Five Minutes with ACHE - May 2022 - Volume -1

Five Minutes with ACHE,
May 2022 - Volume 1
Reflections from ACHE President:
Dr. Tina Marie Coolidge
Spring is often thought of as a time of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. This year, we, as a global community, are still facing unprecedented challenges, loss and unyielding pressure due to many situations that are out of our control. While respecting the challenges and losses, focusing on the natural beauty that Spring brings is an uplifting and welcomed perspective. For many institutions it is also the season of Commencement. And like Spring, Commencement is an event of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation for our graduating students, as well as for our professional staff and faculty. The sound of the Commencement processional music, the bright and beautiful smile on graduates faces and, for many, a time for all to come together as a community.
This edition of “5 Minutes with ACHE” is also a renewal of the long and prominent history of “5 Minutes with ACHE”. With special appreciation and gratitude to our Preferred Business Partner, Entrinsik, 5 Minutes with ACHE” is being revived, rejuvenated, and will be delivered to your inbox. Each issue will provide you with information about upcoming events, the long awaited ACHE international conference, spotlights on ACHE’s amazing members, as well as spotlights on regional and national board members. These spotlights are showcasing the global network that you are a part of with ACHE. What an amazing opportunity it is to connect, brainstorm, problem solve and be innovative with colleagues globally. 
ACHE members consist of diverse institutions of higher education that provide two year and four year programs, credit and non-credit learning spaces and premier workforce development experiences that literally are changing lives and communities for the better. When thinking about the inspiring and transformational impact our member institutions have on their students and communities, I think of the great work of W.E.B Du Bois. Du Bois was a sociologist, historian, author, editor and activist. Mr. Du Bois exemplified being a lifelong learner. He was the first in his family to go to high school and continued his formal education as the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University. He continued a lifestyle focused on learning up until his passing, at which time he was in Ghana, working on an encyclopedia of the African diaspora. Du Bois famously said, “The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization”. Du Bois’ famous words beautifully illustrate the significance and raw power that education has on us as individuals, within our communities and globally.
Now is the time to register for ACHE’s 2022 International Conference, October 24-26, 2022, which is being held in New Orleans, LA, a vibrant city with a rich history, wonderful museums, art galleries, live music and beyond amazing restaurants. The Conference theme is, “Equity, Access & Belonging: Continuing Higher Education's Commitment Today, Tomorrow and into the Future”. In addition to the robust presentations being offered at the Conference, attendees can also register for one of the two Certification Tracks being offered: Leadership Certification Track: The Value of Differences: From Transactional to Transformational Leadership or the DEIB Certification Track: Inclusive Leadership: The Competitive Edge in Diversity, Inclusion, & Belongingness. We encourage attendees to register and reserve their room early to ensure occupancy at the Conference hotel. 
Again, I want to extend a special thank you to Preferred Business Partner, Entrinsik for sponsoring “5 Minutes with ACHE”. We encourage you to visit with Entrinsik at the International Conference, but also to read more about the ways they can support you and your institution. 
I can’t wait to see you and to come together, again, at the 84th ACHE Conference. Until then, Laissez les bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll)!!!
Soignez vous-autres!
Dr. Tina Marie Coolidge
President, Association for Continuing Higher Education
Goodwin College of Professional Studies, Drexel University
Upcoming Events
ACHE Member Appreciation Event: Feel the Love
Friday, June 3rd
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (EDT)
Alexander Read
Can you share how and why did you became a member of ACHE?
My first ACHE conference was in New Orleans where my colleague (Hei Fok) and I presented a workshop. At this conference, I met wonderful people who had similar roles and challenges I did in my position. At that point, I thought I would lean in a little more and try and get involved. After the conference I joined the ACHE West board, where I am still an active board member. What makes ACHE my association choice is the collaboration with other institutions. Many of the ACHE members wear multiple hats inside their organization and ACHE provides a great space for us to help each other out, share best practices and to be honest about missteps we have encountered.
Tell us the story of your leadership path from a member to serving on the Board of Directors.
I was not a member of ACHE long before I was a board member of the west region. In 2018, I was elected to the board of directors for the national chapter. I never set out to be in a leadership role with ACHE, but somehow here I am. Professionally it is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I think my leadership path has just started, and I want to be a leader that helps our members get the full value of their membership. I also want to be seen as someone who is collaborative and who helped the organization grow and become the association of choice for professionals in continuing higher education.
What is the greatest leadership lesson you’ve learned from your experience with ACHE?
The first time I was nominated for VP I was running against Susan Elkins. Susan won the election and rightfully so. Looking back, this was a good thing, because I received so much encouragement from people I hardly knew at the time. I then realized this is a great group of colleagues and people who are here to support each other. I am happy the ways things turned out, and I think following Susan and learning from her was the best thing that could have happened.
How has being a part of ACHE enhanced your professional competencies and career progression?
Since joining ACHE, I have learned so much at different ACHE regional and national conferences. I have been fortunate enough to have presented at multiple conferences. I have had the ability to learn about trending topics through our webinar series and our very own peer reviewed Journal of Continuing Higher Education. Additionally, I have written and published articles through my ACHE connections. The most valuable thing ACHE has done for me has been the expansion of my network of colleagues who I can reach out to anytime for help and advice. Being part of ACHE has helped me grow personally and professionally.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your experience with ACHE?
