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Five Minutes with ACHE

  • June 29, 2018 2:48 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Association for Continuing Higher Education
    80th Annual Conference and Meeting
    Newport Marriott Hotel • 25 America’s Cup Avenue • Newport, RI

    Dear Colleagues,

    I became involved with ACHE, in 2007, through an adult degree completion program at my institution.  We won an award at the regional level and were fortunate to win at the national level. I attended the national conference, to accept the award, and I was pleasantly surprised how friendly and welcoming the people were.

    Since that time, I have been “hooked” on ACHE and the great people and experiences the organization offers.  The opportunity to meet folks from all over the country who share the same problems and issues has been very rewarding.

    I can pick up the phone and seek advice and assistance from a multitude of educational professionals -- and you do not always find that in every organization.  ACHE has become an integral part of my professional life, and I really appreciate my ACHE family.

    I would encourage anyone who deals with adult and continuing education to give ACHE a try.

    Check out the
    ACHE 2018 Conference Website
    for all the details!


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    Tim McElroy
    Exhibitors/Sponsors Committee Co-Chair
    Northeastern Oklahoma State University

    Dr. Tim McElroy has served as Dean of the Northeastern State University (NSU) campus in Muskogee, Oklahoma since June 1, 1999, and has 40 years of experience.  Before going to NSU he held positions of Public Information Director, Director of High School and College Relations, Director of Admissions, and Registrar at four other institutions.  

    He became involved with ACHE in 2007 while directing the statewide Reach Higher, degree completion program.  Reach Higher is a consortium of nine regional universities and 14 community colleges throughout Oklahoma. 

    His ACHE involvement includes serving as both chair-elect and chair of the Great Plains Region, Director at Large on the ACHE National Board, and member of the planning committee for International Conferences in Albuquerque, Las Vegas, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Newport.

    Dr. McElroy has an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Oklahoma State University and both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University.

  • June 22, 2018 1:32 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    "Relaxing! Wonderful and informative conference." 

    "I came away with so many ideas." 

    The 2018 ACHE South Annual Conference was held April 10-12 in Austin, TX at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at The Capitol.  Austin was a beautiful setting for a relaxing conference with plenty of opportunities to network and build new or existing relationships across the south region.  The “Keep Austin Weird” slogan celebrates the city’s desire to protect small, unique, and local businesses as it becomes a boom town and technology leader, while supporting the arts and entertainment industries.  This desire to support the community and its creativity inspired the conference theme, “Cultivate Your Community: Partnerships and Relationships in Higher Education.” 

    Three tracks were developed to support the theme.  Leadership and Relationships offered sessions related to leadership experiences that led to improved relationships in team building, community relations, as well as an executive shared vision.  Due to Austin’s economic growth and increased career opportunities, a track titled Growing Partnerships offered sessions related to successful program partnerships that led to prosperity for students, departments, and the institutions.  The third track, When Weird Works…or Doesn’t, celebrated those unexpected partnerships that led to wonderful opportunities as well as odd collaborations that didn’t go as planned.  Concurrent sessions included topics on coaching, motivation and engagement, partnerships, online learning, communication strategies and reorganization to name a few.  

    Keynote speakers included Dr. Gerald Napoles, president of Lone Star College – North Harris, who discussed the value of partnerships and relationships throughout his professional career and journey to become president.  Dr. Bethany Bear Hebbard,Community Corps director at Mobile Loaves & Fishes, shared her passion for teaching and inspiring the creation of true homes in a homeless world through relationship building.  Ben Kennedy, founder and managing partner of Kennedy & Company, has been a long time partner to the South Region and shared his current research on enrollment management.  Each keynote also graciously offered a follow-up concurrent session to provide an additional opportunity for participants to ask questions and learn more about their experiences.

    Attendees also had time to take a city walking tour, visit parks around the Capitol, shop, eat out on historic Sixth Street, and relax in the outdoor backyard at the hotel playing yard games.  

