• Highlights from the 2019 Academic Resource Conference

    May 1, 2019 - WSCUC

The theme of the 2019 Academic Resource Conference (ARC), Provocative Questions, Courageous Answers, encouraged participants to tackle tough conversations and explore creative opportunities to better serve students, strengthen outcomes, and improve the region’s postsecondary system.

The #2019ARC brought together institutional leaders and stakeholders to discuss critical issues facing colleges and universities, including closing equity gaps, supporting underserved and first-generation students, leveraging data analytics to improve outcomes, and more.

Read on for a few of the highlights from the #2019ARC and stay tuned for announcements about the 2020 ARC.


Dreams to Degrees: Magnifying Student Success

The #2019ARC opening event, Dreams to Degrees: Magnifying Student Success explored opportunities to better serve first-generation students and demand greater equity in higher education. This inspiring plenary featured opening remarks from WSCUC President Jamienne Studley, followed by a conversation with Alexandra Bernadotte of Beyond 12, Kim Mazzuca of 10,000 Degrees , and Dr. James Minor, who leads California State University’s Graduation Initiative 2025.


“Why are we still having the same decades-old conversation about student success? We’ve been talking about the disparities and inequities, we’ve looked at the statistics and outcomes … we understand a student’s zip code is a big predictor of her destiny. What’s it going to take to change the conversation?”

—Alexandra Bernadotte, Founder and CEO of Beyond 12

“It means everything for a student to hear ‘I believe in you’ and ‘you belong.’ What can we do to provide our students with the support and resources they need to succeed in college?… We must see all students as amazing human beings who deserve our investment. [If not], we are losing enormous human potential every year.”

—Kim Mazzuca, President and CEO of 10,000 Degrees

“On the road to ARC we heard many provocative and urgent questions. The public is asking fundamental questions about the value of higher education. We can answer those questions by understanding whether educational engagement across WSCUC yields the learning and core competencies promised by the institution. And then we must do better at making those learning outcomes and core competencies, and the post graduate value of higher education, widely understandable.”

—Jamienne Studley, President of WSCUC


Provocative Questions and Courageous Answers about Teaching, Learning, and Assessment – Is Higher Education Accomplishing What it Said It Would?

A panel on Provocative Questions and Courageous Answers about Teaching, Learning, and Assessment – Is Higher Education Accomplishing What it Said It Would? gathered distinguished professionals from institutions and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment and Research to ask serious and bold questions about the true value of degrees and credentials and how we determine if students are learning. Read Inside Higher Ed‘s coverage of this important discussion.


Higher Education in California: Our Students and Our Future

Dr. Lande Ajose, the new Senior Director of Higher Education for Governor Gavin Newsom, offered an uncompromising assessment of our region’s challenges and shared a bold vision for a more inclusive and effective postsecondary system that meets the needs of all students‚ regardless of race, background, or circumstance. Read Dr. Ajose’s remarks.


“That is exactly what we in higher education are called to do: to ensure that everyone has meaningful access to quality postsecondary education. But that’s not all. We must also ensure that the opportunity to be educated does not just reproduce the historic wealth and inequity deeply rooted in our history as Americans, but instead provides for the kind of economic and social mobility that is deeply rooted in our ideals as Americans. This, in my view, strikes at the heart of accreditation: to ensure that institutions are serving students and the public good.”

—Dr. Lande Ajose

Notes from the ARC: Blogs and Stories from ARC Presenters

Several ARC participants and presenters contributed blogs on topics relevant to the #2019ARC. Click through the links below to read the Notes from the ARC.

  • Once Upon a Time…– Rosa Belerique, Vice President of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at the New York Film Academy
  • A Rising Tide Nele Hempel-Lamer, Ph.D., Director of the California State University Certificate Program in Student Success Analytics
  • Stephen Colbert vs. Bill Gates—Duan Jackson, Executive Director of University Academic Advisement at California State University, Long Beach, and Sharlene Sayegh, Director of Program Review and Assessment and Accreditation Liaison Officer at California State University, Long Beach
  • Sitting at the Adult Table—Rebecca C. Hong, Ed.D., Senior Director of Educational Effectiveness and Assessment/ALO at Loyola Marymount University.
  • Making Magic—Kelly Wahl, Director of Statistical Analysis and Assessment Coordinator at UCLA College of Letters & Science
  • To Dream or not to Dream…Is that even a question?—Lester Larios, Assistant Director of Student Enrichment & Intercultural Development at Biola University, and Daniel Parham, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Retention & Success at Biola University.
  • Let’s Go!—Laurie Dodge, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of Institutional Assessment & Planning and Vice Provost at Brandman University.