2020 Gateway Course Experience Conference

CHICAGO, IL | Sheraton Grand - March 22-24, 2020


Join the experience.

Join over 700 institutional leaders, faculty, student success specialists, teaching and learning professionals, academic advising, technology and institutional research professionals at the 2020 Gateway Course Experience Conference. Create and improve student success in gateway courses at your institution.


The Gateway Course Experience Conference is all about connecting and learning.

As a participant, you will:

  1. Engage in cross functional discussions about excellence in teaching, faculty development, and curriculum redesign

  2. Discover the latest promising practices

  3. Explore early warning systems, analytics, academic help labs, and other tools and/or approaches

  4. Discuss pre-enrollment placement and preparation strategies

  5. 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

  • Faculty development staff who teach, coordinate and/or develop faculty who are responsible for high enrollment courses 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

  • Academic Advisors interested in learning more about the role of gateway courses in student success and completion

  • Students who have are interested in learning more about course redesign and active learning


Call for Proposals

The Gateway Course Experience Conference convenes over 700 college and university educators and students to share and inspire promising practices in gateway course redesign.

Higher education professionals of all types interested in improving teaching, learning, academic advising, equity, and success in gateway courses are invited to submit proposals to:

    • Share innovative ideas and practices you are using to solve problems and enable transformative course redesign at your institution.

    • Connect and collaborate with colleagues from other institutions who are working to integrate active learning and other strategies into how they teach gateway courses.

    • Share evidence about how your course redesign efforts are improving student success and learning and/or advancing more equitable outcomes.

    • Share your students' perspectives in all aspects of teaching and learning. We encourage you to consider having a student(s) as co-presenter(s).

Through this call for proposals and the sessions that it generates, we hope to create a transformative conference! Call for Proposals is now open and closes on December 2, 2019.

For more information or questions email conferences@jngi.org

Right to Refusal Statement: 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.

Conference Fees & Special Offers


$595 Early Bird Deadline January 15, 2020

$650 Deadline March 1, 2020

$50 group discount for 3 or more attendees

Free registration for Chief Academic Officer (no surrogates allowed) if four other registrants attend from one institution. (Redeem this offer when the four people have registered.)

Full time undergraduate student rate is $250 to register contact Angela Whiteside at whiteside@jngi.org.

Conference Hotel Information-
Located in the beating heart of the bustling downtown district, Sheraton Grand Chicago is a urban sanctuary amid iconic attractions.

Sheraton Grand (Conference Hotel): 301 East North Water Street, Chicago, IL, 60611, (312) 464-1000.

Click here to book your hotel room at the Sheraton Grand for $169 a night.

Deadline: February 27, 2020. ( Book early, last year the conference hotel sold out before the deadline.)


Pre-Conference Workshops- will be announced soon.

$175 per workshop (Sunday March 22)

12.30- 4.30pm

General Assistance

If you would like to redeem a group offer or have general questions or comments, please contact Angela Whiteside via whiteside@jngi.org or 828-449-8053.

Airline Information

Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for Gateway Course Experience Conference participants.

Please click here to book your flights!

Online Registration

Register today to start making a better tomorrow for your students.


Day 1
Sunday, March 22nd

Conference activities run from 3 to 8pm.

Opening & Plenary Speakers:

Drs.Peter Felten and Leo Lambert from Elon University.

Day 2
Monday, March 18th

Conference activities run from 7am to 5:45pm.

Plenary Speaker:

Dr. Tia Brown McNair from AAC & U

Day 3
Tuesday, March 19th

Conference activities run from 7am to 12:15pm.



Plenary Speakers


Dr. Peter Felten

Dr. TIa Brown McNair

Dr. Leo Lambert

Featured Sessions:

  1. Lessons Learned from Gateways to Completion

    Facilitated by Sara Stein Koch

  2. New American History Initiative

    Presenter: Ed Ayers


This year, we have five pre-conference workshops for you to choose from. Pre-conference workshops are held from 12.30-4.30pm on Sunday, March 22.


I. Reimagining Academic Advising to Support a Culture of Success

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 pre-conference 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.

Charlie Nutt, Executive Director, NACADA

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


II. Best Practices to Engage and Increase Student Achievement in Challenging Courses by Student Study Group Leaders and Faculty Members

Best practice learning strategies from national peer learning programs can be effectively used by student study group leaders and faculty members of academically challenging courses. After a brief overview of programs (Supplemental Instruction, Emerging Scholars Program, and Peer-Led Team Learning), their common learning strategies are applied with several abbreviated course lectures. Following their viewing, workshop participants identify difficulties that typical students might experience, use provided training materials to brainstorm how to prepare a study session, participate in a mock study session in the roles of student and study group leader, and then debrief the experience. The approaches taken by the different peer learning programs are compared and contrasted. The latest research of the peer programs would be highlighted and an extensive toolkit of resources provided to participants. This includes an 80+ page guide of best practices just completed by an international team of college peer program administrators, extensive annotated bibliography of research studies, and training materials of several peer programs. Many of the same approaches and activities can be used by both a student study group leader and a faculty member.

David Arendale, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota and Manager of the EOA Best Practices Clearinghouse for Equity Programs.   

III. The Intersection of mathematics pathways, co-requisite supports, and course redesign

The evidence is growing that student learning and success are maximized when institutions take an integrated approach to mathematics pathways, co-requisite supports and course redesign. In this workshop, participants will assess their current state related to these three areas, interact with research and promising practices from the field, begin refinement work, and plan ahead for continuous improvement processes. Participants will leave with specific action steps and access to resources to support their work.


Connie Richardson, Manager Higher Education Course Programs, The Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas-Austin


Exhibitors and Sponsors

We invite you to participate in the 2020 Gateway Course Experience Conference at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, IL. 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

This year's Exhibitor and Sponsor information is available in PDF format.

2020 Exhibitors


Chicago March 2020

We would love to have you join us at the Gateway Course Experience Conference.