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Five Minutes with ACHE

  • March 20, 2017 5:58 PM | Anonymous

    The ACHE home office would like to warmly welcome the Executive Vice President for ACHE and Interim Vice President for Outreach at the University of Oklahoma, Belinda P. Biscoe, Ph.D.

    "Thank you for this tremendous opportunity to serve as Executive Vice President for ACHE while hosting the home office. I have been a long-time supporter of this remarkable national association and look forward to working with you to continue this meaningful work as reflected in our vision to be dedicated to the promotion of lifelong learning and excellence in continuing higher education through professional development, collegiality, and service as a means to enhance and improve society. I am excited for the future and for the possibilities it will afford us!" 
    - Belinda P. Biscoe, Ph.D.

    Trained as a research psychologist, Biscoe has nearly 30 years of experience with school- and community-based programs, including higher education as an administrator, researcher, and program developer. Among her areas of expertise are research and evaluation, administration and program development in higher education and common education, including school improvement and reform and early literacy, grant writing, diversity in the workplace, youth development, and substance abuse prevention and treatment. As Interim Vice President, she bears responsibility for over thirty-one program units employing close to 600 professionals. These departments focus on programs in higher education, common education, including early childhood, juvenile justice, disability education and training, social justice and human relations, executive training and team development, health and human services, public radio, social justice, American Indian education and health, research and evaluation, and substance abuse prevention.

    Her strengths in working with large systems through partnerships, and helping them to reform and build capacity, are demonstrated in her work in education and the community, and have been the hallmark of her career. She is a national leader in the quest to aid local communities in their school programs, especially those designed to aid the disadvantaged. For three decades she has performed heroically as an administrator, a researcher, and an advocate for reaching out to disadvantaged youth, families, and communities. She is truly a systems thinker who sees how concepts and ideas link together, resulting in new learning and innovations.

    Dr. Biscoe's collaborative spirit has been acknowledged by her appointment to the Regional Educational Laboratory – Southwest (REL Southwest) Board of Directors (2005-2012), where she served as Chair from 2010-2011.  Additionally, she was appointed from 2011-2013 to serve on ED’s National Advisory Board for the Office of Special Education (OSEP). She was appointed to an Educational Research Board for the Texas State Education Agency in 2008 by the Texas Commissioner of Education. 

    Prior to her time at OU, Dr. Biscoe worked for eight years in the Oklahoma City Public School District as a senior research associate and Director for Federal and State Programs focusing on areas such as bilingual education, homeless education, safe and drug free schools, Indian Education, Title I, and Community Education. As a researcher, practitioner, and competitive grant writer, Dr. Biscoe has been able to blend scientific rigor successfully to TA work resulting in numerous awards. Her grant writing skills have resulted in over $150,000,000 in funding to the state of Oklahoma. She is co-founder of Eagle Ridge Institute, a non-profit, community-based drug and alcohol and treatment prevention agency and founder of Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless youth and their families. She has received numerous awards, including the 2004 University of Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Award for Continuing Education Professionals, Kansas City, MO, recipient of the Journal Record Award for 50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma (Spring 2005), and the Adella Robertson National University Continuing Education Award, San Diego, California (Spring 2006). In 2015, for her significant contributions in education and the community, Dr. Biscoe was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for Higher Education.

  • March 10, 2017 5:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Association for Continuing Higher Education invites your participation in the

    2017 ACHE Emerging Leader Institute

    June 20-22, 2017 at Loyola University Chicago

    We are extending the deadline to
    Monday, March 13, at 12:00 p.m.

    $1,950 for ACHE members ($2,450 for non-members)
    for program and on-site housing

    Featuring higher education thought leaders, addressing topics which in
    clude cultivating a career; working with senior leadership; crisis management; and visionary change leadership in continuing education.

    Speakers include: Kelly Otter, Dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University

    The Emerging Leader Institute will provide the opportunity to:
    - Meet leaders in higher education innovation for discussion of relevant, contemporary issues.
    - Network with other emerging continuing education leaders from across the country.
    - Sharpen focus on professional pathways to higher education.

    While at the Loyola University Watertower Campus, make sure to check out the nearby art, dining, and shopping on the Gold Coast!

    Please submit the following materials for consideration in the 2017 ACHE ELI cohort and email to

    1) A 250-500 letter of introduction, providing background, including:
        ● A short biography
        ● Description of your current professional role, as well as your professional goals.
        ● Personal philosophy on higher education leadership

    2) A resume or CV

    3) A letter of recommendation from:
        ● A direct supervisor
        ● An ACHE colleague
        ● A Dean, Provost or President

    4) A letter of support to finance participation in ELI from your institution or a letter stating your intention to personally finance participation. 

