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Call for Proposals
2013 New England Conference for Student Success
Call for Proposals
The University of Massachusetts Amherst will host the fourth annual New England Conference for Student Success on Friday, October 11, 2013. The program committee invites practitioners and scholars to submit proposals for conference sessions. All submissions should emphasize promising practices or programs aimed at fostering student success.
DEADLINE EXTENDED: The deadline to submit a program proposal is August 1, 2013. Proposal review is ongoing, starting June 25, 2013.
This year’s theme, “Transitions,” recognizes that change is fundamental to students’ higher education experiences and that student success hinges on the thoughtful negotiation of turning points, shifts and evolutions. The most obvious of these transitions is the move from high school to college but there are many others – transferring from a community college to a four year institution, moving into a campus residential environment, declaring a major, changing majors, transferring institutions, moving off campus, developing self-authorship, and graduating—to name a few.
This conference explores these pivotal points and looks at practices that help students successfully navigate them. Also, at a time when higher education is going through its own transitions, we will consider the impact of larger institutional changes and how they impact student success. The conference is designed for faculty members, administrators, and professionals in both academic and student affairs, from 2- and 4-year educational institutions who are seeking new ways of thinking about and promoting student success in higher education.
We strongly encourage submissions that speak directly to this year’s conference theme of “Transitions” Possible topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Making the Transition from High School to College
- Community College Transfer Success
- Advising Students Through Transitions
- Successful Partnerships between 2- and 4-Year Institutions
- Successful Residential Life
Session Proposal GuidelinesAll session proposals should do the following:
- Report on programs, practices or initiatives aimed at fostering student success.
- Explain what is done, how it is done, and the impact (or expected impact) of the initiative or innovation.
- Explain how you will devote 20-30 minutes to audience participation and/or discussion.
- Explain how the session will be conducted, i.e. how the 60-minute time slot will be organized to encourage audience participation.
- Not exceed five double-spaced pages including title, author details, abstract, body, questions or issues for audience discussion, session outline, and references.
Choose from three formats: (1) Hands-On Workshop; (2) Research/Project Report; (3) Facilitated Discussion. Please select the format that will advance participants’ understanding and potential use of your work. One way to effectively engage participants across the different formats is to have them explore ways to apply your information and resources to their own institutional and professional settings. In an effort to conserve resources, applicants are asked to limit paper handouts. Electronic resources will be provided to participants both before and after the conference.
Format 1: Hands-On Workshop
Workshops allow facilitators to engage participants in active learning about the session topic. We recommend opening with a brief framing of the topic and an overview of planned activities and goals for the session. We expect facilitators will lead participants through relevant exercises or activities (either individual or small group) that will foster constructive dialogue and help them to employ strategies or techniques in their work on their own campuses.
Format 2: Project/Research Reports
We recommend splitting this session into three periods of 15-20 minutes each. During the first period, facilitators will highlight their research findings, promising project, model, or other innovation. The second period should be used to work through practical applications of this work with participants (e.g., to other institutions or in scaling up to involve greater numbers of students). The final period is for discussion. All data, findings, and applications should be presented in ways that are accessible to participants and allow them to engage in a discussion about applications and implications.
- Project/model/innovation-focused proposals should briefly describe the project, the parties involved (e.g., humanities and science faculty, residence life staff, first-year students, etc.), the impetus for the project, components, challenges encountered, strategies for implementation and plans for assessing its effectiveness.
- Research-focused proposals should clearly state the research question(s), methods, and major findings, and offer concrete examples/steps for using the findings to effect change.
Format 3: Facilitated Discussions
Facilitated discussions allow colleagues to share expertise and experiences on a topic of mutual interest. They provide a valuable opportunity to network and reflect upon ideas, challenges, and possible solutions in an informal setting. Facilitated discussions may take either one of the following approaches:
- Topical discussion: The facilitator briefly presents information on a relevant topic or challenge and assists the group in exploring issues of concern and developing possible solutions.
