Conference Information

Student Success & Retention 2018:                        Inclusion, Intersectionality, & Innovation

Where is the conference located?
Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel
8235 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220



Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat: The Science of a Diverse Community

The SSRC is pleased to announce that Dr. Claude Steele will serve as the 2018 Conference Keynote Speaker. Dr. Steele is a long time educator and senior instructional administrator for colleges and universities across the United States.  Most recently, he authored the book “Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do”, which will form the basis for much of his presentation.  In his talk, he will be drawing on stereotype threat and social identity threat research, this talk will address the why, what and how of diverse learning communities: why they are important, a working hypothesis about what is critical to their success and what research reveals about how to achieve that success.

The World is Yours: Reflections of a Global RAPtivist

For the Plenary, we are excited to announce that Aisha Fukushima will be our speaker on Friday morning. Aisha is a Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism) a global hip hop project spanning nearly 20 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging oppression with expression.



Students in Distress: Examples include strategies for working with students experiencing challenging life situations such as marginalization; trauma; food, housing, or financial insecurity; unemployment/underemployment; emotional, mental, and physical health challenges; victimization; and student conduct or other behavioral concerns .

Equity and Inclusion: Examples include practices, interventions, and structural reforms that strengthen equity for all groups of students including outreach, access, student support services, basic skills, course success, completion of educational goals, and transfer.

Pathways and Partnerships: Examples include programs which built internal (with other departments) and external (other institutions, community organizations) partnerships to help students successfully connect, progress and complete their goals and partnerships which create pathways that support strong transitions throughout students’ educational journey.

Retention and Best Practices: Examples include student development, learning, and teaching theories that support student success; increasing student engagement and connection opportunities; leading transformational change; programs/services that align with student success indicators.



What time does check-in begin on Thursday, February 1?
8:00 a.m. in the Mt Hood Foyer.

What time does the conference end on Friday, February 2?
The last session concludes at 12:30 p.m.

Where should I park?
Parking is free (no permit needed) in any Portland Sheraton lot as well as the adjacent Hampton Inn parking lot. PLEASE Carpool if you can, as space is VERY limited.  Vehicles will be ticketed if they park in spaces not meant for conference attendees.

Will there be wireless internet access?
Yes. Wireless network login information will be provided to you at check-in.

Do I need to register to attend?
Yes. All attendees are required to register prior to the conference, even if only attending one day or only the keynote portion.

What meals are included?
The registration includes a full breakfast both days so please come hungry!  A full lunch is provided on the first day.  There will be gluten free and vegetarian options available.

I am presenting- what should I bring?
Please bring your own cords, dongles, and laptops if you are presenting.


Conference Schedule & Program


                        THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2018:                        CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

8:00 – 8:45 am                  Check-In/Registration and Breakfast                                                                    Mt. Hood Foyer

 8:45 – 10:15 am                Opening Session                                                          

Welcome, Tara Sprehe, SSRC Executive Director

Keynote:  Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat: The Science of a Diverse Community,  Dr. Claude Steele


Thursday, February 1, 2018:                                              Breakout Session One, 10:45 – 11:45 am

 Bisexuality:  The Invisible but Mighty “B” in LGBTQ                                     Stephanie Blair, Portland State University

What about the “B” in LGBTQ?  This interactive presentation will address the difference between bi identity and bi behavior, as well as the unique experiences of the bisexual community. We will discuss challenges to representation, community, and coming out as a bisexual person. Participants will gain insight into how to be an ally to bi-identified students and colleagues. Together we will break down common, but frequently unknown, bi-specific stereotypes and microaggressions with the goal of making space for bi visibility.


Competitive Programs: When “I Like Helping People” Isn’t Enough   Kimberly Compton and Luanne Carrillo, Western Oregon University

Students often share “I like helping people” as the reason for pursuing a nursing career, but struggle with the rigorous and competitive requirements. With pre-nursing being the most popular major on many campuses, it is important that institutions create pathways for all students, regardless of their preparation. Join staff from Western Oregon University as they share their success with students at all skill levels and provide enough information to take back and implement on your campus.


