Be Inspired.

Join us for an in-state, substantive, thought-provoking, interactive, meeting of the minds from across all sectors and professional roles within Ohio post-secondary education. We will come together to examine and be informed and inspired by promising new practices for improving undergraduate education and student success in Ohio.

Be Involved.

Ohio undergraduate education is facing multi-faceted threats: declining traditional-aged student enrollments, declining enrollments in the liberal arts,  declining international student enrollments, declining state and federal funding, changing demographics, uncertain economic impact of trade policies,  and unknown public policy directions.

All institutions, 2-year, 4-year, private, public, not-for-profit, for-profit, urban, rural, and online are faced with needing to do more with less. But many post secondary institutions across the state, in all sectors, have created cutting-edge innovative solutions to address student success.

This gathering will provide educators the opportunity to share promising practices and share the many strengths of the diverse colleges and universities in Ohio.

Be Informed.


Be There.


Who should attend 

Ohio higher education thought leaders and practitioners from the state's 2-year, 4-year, non-profit, for-profit, public and private institutions:

  • Faculty, academic administrators (chief academic officers and their staff, deans, department chairs),

  • student affairs/ student success administrators and staff,

  • librarians, institutional research and assessment practitioners,

  • athletic personnel,

  • higher education focused researchers and journalists,

  • presidents, chancellors, and trustees,

  • students,

  • foundation program officers,

  • state agency officials and higher education association staff.

  • Anyone who is interested in student success for Ohio's undergraduates.


Conference: $195 per participant. Team discount for 3 or more from the same institution of $175 per participant including breakfast, lunch, and breaks.   

Pre-Conference Workshops $125 per participant. Team discount $100 per participant for teams of 3 or more,  including workshop and evening reception. 

Conference Registration Deadline February 12, 2019. Late Registration: February 12 -February 27, 2019 $270 per person, no discounts will be applicable.

Need a hotel? You can find local hotels here.

Questions? Contact Deanna Wagner successconference@capital.edu

Be Engaged.

Featured speakers for the conference are:


Be a Contributor.

Conference sessions are structured to provide maximum interaction between conference participants. Presenters will utilize various modes of delivery, alternative formats, and will provide ample opportunities for stimulating dialogue.  The call for proposals is now closed.

Suggested topics: 

Note: this list below is not meant to limit options for what could be proposed. The topics below are illustrative though of possible areas for inclusion.

Institution-wide initiatives

·      Increasing equity in all facets of undergraduate life: admissions, financial aid, housing, access to high-impact practices

·      Focusing on the role of both faculty and staff in enhancing student success

·      Improving academic/student affairs/student success partnerships

·      Taking innovative boutique programs to scale

·      Engaging in institution-wide planning to improve learning, retention, and success

·      Linking student success innovation to reaffirmation of accreditation and/or institutional strategic planning

·      Integrating the study of leadership into the curriculum and co-curriculum

Classroom and curricular initiatives

·      Creating pedagogies that enhance student engagement and success, both general and discipline-specific

·      Improving equitable outcomes in high-failure-rate gateway courses  

·      Using predictive analytics improving college affordability

·      Redesigning remedial/developmental courses (e.g., co-requisite courses)

·      Designing guided pathways


Targeted undergraduate efforts

·      Improving the success of sophomores, transfer students, and seniors

·      Enhancing the persistence of transfer students through partnerships between sending and receiving institutions

·      Achieving excellence in academic advising

·      Using assessment and student outcomes data for planning and improvements

·      Designing innovative partnerships to enhance student success; public/private, two year/four year, high school/college and dual credit programs

·      Improving college affordability

Pre-Conference : Link to Register


 Isis Artez-Vega, Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Florida International University

Isis Artez-Vega, Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Florida International University

 John Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Gardner Institute

John Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Gardner Institute

 Mike Rosenberg, Fellow, Gardner Institute

Mike Rosenberg, Fellow, Gardner Institute

 Drew Koch, President, Gardner Institute

Drew Koch, President, Gardner Institute

 Vicki McGillin, Fellow Gardner Institute

Vicki McGillin, Fellow Gardner Institute

Cultural Responsiveness through Reflection & Course Refinement

Presenter: Isis Artez-Vega

This interactive session will first guide participants through a reflective exercise focused on working across cultures. It will then share a conceptual framework for culturally-responsive teaching, which will serve as a lens through which participants will examine key elements of their course syllabi, and work together to identify current strengths and areas for refinement. *Note: Participants are asked to bring a physical or virtual copy of one of their course syllabi.


Transfer and the Social Justice Imperative

Presenters: John N. Gardner and Mike Rosenberg

Higher education institutions often discriminate against transfer students. Most colleges and universities conceive of student transfer as the administrative process of articulating credits from one institution to the next. However, the majority of baccalaureate earners now possess credit from more than one institution. The primary educational path for underrepresented, first-generation, and adult students to a baccalaureate degree involves transfer – requiring these students to navigate a system not necessarily designed to work in their best interest. We argue for a more comprehensive, holistic view – considering transfer as a student’s total educational experience from initial acceptance to their successful goal attainment and credentialing. Join us for a conversation and strategic planning session about a social justice frame for transfer – refocusing on the actual needs of students, building pro-transfer alliances across campus, and creating a sustainable system for transfer success.


Redesigning Gateway Courses to Improve Learning and Advance Equity and Social Justice

Presenters: Drew Koch and Vicki McGillin

In this interactive session, participants will explore both the assumptions and the evidence concerning which, why and how students struggle in gateway courses.  You will learn how the patterns of failure in gateway courses is unevenly distributed across student populations, and how this impacts student learning, retention and social justice. We will explore what efforts are currently underway on your own campuses and contrast that with both institution-wide and discipline-specific interventions that are currently producing significant outcomes.  Participants will leave with action steps, including how they might approach such an initiative  on their own campus, who should be involved and what evidence must be systematically collected to make the case for curricular, co-curricular and pedagogic change.


About the organizers:

Capital University's Office of the Provost and Division of Student Learning and Development and the non-profit, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, partners in innovative undergraduate education and student success, join together for this inaugural conference.