy these service-related vacuums while helping to develop the next generation of mental health professionals. Institutions participating in the RMHDP are in the process of placing mental health professionals on their campuses to provide full-time, in-person, direct psychological support services and related resources to enrolled students. These schools may also elect to simultaneously coordinate a psychoeducational internship program, allowing students involved in behavioral health degree and micro-credential programs an opportunity to apply their burgeoning knowledge base in an entry-level, non-clinical setting.

Join us for a look inside this pilot project and the institutional endeavors currently underway to bring quality mental health services to every corner of Colorado!

Sarah Droege, MA, LPC, ACS, is the Rural Mental Healthcare Lead at the Colorado Community College System. Inspired by her time facilitating a psychoeducational support group for HIV-positive villagers during her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Naroosura, Kenya, Sarah has been involved in the professional mental health sphere for the past decade. Her journey as a Licensed Professional Counselor has taken her through a variety of milieus, including a syringe exchange, a community corrections residence, a rural prison, and a return to East Africa to support grant-funded mental health development work on the island of Zanzibar. More recently, Sarah designed and then ran all services of the inaugural Otero College Mental Health Counseling Office, creating the model from which the presently piloted Rural Mental Health Development Project was conceptualized.

Room 250 Tivoli Turnhalle

Building Bridges: Strengthening Academic and Career Coaching for Latinx Adult Learners through an Innovative Partnership between Latin American Educational Foundation, InsideTrack, and US Bank

Nick Lopez, Latin American Educational Foundation
Marcia Romero, US Bank
Dr. Roberto Montoya, InsideTrack

This session will explore the innovative partnership between the Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF), InsideTrack and US Bank aimed at supporting Latinx adult learners in their academic and career pursuits. Through personalized coaching and culturally relevant support, this collaboration aims to significantly enhance student outcomes and empower learners to achieve their educational and professional goals. Presenters will share insights from the collaboration between LAEF, InsideTrack, and US Bank highlighting the mutual benefits and innovative approaches to partnership development. Attendees will learn practical strategies for fostering collaboration, leveraging resources, and maximizing impact through effective community engagement.

As a first-generation college student, Nick Lopez believes deeply in advancing educational opportunities for all Colorado Latino students. Nick has over 20 years of national experience in philanthropy and non-profit leadership. He also has a background in higher education, having worked in various leadership roles at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, and the University of Denver. He earned his BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and MS in Public Service Management from DePaul University.

Marcia Romero is a Community Affairs Manager at U.S. Bank in Denver, overseeing a multi-million-dollar community investment portfolio. With over 20 years of experience in corporate social responsibility, finance, marketing, and communications across various sectors, she actively engages in U.S. Bank’s Business Resource Groups. Marcia is a mentor through the Bank’s Mentor Connect program and a proud advocate for community service, serving on numerous boards and volunteering for various organizations. Marcia holds a degree in International Business from the University of Denver.

Dr. Roberto Montoya’s extensive expertise includes diversity recruitment, teaching, and leadership in equity initiatives at numerous institutions. As Colorado’s pioneering Chief Educational Equity Officer, he led transformative efforts, establishing the Office of Educational Equity and co-founding the Colorado Hispanic Serving Institution Consortium. Currently serving as Associate Vice President at InsideTrack, he focuses on Hispanic Serving Institutions, leveraging coaching for impactful partnership and learner success. Holding a Ph.D. in critical studies, he advocates for systemic change in higher education.

Room 320-A Baerresen Ballroom A

Using AI to Ease the Burden of Offering Credit for Prior Learning

Sam Soliman, Northeastern Junior College
Dr. Geeta Verma, LivedX and University of Colorado Denver

In an era where experiential learning is as valuable as formal education, Northeastern Junior College is leading the charge by integrating LivedX, an AI-powered platform, into its credentialing process. This groundbreaking collaboration is redefining the academic landscape, offering students and industry professionals a unique opportunity to convert their lived and learned experiences into recognized credentials, including certificates and college credits.

In this session, we will explore the multifaceted partnership between Northeastern and LivedX, showcasing how this partnership has streamlined portfolio processes, significantly alleviating the administrative burdens traditionally faced by students, faculty, and administration alike. Attendees will gain insight into how LivedX facilitates a seamless translation of real-world experiences into academic recognition, thereby enhancing the educational journey for concurrent students, non-traditional learners, and participants in internships and work-study programs.
Discover the innovative strategies implemented by Northeastern to integrate LivedX into various academic and professional pathways, and learn how this collaboration is setting a new standard for educational institutions worldwide. Join us to understand the future of experiential learning and how it can be harnessed to foster a more inclusive, efficient, and practical educational environment.

