John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education


JNGI 2017 Annual Gateway Course Experience Conference

February 26 – 28, 2017, The Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Hundreds of institutional leaders, faculty, student success specialists, teaching and learning technology and institutional research professionals will join us at the JNGI 2017 Gateway Course Experience Conference to create and/or improve support for students in gateway courses.

Register today!

Concurrent Session Topics

Connect and Learn:

  • Engage in cross functional discussions about excellence in teaching, faculty development, and curriculum redesign
  • Discover the latest promising practices
  • Explore early warning systems, analytics, academic help labs, and other tools and/or approaches
  • Discuss pre-enrollment placement and preparation strategies
  • 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



Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Integration and Integrity:  Higher Education in the New Learning Ecosystem. Randy Bass,  Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English, Georgetown University

Teach Students to Learn:  A Key to Improving Success in Gateway Courses! Saundra McGuire, Director Emerita, Center for Academic Success & Retired Assistant Vice Chancellor and Professor of Chemistry, Louisiana State University

Featured Sessions

Transparent Assignments Promote Equitable Opportunities for Student Success, Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Lessons Learned from G2C Schools, Moderator:  Sara Stein Koch, Institute Fellow, John N. Gardner Institute, Presenters:  Katie Easley, DIrector of Student Success Services, Western Michigan University, Matthew Redinger, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Montana State University Billings, Dr. Valerie Whittlesey, Associate VP for Curriculum and Professor of Psychology, Kennesaw State University, LaRonda Sanders-Senu, Associate Professor of English, Gordon State College, Melissa Lucken, Professor, Lansing Community College

Making the Sum of the Parts Greater than the Individual Pieces:  Intentionally Connecting Gateway Course Redesign with Guided Pathway Efforts, Moderator:  Rebecca Villarreal, Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation, Presenters:  Jenny Schanker, Director of Research and Institutional Practice, Michigan Center for Student Success, Michigan Community College Association, Paige Eagan, Dean, Math and Sciences, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Megan Lin, Professor of Reading, Lansing Community College

Transforming Gateway Courses at Minority and Hispanic Serving Institutions, Isis Artze-Vega, Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Florida International University, Mary Gatta, Associate Professor of Academics, Guttman Community College,


Schedule and List of Sessions 

Sunday, February 26th

12:00 – 3:30 pm – Onsite Check In
3:30 – 5:00 pm – Opening and Plenary Session from Saundra McGuire
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Reception

Monday, February 27th

7:00 – 8:00 am – Breakfast Buffet
8:00 – 9:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
9:15 – 10:15 am – Concurrent Sessions
10:15 – 10:30 am – Morning Break
10:30 – 11:30 am – Concurrent Sessions
11:30 am – 1:00 pm – Lunch and Plenary with Randy Bass
1:00 – 2:00 pm – Concurrent Sessions
2:15 – 3:15 pm – Concurrent Sessions
3:15 – 3:30 pm  – Afternoon Break
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Concurrent Sessions
4:45 – 5:45 pm – Featured Sessions

Tuesday, February 28th 

7:00 – 8:00 am – Breakfast Buffet
8:00 – 9:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
9:15 – 10:15 am – Concurrent Sessions
10:15 – 10:30 am – Morning Break
10:30 – 11:30 am – Featured Sessions
11:45 am – 12:15 pm – Closing Session



Register today!

Hotel Room Rate: $179 per night, Click here to make hotel reservations or call 1 866 837-4215 and mention Gateway Course Conference. Hotel cutoff date is January 17, 2017.

Fee for Conference: $595 per individual by early bird deadline of December 2, 2016 or $650 after that date; Group registration for three or more attendees from one institution is $545 per person by early bird of December 2 or $600 after that date. Free registration for Chief Academic Officer (no surrogates allowed) if four other registrants attend from one institution. Email Angie Whiteside at to redeem this offer when the four people have registered.

