2020 Gateway Course Experience Conference

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

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Join the experience.

Hundreds of institutional leaders, faculty, student success specialists, teaching and learning technology and institutional research professionals will join us at the  2019 Gateway Course Experience Conference to create and/or improve support for students in gateway courses.


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
  • 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


All blocked rooms are sold out at the conference rate.

Grand Hyatt (Conference Hotel) This hotel is SOLD OUT.

Embassy Suites Buckhead (right across the street). Conference Rate is sold out.


Conference Fees & Special Offers

$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.

Pre-Conference Workshops

$175 per workshop (Sunday March 17)

There are five to choose from. 8am to 12pm, breakfast from 7:15 to 8am.

Redeem Offers & General Assistance

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

Online Registration

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

Download a list of local restaurants HERE.

Call for Proposals

The call for proposals is now closed. 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.


Day 1
Sunday, March 17th

Conference activities run from Noon to 6pm.

Day 2
Monday, March 18th

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

Day 3
Tuesday, March 19th

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



Plenary Speakers


Laura Rendon, Professor Emerita University of Texas San Antonio, Board of Directors, Gardner Institute

Fostering Student Success: Employing Validation, An Asset-Based Framework and High-Impact Pedagogic Practices


Shirley Malcom, Director, Education and Human Resources Programs (EHR) American Association for the Advancement of Science

Undergraduate Teaching in STEM: We Were Never Taught to Teach

Featured Sessions

Maximize Learning In Course Redesigns With Five High-Impact Strategies

Obtain immediate increases in student learning, attendance, preparation for class, and satisfaction. Five high-impact and proven instructional strategies address the number one reason students leave college, the primary obstacle to learning, the first step to learning and performance, and the number one deterrent for implementing more active learning strategies. Implementation of these strategies immediately promotes rigor and accountability for learning, while also leading to increases in retention, enrollment, and tuition revenue. The substantial increases in learning and performance for the most under-served students results in a closure of student achievement gaps in those crucial first-year gateway courses. 

 Participants will learn how these highest-impact strategies can maximize effectiveness of their course redesigns, greatly increasing their confidence and effectiveness as a learning facilitator. Participants will leave with an action plan guaranteed to inspire and facilitate learning with a diverse student population, resulting in a more dynamic learning environment where education works for all students. An advantage to these strategies is that they are easily scaled up across a department, division, or entire college, while requiring no additional funding to implement. This session is an absolute must for any institution serious about meeting the challenges of the Completion Agenda.

Tony Holland, Vice Chancellor – Teaching, Learning, and Academics, Alabama Community College System


The Impact of Gateway Course Sequence Redesign on Student Success

We describe tools for analyzing the potential impact of various gateway course sequence redesign scenarios, taking into account student background and preparation. We then discuss how these tools have been used to inform and guide curriculum reform efforts, and we present the results of implementing these reforms on student progression.

Chaouki T. Abdallah, Executive Vice President for Research, Georgia Institute of Technology;

Gregory L. Heilman, Associate Provost for Student and Academic Life, University of Kentucky

Gateway Lessons Learned from a 360 degree perspective

Want a holistic picture of the intentional and unintentional outcomes of being involved in G2C work? Hear it from the people who are living the experience including: a  liaison providing an institutional approach, faculty members providing their course level approach and any innovations or changes, and a student providing their perspective on the course experience. Gain insight on the challenges and successes from multiple vantage points.


Dr. Colleen Vasconcellos, Associate Professor of History , University of West Georgia

Melissa Hullender, Senior Lecturer in Biology , University of West Georgia

Stephanie Cook, Student, University of West Georgia

Dr. David Newton, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs , University of West Georgia (G2C Institutional Liaison)

Moderator :

Dr. Sara Stein Koch, Gardner Institute Fellow and Senior Associate for Institutional Support

What We Are Learning About Guided Pathways: Implications for Gateway Course Redesign

The guided pathways approach has become a national reform movement in community colleges. National initiatives such as the AACC Pathways Project and numerous state-level initiatives are helping colleges throughout the country to implement the reforms and refine the model. At their core, guided pathways reforms involve clearly mapping programs to specify course sequences, critical program gateway courses and other progress milestones, and program learning outcomes so that students know what they need to do to prepare for a career and further education and training in their field of interest. The Community College Research Center (CCRC) is studying how colleges are implementing guided pathways reform. CCRC senior research associate John Fink will discuss what CCRC is learning from early adopters of these reforms, including implications for gateway course redesign.

