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Five Minutes with ACHE

  • December 15, 2016 6:34 PM | Anonymous

    Dear ACHE Colleagues,

    As we wrap up the fall semester and gear up for the holidays, we have much to appreciate and anticipate.

    We are poised for a seamless transition in the ACHE Home Office when Dr. Pappas retires at the end of this month. The infrastructure and support from the University of Oklahoma that has served us so well is still in place, and we enthusiastically anticipate a smooth road moving forward. I’m delighted to introduce the new Home Office team!

    Dr. Belinda Biscoe, Associate Vice President University of Oklahoma Outreach Division of Public & Community Services, assumes the role of ACHE Executive Vice President on January 1. Belinda brings to ACHE’s Home Office a wealth of experience in continuing higher education and a delightfully collaborative and thoughtful leadership style. More information about her career and areas of expertise (and dare I say passion!) please take a peek at her bio.

    Dr. Nina Barbee will assume the role of Operations Manager & Executive Secretary. Nina has been active in ACHE for a number of years, including serving as Chair of the Great Plains Region during her previous roles at OU as Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Outreach and Dean of the College of Liberal Studies, Manager of Special Projects, and a member of the OU faculty. Nina has been working closely with Rebekah Law, our Interim Operations Manager, so when the time comes for Rebekah to return to her position in the OU Outreach IT team, we’ll feel nary a bump in the road as we move forward ACHE’s work.

    Dr. Pappas served ACHE brilliantly for the past eight years, and he asked that I express to you his thanks for the opportunity to serve and support the Association. He will continue to be part of the ACHE team as he works with Dr. Biscoe in the transition. He will undoubtedly be invited to be part of ACHE’s ongoing work as an expert contributor, sage resource, and friend. And as we’ve already said many times and in many ways, merry retirement and many thanks to you, Dr. Pappas, from all of us at ACHE! 

    I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and restorative good cheer!

    Clare Roby

    ACHE President, 2017

  • December 08, 2016 9:02 PM | Anonymous

    "John is the absolute leader in adult education in this country." — Brigadier General (Ret.) Jerry Neff, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees 

    It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of Dr. John F. Ebersole, former president of Excelsior College and a visionary leader in higher education. He had been president since 2006 and used the position to promote the education of nontraditional students through online and competency-based education. He also played an active role in encouraging higher education policies that reflected the needs of those students (posted in General, Mike Lesczinski, May 19, 2016). 

    Before taking his leave from the College, Ebersole reflected on his time at Excelsior: 

    “Serving as the president of Excelsior over the past ten years has been a source of great satisfaction and personal honor. This institution has the most mission–oriented commitment that I have experienced over three decades in higher education. Its staff, faculty, and leaders are passionate and committed to providing educational opportunity to those who need it most. The future is bright. Ever upward.” 

    Dr. James N. Baldwin, current president of Excelsior College had this to say in a message to the university that was posted in Featured, General, Simone Arrington, on November 24, 2016:

    "John was truly one of a kind, as those of us who knew him can well attest. He grew up in Windsor, Missouri. Unsure of his path he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. Having developed a love for the mission of the Coast Guard, he enrolled in officer candidate school and served for 21 years, including combat service in Viet Nam.

    "A graduate of the Naval War College, he earned a master of public administration degree from John F. Kennedy University, and a doctorate in law and public policy from Northeastern University. 

    "It was John’s personal experience as an adult learner that informed his approach to adult education. Throughout his more than 30-year career in higher education he was committed to expanding opportunity for underserved and non-traditional students. 

    "John was initially drawn to Excelsior by its commitment to the underserved, its outstanding reputation in military and veteran circles, and its openness to innovation. In 2006, he was appointed president of Excelsior College, succeeding our first president, C. Wayne Williams. Prior to his serving at Excelsior he held leadership roles at UC Berkeley, Colorado State University, and Boston University. 

    "John Ebersole was a visionary, in every sense of the word. Over the past decade, he led the College and the adult learning sector through a period of tremendous growth and dynamism. His leadership in higher education included serving as president of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA,) the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education and as a board member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York. John was also active in the Capital Region as a member of the Board of Directors of the Hudson Mohawk Humane Society."

    He was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in November of 2015 and an international leader in prior learning assessment, degree completion, and the use of instructional technology, as well as a passionate advocate of adult and online learners.

    Ebersole chaired the American Association of Community Colleges Corporate Council and served as a member of the board of directors of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (New York). He was named to the ACE Presidential Innovation Lab and previously served as chair of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Lifelong Learning. He co-authored (with William Patrick) “Courageous Learning: Finding a New Path Through Higher Education” (Hudson Whitman Press/Excelsior College Press, 2011). The book was recently turned into “Courageous Learning: The Documentary” (Ellucian). 

