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5 Reasons to attend the 2015 ACHE Annual Conference & Meeting!

September 21, 2015 12:41 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

You (or your boss) may be asking, why should I / you attend? In these turbulent times, continuing higher education presents daily opportunities for strategic connections within and among institutions, communities, and regions, while strengthening America’s competitiveness in the global economy. Your ACHE conference experience will provide you with the opportunities to build relationships and share ideas with fellow attendees from across the spectrum of adult continuing higher education. 

So without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons to join us in St. Louis for the 2015 ACHE Annual Conference & Meeting:

1. LEARN. 

Expert Speakers! We have a great lineup this year with a diverse range of experiences.

Barbara Vacarr, Director, Encore Higher Education Initiative

Barbara Vacarr

As a former college president, adult educator, and psychologist, Barbara is committed to learning that makes a difference in the world. Over the course of her 27-year career, she has developed programs for adult and non-traditional learners to develop and transform themselves as they strengthen the connections between their learning, their living, and their livelihoods.

Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education, U.S. Agency for International Development

Christie Vilsack

In her current role at USAID, Christie works with education sector partners and education leaders worldwide to build understanding of and support for international education solutions. She travels the world visiting and learning about USAID programs so she can tell the story of USAID Education to anyone she meets, from Main Street to the halls of Congress.

Carol Aslanian, EducationDynamics

Carol AslanianThe term "adult student" is often loosely applied to define a large and growing population of students being served in higher education. If you consider that the post-traditional student population has grown to over 70% of all students enrolled in higher education, the impact this group has not only on each institution's bottom line but also on the dynamics of how material is taught and disseminated presents a significant challenge for faculty and administrators alike.

Carol Aslanian will join ACHE to discuss this group of students and look in much greater detail at what the make-up of this group is, as well as discuss how a growing number of institutions are now engaging them.

Carol’s national reputation as an authority on adult higher education is an invaluable asset in creating market studies and institutional audits for colleges, and developing partnerships between them and employers.

Brenda Harms, Harms Consulting

Brenda Harms

Nationally recognized as a leading expert in serving adult students within the higher education industry, Dr. Brenda Harms has assisted dozens of colleges and universities in successfully and strategically growing their enrollments through evaluation of key metrics, implementation of proven processes, design and execution of successful marketing strategy and tactics, and training for both management and staff.

Colin Irose, Seelio

Colin Irose

Colin Irose has been working in the educational environment for over a decade across areas like: eportfolio initiatives, marketing/best practices/benchmarking research, and international student recruitment.

As Director of University Partnerships at Seelio, Colin works with institutions in both New England and on the West coast to harness Seelio's services-based student life cycle portfolio. By focusing on career development and preparation for the students, Colin is able to assist schools in utilizing Seelio to impact initiatives like marketing/enrollment, engagement/retention, Learning outcomes/assessment, and ultimately helping students find meaningful work in their chosen field.

Loren Pace, CampusCE

Loren Pace

Loren serves as CEO of CampusCE. Their EMS is provided through a Software as a Service platform (SaaS) that enables institutions to electronically connect students, faculty, and administrators throughout the complex registration, academic scheduling, student relationship, and education management processes.

Chris Miller, Education Advisory Board (EAB)

Chris Miller

Chris Miller is Executive Director of the Education Advisory Board (EAB). In this role, Mr. Miller has led in-depth research efforts around critical college and university strategic priorities, including globalization strategy, elevating student retention and graduation performance, fostering large-scale multidisciplinary research, and engaging faculty in online education and administrative efficiency initiatives.

Connect2. ENGAGE. 

We promise you won’t just be sitting and listening to people talk all day. There are many sessions in which you can take an active part!

Promoting “Traditional” Student Services to Degree-Seeking Evening Students
Monday, November 9, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m., Breakout 3 - Roundtable

A roundtable discussion, hosted by Kayla Ohmes and Farah Habli from St. Louis University. 

