UPCEA 2017 New England Conference


Wednesday October 25, 2017

9:30 AM -12:45 PM

Pre-Conference Session - Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Change! (separate registration required)

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Registration Open

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Eastland Grand Ballroom

  • Christine Dolan, University of Rhode Island; Chair, New England Region


  • Robert Hansen, CEO, UPCEA
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Opening General Session: Higher Education, Finance and Policy from Three Perspectives: A Life in Public Service
Eastland Grand Ballroom

  • Dr. Rebecca M. Wyke, President, University of Maine Augusta
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Concurrent Session A

Creating a Pipeline for Academic Success
Rines A

This session explores how WPI Online develops gap/refresher and “ramp-up” pathways for graduate students, in partnership with academic departments in order to help adult online learners succeed. Program-specific examples will be highlighted, along with key lessons learned in the process and these innovations’ impact on retention.

  • Stephanie Papia, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Lori Kendall-Taylor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

LIGHTS, CAMERA, INTERACTION: Maximizing Student Choice Within Online Learning
Winslow Homer

Harvard Extension School’s “Online Option” courses give students the flexibility to choose their learning paths by attending classes in-person, online in real-time, or on-demand. Using the two-way interaction of “Zoom” web-conferencing technology, students can interact with their peers in the classroom or to work in small groups with their classmates.

  • Christian Wisecarver, Harvard Extension School
  • Christian Franco, Harvard Extension School
  • Adrienne Phelps-Coco, Harvard Extension School

Leveraging Market Research in an Increasingly Competitive Market


The rise of alternative credentials has expanded the role of institutional market research teams. In this environment, researchers are increasingly tasked with constructing new program strategies through the use of market analytics tools. In this session, researchers from Northeastern University and Southern New Hampshire University will present an overview of their approach to these strategic research efforts.

  • Brian Fleming, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Marina Branch, Northeastern University


3:30 PM – 4:00 PM Networking Break + Raffle with Exhibitors
Grand Ballroom Pre-Function
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Concurrent Session B

Online and In the Field: Equipping Faculty to Develop Civic Engagement At A Distance

A collaborative team from the University of Maine system has developed a faculty toolkit for online civic engagement. This session will walk participants through its different segments and talk specifically about what sets online civic engagement apart in terms of planning and course design.

  • Rucha Modak, University of Southern Maine
  • Mina Matthews, University of Maine, University College

Mentoring Adult Learners
Rines A

Join us and explore how we help students find their voices while working with the Finish What You Started Program at the University of Rhode Island. Hear our students struggles that have turned into success stories. Participants will engage in activities that will demonstrate how positivity leads to student success.

  • Nancy Rabidoux, University of Rhode Island

Building Engagement and Community for Non-Traditional Students
Winslow Homer

Traditional four-year institutions have found that there is a high correlation between increased student engagement and academic success. What does engagement look like for non-traditional learners? We will share insights gained from a cross-functional Harvard Extension School committee exploring virtual student community. The session will also be a forum for attendees to share their own experiences with student engagement.

  • Christopher Davis, Harvard Extension School
  • Julie Lonergan, Harvard Extension School


5:30 PM – 6:30 PM Opening Reception
Grand Ballroom Pre-Function
7:00 PM Dinner on your own

Thursday October 26. 2017

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM Networking Breakfast
Eastland Grand Ballroom
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

General Session: Taking a Communication Perspective and New Pathways for Success
Eastland Grand Ballroom

  • Dr. John Chetro-Szivos, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Professional Studies and Online Education, Clark University
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Networking Break with Exhibitors
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Concurrent Session C

Designing a Sustainable Online Advising Option

Join us to learn how to design an online advising program using a three-phase approach including 1) creating a stakeholder group and identifying the best platform, 2) implementing websites and protocols that make the process simple and effective for advisors and students, and 3) ongoing university-wide advisor training.

  • Darcie Anderson Mueller, Winona State University
  • Amy Meyer, Winona State University

Driving Value for Working Professionals through Workforce Aligned Degrees
Winslow Homer

Employers are increasingly relying on higher education to address huge skills gaps by delivering a highly-skilled, job-ready workforce with deep skills in functional areas that can apply expertise across topics. BC’s online, workforce-aligned MHA degree is meeting this need. Hear college, employer and partner perspectives on this win-win-win model.

  • William Rieders, Meteor Learning
  • James Burns, Boston College
  • Rich Guarino, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center

High Risk and High Touch:  Advising Adult Completion Degree Learners Online

Rines A

The Bachelor of University Studies is UMaine’s Adult completion degree. Instruction integrates course content and group/individualized advising strategies unique in working online with adult learners from remote locations, first generation students; retention and completion bench marks are addressed.