    Ebersole was the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 ACHE Great Plains Regional Conference held on March 6-7 in Norman, Oklahoma. His topic was Competency-Based Education and the Future of Continuing Education. To more than 125 attendees, Dr. Ebersole shared state-of-the-art information combining his remarkable in-depth research about adult learners and important issues and trends in higher education. He received outstanding reviews. We greatly appreciated his willingness to devote his time to the regional conference and provide such an amazing learning opportunity everyone there.

    In 2014, Ebersole was inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame. It has been said by many colleagues that Dr. Ebersole was truly a gentleman and a scholar. He will surely be missed, but his remarkable contributions to higher education will endure.

    Sympathies are extended to wife, Dr. Constance Cramer, his daughters, Debra Kauffman, Dee Boukouzis, and Dara Merritt, his grandchildren, and all those who knew him as a dear friend and colleague. 

    Memorial arrangements are pending at the discretion of the family. The family has suggested that donations in memory of John F. Ebersole may be made to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, 3 Oakland Avenue, Menands, New York 12204.

    This article was written by Nina Barbee, executive assistant to the vice president, manager of special projects, and grant development specialist at the University of Oklahoma Outreach.
  • December 02, 2016 7:16 AM | Anonymous

    Now that the excitement from the 2016 national conference has calmed, you might be looking ahead to future professional development opportunities. The Association for Continuing Higher Education offers several valuable events for continuing education professionals, and we would like to take a moment to be sure you are aware of them. In addition to webinars and online resources, we also offer networking events and five distinct regional meetings in various locations throughout the United States. Take a look at some information about these events, and then be sure to follow the links and register for the one closest to you!

    ACHE Northeast Metropolitan Winter Networking Event
    Date: January 23, 2017
    Time: 12 – 3 p.m.
    Location: Stony Brook Manhattan
    Join the ACHE Northeast Metropolitan region to kick off the new year and network with your colleagues at Stony Brook Manhattan. The event includes lunch and is free to all current members. Please RSVP by emailing Joyce Wellinger at Find more information on the ACHE Northeast Metropolitan event page. 

    ACHE Great Lakes
    Date: February 8-10, 2017
    Location: Doubletree Hotel on the infamous Magnificent Mile in Chicago

    The ACHE Great Lakes Region has partnered with the Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education (ICCHE) to host a regional conference. This year’s conference theme is Persistence, Perseverance, and Success in Continuing Education. More information can be found at If you are interested in submitting a conference speaking proposal, there is still time. Please contact Dr. Bonnie J. Covelli, ACHE Great Lakes Regional Chair at

    ACHE West 
    Date: February 22-24, 2017
    Location: San Francisco State University, San Francisco
    The 2017 ACHE West regional conference will be held in sunny San Francisco on February 22-24 of next year. The conference theme is Innovate, Create, and Elevate, and the keynote speakers are now available! Find more information about the conference on the ACHE West website 

    ACHE Great Plains
    Date: March 9-10, 2017
    Location: Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, OK
    The ACHE Great Plains regional meeting will commence on March 9 at Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, OK. The conference theme will be Continuing Education: Pathways to the Future, and early bird registration runs until February 24! Find more information about the conference on the ACHE Great Plains event page

    ACHE MidAtlantic
    Date: April 5-7, 2017
    Location: Founders Inn & Spa, Virginia Beach
    Join ACHE MidAtlantic in a regional meeting that explore best practices and strategies in encouraging degree completion and student retention
    . The conference theme will be Degree Completion and Retention: Stopping the Revolving Door, and the Call for Proposals is open until January 16! Find more information about the event and CFP on the ACHE MidAtlantic event page.

    ACHE South
    Date: April 11-13, 2017
    Location: Peabody Hotel, Memphis
    Take a trip to Memphis, TN for the ACHE South regional meeting. The conference theme is Treading Our Crossroads Today: Marching Our Pathways Tomorrow, the
    keynote speakers have been announced, and early bird registration continues until March 10. Find more information about the event on the ACHE South website.

  • November 17, 2016 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    The 2016 Annual Meeting & Conference has come to a close, and we all left with fond memories of our meeting in New Orleans. We would like to take a moment to say 'thank you' to all of those in attendance. You truly made it one of our best conferences yet.

    For ACHE members who were not able to attend, however, there is one way you can relive the experience online. Photos from the conference are now available for viewing! Many more images (in full resolution!) can also be found on flickr. Take a look!

    Click here to visit the 2016 Conference album on flickr.

  • November 10, 2016 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    As described on the ACHE website, ACHE is a dynamic network of diverse professionals who are dedicated to promoting excellence in continuing higher education and to sharing their expertise and experience with one another.

