Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders


Leaders Facing Change:
Asking the Right Questions

April 8-10, 2015
Rapid City, SD


Presentations and Handouts

Welcome to South Dakota

How a Culture of Inquiry Can Help Your College Move the Needle on Student Success

In the past decade, colleges around the country have significantly evolved the availability of data on their campuses, often in response to accountability and/or accreditation concerns. What hasn't always followed is a parallel evolution of actually using the data to create insight and eventually take action to improve student outcomes. More recently, a national movement has emerged toward evolving a culture of inquiry and action on campuses - with the result of creating significant improvement in the key student outcomes we all are passionate about. Colleges are at different places on the evolutionary continuum toward this culture, with nearly everybody yearning to take the next steps. This session will explore the concept of how to evolve such a culture - but far more importantly, we will explore whether we are asking the right questions to really move the needle on student success. 

Analytics for Action!

Many of us are data rich and information poor. We may be swimming in data, but frequently seem to lack what we really need or want to know. How do you know what you need and what it means? Find out how these panelists have used data analytics to make important differences for their institutions.

Reinventing the Ideal Adult Learning Model through Competency-Based Education

The emerging popularity of competency-based education programs shows an attempt by institutions to address the needs and desires of the adult learner. When properly developed and implemented, this model can simultaneously provide students with flexibility in scheduling, recognition of prior learning, lower cost of attendance, shorten time to completion and a meaningful representation of a student’s learned skills and abilities. Our panel will describe the similarities and differences in their approaches and lessons learned.

Open Educational Resources: Making Free Textbooks a Reality

Student survey data tell us many students don’t purchase required textbooks for their courses, leaving them without the necessary learning resources to truly succeed. Several initiatives are underway to provide a collection of open educational resources for use in high enrollment courses and others. Are they making a difference for students? What is the business model that ensures continued development and updates?

Mount Rushmore Presentation by the National Park Service

Peering Into the Future of Education: What's Just Around the Corner and On the Horizon?

New technologies and innovations are pushing us to transform the way we teach and students learn. Indeed, the public and policymakers are demanding that we do so. What are some of the most promising innovations being implemented today? What's ahead that few see coming?

For the Love of Learning: New Media Environments

Technologies have created new ways to engage and support student learning. Find out how some of these personalized and customized environments are making a real difference for students.

Looking at Learning Across Institutions: A Focus on Quality, Symmetry, and Transportability

Two initiatives – the Interstate Passport Initiative and the Multistate Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment (MSC) – are working to do this. Why? What is the role of assessment in these efforts? Will these efforts ensure quality? Can transfer students
benefit? How could your institution get involved?

Reflections and Anticipations

Join our keynote speaker as he reflects on some of the key questions threaded through the conference discussions that resulted in or will result in significant changes for the academy. But he won’t stop there. He’ll engage you in forming a few new questions that promise to challenge and excite your thinking as you return to your leadership posts in these most interesting of times!

Packet Contents


Alliance Program

Participant List

Alliance Member List

Alliance Membership Meeting Agenda

The Alliance, NANSLO and CHEO Overview

NANSLO Overview