The Alliance 2017 Annual Meeting | Program


The Future of Community Colleges: Thriving in a World in Flux

March 22-24, 2017
Long Beach, CA

* Download the 2017 FINAL Program
(accessible version available upon request)



Final Program Print Version (accessible version available upon request)


Location: The Westin Long Beach Hotel

Noon - 4:30 pm


1:00 - 4:30 pm

Alliance Executive Committee Meeting
(executive committee members only)

5:00 - 6:00 pm

Welcome to California Reception
Unwind from the busy day as you catch up with old friends and make new ones!

6:30 pm

Networking Dinners
Join your colleagues for some lively conversation about a topic that concerns you. We will reserve tables for dinner at several nearby restaurants to be hosted by members of the Alliance Executive Committee. You can sign up for your preference when you register. Attendees are responsible for the cost of their dinner.


7:30 - 5:00 pm


7:30 - 8:15 am


8:15 - 8:30 am

Welcome to the Alliance Annual Meeting!
Jose Fierro, Alliance Chair

8:30 - 9:15 am

Policy, Philanthropy and You: A Practical Dialogue with Funders
Funders have a unique view of the higher education policy and practice landscape. They are privy to many visionary ideas and national trends that could make a real difference for students and have real implications and opportunities for your work and voice. What are the major policy trends coming in 2017-2018? And where did they come from? What opportunities do you have to be part of the development and/or implementation of those policies? What should you be thinking about and preparing for related to those policy trends? How can you, as leaders, navigate and lead through policy challenges as they arise? What puzzles you the most about the intersection between policy and practice and your role? The moderator will create a conversation between the two panelists and the audience about to cover the above questions so that you can begin to identify how you will engagement in development and/or implementation of those policies at a state and campus level. Please bring your own thorny policy and practice questions to help make this a dynamic session.

Moderator: John Cech, Montana University System

Speakers: Scott Jenkins, Lumina Foundation; Suzanne Walsh, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

9:15 - 9:30 am


9:30 - 10:15 am

The Great Unbundling of Higher Education
Ryan Craig, author of College Disrupted, will present a market-driven view of the past, present, and future of higher education, including the emergence of the competency marketplace and the resulting “Great Unbundling” of higher education.

Introducer: Lita Burns, North Idaho College

Speaker: Ryan Craig, University Ventures

10:15 - 10:30 am


10:30 - 11:15 am

Concurrent Sessions

Making Strides in Competency-Based Learning for Positive Impact on Student Access and Completion
Students engaged in competency-based learning progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning. Are some models more successful with certain types of students? How do these models interface with some of higher education’s more traditional processes such as accreditation, financial aid, and transfer pathways? Hear what these trailblazers have to say about their experiences and lessons learned and where they see this innovation going in the future.

Moderator: Rhonda Epper, Community College of Denver

Speakers: Eric Heiser, Salt Lake Community College; Mark Jenkins, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; Sally Johnstone, NCHEMS

What’s the Marketplace View?
In recent years there has been a proliferation of alternative credentials awarded by institutions and by the business community. What are some of the advantages to industry for awarding their own badges and certificates and/or hiring employees with these credentials in addition to or instead of a degree? Our panel will share their perspectives and experiences and entertain your questions about this changing world.

Moderator: William Tammone, Colorado Community College System

Speakers: Zhalisa Clarke, Udacity; David Leaser, IBM; Matt Sigelman, Burning Glass

11:15 - 11:30 am


11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Making Sense of the Mind Boggling Credential Explosion​
With so many types of credentials – degrees, certificates, badges, apprenticeships, and licenses – it’s easy to get confused about what they mean and how they fit together. Find out about the effort of some community colleges in The Right Signals Initiative to develop a system for
recognizable credentials across all sectors and users. And, learn how colleges and universities are using Credly’s badge management system to recognize the achievements of their students and staff with digital badges.

Moderator: Joe Schaffer, Laramie County Community College (WA)

Speakers: Jonathan Finkelstein, Credly; Rick Kemp, Rio Salado College (AZ); Jen Worth, American Association of Community Colleges

Skillful: Connecting Middle-Skill Job Seekers with Employers & Educators
Skillful is a new skills-based labor market platform for middle-skill job seekers. Developed by the Markle Foundation, Linkedin, EdX, Arizona State University, Colorado Community Colleges, and Maricopa Community Colleges, it focuses on Americans without college degrees and creates transparency around skills needed for fast growing and good paying jobs, access to training and insight into career paths that value people’s skills rather than degrees. Skillful includes online and offline tools to connect job seekers with employers and educators so they can find ways to continuously succeed in this rapidly changing economy.

Moderator: Barbara Buchanan, Truckee Meadows Community College (NV)

Speakers: Sarah Heath, Colorado Community College System​; Randy Kimmens, Maricopa Community College District; Laura Williams, Linkedin

12:15 - 12:30 pm


12:30 - 1:15 pm

Awards Luncheon
Join us in congratulating the winner of this year’s Bernice Joseph Award!

1:15 - 1:30 pm


1:30 - 2:15 pm

A Revolution in Higher Education: Tales from Unlikely Allies
There is a consensus that higher education is not on a sustainable path. There are no simple solutions to the problems plaguing colleges and universities. A small band of innovators has launched a revolution to remake higher education. The result will be a new, more sustainable
ecosystem. DeMillo will describe the world they are building, using as examples innovations powered by technology, unexpected partnerships, business reinvention and a willingness to disrupt the status quo.