Sam Soliman brings over 15 years of expertise in higher education to his role as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Northeastern Junior College. His higher education career began as a professor of behavioral science and religion, transitioning into administrative positions, including a previous role as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Ancilla College, a part of Marian University, Indiana. Before his tenure in academia, Sam was regional director for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Mental Health and Addictions, focusing on educational program management. His diverse educational background includes graduate education in social work and sociology from Fort Hays State University, a Master of Public Affairs with a focus on Community Development and Non-Profit Administration from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Master of Arts and Master of Divinity from Yale University, a Master of Arts in Education specializing in Higher Education Leadership at Community Colleges from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and he is currently advancing his knowledge as a PhD candidate in Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Geeta Verma is the founder of LivedX and a professor of science education at the School of Education & Human Development, University of Colorado Denver. For over 25 years, she has worked in the field of education as a classroom teacher, researcher, and teacher educator. Dr. Verma started LivedX to provide real-world solutions to problems unveiled in her extensive research on (in)equity issues in science education, curriculum discourse, and ethnic studies in immigrant communities. Geeta serves as the co-Editor in Chief for the Journal of Science Teacher Education, and as a past associate editor for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and serves on the review board of many journals.

Room 320-B Baerresen Ballroom B

Strategic Learning Partnerships: IBM and Non-Credit Certificates in Data Analytics and Cybersecurity

Janel Highfill, Front Range Community College
Jen Lucia, IBM

In an era where the dynamic landscape of technology requires continuous skill development, strategic learning partnerships play a pivotal role in shaping the future workforce. This session delves into the collaboration between our institution and IBM, focusing on the delivery of non-credit certificates in Data Analytics and Cybersecurity. The presentation will explore the strategic framework that underpins this partnership, emphasizing the tailored curriculum designed to meet the evolving demands of the digital age.

Attendees can expect insights into the distinctive features of non-credit certificate programs, the relevance of these certificates in the current professional landscape, and the unique advantages of the IBM collaboration. Practical aspects, such as hands-on learning opportunities, industry-aligned content, and professional learning assessment opportunities will be highlighted.

We will showcase how this strategic learning partnership with IBM enhances participants’ skill sets, fosters innovation, and opens doors to diverse career pathways. Join us to gain a comprehensive understanding of how non-credit certificates in Data Analytics and Cybersecurity, powered by the strategic collaboration with IBM, are shaping the educational landscape and empowering individuals for success in the digital realm.

Janel Highfill is the Associate Vice President for Workforce Development and Strategic Partnerships at Front Range Community College. She oversees Corporate Solutions, the Larimer County and North Metro Small Business Development Centers, Apprenticeships and Professional and Continuing Education. Janel has held leadership roles in the Colorado Community College Systems for most of her career, working at Front Range Community College, Community College of Denver and Community College of Aurora. She also has work experience with non-profits in the greater Denver area.

With over ten years of experience in program management, Jen Lucia currently manages a global portfolio that focuses on strategy development in higher education and developing strategic partnerships that provide access to opportunity through non-traditional pathways. As a PMP certified professional, Jen applies agile and user-centric methodologies to deliver high-quality outcomes and value for IBM partners and users. She has led projects for IBM programs, such as P-TECH and SkillsBuild, that have enhanced the education and career opportunities for thousands of students and adult professionals. Jen is an organization geek who is passionate about expanding access to digital skills and creating opportunities for people – regardless of their background – to build a better future.

Room 320-C Baerresen Ballroom C

Triangulating Workforce Needs and Learner Interests Using Big Data (CollegeApp)

Clair Collins, Community College of Aurora

Colleges are tasked with recruiting students that meet the workforce needs of our state. Many colleges create and adapt programing to capture additional subsidies from the state and federal government but fail to take into account learner interests. Typically, when learner interests are not aligned with workforce needs, colleges are left with low enrollment programs and the eventual end to once plentiful outside funding. This session is about using census data and “likelihood of enrolling” proprietary data from CollegeApp to align with high demand workforce programs.

Clair Collins is the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Pathway Success at Community College of Aurora. She was first exposed to GIS datasets as an English major comedically forced to take a jointly taught Geography and English Lit course about the great American Southwest while an undergrad. Clair reluctantly admits that this course is likely what propelled her into the administrative side of higher education. She loves big data, little data, medium data, and a good communication plan.

Beyond the Pages: An Introduction to Our Interactive Adult Learner Dashboards

Li-ling Hsu, Colorado Community College System

Do you know we are transforming the static Colorado Community College System (CCCS) Adult Learner Report to an interactive experience that allows users to filter the data more granularly and to slice and dice data to their desired colleges? Join me to explore the features of our newly developed adult learner dashboards. In this presentation, I will show you how to navigate through the dashboards and how to use the drill-down feature to facilitate a deeper understanding of your data.

Li-ling Hsu is the Assistant Director of Institutional Research (IR) at the Colorado Community College System. She has worked in higher education research for over a decade. At the system office, she maintains system-wide reports, responds to recurring and ad hoc information requests from both CCCS and non-CCCS entities. Li-ling holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Information Systems from the University of Colorado Denver.