  • Barbara Howard, University of Maine
  • Lori Wingo, University of Maine

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

New England Region Awards
Eastland Grand Ballroom

  • Remarks by UPCEA President-Elect, Sandi Pershing, University of Utah
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

General Session: A Conversation with the Drafters of the New UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Professional and Continuing Education
Eastland Grand Ballroom
  • Hunt Lambert, Harvard University
  • Karen Sibley, Brown University
  • Monique LaRocque, University of Maine
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Concurrent Session D

Validating Post-Traditional Learners: Curricular and Co-Curricular Tools for Success and Completion

This session will provide participants with the theoretical and practical applications of validating pedagogical approaches for post-traditional (adult) students. Participants will gain practical skills for how to foster a campus environment that is collaborative and self-reflective which supports the unique needs of post-traditional learners.

  • Jennifer Reid, Bridgewater State University

Going the Distance: Addressing Non-Academic Needs to Improve Persistence and Goal Completion for Online Adult Learners
Rines A

In addition to traditional academic concerns, advising online adult learners requires addressing socio-economic needs, development of self-efficacy, crisis resolution, and increasing comfort and competency with technology. Session attendees will be given the opportunity to identify resources beyond their academic community through group discussion, activities and individual reflection.

  • Laurie Grant, University of Maine, University College at Saco
  • Shelley Taylor, University of Maine, University College at Brunswick


The Right Questions At The Right Time: Mid-Term Online and Blended Course Evaluation
Winslow Homer

The University of Southern Maine offers online and blended students a mid-semester course evaluation. This session will briefly discuss findings from three semesters of data, identify common aspects of online course design and teaching that students appreciate and find challenging, and make recommendations for helping instructors employ this feedback.

  • Rucha Modak, University of Southern Maine
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

General Session: Evolving Ecosystems and the Impact on the Economy, Education and the Regional Workforce
Eastland Grand Ballroom

  • Jim Fong, Director, UPCEA Center for Research and Strategy

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Networking Break with Exhibitors

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM Concurrent E

Fostering Student Success: Creating Communities to Connect Online Learners

This presentation will share practical strategies on how to holistically design online communities for adult learners in fully online and hybrid programs. We will focus on the advisor's role in facilitating these communities to foster the student experience; increasing student engagement and collaboration. Participants will gain resources and skills to foster online communities at their institutions.

  • Doreen Richards, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Ke'Anna Skipwith, Wentworth Institute of Technology

UC VAWLT: Innovation in Design
Rines A

The UC VAWLT (Virtual Academic Writing & Library Tutors) supports distance learners across the UMaine System in-person and by chat, email, phone and video. Our training targets leadership, technology, and writing skills for academic and professional success. In our panel discussion, we’ll share experiences and field questions on virtual learning environments.

  • Michelle Lisi, University of Maine at Augusta

Making Virtual Student Support Work for You

Winslow Homer

Going virtual can create surprising opportunities for student and institutional success. We'll dispell common myths about virtual student support and remote work from student services and HR perspectives. Learn how you can leverage enterprise best practices to make the most of today's tools and resources while enhancing overall quality.

  • Carrie Lockhert, InsideTrack
  • Heather Huling, Old Dominion University
5:15 PM – 5:30 PM Transportation to Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Reception at Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine

7:00 PM Dinner on your own

Friday October 27, 2017

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

Breakfast and New England Region Business Meeting (open to all)
Eastland Grand Ballroom

8:45 AM – 9:45 AM

General Session: The Universe of Alternative Credentials
Eastland Grand Ballroom

  • Marina Branch, Northeastern University
  • Brian Fleming, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Sandi Pershing, University of Utah
  • Moderator: Robert Hansen, UPCEA
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Concurrent F

Leading Change at RISD: How a CE Unit Can Strategically Expand a School’s Reach
Winslow Homer

Higher education is slow to change. Instead of fighting against it, leaders in Professional, Continuing and Online education can embrace it – leveraging their ability to react quickly and innovate for the success of the institution.

  • Lee Maxey, MindMax
  • Sarah Caggiano, Rhode Island School of Design

The Ministry of Fun: Investing in Social Capital

What began in 2014 as a Dean's initiative, the Ministry of Fun (MoF) has grown exponentially to support the mission of Harvard University's Division of Continuing Education. Come learn how the MoF seeks to improve morale and productivity, increase retention, build relationships, and give back to our community. Engage in an activity and receive a practical toolkit.

  • Danielle Farrell, Harvard Extension School
  • Amie Evans, Harvard Extension School


Holistic Student Experience
Rines A

Understand how we structure and measure students' First Year Experience. Learn how curriculum and course design take students' place in the lifecycle into account. Learn about the idea of a Senior Year Experience--what that means now and what it could mean

  • Jazz Jackson, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Christine Parr, Southern New Hampshire University
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Hotel check out break
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Lunch and Raffle - Regional Planning Committee Meeting for those interested in joining the 2018 committee -
Eastland Grand Ballroom

12:30 PM Adjourn




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