John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Conference Date: Monday, October 23, from 1:00-7:00PM 

Location: University of California Irvine Mesa Court Community Center

This is a complimentary, invitational, conference addressing a pressing higher education challenge in California and the nation: the crisis of unacceptable high failure rates in gateway courses, which correlate with attrition and reduced opportunities for equity and social justice. Representatives from all sectors of California higher education are being invited to consider what is and what could be done to improve student performance in these gateway courses. This meeting is being organized and sponsored in the public interest by the University of California Irvine: Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Michael Dennin; the Newkirk Center for Science and Society; and Professor of Social Ecology John M. Whiteley; and the non-profit John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.


Although the conference is free to open to the public, space is limited and you will need to RSVP to the UCI Newkirk Center: RSVP

To access parking information and conference location: Parking Information

For further information about the conference please feel free to contact: John M. Whiteley at:

1:00 pm


Michael Dennin, Vice Provost, University of California, Irvine

Stephen Handel, Associate Vice President, Admissions, University of California, Office of the President

Emily Daniell Magruder, Director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning, California State University Office of the Chancellor

1:15 – 2:00 pm

High Failure Rate Gateway Courses: The REAL “First Year Experience”

John N. Gardner, Chair and Chief Executive Officer,
Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education Brevard, North Carolina

2:00 – 2:30 pm

STEM Gateway: Why Do We Equate Failure with Academic Rigor?

Michael Dennin, Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning UC Irvine

2:30 – 3:00 pm

General Education Transformation: A Developmental Learning Process for Faculty and Students

Shari McMahan, Provost;
Kim Costino, Director, Quarter to Semester Conversion Process; Janelle Gilbert, Director of General Education;
CSU San Bernardino

3:00 – 3:30 pm Coffee break

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Scaling Faculty Professional Development: Course Redesign for Institutional Impact

Catherine Haras, Senior Director;
Beverly Bondad-Brown, Director Academic Technology Center for Effective Teaching and Learning, CSU Los Angeles

4:00 – 4:30 pm

Outcomes of First-Year Implementation of the New General Education Program at CSU, Bakersfield

Vernon Harper, Associate Vice President for Academic Programs;
Paul Newberry, Philosophy Professor and Director of General Education; Carl Kloock, Biology Professor and Director of Natural Sciences;
CSU Bakersfield

4:30 – 5:30 pm – Interest group discussion

5:30 – 6:00 pm – Sharing together where to take the collaboration

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Reception