Connecting with Both Internal and Community Partners to Create Successful Programs for ABE/GED and Other Transition Students   Stephanie English, Mt. Hood Community College

Mt. Hood Community College’s (MHCC) Student Success Program brought together four campus departments and several community organizations to increase the enrollment and retention of under-served, low income or first-generation college students. During the 2016-2017 school year, the program provided holistic, wrap-around support to more than 300 students, with a special emphasis on students transitioning from ABS/GED classes or receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This session will describe the program’s approach, services, results, and lessons learned.


Academic Advising and the Oregon State Transfer Bill                              Oregon Council of Student Services Administrators

The Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill 2998 in 2017, a bill designed to streamline student transfer between Oregon community colleges and public universities. Academic advising is a critical component to guiding student movement through clear and comprehensive pathways and is a central piece of this legislation. Join in this facilitated discussion to provide input on transfer advising in Oregon, as well as the promising practices and reforms needed to support improved transfer outcomes. The Council of Student Services Administrators will use input to inform a report required by the Legislature.


Translating Coursework Into Job Skills                                                                 Jenny Jones, Southwestern Oregon Community College

For most of us, basic professional job skills are first introduced and rehearsed in college. The information in this session will show how advisors can help students translate typical coursework (discussion, papers, exams, projects) into skills that employers require.


Up the Creek Without an OER: Building Retention Through Institutional Collaborations,

Schedule Icons, and Innovations in Pedagogy                                                  Dr. Zip Krummel, John Schoppert, and Jackie Ray  Columbia Gorge and Blue Mountain Community Colleges

Open Educational Resources (OER) and reducing textbook costs to students is ALL about success and retention.  Students who cannot access course materials from the very start of class due to cost, struggle with learning and retention. Developing courses that are not prescribed by textbook companies open the door to possibilities of engaging students in new and thoughtful ways such as the emerging practices of open pedagogy.


Thursday, February 1, 2018:                                              Breakout Session Two, 1:15 – 2:30 pm

 Cultivating Student Resilience for a Successful College Experience                                                                                                                   Susan Stuntzner, Southwestern Oregon Community College

Resilience is an essential part of life and is crucial to help people successfully transition through developmental phases, changes in life, and difficult life events. Unfortunately, many students experiencing significant distress may feel resilience is out of reach and become discouraged. Resilience has the potential to positively or negatively influence the college experience, and students’ coping abilities, mental and emotional well-being, and overall success. Join staff from Southwestern Oregon Community College and learn about resilience, its applicability to students, resilience-based factors, and ideas to cultivate resilience for a successful experience.

Trauma Informed Care (TIC) in Community Colleges: Undocumented Students and TIC                                                                 Javier Cervantes and Tracy Dusseau, Linn-Benton Community College

Trauma is defined as an experience in which a person’s internal resources are not adequate to cope with external stressors. Academically, trauma impacts students in numerous ways including the ability to concentrate, memorize and recall information, attend and participate in class, and organize and meet assignment deadlines. In our current political climate, undocumented students are especially vulnerable. Participants will learn about the basic principles of trauma informed care and the stressors undocumented students experience that can inhibit their success.

Leading Change: Providing Student Leaders the Tools for Engagement and Inclusion                                                                                 Dawn DiFuria and Austin Shick, Blue Mountain Community College

This engaging workshop brings to life the complex concept of inclusion and developing student leadership, gives participants tools for their students, and highlights proven practices and lessons learned. Participants will explore how students can influence inclusion through their own leadership, their teams, and across campus. The session will explore leadership style and impact.

The Game of Life: Using a Campus Specific Board Game to Help Faculty and Staff Understand the Student Experience                              Tara Sprehe and Lisa Wang, Clackamas Community College

Struggling to help faculty and staff relate to the difficulties students experience when trying to meet their educational goal? Join in this interactive presentation and play a board game designed to facilitate a guided pathways conversation as campuses work to improve the student experience from admission to completion.