    Dynamic is only one word of many to describe the 78th Annual Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) conference which was held this past October in New Orleans, LA at the historic Hotel Monteleone. The theme this year was “Innovation, Transformation, and Service in Continuing Higher Education: Creating Pathways to the Future.” Topics included: research and strategy, transformative roles and responsibilities, practical application of theory, effective learning/teaching tools and environments, impactful marketing, and more. We had 127 universities, colleges, exhibitors, sister associations, and other organizations represented as part of the 2016 conference. Individuals from all around the country and Canada attended traveled to New Orleans (the furthest distance was 2,612 miles). Of those attending, over 70 were first time attendees!

    There were 43 concurrent sessions to choose from in addition to our keynote sessions. Our keynotes included: Dr. King Alexander, president of Louisiana State University, Mr. Zach Stone, co-founder of Red Kite Consulting, and Ms. Kim Weitkamp, a humorist, coach, producer, and singer/songwriter.

    Prior and during this event, fun’raising events were held as part of a fundraising drive to raise money for grants and scholarships. We surpassed our scholarship goal and collected $3,735. In addition, there was an ACHE service opportunity with the New Orleans Kids Partnership (NOKP) to “Fill the Bus” with school supplies for the children in the area.

    This summary was written by Dorothy Williams, a director at large for ACHE and a director and professor at Regis University.

    Regis University
    College for Professional Studies
    (719) 264-7052

  • November 03, 2016 12:38 PM | Anonymous

    Dear ACHE Colleagues,

    Wow! The 2016 annual conference in New Orleans was amazing! Congratulations again to Past President Paula Hogard and her dedicated conference planning committee for an outstanding event. I’d like to take this Five Minutes opportunity to echo the email announcement that went out recently about the RFP that was issued earlier this fall to identify a new home office for ACHE.

    At the time the RFP was issued, conditions with state funding and organizational structure were in flux at the University of Oklahoma, and seeking a new institution to host the home office seemed prudent.  Later, after Dr. Pappas announced his retirement effective in December, several decisions were made by the University of Oklahoma that just recently and unexpectedly opened the path for the home office to remain in place. With the best interest of the Association in mind, the Board has decided to take advantage of the foundation already in place and keep the home office at the University of Oklahoma.

    To those of you who either considered or submitted a proposal in response to our call, thank you for your interest and time. A special thank you goes out to Dr. Chris Dougherty, ACHE Past President and chair of the RFP committee, as well as the members of that committee for the time and energy they gave in service to the association.

    Dr. James Pappas, in his role as Executive Vice President for the past eight years, has provided exceptional leadership and guidance to the Association and has been a mentor and inspiration to many of us. His deep commitment to continuing higher education and his insights have made ACHE a better organization. Rebekah Law has done an extraordinary job as Interim Operations Manager and will be key to a smooth staff transition over the next several weeks as the new home office team from OU moves into place.

    We are delighted with the opportunity for the ACHE home office to remain on the campus of the University of Oklahoma and seamlessly continue the work of the association. We will be introducing the new home office team to you soon.

    I’m looking forward to a great year ahead and, as I mentioned in New Orleans, I’m so glad to have you along with me for the ride!

    Clare Roby

    ACHE President, 2017

  • October 27, 2016 1:18 PM | Anonymous

    The Journal of Continuing Higher Education is a refereed journal featuring major articles and shorter columns of professional interest to the adult continuing higher education community. In an effort to support adult continuing higher education, JCHE serves as a forum for the reporting and exchange of information based on research, observations, and experiences relevant to the field. Issues are published in the winter, spring, and fall. The journal welcomes two types of submissions: major articles (current research, literature reviews, theoretical models) and best practices (new, innovative, and successful programs or practices in higher and continuing education).

    You too can write these types of articles. Administrators and practitioners are doing great things, and they are the perfect people to share their best practices.

    Mark your calendar now to register and attend a webinar over this very subject, hosted by JCHE’s own Royce Ann Collins. The workshop will start with the basics of writing for publication. It is a process, so take the step now to start!


    Please join us November 2 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time to participate in this professional development opportunity.  

    • ACHE Member Registration – Free
    • Non-Member Registration – $30.00 (USD)

    Click Here to Register 

    Presenter Biography:

    Royce Ann Collins is the editor of the Journal of Continuing Higher Education. With 15 years of experience as an administrator of adult degree programs at higher education institutions, she has won national and regional awards for her teaching, research, and scholarship. When she isn’t editing journal articles, she is expanding the Adult Education program to the K-State Olathe campus of Kansas State University.

