UPCEA 2016 New England Conference Program

Conference program subject to change.

Wednesday October 26

9:45am -1pm

Pre-Conference Emerging Leaders Workshop: Building Influence and Relationships through Clear Conversations
(The workshop requires separate registration.  For more information about the workshop and to register, click here.)

1:15 - 2:45

Welcome and Keynote: Higher Education and Employability: New Models for Integrating Study and Work

  • Peter Stokes, Managing Director, Huron Consulting

What should colleges and universities be doing differently to assist their students in preparing for the world of work? This session sets out to answer this question by exploring how discussions about educational outcomes have become increasingly focused on career outcomes, as well as by considering what this means for diverse education and talent development stakeholders. Today, colleges and universities find themselves facing new pressure to foster work readiness among their students, whether they serve traditional undergraduates or working adults, whether their programs are delivered on-campus, online, or in a variety of hybrid formats. But of course, institutions cannot bear this responsibility alone. Employers must be prepared to collaborate with institutions to support better career outcomes. This session examines employability initiatives at a select number of institutions – with a focus on schools of continuing and professional education – that underscore the vital importance of collaboration between institutions and employers in supporting work readiness though the effective integration rigorous academic programs with meaningful career preparation. More particularly, this presentation considers the diverse opportunities for institutional-employer partnerships – to support curriculum design, experiential learning, effective career services, and more – that can enhance outcomes for students, employers, and colleges and universities alike.

2:45 -3:00

Break and Raffle with Exhibitors

3:00 -4:00 

Concurrent A


A1. Walking the Line: Instructional Design and Subject Matter Expertise

  • Melanie Kasparian, Northeastern University 

In curriculum development, the line between subject matter expertise (SME) and instructional design might be blurred. This presentation will discuss strategies for successful curriculum development using a model of a strong partnership with a faculty member and an instructional designer.

A2. Engaging Prospective Students Online and Understanding the Multi-Touch Approach

  • Melisa Rekos and Alexa Poulin, Carnegie Communications
  • Frances Stearns, Brandeis University 

Finding and recruiting the non-traditional audience requires both branding and timely engagement. Whether your students are seeking degrees or taking individual courses, it is critical to be present when these prospects are researching their options. With the rapid expansion of education offerings for non-traditional students, your online presence must be impactful and measurable. In this session we will explore the best ways to target this distinct population across the different channels of their digital life. You will also hear how the Brandeis Rabb School of Continuing Studies leveraged digital advertising combined with micro-conversion analytic strategies to understand the student journey and drive conversion.

A3. Achieving Diversity and Inclusion Goals in Academia: Intentionality, Institutional Cultures, Change Agents and Transformative Practices in the Trenches

  • Liza Cariaga-Lo, Brown University

While institutions of higher education have made progress in significantly increasing the compositional diversity of its undergraduate populations, there continue to be challenges in creating and sustaining institutional capacities to be able to meet the needs of ever more diverse learners. This presentation will provide an overview of how diversity and inclusion practices can be strategically leveraged to support the needs of diverse learners. The presentation will cover approaches to strategic planning, communication and engagement, development of resources, and sustainable and effective practices. Participants will also engage in a discussion about assessment and metrics for determining success.

4:00 -4:15

Break and Raffle with Exhibitors 

4:15 -5:15

Concurrent B

B1. Building an Epic Dashboard with Excel

  • David Cartwright, Johnson and Wales University 

Using intermediate to advanced excel tips, I will show you how to build a speedometer to showcase your performance against your benchmark. I will start with a blank screen and demonstrate the ways to build this very effective communication tool. Wow your leadership teams with this epic yet simple tool!

B2. Managing Stress in Times of Change

  • Robin Rose, Brown University

Change is an inevitable part of life at work and at home. Effective organizations must constantly look for new ways to serve students, faculty and staff. Organizational change is vital to survival but it can be overwhelming. In this workshop participants will explore what makes change stressful and strategies for coping and leading change efforts. 

B3. Solution-Focused Academic Advising: A Tool to Promote Retention

  • Annmarie Samar, Anne Bodmer-Lutz and Deborah McMakin, Framingham State University

This workshop will describe the solution-focused process as a way to have conversations with advisees. Scenarios will be presented. Solution-focused tools will be shared and participants will be asked to share their advising dilemmas and practice with solution-focused tools.


5:30 -6:30

Reception at the Hotel

Thursday October 27

8:00 -8:45

Learn about the UPCEA Networks at breakfast for all conference attendees                                                                                                                 

9:00 -10:00

 Keynote: Changing Lives in a Changing World

  • Jay Vogt, Founder, Peoplesworth 

Is your institution poised to fully capitalize on the opportunities present in the growth of the adult and online market?  Oops!  Let’s say they are not.  And is it your job to lead your institution through this transformation, whether they like it or not?  Ouch!  Well, then…how do you influence senior leaders who seem committed to other priorities?  How do you foster change in an institution that frequently rises up to resist it?  How do you manage yourself to stay true to your noble mission – changing lives in a changing world – even when your institution momentarily loses focus on that mission, or even forgets it?