Community-Based Learning: Collaborative Projects and Partnerships in Unlikely Discipline                                                              Diane Shingledecker, Portland Community College

Community-Based Learning (CBL) is a high-impact educational practice that ties community work directly to course outcomes. Its experiential approach engages students in classwork, establishes their role as part of the campus community, and helps retain them through completion of their educational goals. Come see how CBL projects are being woven across the most unlikely disciplines. Learn how the same projects are partnering with student government, college service departments, and community partners to address current community issues. There will be opportunities for discussion to generate ideas for your specific institution or courses and for reflection.

Self-Efficacy, Mentorship, and the Social Classroom               MaryJean Harris Williams and William Butler-Paisely, Oregon State University

This panel will examine three original studies regarding a first-year student’s social experiences with peers and mentors and their influences on freshman success and self-efficacy. Findings suggest that community college students spend much less time engaging students socially on campus than their university counterparts and that scholarly attention has begun to focus on the classroom as an important opportunity for social interaction among commuter students  Additionally, the panel will discuss key concepts associated with a first-year student’s sense of self-efficacy and the effects mentorship experiences on self-confidence.


Thursday, February 1, 2018:                                              Breakout Session Three, 3:00 – 4:00 pm

 Recognizing the Warning Signs: Identifying and Supporting Students in Distress                                                                                               Justin Li and Karolyn Ismay, Pacific University

Students often display warning signs of distress, but it is identifying and responding to the signs that can be a challenge. Join this session and learn about academic, emotional, physical, behavioral, and mental health indicators and how to respond to students in distress.


Stepping Out of The Comfort Zone:  Advising and Supporting Students Who Benefit From DACA                                                                          Luanne Carrillo and Lizzy Balding, Western Oregon University

In our current political climate, one of the most affected populations are students who benefit from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The presenters will share resources and best practices to expand knowledge of issues DACA students face. Learn about the challenges that accompany this identity to ensure that environments are safe, supportive, and lead to student success. Join Western Oregon University staff as they share how student success and advising are stepping out of its comfort zone.

Oregon Pathways Project Update                                                                            Elizabeth Cox Brand, Oregon Student Success Center

It may not be the original Oregon Trail but our community colleges are blazing a new path! Come and learn about the Oregon Student Success Center’s 2018 launch of statewide Guided Pathways Project and how it impacts our students’ educational journeys.

Partnering with Faculty to Promote Transfer Student Success            Kristin Mauro, Western Oregon University

In spring 2017, Western Oregon University (WOU) created the role of the Transfer Specialist, with the primary purpose of building stronger relationships between WOU and community college faculty, creating seamless transfer pathways to ensure students are not repeating courses post-transfer, and building major-to-major pipelines with community college partners to ensure a smooth transfer transition for students. This session will provide an overview of this program, provide tips for implementing a similar program at your institution, and discuss future directions.


Online Completion and Retention:  Institutional Strategies that Work                                                                                                                                 Steve Smith and Jennifer Kepka, Linn-Benton Community College

Linn-Benton Community College facilitators will present data from an innovative online program which engaged faculty and administrators in improving student success rates in online courses. Three major strategies will be discussed:  Applying good fit, strong instructor presence strategies, and institutional strategies. The presentation will include time for open discussion around the implications of this model for enrollment and the ethical concerns of using learning analytics to forecast student success.


The Studio Sessions:  A Writing Lab for All                                                        Sydney Elliott, Tillamook Bay Community College

Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) was tasked with combining lower division writing courses. The result is a single course (WR 115) with wrap around tutoring and a “Writing Studio”. The team identified modules with each containing specific exercises that address basic vocabulary, grammar, citation, and basic components of academic writing, and shared with all TBCC faculty. The Studio space is designed to be welcoming and comfortable and is staffed by qualified writing instructors. The hope is to eventually develop a writing across the curriculum for all TBCC courses and serve as a model for other institutions.