    Currently, Collins serves on the Executive Committee for the Commission for Accelerated Programs and is a member of American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.

  • October 27, 2016 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    It is with sincere appreciation that I am able to write this article having just attended ACHE’s 2016 National Conference in New Orleans. This was my first time visiting the “Big Easy” and I was amazed by the rich cultural history and charm of the city when I experienced it in person. I’ve been a member of ACHE for years, during which time I’ve gained so much knowledge from the various professional development opportunities the organization offers, and this event was no exception. While our specialization working with adult learners is slowly gaining traction as traditional demographics shift,  professionals in continuing education units are often still considered an “island” at their institutions.  By coming together to share our challenges, ideas, best practices, and new trends at the ACHE conferences, I feel that collectively we are truly able to support each other to make a positive impact in our chosen professions. 

    As an adult learner myself, juggling the demands of a full-time job and busy life while going to school online (as I know many of you have done as well), I was honored to have represented the students that we serve as this year’s recipient of ACHE’s 2016 Graduate Student Conference Grant. I am incredibly fortunate to have received this award because my institution did not have the funds in our budget this year for me to be able to attend otherwise. Nor do I receive any financial reimbursement from my institution towards my masters in higher education program leadership, so every bit of support helps me to offset those out-of-pocket costs. With this in mind, I appreciate everyone’s contributions to the ACHE scholarship fund and will strive to make the best use of your donations through my academic and professional pursuits. 

    This was also a particularly opportune time in my education as I’m currently immersed in my capstone course for which a thesis and product are involved. As director of professional studies at a small liberal arts college, my institution is new in the online space, so I have decided to develop a comprehensive online orientation for the

    My goal is to be able to come back to an ACHE conference as a presenter to share the results of my project, or other initiatives that I’m currently working on (i.e. strategic planning), or to share these results in an ACHE webinar or publication so that I can give back and demonstrate that I’m utilizing the grant award to my best ability.  adult learners in our new professional studies programs for my capstone project. I came away from the ACHE conference with a lot of fresh ideas for what to include in the orientation in addition to how to evaluate and assess the results. (By the way, if you have any particular interest in this topic and would like to share your thoughts with me, please don’t hesitate to reach out to The opening keynote speaker talked about the importance of experiential learning, so you can see how I am a perfect example of this concept in practice.

    Finally, I’d like to include a very special thanks to Paula Hogard, Rebekah Law, Lisa Graves as well as Amy Jordan and James (Jimmy) Shamlen who were responsible for the Fun'Raising efforts. Amy and Jimmy’s support and encouragement was quite astounding and their recognition of my efforts has motivated me even more toward the aspiration of excellence in my endeavors. We all need those outside cheerleaders at points in our career, and Amy and Jimmy are those types of people.

    If you have not yet attended an ACHE conference, I highly encourage you to do so. The sessions are informative, the exhibitors are leaders in the industry, and the ACHE staff treats you like you’re their friend. I appreciated everyone’s congratulatory wishes and I hope to see many of you again next year, if not before!

    This article was written by Beth Romanski, Director of Professional Studies at Lebanon Valley College and Capella University graduate student. She was recently in attendance at the ACHE 2016 Conference and Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

    Beth Romanski was the recipient of the Graduate Student Conference Grant, a grant that helps graduate students attend the ACHE national conference. For more information about our grants and scholarships, or to learn about how to contribute, please visit our grants and scholarships page
  • October 12, 2016 12:55 PM | Anonymous

    The ACHE 2016 Annual Conference is quickly approaching, and it's officially time to start getting excited about this year's meeting in New Orleans! 

    As we prepare to innovate, transform, and provide service to others, we would like to invite you to consider what you are going to be a part of. Follow the link below for a look at an infographic full of fun facts about this year's conference. We just know you're going to love it! 

    See Full Infographic

  • October 11, 2016 6:28 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    We're so pleased to have such an outstanding group of exhibitors for this year's conference. From all of ACHE, we would like to take a moment to say 'thank you' for your support, and we're so pleased to be partnering with you in New Orleans!

    Dean Level Exhibitors

    Alpha Sigma Lambda Entrinsik, Inc. Jenzabar
    Alpha Sigma Lambda Entrinsik, Inc. Jenzabar
    Motivis Learning PS&L Sparkroom
    Motivis Learning PS&L Sparkroom

    Director Level Exhibitors

    Aslanian Market Research Cambridge Educational Services Campus CE
    Aslanian Market Research Cambridge Educational Services CampusCE
    Collegis Destiny Solutions ed2go
    Collegis Destiny Solutions ed2go
    Kennedy & Company The Learning House LSU Continuing Education
    Kennedy & Company The Learning House LSU Continuing Education
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