    Audrey Johnson coordinated our annual philanthropy project, supporting Community First! Village, which offers housing and services for the disabled and chronically homeless in Central Texas. 

    The 2018 Regional Award winners included: 

    • Joseph P. Goddard Scholarship – Lourdes Arevalo, Kennesaw State University; 
    • Distinguished Program (Non-Credit) – Ethical Hacker Certificate, Kennesaw State University
    • Mini-Grant – Trey Schruff, Middle Tennessee State University; and 
    • Outstanding Faculty – Matthew Bergman, University of Louisville.  

    During the business meeting, the mini-grant was amended to allow recipients to utilize the funds to attend the Emerging Leaders Institute.

    At the conclusion of the conference, outgoing ACHE South chair Dr. Chris Nesmith reflected on the accomplishments of the organization this past year and handed the gavel to incoming chair Debbie Poweleit. Also recognized for their amazing work, organizational skills, and overall support were our co-hosts Michelle Chappell and David Grebel form Texas Christian University and Audrey Johnson and Gabriela Coleman from Baylor University, and their teams, who along with the entire Conference Planning Committee designed a successful conference. Plans are already underway for the 2019 conference in Gatlinburg, TN, at the Park Vista hotel with Eastern Tennessee State University serving as the host institution.


  • June 15, 2018 10:00 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Alex Read is the Chair for the West Region of ACHE. He works at Sacramento State in the College of Continuing Education as a Senior Program Strategist. He is responsible for the development of new certificate programs and the day-to-day operations of existing certificate programs. Alex lives in Sacramento California in the neighborhood where the movie Lady Bird was filmed. Alex is married to his wife Jennifer whom he met attending California State University, Chico. Alex and Jennifer have three kids Ross (9), Elyse (6), and Claire (3).

    The West region had a successful regional conference this last February in Salt Lake City. The conference was well attended, but the presentations and breakout sessions were the highlight of the conference. The conference attracted three corporate sponsors and seven university sponsorships. The engagement between the sponsors and attendees provided a fun environment that really sparked the networking opportunities. Alex would like to thank the BYU downtown center again for hosting the conference!  The 2019 ACHE West Regional Conference will be held March 4th – 6th at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

    Alex’s predictions for 2019:

    • ACHE will continue to get stronger and grow as a premier association for continuing higher education professionals. The national meeting and conference will get rave reviews because of the unique location and quality presentations the conference will provide.
    • The West Regional Conference in Tucson will be the most attended regional conference for the west in the past 10 years.
    • Higher education will be faced with more challenges this upcoming year. Higher education professionals will be asked to do more with less and produce greater results with less staff, funding, and support. Now more than ever we need to work together as an association to tackle these challenges as team. The best part of ACHE is the groups’ willingness to share and collaborate, so let’s utilize this strength to overcome challenges together this upcoming year.
    • I predict Alex will say “no” much more this year when asked if he can help coach a sport for his own children.

    I hope to see everyone in Newport Rhode Island.


    Alex Read
    Chair ACHE West Region
    College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State
  • June 08, 2018 12:00 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Those of us who work at colleges and universities understand the critical role that successful enrollment plays in the sustainability of our institutions. As in private industry, the number of students whom we enroll annually represents the successful “sales” that our institutions need to achieve to operate reliably and fulfill their role of educating students. Particularly when institutions miss their enrollment targets or lose students through attrition, life can become very challenging for them. While high-end elite universities typically don’t have this problem and public institutions are often buffered by both the large volume of students enrolled and state funding, the rest of our institutions must work to attract and retain sufficient supplies of new students yearly.

    To make things more complex, the supply of traditional high school students is waning, forcing campuses to come up with more innovative ways to achieve their enrollment goals. Increasingly, student-centric admissions and retention strategies have helped many colleges succeed. Administrators, advisors, and faculty with a common mission and determination to provide excellent educational experiences and high levels of customer service to all students are winning in this race.

