The Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education

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ANTSHE Conference 2020 Schedule

"Disrupt the System…Move from Access to Success for the Non-Traditional Student"

APRIL 2 – 4, 2020 | Indianapolis, Indiana

General Sessions


APRIL 2 – 4, 2020 | Indianapolis, Indiana  

Day Two - Friday, April 3

8:45 AM Tracks

Starting from Scratch - Ideas Workshop for Focus on the Non-Traditional Student Programs

Time: 8:45 am 

Speaker: Erin Peraino, M.Ed.

As our institution chose to take a closer focus on our non-traditional student, we started re-creating a program from scratch to support and engage our non-traditional learner. This presentation will discuss the new ideas and programs that worked for us, as well as those that did not. We will then open up the discussion to an idea sharing segment allowing others to share successes and failures of their own. The goal is to help everyone leave invigorated with new ideas to take back to their own institution.

Getting Personal: Students & Tech-driven SEL

Time: 8:45 am 
Speaker: Natalie Murray, Western Governors University

Expanding access to high-quality education and setting up students for success requires faculty engagement. Starting with the question, who needs my help today? Emboldened with social and emotional learning skills to create connection, Western Governors University faculty increase student engagement and improve outcomes using targeted interventions facilitated by the Learner Care Dashboard. Learn how the data-driven approach, technology platform and humanistic engagement make all the difference.

Get Your Piece of the Pie: Adult Student Research

Time: 8:45 am 
Speaker: Suzanne Grigalunas, Enrollment Marketing Strategist and Kirsten Fedderke, Senior Vice President,
 Lipman Hearne

The most significant enrollment opportunity for many colleges and universities is the adult student market. Your institution is adapting to shifts and contractions in the undergraduate market and this massive audience–37 million adult students with some college credit but not quite a degree–is up for grabs. Lipman Hearne’s recent research into the Adult Student market will provide you with the edge you need to win these prospective students over.

You will walk away from this session with a deeper and more complete understanding of how to win, assist and retain adult students. We understand their motivations for wanting to earn a degree, the emotional aspects of the college search that might be preventing their application, and the priorities that matter most to them. Lipman Hearne’s enrollment marketing team will present new findings and implications for institutions seeking to grow their adult student audience and align their offerings with the needs of prospects.

Am I Intimidating or Are you Just Intimidated

Time: 8:45 am 

Speaker: Rikketta Franklin, University of Kentucky


The presenter will provide opportunities throughout the presentation for audience engagement through utilization of open-ended questions. The presenter will give conference participants the opportunity to share professional and personal experiences. Participants will recognize how to identify problematic behaviors, will develop andragogical techniques to utilize with adult learners, and will be provided with the resources needed to properly engage adult learners of color

9:45 AM  - 10:45 AM Keynote Speaker: Dr. Elmore Lowery, Dean of College and Career Readiness Programs, Fayetteville Technical Community College.

11:00 AM  Tracks

Creativity Interactive Learning

Time: 11:00 am 
Speaker: Sharon McDonald,
Creativity Interactive Learning

Opening minds to possibilities and opportunities. Encouraging creativity, a fundamental aspect of my Creative Interactive workshop is sparking innovative thinking that results in new ideas, new processes, and new services. Speaking to each group, I strive to educate the mind, touch the emotions, challenge the will, and foster skill development. My activity-based workshop brings Professional Development events to life with Creativity Interactive Learning. Packed full of motivational lessons, this workshop is a great way to develop excited, empowered, life-long learners that maintain high expectations for themselves in demonstrating positive behavior and academic progress. The way I see it, it’s okay and even preferable to have fun while learning (learning is more enjoyable with a little dose of humor)!

Africentric Models of Leadership for School Clubs and Faculty Advisors

Time: 11:00 am 

Speaker: John Anderson, Jr.., Ed.D. Student, and Dr. Ruby Cain, Ball State University

Africentric Leadership models will be presented and contrasted with traditional leadership models. This includes 500 year history of the struggles and accomplishments of Africans in the Americas and their descendants, as well as the pioneers who paved the way for future generations. Participants will be engaged in an activity of discussion and sharing components of Africentric leadership models and development of a plan to include them in organizational operations.

