John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Featured Speakers

Plenary Speakers

The following keynote speakers will take part in the Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference. These speakers have been selected due to their deep knowledge and keen expertise with leading and shaping change in student and institutional success with gateway courses.

imageDr. James Anderson, Chancellor & Professor of Psychology, Fayetteville State University
imageDr. Tristan Denley, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents

Featured Sessions

Academic Advising and Gateway Courses
Joshua Smith, Dean of the School of Education, Loyola University Maryland & Past President, National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)

Lessons Learned from Gateways to Completion Schools
Sara Stein Koch, Institute Fellow, Gardner Institute

Analytics: The Game Changer for Gateway Courses or Analytics: The Ultimate Game Changer for Gateway Courses? 
Linda Baer, Former Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Julie Little, Vice President, Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development, EDUCAUSE
George Mehaffy, Vice-President for Academic Leadership and Change, American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Corequisite Support in College Gateway Math and English Courses 
Stan Jones, President, Complete College America
Peter Adams, Director Accelerated Learning Project (ALP), Community College of Baltimore County
Loretta Ussery Griffy, Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning, Austin Peay State University

Session Topics

Endorsing Organizations

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

The Reinvention Center

Local Supporting Institutions

Ivy Tech Community College System

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Purdue University


When: March 23-25, 2014

Where: The Westin Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Registration: Please Click Here

Submit a Proposal:  We are no longer accepting proposals.

The Gardner Institute, as a part of Purdue University’s Building and Scaling Analytics Capacity project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2014 Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference.

Last year over 350 faculty, staff and other interested parties came together to focus on improving institutional and student performance in gateway courses – courses that launch students on majors or programs of study. Many of these courses have high failure rates and thus close the door to student progression toward degree.

Purposes for attending the conference include:

  • To engage in cross functional discussions about excellence  in teaching, faculty development, and curriculum redesign for high enrollment, high risk gateway courses
  • To inform institution leaders, faculty, and staff about the latest promising practices related to gateway course success.
  • To explore the opportunities to utilize technology such as analytics, early warning systems, academic help labs, and other tools and/or approaches to improve gateway course success
  • To participate in discussions about pre-enrollment placement and preparation strategies for gateway course success
  • To develop further understanding of the body of knowledge about gateway courses and completion

Who Should Attend:

  • Institutional leaders interested in learning more about the role of gateway courses in student success and completion
  • Faculty who teach, coordinate and/or develop curriculum for high enrollment courses and/or high risk gateway courses
  • Student success staff actively involved with supporting student achievement in high enrollment and/or high risk gateway courses
  • Information technology staff involved in the development and application of learner analytics to improve institutional and student performance in gateway courses
  • Institutional research and/or institutional effectiveness staff interested in learning about the application of data to improve teaching and learning in gateway courses


Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Exhibit Hall: 12:00 – 6:30
  • Pre-Conference Workshop (Registration and separate fee required): 8:15 am – 12:00 pm
  • Registration: 12:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Plenary from Tristan Denley, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents:  3:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Reception:  5:15 – 6:30 pm

Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Exhibit Hall: 7:15 am – 4:30 pm
  • Continental breakfast: 7:15 – 8:00 am
  • Exhibitor Sessions:  8:00 – 8:45 am
  • Concurrent Sessions: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Lunch w/ Plenary Talk from James Anderson, Chancellor & Professor of Psychology, Fayetteville State University: 12:30 – 2:00 pm
  • Concurrent Sessions: 2:15 – 4:30 pm
  • Featured Sessions:  4:45 – 5:45 pm

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Exhibit Hall: 7:00 am – 10:45 am
  • Continental Breakfast:  7:00 - 7:45 am
  • Concurrent Sessions:  8:00 - 10:15 am
  • Morning Break – 10:15 – 10:30
  • Featured Sessions:  10:30 – 11:30 am
  • Closing Session:  11:45 – 12:15 pm
  • Adjournment: 12:15 pm


Where: The Westin Indianapolis, 50 South Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204

Fee: $485 if you register by January 31, 2014 or $535 any time after that date. $450 early bird ($500 after early bird) for group registrations with 3 or more from the same institution (please use group registration for discount). Fee includes all meeting materials and reception on Sunday, breakfast and lunch on Monday and breakfast on Tuesday; Click here to register for the meeting.