    The numbers of students that are now predicted to grow significantly are students from diverse backgrounds, including nontraditional learners and those who are first generation, underserved Latino students. High-touch, student-centered strategies of retention, persistence, and completion are evidencing higher success rates particularly with such populations. Current innovations such as those regarding predictive analytics being implemented by Civitas Learning and the Education Advisory Board that track the students’ footprint through their university journey and pinpoint when and where they succeed and fail, with appropriate and timely interventions to ensure that they don’t fall off track, are breaking new ground in the field of student-centered enrollment practice.

    At Fairleigh Dickinson University, a new degree completion program is being created and Petrocelli College has been transformed from an atomized and siloed series of individual programs to a unit that has built a far more proactive, efficient enrollment structure. We meet weekly with all program directors to review the success of our lead generation, conversion rates, applications, and registration data. Our model is blended, flipped to ensure that students can rely upon online learning and instruction and come to campus once a week or less; current research shows that flipped class models work well for adult cohorts and helps them to remain in their study programs. We are also conducting focus groups and consultant studies to work on ways that our operation can reduce the many inconveniences that often drive students away from degree study.  We consistently communicate the message to students that we are there to enable their degree completion and to remove obstacles in the way of their goal.  Such student-centric messages and behaviors help to instill trust in our students and serve as the glue in a high-touch model that grows degree completion programs.

    This watershed moment of change and opportunity signals that our institutions of higher learning must change and adapt to the times if they are to survive. Especially tuition-driven private institutions must find ways to alter and adapt their business models.  Renowned Harvard Business Professor Clayton Christensen warns:

    "…higher education is just on the edge of the crevasse. Generally, universities are doing very well financially, so they don’t feel from the data that their world is going to collapse. But I think even five years from now these enterprises are going to be in real trouble."

    This focus on the student, rather than on the institution, shifts the paradigm and underscores the real reason that we work in universities—i.e., to serve the student.  Students need to know that those on campus care about their development as individuals. Implementing this practice can make the difference between holding onto students and watching them walk away from our campuses.  Developing proactive, student-centric business models that are systemized and a regular part of our day-to-day operations can significantly increase enrollment growth and keep our students happy and in class.

    Lisa R. Braverman, Ph.D.
    Dean of the Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies
    Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • June 01, 2018 1:42 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Greetings from Halifax, Nova Scotia! 


    Over the last few days, I have enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of our sister organization, the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) . In addition to wonderful keynotes, the CAUCE Communities of Practice presented a dynamic and innovative series of sessions featuring the best of Canadian continuing education.

    There are many ACHE action items to consider this time of year. Please take some time to contribute and participate in the following:

    #1 - Submit a nomination for the 2018 ACHE Awards

    Recognize your achievements! The Call for Awards deadline is June 15, 2018, so be sure to submit your nominations soon! These awards are meant to help you bring recognition to your unit and individuals on your own campus as we will also give you press releases to share in your community. We need to share the good work that happens in continuing education!  

    Our individual awards categories are:

    • Leadership
    • Meritorious service
    • Emeritus
    • Rising Star

    Our program award categories include:

    • Distinguished Program ~ Credit and Non-credit
    • Creative Use of Technology
    • Older Adult Model Program Award
    • Outstanding Services to Underserved Populations
    • Crystal Marketing Award

    You can find out more about our Call for Awards by clicking hereRemember, you must submit a nomination to win!

    #2 - Submit a nomination for ACHE Vice President and Board of Directors

    Vice President & Board of Directors

    The ACHE Nominations Committee is currently accepting nominations through June 8, 2018 for:

    • Directors-at-Large (2 openings) and
    • Vice President

    Click here to submit a nomination. Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague.