Building a Bridge to Career Success

Time: 11:00 am 
Speaker: Steve Neer, 
National Louis University

In an era of increased scrutiny, institutions are challenged to ensure that graduates have the necessary skills to find employment. With a large population of adult and non-traditional students, National Louis University implemented the Career Bridge, an innovative strategy of career readiness support across the entire student experience. By requiring career coaching, embedding career readiness content across the curriculum, and increasing employer engagement experiences, NLU’s multi-faceted approach has led to an increase in career readiness. NLU’s goal is not merely to provide students with a degree, but to provide students with the knowledge, skills and network necessary to be successful in the workforce and capable of securing meaningful employment.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL): Putting Policy into Practice

Time: 11:00 am 

Speaker:  Mary Beth Lakin, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Join an interactive session on credit for prior learning (CPL) capacity building and program sustainability. Workshop participants will address challenges, opportunities and strategies regarding effective CPL policy and practice implementation. Topics include: infrastructure building, faculty engagement, student outreach and advising, policy development, best practice, and strategic advocacy.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM  Keynote Luncheon: Betty Vandenbosch, PhD, Chancellor of Purdue University Global

1:40 PM Tracks

How and what to include in a questionnaire

Time: 1:40 pm
Timothy Thornton, Athens State University

The session will focus on how programs can use questionnaires to better understand their nontraditional students. The session will provide an opportunity to brainstorm and discuss ideas related to the best practices associated with the use of questionnaires. In the process, ideas will be shared on how to use a questionnaire and what are the potential benefits of including one. Additionally, the different components of the questionnaire including formatting, length, question type, and information to be collected will be detailed and discussed. The goal of the session is to leave with a blueprint on how to develop a questionnaire that will provide insight into nontraditional students.

Holistic Experiential Learning, Turning Student into Experienced Professional before Graduation

Time: 1:40 pm

Speaker: Peggy Horne

Traditional Education is booming but gaining access to skills on the job is a struggle since employees want skilled workers that are also educated. How can we have the experience in order to gain experience, especially when many companies are too afraid to hire interns? The answer is integrating experiential learning or internships built right into the educational experience with a holistic and individualized approach. Combining behavioral change and learning theories from both health education and business strategies for professional competency coaching and on the job experience, I can help any facility, educational or corporate, improve self-efficacy and soft skills that every employer is looking for and every employee need.

Using Data to Enhance our Student's Story

Time: 1:40 pm 

Speaker:  Malissa Ayala

In today's higher education environment, data driven decision making is a common term to hear. While we know our nontraditional students are more than a number or statistic, moving to incorporate data with the heart-felt stories of our students will be necessary in the bigger conversation. Span Plan is a program that began in 1968, this session will explore how we are integrating university data tools to code, track and enhance the stories we tell and use to give voice to our nontraditional students at Purdue University.

Faculty and Staff Engagement: Promoting Leadership on Campus and Creating a Culture of Student Success, Retention, and Persistence to Graduation

Time: 1:40 pm
Speaker: Velda Garvin, Non-Traditional Student, Indiana University Southeast

This presentation will discuss the importance of engagement between a university’s Non-Traditional students and its faculty and staff. The presentation will examine how a student’s engagement and connection to their campus, as well as support and caring from the faculty and staff, can help transition a Non-Traditional student’s position of obscurity to one of leadership and pride. Come listen to the presenter’s personal story of how she moved from access to success, and why she stayed the course, and is persisting to graduation.

2:45 PM Tracks

Health Promotion Meets Community Education

Time: 2:45 pm 

Speaker:  Christinia Michelle Scott, MAGTS, M.Ed., MPA, and Dr. Ruby Cain, Ball State University

The session will cover research that shows how volunteers have been successfully deployed in community-based health initiatives to support behavior modification to help prevent chronic diseases among older adults, frequently serving as both educators and navigators of the formal health care system. The session will also discuss how volunteers from the same target population of the health program are viewed as health agents, who are well-positioned to overcome social and cultural barriers to increase public awareness of health issues, and influential in behavior modification among their peers.