Breakout Session 3
2:05-2:50 PM

Room 440 Adirondacks

Expanding Awareness and Access for Prior Learning Assessment

Michele Brown, Arapahoe Community College

We will share the process Arapahoe Community College underwent in assessing our current PLA process and challenges. We will also discuss the collaboration between Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and Workforce Development in moving forward with a plan to expand PLA and promote it to adult students of color.

Michelle Brown has over 33 years of experience in Admissions and Enrollment Management. She currently serves as Dean of Enrollment Management at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO, and most recently served (20 years) as Director of Admissions and Enrollment at Oakton Community College in Chicago north suburbs. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters in Higher Education Leadership.

Easing Access to Opportunities by Educating Adult Learners on Their Terms

Desi Maxwell, Trinidad State College

Adult learners face unique challenges in pursuing and continuing their education, and the college is attempting to find more ways to meet student availability and expectations around education. This includes scheduling classes at non-traditional after-hours and weekend times, as well as providing opportunities for adults to experience college and services by offering a welcome introduction to college where their experiences and skills are valued and their time and challenges are acknowledged and respected. Trinidad State is attempting a variety of non-traditional course times for CTE summer and fall courses, along with a number of other actions like PLA expansion and offering introductory workshops and open houses to invite students to campus to gauge their interest in college and specific programs and guide them towards opportunities that fit their interests and time commitments.

Desi Maxwell is the Art and Humanities Division Chair and the Math Faculty/Assessment Coordinator/Equity Coordinator at Trinidad State College.

Supporting Adult Learners through Weekend College

Dr. Deborah Coates and Dr. Christiane Olivo, Morgan Community College

Morgan Community College launched the Weekend College in response to the unique needs of adult learners. According to research in the field, adult learners are interested in shorter terms, flexible scheduling, and a hybrid course delivery format. This is exactly the approach MCC has developed over the past two years through our Weekend College. Students have the option of completing stackable certificates in Early Childhood Education or taking classes for an Associate of Arts. We recognize that adult learners also face unique barriers, such as the costs of childcare, transportation, etc. With the Lumina grant, MCC has distributed $100 stipends to Weekend College students to help defray some of these costs. The goals of this program are to expand our weekend offerings by adding more classes and to encourage students to enroll in them by decreasing potential barriers. Ultimately, we hope that more members of the communities we serve will attend college and leave with a credential in their field or in a new career.

Dr. Deborah Coates is the Vice President of Instruction at Morgan Community College. She has a Doctorate in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University, an MS in Geology, and a BS in Earth Science. Deb’s experience teaching in inner city New York schools, where she saw wonderful students flourish when barriers were reduced, has fueled her commitment to increasing equity in higher education and to decreasing barriers facing the students we aim to serve.

Dr. Christiane Olivo is the Dean of General Education & Health Sciences at Morgan Community College. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University–Bloomington and was a professor for over 20 years before joining the administration at MCC. Christiane is passionate about expanding opportunities for community members to attend college, allowing them to better their lives and those of their families.

Room 640 Zenith

The Critical Role of Deans and Directors in Successful CPL/PLA Implementation

Scott A. Campbell, Ph.D, CAEL

The overall goal of this session is to get the deans/directors to be more active in implementing the PLA policy at their institutions – become champions and leaders, help faculty feel ownership of this work, and demystify some of the common misconceptions (awarding CPL takes money and credit away from colleges, etc). This session seeks to illuminate and emphasize the best practices, and point to CAEL resources (member benefits, products, services) that can support them. I will share some of the work we have implemented within the Maricopa College System. I will also be emphasizing tools and support they can leverage.

Dr. Scott A. Campbell is the Vice President for Higher Education Partnerships at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). He brings a well rounded background in academic and student affairs leadership as well as extensive experience in developing complex partnerships in the higher education arena.
Scott rejoined CAEL after serving as the Vice President for Education & Adult Learning at Plectica where he spearheaded business development in higher education and corporate learning to help organizations become more effective and get better results through systems thinking,leadership, and mapping.
Prior to Plectica, Scott was the Vice President for Higher Education at CAEL, where he worked with higher education institutions to help them become more responsive to the unique and changing needs of learners. Campbell worked as the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Edgewood School. He also served as the Executive Director for Partnership Development atRegis University, New Ventures, and as the Director of Student Activities at Regis University.
Campbell completed his B.A. at the University of Oklahoma in 1991. He received his MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1996. In 2005, he completed his PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership at the University of Northern Colorado. In his prior life, Campbell was drafted by the Montreal Expos. He currently ranks fifth all-time at the University of Oklahoma in career batting average (.384). More recently, Campbell was honored by the State of Wisconsin for his work supporting veterans at Edgewood College and served as a board member of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation. Campbell lives in Arlington, TX with his wife of more than 30 years, Yvonne. They are empty-nesters.