Thank you all who are part of the ACHE family. It is an honor to be part of such a wonderful organization. Feel free to connect with me anytime.
Andrea Guy
Can you share how and why you became a member of ACHE?
I was introduced to ACHE by a colleague and the amazing President, Dr. Tina Marie Coolidge. I’m always exploring ways to enhance my professional development opportunities; thus, I became a member of this great organization.
Tell us your ACHE story. What got you engaged with ACHE? Why do you stay engaged with ACHE?
I’ve been working in the higher education field for almost 15 years in different capacities, and I’m dedicated to being a lifelong learner. I became a member of ACHE in 2018 and attended my first ACHE annual conference in Newport, Rhode Island. At this conference, I also had the chance to present with two of my colleagues. I felt so inspired at this conference and knew that I had to stay connected. ACHE is a vibrant network and offers various ways to obtain professional development opportunities. Whether you are looking for snippets of knowledge or attend a dynamic webinar, ACHE provides a variety of ways to be involved.
What is the greatest leadership lesson you’ve learned from your experience with ACHE?
The leadership lesson I’ve learned is - there is always room to grow and more to learn. I always like to say, you’ll never experience a dull moment working in higher ed. This is an ever-changing field that will continually evolve as we strive to promote student success. Being a leader takes effective communication, being an active listener, self-awareness and understand that you can learn from others.
How has being a part of ACHE enhanced your professional competencies and/or your career progression?
Being a part of ACHE has shown me it’s important to have strong teamwork and collaboration skills. As well as being able to build strong relationships and cultivate a positive environment with your colleagues is key. Having these types of competencies in place can allow you to work effectively to achieve a common goal.
What is something unique or special about your ACHE Region that you would like to share with others?
The MidAtlantic region is a diverse group of higher education professionals who I can reach out to, and they are willing to share their expertise if need be. This is one area I’m looking forward to taking more advantage of and connecting with as an ACHE member.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your experience with ACHE?
The ACHE community provides a supportive environment for all members, and it is a wonderful association to be a part of. I’m glad to be in the ACHE family and excited to attend the next annual conference!
Amy Johnson
Can you share how and why you became a member of ACHE?
That’s easy. Two words – Rick Osborn. When I began working at ETSU (18 years ago this month), Dr. Rick Osborn was very active in the Association and he encouraged all of his staff to be involved. I attended my first conference in October of 2004 in Newport, RI and I was mostly hooked. I learned so much at that conference that helped me better serve my students. One particular session with Carol Aslanian sticks in my head from that conference. The kind of overview she provided about the needs and preferences of adult learners really resonated with me and I left that conference with a community of folks who understood the kind of work I did and the kind of students I served.
What is the greatest leadership lesson you’ve learned from your experience with ACHE?
My definition of leadership has three tenants. First, a leader has to work very hard in service of something for which you have deep passion. Secondly, a leader needs to recruit others to helping serve that cause or goal, and finally, a leader has to thank those who enlist to help reach those goals or serve those passions.
ACHE taught me all of those things. The Association helped me grow in my passion to serve adult students. It taught me that serving those students is an effort that transcends the students I’m working with today in my own institution; serving adult students well means advocating for them beyond my institution and serving an organization who collectively can do more to advance all institutions in order to help adult learners succeed. And ACHE has also taught me about gratitude; for my work, my colleagues, and the Association.
How has being a part of ACHE enhanced your professional competencies and/or your career progression?
In a single phrase, I would say, ACHE helps me keep my eyes open. The organization really helps me learn about trends and challenges in the field of continuing education. It helps me learn about the expertise of others in the Association. And it has helped me learn about myself. Through my extensive volunteer work, I’ve learned more about where my strengths lie and where I should let others take the lead.
What is something unique or special about your experience with ACHE that you would like to share with others?
I often tell people that ACHE made me wealthier. This claim comes from a conversation I had with Michelle Shinn who was Executive Vice President of the Association when the organization held its annual conference in 2007. We were at the hotel bar in Roanoke, VA when I mentioned I was not contributing to my 401k. All of the folks seated at the table were insistent that I remedy that financial decision as soon as possible. And what is notable about that experience is that two weeks after that conference, Michelle followed up by emailing to ask if I had started my monthly contribution. That was nearly 15 years ago and I’ve been contributing since November following that meeting. Because of that deep care, I really am a little richer. I think this story really demonstrates what is special about ACHE. Michelle cared enough to follow-up with me and she is one of so many people in the association who demonstrate how much she cares for her colleagues. When I say ACHE is a family, I think of people like Michelle who have demonstrated so much support for one another. And it is because of that love and support that I am truly wealthier. I’m rich in friendship because of ACHE.
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your experience with ACHE?
ACHE has given me opportunities to stretch and grow like no other professional development experience in my life and career. There is no aspect of my life – personal or professional – that has not been influenced by ACHE and I don’t know of any other organizations that offer such wonderful opportunities to not only serve, grow, and learn, but also provide warmth, joy, and genuine care.
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