    Once nominations are received, the Chair of the Nominations Committee, Clare Roby, will contact nominees with requests for additional information. The Association will present its slate of candidates to the membership for consideration in July by email and in Five Minutes with ACHE. Please direct questions to the Nominations Committee Chair, Clare Roby at

    Eligibility for Office 

    Basic Eligibility for Directors at Large and Vice President

    • Be an institutional, organizational, or professional member in good standing, per the Constitution. Service, leadership, and contributions to the association are expected prerequisites. A candidate must have served in a significant role with ACHE.

    Additional Eligibility Criteria for Vice President

    • Must have completed a term as regional chair based on the requirements of his or her region;
    • Or must have served at least one year as the chair of an association committee;
    • Or must have served one year as an association Director at Large.
    • And must have a minimum of one letter of support from one’s provost or president or other appropriate administrator approving candidacy and acknowledging time and financial commitments of association officers.

    For a complete description of the requirements, roles, and responsibilities of ACHE Officers, please consult the ACHE Guide for Candidates.

    We hope that you will consider nominating yourself or a colleague this year!

    #3 - Submit an application for an ACHE Conference scholarship

    The ACHE Graduate Student Conference Grant and the ACHE Memorial Staff Development Grant are designed to assist graduate students and continuing education staff members attend the ACHE Conference!
    • Are you working on a graduate degree and interested in attending the ACHE annual conference?
    • Do you have CE staff members who would benefit from participating in an ACHE professional development event to further their professional development and hone their skills?

    If you answered yes, please consider applying for a 2018 ACHE Grant before July 31, 2018!  Click here for details.

    ACHE Grants and Scholarships are also available, including the Alex Charters Research Grant, Wayne L. Whelan Scholarship, and Institutional Minigrants.

    • Could your institution use a minigrant to support a special initiative, project, or research effort that would advance the field of continuing education?
    • Do you know an ACHE member who is studying in the field of adult continuing higher education? 
    • Are you conducting research to promote the development and dissemination of new knowledge, theories, and practices in adult and continuing education?

    Learn more about these other ACHE Grants and Scholarships!  Click here for details.

    If you have any questions or need additional information, let us know. Grant and Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon during the 2018 ACHE Annual Conference & Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island.

    Have a wonderful June, Colleagues!

      With Warmest Regards,

    Bill Boozang, Ed.D.
    ACHE President, 2018
    Boston College

  • May 25, 2018 1:27 PM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Association for Continuing Higher Education
    80th Annual Conference and Meeting
    Newport Marriott Hotel • 25 America’s Cup Avenue • Newport, RI

    We hope you are making plans to join us the 80th Annual ACHE Conference and Meeting October 8-10, 2018 in Newport, Rhode Island. 

    The conference theme this year is “Keeping the Beacon of Continuing Education Burning Bright,” emphasizing the important role of continuing education in the mission and vision of higher education as a whole.

    Through concurrent sessions, workshops, and keynote speakers, the conference program will emphasize innovation, future-forward practice, and technological vision in the delivery of post-secondary education, all aiming to refocus us toward a brighter future.

    Learn more about the 80th Annual Conference and Meeting, register to attend, explore the lighthouses of Rhode Island, and discover the Top 12 Things to Do in Newport.

    Jeni Maple
    Conference Committee Co-Chair
    Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • May 18, 2018 10:01 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    The MidAtlantic Conference took place in Annapolis, Maryland April 11-13 at the Westin Hotel. Twenty-eight participants attended the event. A Welcome Reception sponsored by University of Delaware Professional and Continuing Studies kicked off the conference. The informal gathering was a great opportunity to catch up with friends throughout the region and form new relationships.


    Rick Kantor’s keynote address entitled “The Creative Mindset: GPS to the Future” was a high point creating positive energy and setting an upbeat tone for the conference. Rick encouraged higher education professionals to “…let thoughts roll” and be catalysts for change. He advocates the concept of owning one’s own creativity and focuses on the FourSight Model: clarify, ideate, develop, and implement. His message resonated with members as numerous institutions in our region face challenges to develop and grow programs in an ever-changing landscape. He traveled from sunny California to be with the MidAtlantic group. Rick serves as a Creativity Consultant, Catalyst, and Speaker; Adjunct Faculty at Drexel University; and the Secretary of American Creativity Association. He was awarded the Champion of Creativity Award in 2017.