 Thursday, February 1, 2018:                                                Inclusion & Diversity Consortium,5:00 – 6:30 pm

 4:15 – 5:00 pm                  Affinity Group Session                                        This session encourages regional networking and collaborative dialogue related to improving student outcomes across our institutions. Conference participants are encouraged to connect in a round table format with participants that do similar work with a focus on critical issues in their field. Groups will be formed based on actual participant registrations and announced at time of session.


5:00 – 6:30 pm                   Inclusion and Diversity Consortium                    The Oregon’s community college Inclusion and Diversity Consortium serves as a professional peer network to further the efforts of diversity and inclusion, create vibrant campuses, and develop global-ready individuals. All interested SSR conference participants are invited to attend regardless of institutional or professional affiliation.


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2018:                                CONFERENCE SCHEDULE                                                                              
8:00 – 8:30 am        Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 am        Plenary                                                                                      The World is Yours:  Reflections from a Global RAPtivist:  Aisha Fukushima

Friday, February 2:                                                                    Breakout Session Four, 9:45 – 11:00 am

 It is Never Too Late to Change Your Life!                                                            Stella Armstrong, Mt. Hood Community College

This presentation will identify components of the integrated support structure that initiates a positive re-entry to college, sustains a higher retention and completion rate for participants, and significantly enhances the quality of lived experience and derived applications within the school setting. There will be sharing of personal statements of some of the Program’s successful participants to demonstrate strategies that might be applied more broadly in supporting students across your college.


Addressing Barriers to Completion through Learning Evaluations: How One Institution is Addressing Opportunity Gaps                               Kaela Parks and Wendy Palmer, Portland Community College

For many students, barriers to learning can be hidden. Without access to learning evaluations, students can “hit a brick wall.” Portland Community College uses a Learning Evaluation Access Project (LEAP) to provide free psycho-educational testing to students engaged in community and technical education programs who have been identified as potentially benefiting from academic accommodation. Presenters will share outcomes of LEAP related to equity as well as plans for expanding the program to serve a wider range of students.


Identifying and Supporting Current and Former Foster Youth in Higher Education                                                                                                         Lisa Feinics and Catherine Stelzer, Portland Community College

Students with a history in foster care often struggle to navigate higher education. Effectively supporting these students towards educational and career goals requires broad institutional awareness of their unique challenges and a willingness to provide additional supports. This session will examine the development of Portland Community College’s Fostering Success program from vision to the ongoing implementation of best practices. Topics will include identifying foster youth and outreach, building an internal support network, providing trauma-informed training, developing partnerships to create a successful program, and assessing outcomes.


MHCC + PSU:  Creating Pathways in East County                              Sarah Aimone and Regina Arellano, Mt Hood Community College and Portland State University

East County Pathways grew out of a State Regional Promise Grant awarded to Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC). Focusing on the needs of area students, this program aims to promote and sustain a college-going culture through tailored programming and outreach. This session will highlight MHCC’s partnership with Portland State University that enables students to connect with a PSU academic adviser prior to transferring. The presenters promise an interactive and candid session as they share failures (many!) and successes (these too!) supporting students and their educational goals.


Community College Athletics: Where Sport and Games Become a Retention Strategy and Service to Your Communities                                Leslie Hammond and Darren Van Lehn, Linn-Benton Community College

Personal connection and a sense of belonging are some of the strongest tools in retaining students. Student-athletes maintain a high level of commitments on a routine basis in addition to their regular lives. This combination of high expectation and deep engagement results in higher retention rates for student-athletes nationwide. This presentation focuses on how athletics programs that focus on core values and are supported by students and community can lead community colleges to demonstrate the value of education for all and enhance service to College districts.