Ageism and Embodied Stereotypes: Understanding Adult Learners Enrolled in Community College at Midlife from the Perspective of Lifespan Developmental Psychology

Time: 2:45 pm 

Speaker:  Marla J. Erwin, PhD Candidate and Katie E. Cherry, PhD, Louisiana State University

Adult students over the age of 24 are generally classified as a single group for study, yet developmental psychologists recognize separate developmental periods during adulthood. Consequently, adult students at midlife may experience personal development within higher education differently than younger adult students, as well as ageism at individual, institutional and internalized levels. This research project applied the concept of lifespan developmental periods to distinguish students at midlife as a specific focus of inquiry using a mixed-methods approach. After a quantitative study of ageism in a community college context (see poster session), ten students who self-identified as middle-aged were interviewed. Their self-reports show how participation in higher education has contributed to renegotiations of their identity at midlife. The heterogeneity of this population is illustrated, along with substantial evidence for variations on age norms and atypical life experiences. These students described life experiences quite different from their younger counterparts. Participants' self-reports provide rich details of institutional-level and faculty-level policies that support or hinder their academic progress. Their experiences also point to areas that need further study to more fully understand how to meet the learning and developmental needs of this specific population of older non-traditional students.

Creating Success for Non-Traditional Students

Time: 2:45 pm 

Speaker:  Mary Margaret Kraut, Union Institute & University

My presentation will discuss the importance of providing an engaging and nurturing environment for all non-traditional students to be successful in higher education regardless of their life situation. Non-traditional students may seek higher education to obtain employment skills, a high school diploma, fulfill a personal goal, as well as improve literacy skills, become fluent in the English language or become digitally literate. I will present suggestions for schools, community organizations, and federally funded community outreach programs to enhance non-traditional student persistence and success.

Student Spotlight Speaker

Time: 2:45 pm 

Speaker: Dr. Bridgette Adams

Dr. Bridgette Adams is a Military Human Resource Technician with the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research. She has served a total of 22 years as an Active Duty Soldier and a Citizen Warrior (Reservists) where she completed one tour of duty in Iraq. She obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Management with a concentration in Criminal Justice in 2006 and 2009

respectively from CTU Online. She defended her dissertation on December 14, 2019 and is ready and scheduled to attend training to become a Child Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in San Antonio, TX. Her objective is to be the voice of children that are put into Foster Care and the Child Welfare System that does not have a voice. Her ultimate goal is to become one of the top spokespersons for CASA, and is considering becoming an adjunct instructor. 

3:50 PM Roundtable Discussions

Understanding Invisible Disabilities (IDs): What the Stakeholders in Higher Education Ought to Know and Do

Time: 3:50 am 
 Dr. Gabriele Strohschen, DePaul University; Dr. Vincent Wiggins, Harold Washington College - City Colleges of Chicago; Rosy Cordera, DePaul University - Steans Center for Teaching and Learning; Deborah McPhee, Deborah McPhee Coaching; Karen Wilson, DePaul University - School of Professional and Continuing Studies

Implicit racism, domestic abuse, and unseen chronic mental and physical conditions and their debilitating effects on adult students are the focus of this session. From the authentic experiences and perspectives of students, administrators, and faculty, issues surrounding IDs will be presented. A discourse of these issues will be facilitated by panelists in roundtable fashion, which is intended to engage all session participants in jointly posing problems and solutions on how to address IDs in Higher Education settings. Among other take-away resources, the session offers the Collaborative Advocacy Model, which was first presented at DePaul University during its Chronic Illness Initiative Conference by Drs. Elazier and Strohschen,

Reach, Teach, and Retain: Inclusive Instructional Methods as the Missing Pieces of the Departure Puzzle

Time: 3:50 pm

Speaker:  Helen Mahoney, Maryville University

Paradox: Nontraditional students make up almost 75 percent of undergraduate enrollment at U. S. colleges and universities. But, recent retention figures indicate that approximately 52 percent of nontraditional students leave their institutions before earning a credential or a degree. Fact: Projections indicate that by 2025, 5.3 million nontraditional students will be enrolled in some form of higher education in the U.S. Problem: How do higher education institutions reach, teach, and retain nontraditional students toward completion?