- Practice/strategy discussion: The facilitator prefaces the discussion with a brief overview of a particular practice or strategy and provides a handout that includes a longer description, as well as a bibliography or other resources. The facilitator then poses questions to stimulate and focus the conversation so that others can share their own experiences using the particular practice or strategy.
NOTE: All sessions should engage participants in thinking about how they might translate and adapt the strategies, practices and/or information presented to their own institutional and professional settings. Facilitators and presenters are also welcome to solicit feedback that would inform their work. If your session is better suited to a particular type of institution (e.g., community college, research university), or level of expertise (novice, intermediate, advanced), please make that clear in your proposal. If you have a great idea that does not fit into one of the formats listed above, please let us know.
Instructions for Proposals
All proposals should follow the guidelines set forth in this call for proposals and adhere to the highest professional standards.
- Include a compelling title and two-sentence abstract for publication in the Conference Program.
- Include the author’s name and institution on each page of the proposal.
- Limit length to no more than five, double-spaced pages.
- Submit as a Microsoft Word (.doc) or PDF document.
- Avoid complicated formatting.
- Include page numbers.
- Identify the topic and format you have selected.
- Describe the intended activities and goals/intended outcomes of your session, noting how the activities will help participants achieve those outcomes.
- Describe aspects of your work that can be applied to one or more sectors of higher education (i.e., large universities, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive institutions, community colleges).
- Describe the professional level to which your session is geared (e.g. novice, intermediate, advanced).
- Include links to relevant websites and/or attachments of any materials you will share.
- Detail your plan for audience participation. How will you engage participants in a discussion of how your work might translate to their own campus contexts and roles? Provide a list of key discussion questions.
- Refer and/or describe your contribution to the existing body of knowledge on the topic and refer to previous relevant published works.
If your proposal pertains to a project, program, course, or other feature for which there is (or will be) descriptive materials available online or electronically, please provide the URL address or e-document with your proposal (or when they become available before the conference). The conference website will include these links when we post the final program. After the conference, all presenters will be invited to provide any additional electronic resources that they would like us to make available to conference participants.
Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Relevance to the conference theme of “Transitions”
- Focus on practices, programs or initiatives aimed at fostering student success
- Strategies for audience engagement
- Application to other institutional types or settings
- Adherence to guidelines and submission deadline
How to Submit a Proposal
Coversheet: All proposals must include the coversheet, completed electronically or manually (please print), depending on your preferred method for submission.
Writeable pdf coversheet (requires Acrobat Professional). Be sure to download the form to your desktop, complete and save before sending as an email attachment.
Word document coversheet. Download, complete, and save. Send as an email attachment, or print out for mail or fax submission.
Electronic Submission: Submit all supporting documents in pdf or Word format. All proposals should be sent to Susan McDonough (email@example.com). If you have difficulty submitting your proposal electronically, please contact Susan McDonough by email or telephone (413.577.1202).
Mail Submission: Send cover sheet and proposal to:
Student Success Proposals
attn: Susan McDonough
202 Draper Hall
University of Massachusetts Amherst
40 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9244
Fax Submission: Send cover sheet and proposal to 413.577.0905; attn: Susan McDonough.
Notification: You will receive a confirmation message indicating receipt of your proposal within 2 business days of submission. If you do not receive this message, please contact Susan McDonough (413.577.1202) to confirm receipt.
Deadline and Acceptance: We will begin reviewing proposals on June 27, 2013. Proposals will not be accepted after August 1, 2013. For additional information, please contact Elizabeth Williams, Program Committee Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org, 413.545.0736. Preference will be given to proposals received by June 27. Proposal status will be confirmed by August 29, 2013.
Registration Fees: All session presenters are responsible for conference registration fees, as well as any travel or hotel expenses incurred. Presenters will be offered a reduced conference fee when they complete the registration form.
Resources for Attendees of Your Session: Resource materials help conference participants implement and/or share new ideas. In an effort to conserve natural resources, and increase the potential for active participation in your session, we strongly encourage facilitators to provide us with online resources one month in advance of the conference.