Introducer: Peter Quigley, University of Hawai’i System

Speaker: Richard DeMillo, Georgia Tech

2:15 - 2:30 pm


2:30 - 3:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Affordable Course Materials: Open Educational Resources (OER) and Other Options
We are all aware of efforts to reduce the cost of a college education through limiting, or even eliminating tuition costs, but what is being done to address the high cost of college textbooks and course materials? The use of open educational resources (OER) is one popular strategy, yet there are others as well. In this session, panelists from both colleges and publishers will share a variety of strategies on how to reduce textbook costs.

Moderator: Clifton Sanders, Salt Lake Community College

Speakers: Boyoung Chae, State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (WA); Catrina Poe, Pearson; Tim Rogers, Chemeketa Community College (OR)

Guided Pathways: Steering Students through College and Beyond
Panelists will discuss how their programs utilize a career pathways approach to increase successful student engagement postsecondary education options. Each presenter will describe their program’s approach to ensuring that participants are career aware and college-ready, without remediation; have knowledge of high wage, high demand careers that align with their interests, aptitudes, and industry needs; and have incorporated value-added/acceleratedlearning options such as dual enrollment, work based learning, and student leadership/entrepreneurship organizations.

Moderator: Paul Dale, Maricopa Community Colleges

Speakers:  Andy Dorsey, Front Range Community College (CO); James Goodman, Leeward Community College (HI); Amy Williams, Montana University System

3:15 - 3:30 pm


3:30 - 4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Improving Student Retention the iPass Way
Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) helps students navigate the path to a certificate or degree. It combines advising, degree planning, alerts, and interventions. The tool draws on predictive analytics to help counselors and academic advisors determine in advance whether a student is at risk of dropping or failing out, and it can help assist students on what courses they should select. Find out how it is working and what differences it is making for students and staff.

Moderator: Suzette Robinson, University of Hawaii System

Speakers: Victor Kuo, Seattle Colleges; Christina Choi, Whatcom Community College (WA)

Next Generation Information Services for Students
Join us to learn about two exciting initiatives that will expand the information available to students, other higher education institutions, employers, and others to more fully demonstrate student learning and achievement, inside and outside the classroom. We’ll hear about some
next generation models for the comprehensive student record and about the information and functionality available to students through the National Student Clearinghouse’s new student portal.

Moderator: John Miller, Williston State College

Speakers: Vanessa Brown, National Student Clearinghouse; Tom Green, Association of American Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers; Jonell Sanchez, National Student Clearinghouse

4:15 - 4:30 pm


4:30 - 5:15 pm

Aligning Expectations across the Generations in Education and the Workforce
From the Boomer generation to the Millennials, we have different understandings about our responsibilities, different attitudes about how we use our time, what we value, and how we treat one another. And with those understandings and attitudes come our expectations of others. Find out how the panelists view their world and what they think can be done to align expectations on campus in the workplace.

Moderator: Diane Stiles, Lake Area Technical College

Speakers: Dawn Kazoleas, Weber Metals Inc.; Michelle Mancilla, Student at Northwood University on Cerritos College Campus; Susan Stevenson, Marion Military Institute


Pearson Reception - To register, click here

Dinner on your own


8:00-9:00 am

Breakfast and Alliance Membership Meeting

9:00 - 9:15 am


9:15 - 10:15 am

Perspective Matters: Measuring Student and Institutional Success
Contrary to widely held beliefs, data rarely speak for themselves. This session will explore the influence of perspective on the questions posed and the answers obtained from data collected in the complex educational environment of community colleges, using research on skills-builder students to illustrate.

Introducer: Doug Murray, New Mexico Military Institute

Speaker: Peter Bahr, University of Michigan

10:15 - 10:30 am


10:30 - 11:00 am

Academic and Economic Alignment:  A Web-Based Tool for a Real-Time Look
University of Hawaii Community College System's new web-based sector mapping tool provides an organized real-time look into the relationship between academic and economic alignment. Drawing from EMSI's database but filtered through UHCC’s custom portal, this site looks at all the major sectors of the economy and details of every job inside those sectors with crucial data on current and projected demand data as well as whether the academic units are over or under producing and more. With one click, you can see our heat mapped economy with an overlay of where the system has programs and where opportunities exist that are unaddressed. Don't miss this fascinating demo of a tool you could replicate in your state!

Introducer: LeBaron Woodyard, Chancellor's Office, California Community Colleges 

Speakers: Peter Quigley, University of Hawai'i System; Paul Sakamoto, University of Hawai'i System

11:00 - 11:30 am

We’re All About Change
Throughout this meeting, we've heard about all kinds of changes in higher education and especially in community colleges. But change is not new to us; that is the business we're in! Come hear from a former community college president and executive director of a state department of higher education about the lessons he's learned and the changes we've all seen as we do our best to ensure that all students benefit from their experiences in our institutions. In his new role as president of WICHE, he will also address the changes we are seeing in our region and the challenges and opportunities those changes will bring to community colleges. And bring your questions--he wants to hear from you, too!

Introducer: Louise Pagotto, Kapiolani Community College

Speaker: Joe Garcia, WICHE

11:30 - 11:45 am

Meeting Wrap-up and Adjournment