Background: For nontraditional students, access to higher education opportunities is at an all-time high. However, success and persistence are not. Characterized as ‘at-risk’, ‘invisible’, ‘neglected’, and nontraditional students arrive with different academic challenges that can be addressed in the classroom and through inclusive instructional practices. Studies show that nontraditional students begin to make persistence decisions in the classroom. I will discuss factors important to nontraditional students’ success: the classroom environment, engagement levels, feelings that an institution is committed to their welfare, inclusive instructional practices (e.g., active learning and Universal Design for Learning principles), and persistence. I will share the results of my recent study that examined all of those factors and discuss future implications for nontraditional students and their institutions. Examples of inclusive instructional methods are provided for teaching faculty.

Academic Advising For Adult Learners: Round Table

Time: 3:50 pm

Speaker:  Brendan Nelson, EdAssit Solutions and Joanna Williams, Bright Horizons, EdAssist Solutions

The non-traditional student has become the norm in higher education .And while adult learners certainly have their own needs and challenges; they are no longer just a tiny segment of enrollment. The rise of online education and the career benefits of the earning a degree have given adult learners the ability and motivation to earn a degree. In fact students over 25 are the fastest growing student demographic (Harms, 23).Because of their non-traditional status, their advising needs are not met. As academic advisers, it’s important to understand their unique challenges and concerns. This discussion will focus on ways in which advisers can improve best practices when advising adult learners, develop ethical standards and learn from our collective experiences. (Harms, Brenda. ” National Study of Prospective Adult Students: 2013 Adult Students Talk.” STAMATS Higher Education Marketing,

Forced to don the cloak of abnormality: Disrupting the paradigm with mentoring supports for students with dis/abilities

Time: 3:50 pm

Speaker:  Dr. Evette Simmons-Reed, Ball State University Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Although, young adults with dis/abilities graduate with the same hopes and dreams of self-sufficiency as their peers without dis/abilities, they are far less likely to achieve their educational and employment goals (Longtin, 2014). Irrespective of their intellectual abilities, gifts and talents, societal barriers force individuals with dis/abilities to don the cloak of abnormality and inferiority at an early age. Faculty attitudes, transition challenges, intervention methods, and the lack of self-advocacy skills, result in many failing to disclose, dropping out or being relegated to the margins of our college campuses and communities (Longtin, 2014; and Pearson, 2019). For example, approximately 50% of autistic adults have average to above average intelligence, however only 34% of them attend college and less than 14% ever graduate. Given the increased prevalence of autistic children diagnosed, and the potentially devastating economic impact of long-term care, it is imperative that colleges and universities identify strategies to support student success.

Strategies for Assessment of Adult Learner Placement

Time: 3:50 pm

Speaker:  Dr. R. Lee Viar IV, 10x Faculty Strayer University, ANTSHE Executive Director

College assessments typically center on the current level of skill in a particular subject and focus primarily on a set of courses designed to meet the needs of a traditional college student, and fail to address the needs of the adult learner. The percentage of adult learners in colleges and universities across the country is at a significant rate to have an impact on the financial sustainability and growth of the institutions. Institutions that have created a platform that focuses on adult learner success have yielded great retention and graduation rates. In this roundtable discussion, Dr. Viar will discuss ANTSHE's initiatives to build an assessment tool that will gauge the skillsets that will align with the corresponding programs of interest for the learners. It will include topics focusing on the assessment tool itself, Planning (Criteria, assessment method); Execution: Self-assessment? Peer assessment? Co-assessment?; Results: Analysis, Program Recommendations or amendments, Benchmarks,  Implemention to Scale, Data Collection, Analysis of Data, Learner Outcomes, and Alignment. 

5:30 PM Silent Auction Closes

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM ANTSHE Special Event (Jewelry making activity, seating is limited!) WE'RE SORRY, THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT


May 21 - August 31

  • Early Registration
June 21
  • Call for Proposals Open
February 28
  • Call for Proposals Deadline 
March 1
  • Deadline for Presenters to Register to be included in Program
April 2-4
  • ANTSHE Conference 2020

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