Explore proven concepts and tools, techniques and practices that unfreeze rigid organizations, foster creative collaboration, enable lasting change, and strengthen your mettle as a change agent. Mine the practical wisdom of battle-scarred managers, field-tested organizational consultants, and grizzled wise ones to give you and your views a fighting chance. This presentation will be about you (and your mission), your personal situation, and your prospects for success. We will pause frequently to let you apply what you are learning – in real time, with your peers – to your actual challenges. You will take away new insights, new hope, and new tools to help your institution do the right thing by your adult and online learners.

10:00 -10:30

Break and Raffle with Exhibitors

10:30 -11:30

Concurrent C


C1. Finish What You Started Program: A Success Story for Returning Adult Learners

  • Nancy Rabidoux, University of Rhode Island

Explore the success of the Finish What You Started Program (FWYS) at the University of Rhode Island. Conceptualized in 2012 as a pathway for non-traditional students to return to the classroom, the program provides mentors for adult learners from admission to matriculation to graduation. Examples will be given of real life stories and situations of returning adult learners and how, as advisors, we help students overcome them. FWYS will report on how mentoring relationships help these students complete their degrees. Participants will engage in activities that will demonstrate fixed mindset vs. growth mindset. Come hear our success stories and strategies.

C2. YES 101: Building Teamwork and Creating a Collaborative Environment

  • John Chenier, Framingham State University  

We don’t always say “yes” but when we do something changes for our students, our relationships, our opportunities, and ourselves. Using the most basic tenet of improvisational comedy, this interactive workshop explores how saying “yes” can improve your work and personal life, help you and your team communicate better, and create a collaborative and creative environment.

C3. Emerging Technologies for Online, Continuing and Professional Education

  • Ray Schroeder, Center for Online Leadership, UPCEA

Important new trends are emerging in online learning that will soon impact our continuing and professional education programs. Augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain distribution architecture will alter the way in which we conceive, deliver and distribute credentialing for our online programs in the near future. This session will provide you with the background and resources to stay abreast of the development of these key technologies.

11:30 -12:15

Welcome to Newport: The Long and Colorful History of the City by the Sea

  • Anita Rafael   

WELCOME TO NEWPORT! is an entertaining, informative presentation of Newport from its beginning in 1639 as a haven for religious refugees to its fantastic success now as a major seaside resort. Follow Newport from its settlement less than 20 years after the Mayflower landing, through the rise of the maritime trades, the Golden Age in the mid-1700s, and the devastation of army-occupation during the Revolution. Discover the grandeur and opulence of the Gilded Age in the late 1800’s -- the era of the Vanderbilts, Astors, and others in high society -- and its 20th century rise as a Navy town that is now a magnet for tourists. Learn about the history and get insider info on what to see and do in Newport today. 

12:15 -1:45

Awards Lunch with UPCEA National Leaders 

  • Bob Hansen, CEO, UPCEA
  • Alice Warren, President, UPCEA and Vice Provost for Continuing Education, McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education, North Carolina State University  

1:45 -2:45

Concurrent D


D1. Admin Whisperers: Making the Case to Central Administration

  • James Burns, David Goodman, Aleksandar Tomic and Anne Severo, Boston College

In this session we will discuss effective ways to make your case to central administration (e.g. President, Provost, Budget Officer). We will draw on our successes and failures and discuss elements such as forecasts vs. simulation, framing the request, managing different stakeholders, background research and preparation, and identifying proper decision makers for different steps in the process. This session is aimed at a variety of audiences from senior leaders to supporting staff involved in different stages of program evaluation, research, and development. We rely on the audience for participation and commentary on their experience.

D2. Jobs of the Future and the Emergence of Alternative Credentials

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

This session will review labor and other secondary data, including trend reports, employer surveys, and futurist blogs; reveal major changes to job classifications; and identify emerging professions. These changes span industries ranging from healthcare to information technology to agriculture among others.  Some evolving professions may not require a traditional degree while others may benefit if degree holders enhance their education through an alternative credential. While a degree remains the standard of higher education, colleges and universities need to make informed decisions regarding the role of alternative credentials in workforce education.

D3. Does the LMS Really Matter?

  • Carin Nuernberg and Luke Stevens, Berklee College of Music  

A motto for Berklee Online is not to let technology get in the way of teaching or learning but to leverage it, along with elegant design, to enhance the connection points among students, teachers, and the learning materials. Berklee Online has been praised for its customized Moodle learning environment but we reached a critical juncture when it became increasingly difficult to innovate. We decided to make a change: to move to the open source version of Canvas as a backend so we could leverage its data model and core feature set, and to develop our own frontend application based on teacher, staff and student feedback - what is uniquely Berklee - and the best in modern web content and communication. This session will present the new learning environment with live data on how it is performing in a Fall semester soft launch to spark discussion on the role of the learning management system in the student experience and whether the LMS design makes a difference in the quality of that experience.