Room 250 Tivoli Turnhalle

Who Has the Time? Overcoming Capacity Challenges to Fuel Your Adult Learner Success Efforts

Josclynn Brandon, Ed.D., Student Ready Strategies

Understand how institutional capacity challenges are affecting higher education professionals and their students, and reflect on how this plays out in their own context. Discover approaches for overcoming these constraints, including Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). This presentation provides strategic tools that help higher education professionals set goals, design initiatives, socialize change, formalize approaches, and ensure successful implementation. Learn to navigate CPL policy and practice generation for comprehensive transformation in higher education.

Josclynn Brandon, EdD, is the Director of Equity Projects at Student Ready Strategies. She has a doctorate degree in education from Indiana University, where she concurrently serves as a Research Project Associate at the Center for Postsecondary Research. In this role, she contributed to the management of three different nationally administered surveys. Further, in her time at IU, Josclynn was an associate instructor for the History of Black Women in Higher Education course. Josclynn previously served as the Coordinator for Leadership, Volunteerism and Diversity at Western Kentucky University, where she advised several student organizations, planned service-learning experiences, and implemented leadership development programs. She also was an instructor for the University Experience course at WKU. She has additional experience in career services and residence life.

Room 320-A Baerresen Ballroom A

Supporting Short-Term Credentials through Senate Bill 22-192

Jonah Kushner, RAND Corporation

Colorado Senate Bill 22-192 provided six colleges with funding to support industry-aligned, short-term credentials. This presentation will describe the ways in which the colleges used the funding to support students; the characteristics of credential programs and students that received funding; and outcomes, including credential completion and employment among students who received funding. Findings will be based on student administrative data and interviews with college leaders. The presentation is part of a project being conducted by the RAND Corporation for the Colorado Community College System.

Jonah Kushner is an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation and a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. As an assistant policy researcher, Jonah contributes to projects that help federal and state agencies assess workforce needs and improve pipelines for skilled talent. His dissertation focuses on the impact of artificial intelligence on skills and tasks that employers require from their workforces.

Room 320-B Baerresen Ballroom B

Innovation with Increasing Access to Working Adult Learners

Dr. Chris McGilvray and Ken Floyd, Front Range Community College

Front Range Community College (FRCC) shares innovative & responsive strategies to increase access to working adult learners in manufacturing. FRCC’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) in Longmont, provides pathways for students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers. Learn about different barriers adult learners face and ways to address some of these barriers, from a faculty perspective; including modality usage, credit for prior learning and industry collaboration. FRCC will highlight a partnership with Broadcom as an example of ways to expand beyond the brick and mortar model to meet working adult leaders where they are at.

Dr. Chris McGilvray is the Academic Dean for the School of Manufacturing, Automotive, Construction Technologies at Front Range Community College where he focuses on leading Career Technical Education programming and teams to achieve innovative ways to better serve adult learners students. He has over 20 years of retail and manufacturing industry experience, is a small business owner, community leader and higher education advocate. He has a doctorate degree in management with an emphasis in organizational leadership and change, MA degree in managerial leadership and BA degree in business management.

Ken Floyd is the Department Chair for the Center for Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) at Front Range Community College, where he leads four advanced manufacturing programs in Optics & Laser Technology, Precision Machining, Automation Engineering Technology and Electrical & Engineering Technology. He has over 20 years of industry experience as an electrical engineer. He has an masters degree and a BS degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Colorado State University.

Room 320-C Baerresen Ballroom C

Truancy Court: A New Avenue for Admissions, Access, and Partnership

Dr. Kathryn Starkey and Jacob Walter, CSU Pueblo

CSU Pueblo’s Vision 2028 seeks to establish our institution as the People’s University of the Southwest United States, and in order to achieve that vision, it is critical that it seeks unique collaborations that support inclusion, access, and affordability for students. One collaboration that achieves this is that with the Truancy Court at the 10th Judicial District in Pueblo, CO. Many of the students who do not attend school and find themselves in Truancy Court can be a product of their parents or guardians not prioritizing school. In partnership with the judges in the 10th Judicial District, CSU Pueblo has been attending Truancy Court to advertise Extended Studies programs that provide flexible course offerings, a robust scholarship opportunity, and all of the resources needed for parents to re-engage with their own educational future, all with the hopes it then incentivizes their children and students to re-engage with their own schooling. This presentation intends to showcase this partnership, the obstacles the Extended Studies team had to overcome, the opportunities being sought for expansion and replication, and the accomplishments and benchmarks witnessed thus far in the partnership. Adults are now the market of higher education, and by considering new, innovative, and inclusive enrollment practices, institutions of higher education can understand how to best serve this unique student population.

Kathryn Starkey, Ph.D. is the Dean of Extended Studies at CSU Pueblo. Kathryn has sought to serve adult learners in her role, working to ensure all have access to the education they want and deserve.