    General Session

    Attendees experienced a change of pace with a lively General Session entitled “Putting Students First: A Critical Sociological Perspective.” A group representing Mary Baldwin University (faculty and staff: Bob Robinson, Virginia Trovato, and Carrie Boyd; and two adult learners: Corey Chandler and Gina Edwards) led this session. The group presented research and plans for the creation of a student union to give a voice to formerly marginalized students.


    Sharon Barnes of Mary Baldwin University, Dr. Regis Gilman of East Carolina University, Dr. Honour Moore of Grazt College, and Phillip Moore of Grazt college led a panel discussion focusing on the theme of “From Valleys to Peaks” to begin the second day of the conference. Each panelist shared peaks, valleys, mountain top experiences, and thoughts of the present and future from their respective vantage points, followed by a question and answer session.

    Concurrent Sessions

    In addition to the Keynote, General Session, and Panel, participants experienced a variety of presentations looking at the theme of Ahead of the Curve: Innovative Ideas and Strategies You Can Implement Tomorrow, including: 

    • digital marketing, 
    • the needs and demands of online students, 
    • barriers for enrollment and persistence, and 
    • other key issues.

    “What’s in the Secret Sauce” presented by Mickey Baines resonated with a number of members. He shared creative approaches and tactics he has used successfully to increase enrollments at four different institutions over the past five years in the role of an Interim Chief Enrollment Officer.  

    Business Meeting

    The Regional Business Meeting included reports from the Chair and Treasurer. The meeting included a discussion about next spring’s conference. Planning is underway; the location and dates will be forthcoming this summer.

    Enjoyable and successful conference – sharing quotes from evaluations

    “A great spirit to the small group. Very connective and restorative (and with good info to take back), A great 'time-out' from regular work days. I don't think this can be discounted when planning and promoting this conference.”

    “The conference in Annapolis provided a positive experience in the midst of the landscape of challenges and uncertainty in higher education.”

    Thank you to the MidAtlantic Board who worked diligently to plan the conference and to Mary Baldwin University Online and Distance Programs for sponsoring one of the luncheons. We appreciate Ann Solan’s photos capturing highlights of the conference also.
  • May 11, 2018 10:28 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Working at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) provides the opportunity to see in microcosm the larger national conversation about different modalities of learning.  We have a traditional New England liberal arts college, almost a century old with about 4,000 students, a national online college with 90,000 students, and a competency-based education (CBE) program with more than 4,000 students.  The CBE programs partner with national workforces as well as international programs that educate employees of all levels and refugees in several foreign countries.  These operations are the reason we state with conviction that there is no single student type and, if we are to be true to our mission of creating rigorous learning environments that increase the likelihood of student success, we must be prepared to meet students where they are.

    One of the initiatives that we are working on is creating learning experiences that are adaptable.  Our universal interoperable prototype is built in such a way that individual learning experiences are small enough and independent enough to be used on their own for competency demonstration, and also capable of being interwoven (or stacked) into larger experiences (such as traditional courses or other engagement types).  Consider having a learning experience for effective communication that could be paired with other modules in such a way that the learning environments and assessments might be different experiences for students in business, natural sciences, or humanities.  In this paradigm, a basic “Lego block” of curriculum can be built based upon the needs and interests of the students rather than one predetermined learning path.

    In the music industry, albums were replaced with cassettes which were in turn replaced with compact discs.  In very short time periods how we listened to music, as well as where and when changed.  Yet for a substantial amount of time the packaging of the music remained the same—an album with a dozen or so songs was still what you got when you bought a cassette or a compact disc.

