Southwest faculty and staff are a hit at national ATD conference

Over a dozen Southwest faculty and staff joined more than 2,300 higher education, public policy and philanthropy leaders from across the country at DREAM 2018, Achieving the Dream’s (ATD) 14th annual conference last month to discuss innovation in higher education, how to foster student success (especially among minority and low-income populations) and to share best practices.

ATD selected two Southwest submissions for presentation at the prestigious conference.  President Tracy D. Hall says this was quite a feat and that both sessions were a hit with fellow conference attendees.  “The conference receives dozens of presentation submissions each year and competition is fierce,” she said. “I am so proud of our ATD team who made not one, but two formal presentations to standing room only audiences.”

ATD Program Director and Associate Professor (Business and Legal Studies) Sindy Abadie says Dream 18 focused on the Institutional Capacity Framework, which identifies the seven building blocks of a high-performing college, which are:  Leadership and vision, data and technology, equity, teaching and learning, engagement and communication, strategy and planning and policies and practices.  “Proficiency in these areas position colleges to engage in guided pathways and other holistic reforms,” Abadie said.

Abadie, Jeremy Burnett, Jaqueline Faulkner, and Dr. Jacqueline Taylor presented “Redesign, Reinvent, and Reset: How We Organized for Large Scale Systemic Change” where they shared with conference members approaches and tools that led to Southwest’s major accomplishments in year one.  In another session, Jeremy Burnett, Don Myers and Abadie presented "Academic Map Development Driven by Student Achievement Data,” a presentation that outlined the development of academic maps using PowerBi dashboards that enabled faculty to identify milestone courses. 

Abadie says Tennessee was well represented and that much attention was paid to the state’s Promise and Reconnect programs. “Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Dr. Flora Tydings was the plenary speaker and representatives from Roane State, Chattanooga State and Jackson State community colleges all had representatives presenting along with us,” she said. “Educators from across the country are interested in the Tennessee system. With Tennessee Promise, Reconnect and the cohort model for developmental education, we have proven as a state that we are committed to the Drive to 55 and ultimately student success.”

In attendance at Dream 18 from Southwest were Abadie, Eddie Baker (assistant professor in Paralegal Studies), Executive Director for Enrollment Services Shanita Brown, Dean of Faculty Support Jeremy Burnett, Dean of Business & Technologies Robin Cole, Vice President for Academic Affairs Chris Ezell, Vice President for Student Affairs Jacqueline Faulkner, Tracy Freeman-Jones (associate professor for Radiologic Studies), Associate Dean of Faculty Support Ashley Geisewite, President Tracy D. Hall, Dean of Health & Natural Sciences Evan McHugh, Admissions Specialist Katrina Muldrow, Institutional Research Director Don Myers, Executive Director for Retention and Student Success Jacqueline Taylor, Teaching Academy Director Jennifer Townes and Dean of Humanities LaDonna Young.