This roundtable presentation will cover promoting student services that are considered “traditional” to degree seeking evening students. For many institutions the extent of their evening student offerings are simply to extend their office hours. Is this really the best strategy?

Mentoring Fundamentals: Training for Effective Mentor-Mentee Relationships
Tuesday, November 10, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Breakout 4 - Workshop

A Workshop hosted by Kevin Schwenker, Saint Mary's University.

There is quite a buzz of mentoring going on; most organizations claim to or want to be doing it. However there is much confusion as to what mentoring is and what direction and support it needs to be successful. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the purpose, stages, and goals of a mentoring relationship, mentor roles and competencies, and what else should be covered in a well-founded mentor/mentee training program.

Advising Strategies for Supporting Post-Traditional Learners in the Changing Landscape of Higher Education
Tuesday, November 10, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Breakout 4 - Workshop

A Workshop hosted by Shelley Price-Williams, Saint Louis University. Additional presenters include: Katherine O'Connor, Webster University; Tyann Cherry, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

As a result of a narrowing high school pipeline to higher education and societal demands for a more educated workforce, post-secondary institutions must look beyond traditional students to sustain enrollment and meet the economic demands of society. Enrollment of post-traditional students will result in a more diverse student body. This session will expand participants’ knowledge base of adult learning theory and provide advising strategies for supporting post-traditional learners in higher education.


Be prepared, because you’ll be meeting a lot of new people!

When you’re at the conference, you’ll be networking, a lot. Networking allows us to develop relationships that can last a lifetime!

Meeting and sharing with others who do the work you do benefits both us and the constituents we serve. You will grow personally and professionally through the connections you'll make.

St. Louis Gateway Arch4. DO. 

On their Explore St. Louis website, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission lists their top 25 things to do and see. Some of our favorites include:

Walk down the Delmar Loop

Make a day of it at the Delmar Loop. This six-block entertainment and shopping district is packed with hip bars, eclectic restaurants, live music venues, vintage clothing boutiques and a Hollywood-inspired walk of fame featuring St. Louis celebrities. Catch a show at the historic Tivoli Theatre or learn about our solar system along the outdoor Planet Walk exhibit. Shop for quirky gifts or souvenirs and grab a bite to eat at one of the dozens of restaurants and outdoor cafés, from Turkish and Thai delights to Mexican and American classics.

Take an interactive history lesson

Walk the halls of the Old Courthouse featuring restored courtrooms and galleries that depict significant moments in St. Louis history. Take an exciting and educational trip through the past at the Missouri History Museum where guests can also join a local excursion to various historical points of interest in the city. Visitors can see the home of Ragtime legend Scott Joplin, walk through a world heritage site and ancient civilization at Cahokia Mounds and pay their respects at the resting place for many St. Louisians at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Indulge your inner gearhead

Rev up your engine at the Kemp Auto Museum marveling at the beauty and craftsmanship of the finest European automobiles, from the classic early models to contemporary designs. Tour a collection of rare and vintage motorcycles at the Moto Museum, or explore the history, mechanics and design of the cart and buggy, planes, trains or anything else with wheels at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. If you want to get behind the wheel don’t miss Pole Position Raceway for some world-class indoor carting action. And if you’re visiting in the late winter, be sure to stop by the St. Louis Auto Show and Boat Show at America’s Center.

Embrace spirituality through creative expression

Visit Saint Louis University’s Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA), a venue committed to peaceful interfaith dialogue and understanding. Take in the beauty of one of the largest mosaic collections in the western hemisphere inside the spectacular Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis or see the historic Old Cathedral and St. Ferdinand Shrine, both constructed in the early 19th century with ties to the oldest Catholic congregation in St. Louis. Across the river, attend mass, walk the grounds and have a delicious meal at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

(all DOs courtesy of Explore St. Louis and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission)

5. GET AWAY. Cube farm

Catch your breath away from the office or classroom.

Why stay cooped up in the office when you can travel to a new city, meet new people, enjoy a new environment, and catch some fresh air! With so much history and culture in St. Louis, prepare for an informative and fun conference!

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