Webinar Topics

All webinar topics in the 2023 Spring Webinar Series were presented live at the 2022 Annual Conference in New Orleans. After many participants expressed dismay that they couldn’t attend all the terrific sessions, it was decided to ask all conference participants to vote on the topics they would most like to experience as a webinar. These are the most requested topics!

Please join us to learn more about these ideas and how you can implement them at your institution. 

All webinars will be scheduled for Wednesdays at 1:00-1:50pm EST.

February 15        

"Five Successful Strategies for Engaging Adult Students in the Online Classroom"

Description: In order to promote online student success and retention, student engagement is essential. This session will outline research from the literature on the importance of instructor presence in the classroom. Presenters will discuss outside-of-the-classroom activities and techniques that are used in a research course to help engage students and increase instructor presence. Techniques that will be demonstrated and discussed include: using intelligent agents, using videos to engage students , giving awards for student performance and using text messaging in the online classroom. This session would be helpful for faculty as well as administrators who are involved with faculty training and development and selecting classroom technology and course management systems.


  • Dr. Dianna Rust, Professor, University Studies, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Layne Ray Bryant, Director, Assessment & Accreditation, Middle Tennessee State University

Webinar Host: Patti Spaniola, University of West Florida


February 22        

"Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships"

Description: The purpose of this session is to explore corporate and external partnerships in order to grow enrollment in adult degree completion programs. The strategic approach to grow connections that lead to program enrollment growth will be the primary focus of this session. The presenter will examine the current partnerships and dissect the methods by which those arrangements were established. While the primary audience for this program is a four-year university, many of the strategies will apply to Community Colleges. Students in the B.S. in Organizational Leadership & Learning examine relevant, rigorous, and research based curriculum that connects directly to enhance students' skills in leadership, organizational change, and workplace development and performance. Consequently, this adult degree completion program aligns well with the needs of many career fields from corporate, government, education, and military sectors. Credit for Prior Learning is an integral component that assists corporate partners to save tuition assistance expenditures.



  • Matt Bergman, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Louisville
  • Tracy Robinson, Director, Innovative Academic Initiatives, The University of Memphis

Webinar Host: Sherry Blok, Concordia University


March 1       

"From the Ground Up: Making Space for Non-Traditional Students at the University"

Description: When credit and non-credit units function collaboratively, opportunities to serve non-traditional learners can flourish. The session will describe the collaborative work between credit and non-credit units including the challenges and triumphs as well as the upcoming work. Leaders from the units will talk about their collaborative work that engages the community and is beginning to weave together pathways for non-traditional students.


  • Mary Ettling, EdM, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Leslie Brock, Assistant Director of Non-Credit Programs, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Stephanie Simpson, Assistant Director of Online Student Services, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Webinar Host: Jana Breburdova, University of Central Florida


March 8  

"Developing a Growth Mindset"

Description: This workshop is for faculty, administrators, individuals with management responsibility and individual contributors looking to enhance and up-level their leadership brand and leadership presence. In this self-growth and self-development workshop, participants will learn to enhance their growth mindset and develop more poise under pressure. The workshop features extensive practice exercises and participants gain self-awareness of their individual style and ways to enhance their impact and influence. They take away key communication principles to implement immediately, using proven and practical techniques for demonstrating a dynamic leadership style.


  • Sheila Boysen-Rotelli, Professor, College of Business, Lewis University

Webinar Host: Sherry Blok, Concordia University


March 15

"Microcredentials: When a Spark Becomes a Fire"

Description: This session explores how a pilot to develop embedded and co-curricular microcredentials for the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS), a program for adult and contemporary learners, created an opportunity to lead a campus-wide initiative; moving the adult serving program from margin to center at the institution almost overnight. This new initiative engages cross-campus stakeholders, targets multiple (l)earner audiences, and provides the skills-based education and language our (l)earners need and employers want – in short, it creates a new business vertical for the organization. The session shares the importance of strategic internal communications to convey the expertise of professionals in adult and continuing education units, provides an overview of how UNO has been building its microcredentialing strategy, including programs offered thus far, and outlines our next steps in evolving this opportunity to place (l)earners in the center of the evolving higher education enterprise.


  • Christine Billings, Director, Division of Continuing Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • April Paschall, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, Division of Continuing Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Webinar Host: Julie Shankle, University of Central Florida