Western Allianced of Community College Academic Leaders logoTrailblazing a New Pathway:
Challenging Assumptions
about Community Colleges


Location: Hotel Murano, Tacoma, WA

9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Executive Committee Meeting

Noon – 1:00 pm

Lunch for Academy and Executive Committee

1:00 – 4:00 pm

No Holding Back: Lessons from Institutions in Analyzing Administrative and Student Success Holds Data

Since 2022,12 member institutions of the Alliance and Forum have participated in a community of practice along with WICHE and AACRAO to analyze the impact that transcript and/or student success holds policies have on student outcomes. Three institutions will share their findings, discuss proposed changes to current policies, and give recommendations for other institutions interested in analyzing holds data and changing campus policy. Next summer, WICHE and AACRAO will be releasing a seminal brief from this work as well as a technical guide that other institutions can use to replicate this work.

Speakers: Brenda Hanson, Flathead Valley Community College; Stacy Maestas, Laramie County Community College; Olivia Tufo, WICHE

5:30 – 8:30 pm

Reception, Dinner, Keynote – Bound Together Through Our Shared Commitment to Student Success and Community Empowerment

Having served at community colleges, comprehensive masters universities and a large flag-ship research university, Dr. Lange has been inspired by the leadership teams at every type of institution.  Each team has been consistent in their focus on student success and potential for the institution to positively impact the local community.  Dr. Lange will share her observations about this shared commitment and how institutions can leverage that to improve relationships between community colleges and their 4-year partners.

Speaker: Sheila Edwards Lange, University of Washington, Tacoma



7:30 – 8:30 am

Networking Walk

8:30 – 9:15 am


9:15 – 9:30 am

Welcome and Meeting Overview

9:30 – 11:00 am

Corrections Education: Supporting our Justice-Impacted Students

This presentation will look at best practices for supporting justice-impacted students. It will give a brief overview of mass incarceration and the Washington Corrections’ Education Navigator program that supports students transitioning from Prison facilities to community colleges.

Speakers: Hanan Al-Zubaidy, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; Suzanne Phillips, Spokane Community College: Emily Jones, Tacoma Community College

11:00 – 11:15 am


11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Diversifying Faculty and Staff through an HBCU, MSI and HSI Pipeline

As we embark on having Diversity, Equity and Inclusion conversations on campus, it is imperative that we realize that it will take more than one campus committee, administrator or event to bring the scope of D.E.I into the light. What is desperately needed is representation of the underrepresented population through administration, faculty and staff along with “courageous conversations” to bring the kaleidoscope to fruition.

Speaker: Quincy Rose-Sewell, Pueblo Community College

12:15 – 1:15 pm


1:15 – 3:00 pm

Applying Appreciative Analysis to Race Equity Data from Community and Technical Colleges

This presentation explores an alternative and supplemental approach to traditional race equity gap analysis. Looking at student pathways through the Washington state community and technical (CTC) system, this approach applies appreciative and small population methods to race equity data. By working with student demographic data in isolation from gap analysis, this process looks to identify critical points in student pathways, allow analysis of small populations and intersections, and define demographically relevant benchmarks for success.

Speaker: Summer Kenesson, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges


The Role of Community Colleges in Improving Bachelor’s Degree Completion

The proliferation of bachelor’s level programs in the community and technical colleges altered the landscape of higher education in Washington and led to positive outcomes for students, colleges and communities. This session will share lessons learned and explore what the next ten years will bring for community college baccalaureate degrees.

Speakers: Valerie Sundby and Joyce Hammer, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; 


Leveling the Field: Expanding Access to Prior Learning Assessment

Front Range Community College a Colorado Community College (CCCS) presents successes with expanding access to credit for prior learning / prior learning assessment for adult students of color in a pilot funded by Racial Equity for Adult Credentials in Higher ED Collaborative (REACH), a subgrant of a Lumina Foundation grant.

Speakers: Chris McGilvray, Front Range Community College; Dolly RosenbrookFront Range Community College; Ayelet Zur-NaybergColorado Community College System

3:00 – 3:15 pm


3:15 – 4:45 pm

Perceptions and Value of Basic Education for Adults

This session highlights the perceptions and values of adult learners in Basic Education for Adults programs in the Community and Technical College System. Featuring a panel BEdA practitioners and students, we will dispel those perceptions of BEdA by highlighting the value BEdA programs bring to the state through students’ completion and retention into our CTCs for post-secondary credentialing.

Speakers: Marcus Antonio GunnNicole Hopkins, and Katelynn OrellanaWashington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

5:00 – 6:00 pm




8:00 – 8:45 am


8:45 – 9:15 am

Membership Meeting

9:15 – 10:15 am

Collaborative Synergy: Maximizing Institutional and Community Success through Strategic Partnerships

In a time of great financial challenge for higher education, public private partnerships have become a synergistic method for institutions to achieve strategic goals and strengthen connection with workforce and industry. Using a current partnership, this session will outline methods to develop creative, collaborative partnerships to drive strategic initiatives.

Speakers: Kaylyn Bondy and Marie Volk, Bismarck State College

10:15 – 10:30 am


10:30 – 11:30 am

Strategies for Dialogue and Partnership with Four-Year Universities: A ‘Cone of Silence’ Panel

Two-year colleges sometimes struggle to build and maintain productive, collaborative relationships with their principal four-year university transfer partners. The challenges can include misconceptions and mistrust about two-year college students, faculty, program quality, and the purpose of the two-year mission. This session offers a chance for open, frank discussion as well as tips for building better partnerships.

Speakers: Jeffrey Alexander, Truckee Meadows Community College; Todd SchwarzCollege of Southern Idaho; Valerie Sundby, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

11:30 am