Jacob Walter is the Associate Director of Statewide Initiatives and Outreachat CSU Pueblo. Jacob has found a passion in connecting adult learners to resources and opportunities to accomplish their goals while balancing their diverse schedules and needs.

Breakout Session 4
3:00-3:45 PM

Room 440 Adirondacks

Connecting Adult Learners & Leaders (CALL):
RRCC Adult Learner Conference, Online Resource Tool & Student Life Group

Dr. Armando Burciaga, Lauren Brown, Julia Bordeaux, Jennifer Lammers, and Evan Kravitz, Red Rocks Community College

In February 2024 the Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) Adult Learner Grant Committee facilitated a two-day conference for adult learners at RRCC. The conference featured keynote speakers, testimonials from adult learners, and breakout sessions that provided insight and perspective on a number of obstacles adult learners face and the many resources available to help these students succeed. The conference was intended and designed to start a dialogue with adult learners and create momentum to continue working on strategies to help these students complete their degree and certificate programs. In addition to the conference, the committee also created an online adult learner student resource hub specifically designed to connect adult learners to campus resources. Over the summer, RRCC will begin planning and organizing a Student Life group, to be led by adult learners, that will be a vehicle for further career exploration and development, networking, resource sharing, and adult learner fellowship. The committee is also considering a one-day conference in the fall to continue the work of helping adult learners reach completion and find career success.

This presentation will review the pre-conference survey data collected from adult learners at RRCC as well as post-conference feedback. We will provide reasoning for using a conference as a vehicle to further weave adult learners into the fabric of RRCC and to better understand their needs. In addition, the online resource hub will be demonstrated. We will also give a preview of what we hope to expect from the adult learner Student Life group and possible one day conference in the fall. Finally, we will discuss what success looks like when we complete the grant in December.

This presentation will be facilitated by the RRCC Adult Learner Grant Committee which is comprised of Dr. Armando Burciaga, Dean of Students, Lauren Brown, Director of Student Recreation, Julia Bordeaux, First-Year Experience Senior Coordinator, Jennifer Lammers, Internship Coordinator, and Evan Kravitz, Director of Career Success Center at Red Rocks Community College.

Room 640 Zenith

Phase II Reach Grant Update – Leveraging PLA to Support Student Enrollment and Completion

Janel Highfill, Michael Gulliksen, Xinyu Zhang, and Dolly Rosenbrook, Front Range Community College

Front Range Community College (FRCC) recognizes the importance of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) in facilitating student success, enhancing enrollment, and promoting completion rates. To address this, FRCC has established a taskforce focused on optimizing PLA utilization, marketing, and promotion among students and faculty. This initiative aims to increase enrollment and completion rates by implementing strategies such as website redesign, recruitment initiatives, accessibility to under-supported populations and piloting a student-facing PLA navigator position.

PLA Taskforce Members – Janel Highfill, Associate Vice President for Workforce Development & Strategic Partnerships, Michael Gulliksen, Senior Director of Academic Advising, Xinyu Zhang, Assistant Director Academic Services Support, Dolly Rosenbrook, Business for Creative Industries Chair

Student Advocacy for Adult Learners – A Basic Needs Approach

Megan Cuddihee Dempsey, Community College of Aurora

As higher education continues to evolve, Community College can lead the field by leveraging our dual commitment to our students and the larger community. Access to life-changing learning and community changing careers starts by acknowledging that student success depends upon access to resources that meet holistic needs. Basic Needs and wellness initiatives can increase equitable and transformative student success. The presenter will highlight the Community College of Aurora’s approach to student advocacy through basic needs supports and a two-generational approach.

Megan Cuddihee Dempsey (she, her, hers) is the Assistant Director for the Office of Student Advocacy at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). She supports the Division of Student Success through grant management, basic needs initiatives, and case management. She also coordinates the campus-wide mobile market, snack stations, and Student Parent Support Services for CCA. Megan received her Master’s of Arts in Higher Education with an emphasis in Diversity in Higher Learning & Student Affairs from the University of Denver in 2019, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Interpersonal Communication from the University of Tennessee in 2016, as well as her Associates from Pellissippi State Community College.

Room 250 Tivoli Turnhalle

Growing Adult Learner Enrollment: Rural & Metro Strategies

Kayce O’Brien and Andy Carlson, CollegeAPP

CollegeAPP works with community colleges across the country to help identify and recruit potential for-credit and non-credit students with an intent to enroll in education or training. Learn strategies from this provider on how to utilize predictive analytics to create target audiences & launch marketing campaigns.

Andy Carlson is the Vice President of State Strategy at CollegeAPP, where he brings his years of higher ed and higher ed policy experience to support state-wide partnerships.

Kayce O’Brien is the Executive Director of Partner Experience at CollegeAPP. Previously she worked at the Colorado Community College System for five years. Kayce brings her passion for adult learner education and her experience with recruitment, enrollment and communications to support CollegeAPP clients.