Fee for Pre-Conference Workshops from 9 – 12 (Continental Breakfast from 8:15 – 9:00):  $175

Refund Policy: Cancellations on or before February 23rd will have the registration fee refunded minus a $50 administrative fee. A written request for refunds is required. Cancellations on or before March 1oth will have the 1/2 of the registration fee refunded. Absolutely no refunds will be issued after March 10th. We cannot accept refund requests resulting from cancelled flights and/or “acts of God.”

Room rates: $169 a night includes wireless in guest rooms. Click here to make hotel reservations. Room block expires February 26, 2014.

Airfare discount: 5% discount for coach and 10% for first class on flights with Delta. Go to this site and enter the meeting code NMGMZ to receive the discount or call 1-800-328-1111.

Pre Conference

There will be 3 Preconference Workshops to choose from and they will all be going on simultaneously. Each Workshop is $175 each and will start with a breakfast at 8:15 am and then be held from 9 am – 12 pm. Please select the preconference you would like when you register for the conference on your registration form.

1) Using Analytics to Improve Student Success: A primer on leveraging data to enhance student performance
Dr. Matthew Pistilli, Research Scientist, Purdue University

Bichsel (2012) defines analytics as “the use of data, statistical analysis, and explanatory and predictive models to gain insights and act on complex issues” (p. 6). Many institutions around the country, and indeed, the world, have begun exploring the use of analytics as a means of increasing student success. This session will provide an overview of analytics and how other institutions have successfully leveraged analytics. In addition, participants will leave with an understanding of underlying theoretical approaches to the application of analytics and a set of guiding questions and considerations for implementing analytics initiatives on their own campuses.

2) Supplemental Instruction (SI): A Model of Successful Academic Support & Retention
Dr. Rodney Smith, Associate Director, International Center for Supplemental Instruction, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1973, Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic support program that targets historically difficult courses. SI utilizes a non-remedial, collaborative approach to learning that increases student performance & retention by offering peer-led, out-of-class review sessions. Forty years of research has shown that SI enhances student learning, improves grades, & bolsters retention rates. Come learn about this world renowned program in this interactive workshop.

Objectives: basic tenets of the SI model; SI research; specific learning strategies; tangible resources for future reference, including how to acquire the necessary training to run a successful SI program.

3) Opportunities for Academic Innovation:  Course level success strategies
Dr. Marguerite Weber, Director of Student Academic Affairs and Academic Initiatives, University of Baltimore

Participants will work through the process of understanding how to identify academic innovation opportunities that can help to solve a local problem (think classroom shortages, faculty retirements, high DFW rates, scheduling difficulties), to increase learning (in the specific course and “downstream”), and save (the university and/or students) resources.  We’ll learn design approaches to incorporating engaged, experiential learning with teaching and learning with technology.  Each participant will leave having created an entrepreneurial  “rocket pitch” for a proposed project and will learn about common barriers to academic innovation, and strategies to overcome them.

Call for Proposals

Proposals are no longer being accepted for this conference.

Higher education professionals and educators are invited to submit proposals for the Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference. Innovative concurrent session proposals are invited on topics addressing the research, challenges and practices related to gateway courses and student success. Gateway courses are defined as those undergraduate courses with high failure rates.

For questions about proposal submissions, please contact Sara Stein Koch at


Exhibit Hours

Sunday, March 23, 2014

  • Exhibitor Set-Up:  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Exhibit Hours: 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Monday, March 24, 2014

  • Exhibit Hours: 7:15 am – 5:00 pm
  • Exhibitor Sessions:  8:00 – 8:45 am

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

  • Exhibit Hours: 7:00 – 10:45 am
  • Exhibitor Break Down:  10:45 am – 2:00 pm

Exhibitor Form

Advertising Specifications

Refund Policy

Cancellations on or before January 17, 2014 will have the registration fee refunded less a 10% administrative fee. A written request for refunds is required. Absolutely no refunds will be made after January 17, 2014.

Right to Refusal

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education reserves the right to refuse requests for any and all exhibit booth space and/or advertisement space in event program book for Institute sponsored events that are not consistent with the John N. Gardner Institute’s mission and goals.



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