3:00 – 4:00

Concurrent E  


E1. Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders Today: A Higher Ed-Industry Partnership

  • Lori Herz and Deborah Mathews, University of Rhode Island

The Leadership Development Partnership of Rhode Island was formed to meet the need for new leaders in the manufacturing industry. We launched two training programs designed to prepare/develop emerging leaders, support new leaders, and provide opportunities for leaders to participate as mentors and increase engagement among high potential employees. Our tips can help you launch a successful partnership!

E2. Developing Competency-based Degree Programs for the Working Professional

  • Colleen Malloy, Meteor Learning
  • James Burns, Boston College
  • Carol Glod, Merrimack College

The panelists will highlight their experiences in bringing CBE degree programs to working professionals. Unique CBE academic program designs, aligning competencies with employer needs, and other important elements needed for a successful CBE degree program will be covered in the session.

E3. Balancing Work, Family and a Terminal Degree: Completion Strategies for Professional Development Professionals

  • Chris LaBelle, University of New Hampshire
  • Amy Heitzman, UPCEA 

This interactive discussion will provide you with insights on how to balance the demands of a 40+ hour/week job, family/personal life, and the pursuit of a terminal degree. Whether contemplating the journey or already under way, this session will help you see it to completion and avoid becoming ABD.

4:00 -4:15

Break and Raffle with Exhibitors 

4:15 -5:15

Concurrent F


F1. Operate Your CE Unit as a Business to Stay in Business

  • Lee Maxey, MindMax
  • Cynthia Belliveau, University of Vermont 

This is a nuts and bolts view of how a successful CE unit and a corporate learning leader run their learning units for business and academic success and sustainability. As higher education continues to struggle with costs and to experiment with different delivery and business models, schools of professional, continuing, and online education are often on the front lines of innovation. With an entrepreneurial spirit and comparative agility, our schools are home to new program offerings and new pricing models but we can benefit from implementing finely-tuned business practices to run our operations effectively and develop programs to better address market need. In this dialogue we walk through the challenges of program development, marketing “learning products” and evolving best practices. What can we learn from each other about ideating, budgeting, and running the business of marketing learning in increasingly competitive and decentralized environments?

F2. Content Marketing: Promote Your Stories Better, Faster, Cheaper

  • Jo Lee, Brown University

In this session, you’ll learn about Brown's School of Professional Studies' content marketing journey – how we learned to make our marketing efforts better, faster, and cheaper with storytelling. You’ll learn how to source stories, create editorial calendars, and fold PR and marketing into an integrated comprehensive content marketing strategy.

F3. So You Want to Move to Canada?  Northeastern University Opens its First International Campus in Toronto

  • John LaBrie, Northeastern University Toronto 

This session will explore the development of the Northeastern University Toronto campus as part of the larger regional campus strategy that includes campuses in Charlotte, Seattle and San Jose. The session will focus on how Toronto was identified as the first international site for Northeastern. It will also explore the regulatory, cultural, and programmatic issues which a campus faces when it leaves U.S. borders. 

5:30 -7:00

Reception at Ochre Court, Salve Regina University, 16 Ochre Point Ave, Newport, RI 

Friday October 28

8:00 -8:45

Breakfast (Regional Business Meeting during breakfast for all conference attendees )

9:00 -10:00

Keynote: Diversity in Your Strategy: Why it Matters

  • John LaBrie, Principal and Founding Dean, Northeastern University Toronto

A discussion of diversity makes people feel uncomfortable. On the national scene, our politics and protests over shootings of young black men have certainly intensified and often polarized the discussion. We have not yet become a post-racial society. Census and polltakers remind us that we are increasingly becoming a more diverse country. Over the next decade, more American cities will become majority-minority. Virtually every university and college has a diversity statement, but few have a diversity strategy. As educational leaders, issues of racial and cultural diversity need to be part of our academic, staffing and enrollment strategy. The world for which we are preparing our students demands nothing less. This talk will explore how to begin incorporating a diversity strategy into your unit’s overall strategy and why this is a particularly important issue for continuing education units to address. 

10:00 – 10:30 Break with Exhibitors + Hotel Check-Out

10:30 - 11:30

Concurrent G 


G1. Applied Graduate Curriculum and Ethics: The Intersection of Virtue and Professional Education

  • James Burns, Steve Bowman and Alexsandar Tomic, Boston College 

The members of this panel describe the project of developing four applied Master’s degrees that are intentionally infused with virtue based coursework which make the language and lessons of virtue and virtuous behavior central to the ethical approach being taught. The presentation seeks to explicate the process, method, and outcomes from this recent effort.

G2. An EPIC Prior Learning Assessment Approach for Adult Learners

  • Gene Ferraro, Lesley University

This session is designed to help institutions develop a rich prior learning assessment process which will take into account learning by the adult learner since high school graduation. The session will teach how to acknowledge the validity and importance of this learning and how to document it.

11:30 -1:00

Lunch, Upcoming Events, Drawing

12:30 -1:30

2017 Planning Committee Meeting
For Conference Planning Committee members and those interested in joining the 2017 committee 



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