Room 320-A Baerresen Ballroom A

Navigating Best Practices for Equity, Active Learning, and Adult Education

Dr. Tina Parscal, Colorado Community College System
Kerri Mitchell, Front Range Community College

As educators, we are always looking for best practices to guide our program and course design as well as the facilitation strategies that foster student learning. But do we need to worry that the practices that best serve some students will fall short for others? If we focus on implementing active learning, for instance, will we fail to attend to the needs of our adult learners or other student populations? Join us for an interactive session where we will consider a list of evidence-based teaching practices and investigate how they apply to the students whom we seek to serve.

Dr. Tina Parscal is the Associate Vice Chancellor for CCCOnline and Academic Affairs for CCCS. In her role, Tina leads CCCOnline, the online consortium of the 13 CCCS community colleges, and oversees systemwide academic technologies and collaboration. She also represents CCCS on several statewide groups dedicated to advancing open educational resources (OER). Over her career, Tina has held numerous academic and administrative leadership roles in higher education, including provost and chief academic officer, dean, and faculty. She is an expert in OER, instructional design and innovation, teaching and learning, and innovative models that enhance the student learning experience. For her outstanding leadership in digital learning, Tina earned the Dick Jonsen & Mollie McGill Award from Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Cooperative for Education Technologies (WCET) in 2022.
Tina holds a bachelor’s degree from Regis University, a master’s degree from the University of Colorado Denver, and a doctoral degree from Capella University.

Kerri Mitchell is English Writing faculty at Front Range Community College, Larimer campus. She is the co-creator and co-director of the Active Learning Institute, facilitating ongoing trainings and workshops for faculty and instructors at FRCC (since 2017) and within the Colorado Community College System (since 2022). Kerri also served as an Instructional Coach at FRCC from 2019 – 2022. Through her coaching work and facilitation of the Active Learning Institute, Kerri has helped hundreds of community college teachers across Colorado improve their teaching to cultivate greater learning and success for their students. In 2018, Kerri received the Colorado Community College System’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

Room 320-B Baerresen Ballroom B

Preparing for Today’s Students: Adapting to Adult Learner Needs

Dr. Christina Hubbard, EAB

Adult learners are likely to balance professional and personal responsibilities along with academics. What can we do to better align our classrooms and student support to better align with these priorities? In this session, you’ll learn from other institutions how to most effectively meet adult learners’ needs.

Christina Hubbard is a Senior Director in Research Advisory Services at EAB. Dr. Hubbard has spent twenty-five years in higher education building experience in advising, instruction, program management, student access and success, and serving post-traditional student populations. She is an Associate Professor at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has taught for the past 15 years. Dr. Hubbard holds a PhD in education from George Mason University, where she published her dissertation on the role of holistic advising on the persistence of low-income adult community college students. She also has a Master of Education in Student Affairs from Regent University and a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension.

Room 320-C Baerresen Ballroom C

Statewide Apprenticeship Programs Serving Adult Learners

Shao Yeung,
Arapahoe Community College
Dr. Fida Obeidi,
Community College of Denver
Chris Heuston,
Front Range Community College

Community colleges play a crucial role in adult apprenticeship programs by partnering with statewide employers to provide training and education opportunities. These partnerships can take several forms and are aimed at meeting the needs of adult learners seeking to gain practical skills and industry certifications all while getting paid. Front Range, Community College of Denver, Arapahoe Community College and Pikes Peak State College have partnered with statewide employers like Centura/Common Spirit, Children’s Hospital, and UCHealth to provide sponsorship and related instruction for Registered Apprenticeships. These strong industry partnerships with employers to ensure that apprentices receive relevant training and practical experience in high-demand fields. The large geographic reach allows adult learners to receive related instruction in their geographical area. Our partnerships with employers are workforce centers provide increase opportunities for our students to enter into paid apprenticeship programs.

Shao Yeung is the Dean of Workforce and Community Programs (WCP) at Arapahoe Community College (ACC). She has over 10 years of experience working in higher education, community non-profits, and workforce development. She has been the lead in developing and implementing ACC’s apprenticeship. Shao has partnered with local and regional workforce centers and employer partners to recruit adult learners, supported grant programs related to apprenticeship development and expansion throughout the state, and built relationships to grow the number of learners attending ACC that are funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Shao holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver and a Master of Science in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Dr. Fida Obeidi is the Dean for the Health Sciences and STEM Pathways at Community College of Denver (CCD). Prior to joining CCD, she worked at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) for over 15 years and at Metropolitan State University of Denver for four years. She holds a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry. After completing postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, she worked as an educator, instructional administrator, project manager, and researcher at a number of higher education institutions. Additionally, she holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