The Gamification of Learning                                                                       Destiny Hunt, Umpqua Community College

Do you wonder how to better engage students who live in a culture that celebrates instant gratification? Gamifying learning can be the solution to simultaneously giving students tools for long-term success and enabling them to engage in it fully when the results are not immediate. Learn to capitalize on that by learning why gamification works, tips on how to create your own games, and see examples of games that have already been created.


Friday, February 2:                                                                    Breakout Session Five, 11:15 – 12:15 pm

 Minding the Gap: Growth Mindset as an Instructional Strategy for Student Success and Retention                                                                                  Jil Freeman, Clackamas Community College

Dr. Carol Dweck’s work on “growth mindset” demonstrates that students who are predisposed to this mindset are more likely to succeed in college. The good news is that every student is capable of developing this perspective. Back by popular demand, join this interactive session as the presenter explores the qualities and benefits of a growth mindset and how to cultivate it in our students. Particpants will work through several simple and effective strategies to embed growth mindset in instructional and co-curricular practices, providing all with the several low-cost, high-impact interventions to take back to campuses and classrooms.


Student Behavior…When It’s More Than Just Bothersome                       Natalie Shank and Heather Adams, Clark College

How do you know if  student behavior is a cry for help — or just bothersome? Student behavior is often a symptom of other life situations and ends up presenting itself both in and out of the classroom. Join Clark College staff as they provide a framework for understanding common student behavior, how to best use campus resources, and how to continue keeping student care at the forefront. Aspects of student conduct, behavioral intervention and three assessment, students of concern, and crisis situations will also be discussed.


Providing a Team Approach to Meeting English and Spanish Students Needs from GED to Training                                                                    Irene Carrillo and Kyle Thomas, Clackamas Community College

This session will present the development of Clackamas Community College’s “triad team” model, its unique role and expertise, and how it contributes to the success of the English- and Spanish-speaking GED students.  Learn about and take home the tools developed in support of student success.  Ask questions, get answers, and get inspired as the presenters share student success stories.


Expand Your Superpowers:  Building a Collaborative Web to Support Student Success                                                                                 Honora Buell and Chloe Eberlein, Southwestern Oregon Community College

“With great power comes great responsibility.” (Spiderman). With the pressing issue of low college completion rates, it is becoming increasingly important to create collaborative supports that help students attain their academic goals. Presenters will offer insights into how Southwestern Oregon Community College’s TRiO program, advising services, the University Center, and institutional committees have taken the collaborative approach, building a network of super-friends to support student success. This interactive session will challenge attendees to identify resources, build connections across their super community, and walk away with a greater understanding of how they can expand their web of supports.


Visual Program Mapping:  A Tool for Getting Started on Guided Pathways                                                                                                                           Lori Sours, Rogue Community College

The Guided Pathways framework provides a compelling rationale for putting students on a clear pathway to their success, with the program map an essential component. Rogue Community College will share how the College used the visual curriculum mapping process to build clear program maps to demonstrate the relationships between courses, key learning outcome assessment points, co-curricular experiences, and learning outcomes to prepare students for employment or further educational experiences. This process helped the College identify where to begin critical Guided Pathways curriculum work.


Building Veteran Success on Campus:  Supporting the Transition from Boots to Books                                                                                                     RB Green, Clackamas Community College

This presentation will provide a better understanding of the needs of veteran students as campuses consider developing veteran-friendly services, programs, and policies that create a community of amongst student-veterans and promotes retention, engagement, and student success. Whether your institution has invested heavily in student-veteran success or would like to become more “vet-friendly”, this presentation identifies factors that cultivate and support success, as well as methods that eliminate or reduce obstacles often experienced by veterans transitioning from military service to campus life.


Friday, February 2:                                                                             Post-Conference Activities

 12:15 – 2:00 pm:  Portland Community College – Staff Lunch                                                                                                                                                              1:00 – 3:00 pm:  Engaging Faculty in Guided Pathways                                                                        

Organization representing student services administrators for Oregon's 17 Community Colleges