Pre Conference Workshops: $175 (there are three to choose from) – 8 am to 12 pm, breakfast from 7:15 – 8 am.

Contact: Please contact Angela Whiteside ( or 828-449-8053) with questions or comments.



Preconference Workshops

#1 Reimagining Academic Advising to Support a Culture of Success

Presenter:  Charlie Nutt, Executive Director, NACADA

Description:  At many institutions, academic advising still supports a culture of scheduling/registration or a culture of compliance by the ways in which academic advising is organized, delivered, and defined for the campus community, including students.

As institutions begin to seriously analyze the issues involving student success on their campuses, including success in Gateway Courses impacting their student completion rate, it is essential that such institutions carefully analyze the academic advising experiences of students throughout their tenure at an institution.

In this preconference workshop, participants will learn the key connections between academic advising and student success/completion, the process and steps for conducting an analysis of academic advising at both the unit and institutional levels, and how to develop and implement an action plan for implementing changes in the academic advising experiences of students.

Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop a brief summary of the present academic advising structures and organizational models at their institutions with the reasons for why these exist.

Participant Learning Outcomes: Participants will learn:

  • The role that quality academic advising plays in improving student success
  • The variety of approaches of academic advising delivery
  • The role that data must play in analyzing what issues exist in regard to student success on a campus
  • Methods for analyzing the academic advising experiences of students
  • Methods of developing an action plan for implementation on their campus

#2 Promoting student success through embedded peer support:  A user’s manual for everyone

Presenters:  Kathryn Tucker, Ph.D., Danette Barber, Ph.D., Tony Scinta, Ph.D.

Description: The Gateways to Completion project at Nevada State College has led to significant advances in student success among targeted populations (e.g., first-generation and diverse students), including unprecedented gains in retention, student satisfaction, and grade point average.  Much of this success owes to the development of a new peer support specialist known as a “course assistant” – a peer mentor, supplemental instruction leader, and embedded tutor who attends the class sessions of critical gateway courses and provides students with high-quality academic and non-cognitive guidance.  This workshop focuses on practical insights into how we created this peer support program, including the specific goals and training systems that underlie the initiative, and should provide attendees with actionable guidance on how to create like-minded programs on their home campuses.

#3 Supporting Instructors of Gateway Courses: Tools and techniques for teaching excellence program and/or center leaders

Presenters:  Kathryn Cunningham,  Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Lindsay WheelerAssistant Director of STEM Education Initiatives and Assistant Professor, Center for Teaching Excellence

Description:  Are you a faculty/educational developer working with instructors of gateway courses and are struggling to find ways to help support this population of instructors? Supporting instructors who teach high enrollment, high failure rate courses can be stimulating and frustrating, and faculty development work can sometimes feel professionally isolating.  In this workshop leaders of teaching excellence programs and centers will  acquire techniques and tools for making your teaching excellence collaboration efforts with faculty both efficient and effective while collaborating with a cohort of faculty/educational developers. After attending this workshop, you’ll have tools for supporting instructors in both group and individual settings. We will model effective use of active learning, formative assessments, and instructional technology to prepare you in supporting groups of gateway course instructors . You’ll also learn how action plans can improve the effectiveness of individual consultations.Finally, this session will offer each participant an option to connect over the next year through a virtual community of practice for teaching excellence program or center leaders who also are also participating in the workshop.

Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals


Call for Proposals is closed.



We invite you to participate in the JNGI 2017 Gateway Course Experience Conference at the Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. This conference offers many opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors to connect with motivated and on-target prospects while also demonstrating support for higher education’s efforts to improve student success.

Options include:

  • Exhibitor
  • Exhibitor with Concurrent Session
  • Variety of Sponsorship with Concurrent Sessions
  • Conference App Ads

Sign up to exhibit and/or sponsor today!

2017 Exhibitors

Fidelis Education

John N. Gardner Institute (JNGI)

National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)

National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition (NRC)

National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS)


Soomo Learning

Stylus Publishing