  • March 03, 2017 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    30th Annual
    National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education
    May 30 - June 3, 2017
    Fort Worth Convention Center

    The Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies at The University of Oklahoma Outreach has played an active role in addressing issues of social justice and equity since its founding in 1961. To address a surge of racist incidents occurring on campuses across the nation, the Center launched the first annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) in 1988. Since its inception, NCORE has evolved into a vital national resource for higher education institutions, providing an annual multicultural and multidisciplinary forum which attracts faculty, professional staff, administrators and student leaders. NCORE 2016 was attended by more than 3,400 participants representing over 1,000 institutions in the higher education community.

    Today, NCORE is the leading, most significant and comprehensive national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education, focusing on the complex task of creating and sustaining comprehensive institutional change designed to create inclusive higher education environments, programs, and curriculum; improve campus racial and ethnic relations; and expand opportunities for educational access and success by culturally diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations. NCORE creates within the space of five days a community for individuals and campus teams to work collaboratively under the guidance, tutelage and expertise of recognized and effective scholars, practitioners and change makers.

    This year, NCORE 2017 will commemorate thirty years of service to the higher education community with a conference program featuring more than 300 sessions that will focus campus professionals and student leaders on the issues of race, ethnicity, religion, class, gender, sovereignty, immigration status, and intersectionality. 

    Conference Participants Include:

    • Senior administrative officers at both campus and system levels
    • Academic affairs administrators, deans, department chairs, and teaching faculty
    • Directors and staff of offices of affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and minority affairs
    • Professionals in virtually all campus activity/service areas, including admissions, student life, financial aid, personnel, public safety, alumni affairs, and athletics
    • Representatives of state and national institutes, associations, agencies, commissions, and foundations
    • Students and leaders of student organizations representing 20% of 2016 participants
    • Representatives of community-based agencies and organizations

    Enrollment is open for this year’s conference, with information about times, fees, and sessions available at

  • February 24, 2017 3:56 PM | Anonymous

     Dear Colleagues,

    My fellow ACHE members, ask not how boldly this reference to a famous JFK quote is being used to catch your attention, ask both what ACHE can do for you AND ask what you can do for ACHE. 

    Here’s an update on some of the things ACHE can do for you…

    ACHE Regional Conferences
     are underway, bringing additional networking and professional development opportunities closer to your door. Last week, the Great Lakes Region partnered with the Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education for a regional meeting in Chicago focused on Persistence, Perseverance and Success in Continuing Education. Next week, ACHE West is convening in San Francisco to Innovate, Create, and Elevate. In April, the MidAtlantic region will explore Degree Completion and Retention: Stopping the Revolving Door in Virginia Beach, followed by ACHE South’s Treading our Crossroads Today: Marching our Pathways Tomorrow in Memphis. If you haven’t yet registered for your regional conference, consider doing so today!

    Enrollment is now open for the 2017 Emerging Leaders Institute that will be held in Chicago, June 20-22. If you or someone you know would like to sharpen practical leadership skills and learn about visionary change leadership in continuing education, ELI is for you!

    The ACHE mentorship program is in the process of identifying mentors and protégées to begin a formal mentoring experience designed to pair experienced CE professionals with up and coming professionals. If you are interested and want to learn more, please contact Dr. Terry Ratcliff at

    Access the Journal for Continuing Higher Education for reporting and exchange of ideas based on research, observations, and experience relevant to our field.

    Check out ACHE’s webinar catalog for recorded presentations in a wide variety of topics, from recruitment to competency-based education to publishing and more.

    Nominate a person, program, or marketing campaign for an award. The 2017 award call for nominations will open in March, so be thinking about what contributions you and your institution make to the advancement of continuing higher education and let them shine!

    Here’s what you can do for ACHE: Get Involved!

    Leadership positions at the regional and national level provide a great opportunity for ACHE members to deepen the value of their ACHE experience. Several regions are currently seeking nominations or leadership roles, and the ACHE national elections will be coming up later this spring. 

    Being part of an ACHE committee is another way you can get involved and make a difference. We need all the hands we can get to do the work of the Association, and committees are a great way to network, contribute, and explore opportunities. 

    The 2017 Conference Planning Committee is currently seeking dedicated and enthusiastic members to be part of creating a memorable event in Portland October 23-25. We have a great team shaping up and would love to have more people to join the fun. This committee is an extraordinary way to get involved, meet new people, and be part of the Association’s flagship annual event.  If conference planning isn’t your cup o’ tea, consider being part of our Membership Recruitment & Retention Committee or the Research Committee. 

    No matter what skills and interests you have, you can get involved! For more information and to sign up, please visit and ask what you can do for ACHE!

    Clare Roby
    ACHE President, 2017

  • February 17, 2017 3:52 PM | Anonymous

    2017 ACHE Conference and Meeting

    October 23 - 25, 2017

    Portland, Oregon

    Theme: IMAGINE

    Call for Proposals COMING SOON!

  • December 15, 2016 7:34 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 10:02 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 8:16 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 1:03 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 11:08 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

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