    The creation of Napster shifted things and, while the traditional music industry was able to shut that down through lawsuits, it was clear there was no turning back.  Soon there was iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify while tools transitioned from Mp3 players to iPods to smartphones.  No longer would consumers have to spend $15.99 for a package of 12 songs when they only wanted two of the songs from that package.  They might still buy 12 songs, but the twelve they purchased could be purchased individually and combined through playlists and podcasts, fitting the needs of the consumer rather than the insistence of the producers.

    Almost overnight institutions that had banked on the durability of music production and distribution like Tower Records and MediaPlay vanished.  We see a similar opportunity in creating learning experience models that would allow students to assemble learning experience “playlists” that suit their needs as well as the parallel resources that would support their experiences.

    There are many factors that must be considered in this opportunity:

    • Is there a new “right size” model that will replace the 3-credit course?
    • How does one rethink a course, which is an iterative interwoven learning experience with independent stacked modules?  In other words, if each learning experience is a brick (or song) that may be placed into various structures (or playlists), how do we develop a capability to agilely supply mortar around such bricks to ensure a unified learning experience?  One that does not have holes or gaps in learning?
    • How might the various roles within academic and student affairs (or the music industry) change?

    One irony of this kind of rapid evolution is that the core skill sets continue to be those that make us most human—effective communication, ethics, interpersonal relationships, and leadership skills (the ones that are periodically referred to as either soft or vital). 

    Southern New Hampshire University has focused on deliberate outcomes in the general education curriculum that are workforce-related competencies, empowering students to master skills that are transferable and scalable from one job to the next.  We continue to refine our frameworks.  Rather than focus on a given area of the social sciences (sociology, psychology, anthropology) in a buffet-style model, we look to ensure that, regardless of their field of interest, students become knowledgeable about how societies, cultures and organizations interact and how they can apply their skills in increasingly complex situations (personal and professional).  This way, as technology continues to advance, students will continue to apply their uniquely human interpersonal skills in ways that make them perpetually valuable to the world.

    Dr. Gregory Fowler
    Chief Academic Officer & Vice President for Academic Affairs
    Southern New Hampshire University

  • May 04, 2018 10:00 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Greetings, Colleagues!

    This week, the Boston area is enjoying its second 80-degree day in a row. On campus, commencement preparations are well underway; students are engaged in the final push of the semester; and administrators welcome the summer months in expectation of another academic year.

    For the planning committee and me, our efforts are increasingly occupied with the 80thACHE Annual Conference, Newport 2018 on October 8th-10th.   I am happy to announce that conference registration is now open!

    For those of you who haven’t been to Newport previously, there is plenty of fun in store, from the beauty of The Breakers to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

    Come early for Columbus Day Weekend, as there's plenty of holiday events planned, including the Amica Newport Marathon and the Jamestown Classic.  Most importantly, the Newport 2018 planning committee has a wonderful conference in store for you, from keynotes who are leaders in our field to workshops and sessions which feature the best of continuing education.  

    A good piece of local advice - book your accommodations early, as Columbus Day Weekend in Newport is a popular destination!

    I look forward to seeing you there.


    With Warmest Regards,

    Bill Boozang, Ed.D.
    ACHE President, 2018
    Boston College

  • April 27, 2018 11:29 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

    Association for Continuing Higher Education
    80th Annual Conference and Meeting
    Newport Marriott Hotel • 25 America’s Cup Avenue • Newport, RI

    Dear Colleague,

    Join us for the 80th Annual ACHE Conference and Meeting being held in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island,
    October 8 - 10, 2018.

    The focus of our annual conference is “Keeping the Beacon of Continuing Education Burning Bright." 

    Why attend our conference?

    • Dynamic learning opportunities
    • Enhanced understanding of learner needs
    • Develop increased awareness of technological changes
    • Increase understanding of the dynamics of our knowledge-based economy
    • Renew professional relationships
    • Establish new connections

    Mark your calendar now and plan on attending the upcoming Association for Continuing Higher Education Conference. 


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    Think about it… Newport, Rhode Island, ACHE and you! What could be better for continuing education!?

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