 Moderator :

Scott Evenbeck, President, Guttman Community College


John Fink, Columbia University Senior Research Associate of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University


This year, we have five pre-conference workshops for you to choose from. Pre-conference workshops are held from 8-12pm on Sunday, March 17.


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. Implementing High-impact Practices Across Modalities

The concept of High-impact Educational Practices (HIPs) has been around for years, but the conversation about transitioning HIPs to online and blended/hybrid environments is just getting started. In this pre-conference workshop, Dr. Katie Linder, a co-editor of High-Impact Practices in Online Education, will lead participants through the creation of an HIP implementation action plan that is applicable in face-to-face, blended/hybrid, and online classrooms. Participants will also learn more about the state of the research for HIPs, have the opportunity to discuss tips and strategies for incorporating various HIPs across modalities, and leave with an actionable plan for implementing one or more HIPs into a modality of their choice. This plan will include:

  • a clear sense of how the chosen HIP(s) connects with disciplinary learning goals

  • specific learning objectives for the HIP(s)

  • an assignment idea related to the HIP(s) implementation

  • an assessment plan to measure the success of the HIP(s) implementation and impact on student learning

Each participant will walk away with some new ideas for how to incorporate HIPs into their classroom as well as an increased awareness of how the constellation of HIPs can positively impact student learning across the modalities.

Katie Linder, Research Director, eCampus Oregon State University

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

Maximize student learning and success through 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

V. Best Practices of Peer Learning Groups to Engage and Increase Student Achievement in Difficult Courses

The workshop begins with an overview of several major national postsecondary peer cooperative learning programs. These include Supplemental Instruction, Emerging Scholars Program, and Peer-led Team Learning. The next phase simulates a peer learning session. This would be done by viewing an abbreviated lecture, identify difficulties that typical students might experience, brainstorm how to prepare a study session, participate in a mock study session, and then debrief the experience. The approaches taken by the different peer learning programs are compared and contrasted. The latest research of the programs would be explored and a toolkit of resources provided to participants. This would include national guidelines for such approaches and an extensive annotated bibliography of research studies, descriptive articles, and training materials of the peer programs.

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

IV. Reflective teaching for holistic learning

Education is a cornerstone of modern society.  Strong educational institutions foster the development of skills citizens need to innovate and produce tangible results, bolstering economies and sustaining progress.  Physical innovation and economic progress are not traditionally the focal purpose of education.  They are instead a fortunate byproduct of a system that has long been more concerned with students as holistic individuals and engaged citizens.  

A salient question remains: do our students care about self-transformation and acquiring contemplative skills or, is their primary focus to become workforce competitive? To find out, we turned to the students and asked them what they want from their education.  We surveyed over 100 students enrolled in first- or second-year college courses.  The main purpose of the survey was to investigate what matters to the students. The results revealed three overarching themes: i) Sense of Belonging to a Community, ii) Sense of Empowerment, and iii) Meaning-Centered Education.  The common denominator of the three themes is relationships.  

 In this interactive workshop, participants will deliberate on the importance of cultivating healthy and meaningful relationships with and among students, in particular, students who come from an underrepresented background.  Participants will explore evidence-informed strategies to (1) investigate and align what students expect from their education with faculty perception; (2) transform the classroom into a learning sanctuary where all students can explore life, the inner and the outer; (3) participants will also examine characteristics of a holistically educated student.

Mays Imad, Professor Department of Life & Physical Science Pima Community College


Exhibitors and Sponsors

We invite you to participate in the 2019 Gateway Course Experience Conference at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead, Atlanta, GA. 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.

2019 Exhibitors


Atlanta March 2019

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