Chris Heuston is the Director of Apprenticeships at Front Range Community College. She leads the college’s Apprenticeship division which is the first in the state community college system. Her work focuses on expanding the college’s connections with employers to address incumbent worker upskilling and reskilling needs and strengthening workforce pipeline pathways through apprenticeships. Her work in instruction has supported the implementation of compressed schedules, use of prior learning credit, and increased completion rates by apprentices in Registered Apprenticeship Programs. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Breakout Session 5
3:55-4:40 PM

Room 440 Adirondacks Room

Student Panel Forum on the Adult Learner Experience

Andrew Moore, WGU

Western Governors University (WGU) is proud to host a student panel on the adult educational experience. Please join us for the closing session as we’ll have a panel discussion with former community college and university graduates who’ll share their experiences as an adult learner. This panel will highlight their unique needs, motivations, and barriers they experienced at both the community college and university levels. We’ll also explore ways in which their educational journey could have been improved with specialized support and mechanisms. The session will conclude with an audience Q&A.

Andrew Moore is the Senior Transfer Pathways Manager for WGU’s Northwest Region. Andrew has been in higher education for over 10 years. Prior to joining WGU, Andrew was the Associate Director of Transfer Evaluation at the University of Iowa. He also previously held the role of Associate Director of International Evaluation at the University of Iowa. Andrew has an immense passion for student success and getting advisors and students connected with transfer pathways. His work is dedicated to helping eliminate transfer barriers, and helping students find pathways to opportunities through education. Andrew graduated with a BA at the University of Iowa and currently resides in Seattle, Washington.

Room 250 Tivoli Turnhalle

English Upskilling Ecosystem: Innovations in Vocational Transitions for Immigrants and Refugees

Tiffany Jaramillo, Emily Griffith Technical College
Tadd Wamester, EnGen

With two jobs available for every unemployed worker in key sectors across Colorado, immigrants and refugees are well-positioned to help fill staffing gaps. Immigrants are chronically underemployed or unemployed in Colorado and across the country, the result of systemic hurdles, like English barriers. English is a foundational skill for newcomer workforce inclusion. Yet the truth is that the U.S. currently serves the needs of only 4% of our adult English learners, blocking many multilingual workers from workforce training opportunities and pathways to careers in high-demand fields with family-sustaining wages.

There is good news: We know how to fill this gap with a high-impact approach to English upskilling that can be delivered at scale to meet the needs of the over 200,000 adult English learners currently in Colorado – and the thousands of new immigrants that have arrived in our communities over the past year. And Adult Education is poised to be part of this work.

This future-focused, solutions-oriented presentation will feature two key speakers: Emily Griffith Technical College will offer best practices from their Vocational Transitions program, which has rapidly prepared multilingual learners for enrollment in Career and Technical Education programs. EnGen will share best practices for reaching thousands of new Coloradoans with integrated career and English skills via an ecosystem of adult education and employer partners across the state. The conversation will center on how a collaborative approach to upskilling and inclusion leveraging existing systems of adult education are the keys to economic mobility for Colorado’s multilingual workforce.

Tiffany Jaramillo, Emily Griffith Technical College, English, HSE, & Career Opportunities Manager

Tadd Wamester, Director of Partnerships at EnGen, builds bridges to careers for New Americans through English-to-career pathway upskilling and incumbent worker training programs at both employers and educational partners. He has 15 years of experience in immigrant and refugee focused workforce development and educational programs, including nearly a decade at Upwardly Global where he used digital learning strategies for scaled impact working with highly skilled Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs). Tadd is focused on expanding workplace literacy programs and increasing access to apprenticeship and work-based learning.

Room 320-A Baerresen Ballroom A

Supporting Adult Student Success in Online Learning Environments

Kristina Richards, University of Colorado, Boulder
Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero, University of Colorado, Denver

Adult students are the new majority in online education. However, research and recommendations for practice in online and distance education are still predominantly based on the traditional student profile. This presentation examines adult students’ learning engagement in online courses and explores the impact of effective advising, and online course design models that promote engagement in online learning environments. While adult students are often highly motivated, age itself does not predict adult students’ engagement and performance. Instead, an integrated program model that promotes clear advising communication, prioritizing student engagement, and timely and meaningful feedback promotes learning satisfaction and student success. This session will review these practices in the context of several fully online degree programs.

Kristina Richards has been working in academic advising, mentoring, and academic coaching positions in various higher education settings for the past 15 years, primarily working with non-traditional, fully online learners. She currently serves as the Online Student Success Manager in the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Specializing in fully online programs, she is passionate about working with diverse and nontraditional student populations. As an online learner herself, Richards recognizes the unique and rich experiences nontraditional students bring to their programs and institutions. Ms. Richards recently earned her M.A. in Leadership for Educational Organizations, Leading Change for Student Success in Higher Education at the University of Colorado Denver. She is excited to start doctoral work in the EdD Leadership for Educational Equity, Higher Education program at the University of Colorado Denver in June of 2024.

Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero is an Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Education and Human Development. She teaches in the EdD in Leadership for Education Equity, and the MA in Leadership for Educational Organizations program. Both are online programs. She was previously the Vice President of the Front Range Community College, Boulder County Campus. There she led efforts to gain approval and accreditation for the college’s first Bachelor of Applied Science in Geospatial Science, renovate the campus to improve the student experience, and collaborate with the foundation to raise funds for the Center for Integrated Manufacturing. Previously, she served as vice president of student affairs, at the Community College of Aurora (CCA) in Aurora, Colorado. During her time at CCA, she led the efforts to help the college achieve Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) status and was significantly engaged in the equity and inclusive excellence work of the college. Dr. Sandoval-Lucero has 38 years of experience in academic and student affairs settings in higher education. She has led strategic planning efforts and developed strategic enrollment management plans for multiple institutions.

Room 320-B Baerresen Ballroom B

Some College No Credential: How to Meaningfully Move the Dial on Degree Attainment

Dr. Christina Hubbard, EAB

How do we demonstrate to students we have failed in the past that our college is better equipped to help them fulfill their goals today? According to National Student Clearinghouse, over 40 million people in the United States has some college and no degree. That number grows every year and only a small percentage return to school. Yet, when they’re asked half of stopouts say they’d return to college if it was more convenient or financially feasible. This session provides research and strategies to engage and deliver the support stopouts need to succeed.

Christina Hubbard is a Senior Director in Research Advisory Services at EAB. Dr. Hubbard has spent twenty-five years in higher education building experience in advising, instruction, program management, student access and success, and serving post-traditional student populations. She is an Associate Professor at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has taught for the past 15 years. Dr. Hubbard holds a PhD in education from George Mason University, where she published her dissertation on the role of holistic advising on the persistence of low-income adult community college students. She also has a Master of Education in Student Affairs from Regent University and a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA Extension.

Room 320-C Baerresen Ballroom C

Behavioral Health in Colorado: Developing Pathways to Meet Employer Needs and Learner Interests

Dr. Jenn Dale, Community College of Aurora
Jordan Whittington, Colorado Community College System

Join us for a presentation and discussion on the new Behavioral Health Program launching across Colorado from K-12 through higher education. We will share out the learner-centered design used to develop, assess, revise, and launch the new educational program, focusing in on how this pathway serves learners, industry partners, and educational partners throughout Colorado while meeting the legislative call to meet community need and reduce barriers for students wanting to enter the field.

Jordan Whittington is the Program Director of Health Science and Public Safety Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the Colorado Community College System. He has taken part in many system-wide projects that include the Law Enforcement Academy curriculum realignment and providing guidance in the current work being done in the area of behavioral health. Jordan works to connect stakeholders like government agencies, healthcare companies, and community members to CTE programs in order to grow the talent pipeline. He utilizes his industry, classroom, state, and national experience as an Association for Career and Technical Education Leadership Fellow to strengthen Colorado CTE.

Dr. Jenn Dale is the Dean of Academic Success in Online and Blended Learning at Community College of Aurora. Dr. Dale holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Capella University, M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Regis University, and B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University. She has over 22 years of combined leadership, teaching, and clinical experience. She is committed to the development of learner-focused, employer- and community-driven behavioral health educational programming in the state of Colorado. Dr. Dale led the curriculum development necessary to launch five micro-credentials and two Associate of Applied Science degrees in Behavioral Health in 2023, as well as the Bachelor of Applied Science in Behavioral Health (expected launch 2025).


Vanguard Sponsors

Innovator Sponsors

Event Venue

Auraria Campus Map

Download Map (PDF)

Tivoli Student Union Map

Download Map (PDF)


1SpringHill Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown1190 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204
2Hotel Teatro1100 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
3Four Seasons Hotel Denver1111 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
4the Curtis Denver – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel1405 Curtis St, Denver, CO 80202
5The Oxford Hotel1600 17th St, Denver, CO 80202
6The Crawford Hotel1701 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
7The Westin Denver Downtown1672 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80202
8Kimpton Hotel Born1600 Wewatta St, Denver, CO 80202
9The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block1850 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202
10The Rally Hotel at McGregor Square1600 20th St, Denver, CO 80202
11Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center1420 Stout St, Denver, CO 80202
12Hyatt Regency Denver At Colorado Convention Center650 15th St, Denver, CO 80202
13Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown1400 Welton St, Denver, CO 80202
14Hyatt Place Denver/Downtown440 14th St, Denver, CO 80202
15Element Denver Downtown East1314 Elati St, Denver, CO 80204
16Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown2747 Wyandot St, Denver, CO 80211
17Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard2728 Zuni St, Denver, CO 80211
18Grand Hyatt Denver1750 Welton St, Denver, CO 80202
19Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown, an IHG Hotel1715 Tremont St, Denver, CO 80202
20The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection321 17th St, Denver, CO 80202