Adult Learner Institute hosts virtual conference in late May 2021
The Adult Learner Institute hosted Shift Happens: Learning Across a Lifespan, a virtual conference, via Zoom May 26–27, 2021. The conference was charged with examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adult learners. More than 300 people participated in the conference.
While the majority of attendees were from Minnesota State institutions, other Minnesota colleges, universities, and partners were represented. Attendees from other states, including Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania, also took part.
Keynote presenters included Rovy Branon, Continuum College vice provost, Teri Lyn Hinds, Minnesota State senior director of strategic initiatives–Equity 2030, and Donte Curtis, Catch Your Dream Consulting owner and lead consultant, as well as a student panel entitled The Reality of Shift Happening.
More about Shift Happens…
Questions addressed during the conference included:
- How do we acknowledge the changes that our learners are going through?
- What challenges and inequities do our students face?
- What was exacerbated by the pandemic?
- How did you shift?
- How do you look at your work differently?
- Which policies and practices did you put in place to meet the shift?
- How do you innovate for when Shift Happens?
More than 25 breakout sessions were offered with topics covering several tracks, including:
- Serving Students as They Shift
- Providing Nontraditional Populations with Credit for Prior Learning and Adult-based Programs
- Collaborating with External Partners: Workforce, Adult Basic Education, Community-Based Organizations
- Teaching and Learning with the Adult Student
- Enveloping the Work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Pivoting with Corrections and Reentry Programs
- Leaning into the Needs of Veterans
Participants learned from experts and each other how to best serve adult learners. They explored proven methods to increase access, facilitate success, and remove barriers to help students achieve their academic and career goals.
Keynotes & Breakout Sessions
Video replays, slideshows, chat discussions, presentation handouts
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Keynote: Rovy Branon
“Rethinking Higher Education Across a 60 Year Curriculum”
Breakout sessions 1
“Working Better Together: Leveraging Career Center Partnerships for Equitable Outcomes”
“Military transcript…Now what? And how can I use the NEW ACE Military Guide to help me in making course equivalencies?”
“Growing Connections During Social Isolation”
“Focusing on the Future: More of a Look in the Mirror than a Crystal Ball”
“Sustaining Student Success During a Global Crisis: HyFlex Delivery Model”
“Returning Adult Students: What You Need to Know”
Break out sessions 2
“Earning Penn State Credit for Military training”
“The Open University: Inclusive College in Prison during the COVID-19 Pandemic”
“The Inner Workings of the Education Justice Project”
“MN Reconnect Program—Supporting Returning Adult Learners”
“How to Modify a Program to Increase Adult Success: Course Scheduling and CPL”
“Using MCIS for Online Career Exploration and Planning”
“The Reality of Shift Happening”
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Keynote: Equity 2030: Terry Lyn Hinds
“Why Adult Learners Are Essential in Meeting Our Equity 2030 Goal”
Breakout Sessions 3
“Adult Immigrants’ Experiences as Knowledge – a Path to College Level Credit”
“Cycle of Course Design”
“The Lived Experiences of Adult Learners in an Individualized Program: Empowerment, Responsibility, Tensions, and Anxiety”
“Adult Learners and Guided Self-Placement: Empowering Students to Succeed”
“Prior Learning Assessment: Understanding the Barriers and Their Impact on Program Implementation and Success”
Breakout Sessions 4
“Helping Post-Pandemic Adult Learners to Skill Up ”
“Math Foundations Collaboration – a Partnership between North Hennepin Community College and Osseo ABE”
“We are Family: Creating a Culture which Educates, Embraces, and Affirms All Learners”
“DCTC Customized Training and the Variety of Students We Serve”
“Art Gives Voice to Incarcerated Artists”
“Attract, Recruit, Retain, and Complete (ARRC) – Solutions for the Adult Learner Journey”
Breakout Sessions 5
“Over The River & Through The Hood – Connecting Research And Community On My Block”
“Attending College While in Jail”
“Diversity Credit-Earning Opportunities”
“Shifting to a High Impact Online Orientation”
“Connecting Your Learning Objectives to Community Needs: Using Community-based Learning in Your Classes”
“Gateway Mastery: Redesign for Improved Success in Online Courses”
Closing Keynote: Donte Curtis
“Shifting from Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) to Being Anti-Racist”
Adult Learner Institute Shift Happens Committee members
Title III Grant Project Director
Title III Grant Coordinator
Title III Grant Coordinator
Inver Hills/DCTC Credit for Prior Learning Director
Inver Hills Associate Dean of Career Programs
Inver Hills Associate Director of Student Life
Mary Beth Lakin
Metro State CPLAN Director
Minnesota State Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships and “All Learning Counts” Director
Minnesota State MN Reconnect Program Manager
Minnesota State Career and Technical Education Equity Specialist
Minnesota State Director of Military, Veteran, and Adult Learner Services
Learn more about the Adult Learner Institute by contacting:
Title III Project Director