Friday, 22 July 2016 - 8:30am to 4:30pm

ACPA-College Student Educators International, the ACPA Commission for Two-Year Colleges & the National Council on Student Development present

Commission for Two Year Colleges   
ACPA Commission for Two-Year Colleges

NCSD Logo

Student Affairs Practice in Community Colleges: Learning, Retention, and Completion


Post-Event Resources

You may download the resources shared by presenters during this event by clicking here!


Friday, July 22, 2016
8:30am – 4:30pm

Hosted By
Anne Arundel Community College
Arnold, Maryland

The Completion Agenda is at the center of many conversations regarding current and future practice in higher education. This is particularly true for community colleges who are being asked to produce more graduates in order to boost the United States economy and meet anticipated industry growth over the coming decades. In order to meet this demand, community colleges must enhance student learning, develop pathways for success, engage students for retention, and support student development. This drive-in conference presents information about the unique role of student affairs professionals in these endeavors. The goal is to shed light on the on-the-ground work of student affairs practitioners in the community college with the theoretical foundations of our field and the national Completion Agenda through discussions, speakers, and the sharing of best practices.

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Registration Includes light breakfast and lunch.

$75 for professionals
$50 for graduate students

Looking for Your Hotel?  Check out this list of AACC recommended hotels to make your decision!  


Planning Team

Dr. Needham Yancey Gulley, Chair
Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University

Dell Hagan Rhodes
Director of Student Life, Community College of Baltimore County

Tyler McClenithan
Academic Advisor & Student Services Coordinator, George Washington University

Joe Palencia
Advisor, Student Support Services TRIO, Oakton Community College

Dr. Matthew Robison
Director of Student Development, Kennesaw State University

Dr. Case Willoughby
Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management, Butler County Community College

Shammah Bermudez
Assistant Director, Center for Academic Support, Ursinus College

Key Speakers

Rich KeelingRichard P. Keeling, M.D.

Dr. Keeling leads Keeling & Associates, LLC (K&A)—a comprehensive higher education consulting firm focused on creating change for learning. He has worked with more than 300 institutions and organizations over more than 25 years of practice.

Dr. Keeling serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) and has been president of four professional organizations in higher education. He has published more than 125 articles, monographs, and books. He served as Editor of the Journal of American College Health and has received the highest awards of both the American College Health Association (ACHA) and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Before creating K&A, Dr. Keeling taught medicine, directed comprehensive health programs and services, and explored innovative, cross-institutional approaches to advancing student learning during 20 years on campus at the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Keeling took his bachelor's degree in English with highest honors from the University of Virginia and received his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Lee

Tyjaun A. Lee, Ph.D.

Tyjaun A. Lee, Ph.D., serves as the Vice President for Student Services at Prince George’s Community College.  In this role, she is responsible for managing administrative units, programs and student services including recruitment, enrollment, marketing, athletics, and the coordination of the operational oversight of auxiliary services for students.  Lee completed her undergraduate and graduate programs at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she also received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, with an emphasis in higher education administration.  Lee has been nationally recognized with awards and appointments for her exceptional leadership capabilities and her work with underrepresented and underprivileged college students.


BreakOut Sessions

Proven Strategies for Success:  15 to Finish and Guided Pathways

Matthew K. Robison, Ph.D.
Director of Student Engagement
Kennesaw State University 

Abstract: This presentation will explore two strategies that have been proven to “move the needle” on college students’ retention, progression, and graduation.  Championed by Complete College America, 15 to Finish and Guide Pathways are two low cost, high yield RPG strategies that both two and four-year institutions can utilize to see student success and degree completion move in a positive direction.   

  • Bio: Dr. Robison serves as Director of Student Engagement for Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. Reporting to the Vice President of Student Affairs, he supervises numerous departments within the Division of Student Affairs (e.g., Adult and Commuter Student Affairs, GLBTIQ Student Programs, International Student Programs, Multicultural Student Affairs, Multicultural Student Programs, and Volunteerism and Service Learning).  Before coming to KSU, Dr. Robison served for three years as Dean of Students at Georgia Perimeter College, a two-year, access institution serving 22,000 students across five campuses in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to his GPC Dean’s responsibilities, Dr. Robison also co-led the University System of Georgia’s 15 to Finish initiative.  While leading 15 to Finish, he presented at workshops across the state of Georgia on successful retention, progression, and graduation practices. In addition, he co-planned a state-wide conference for the 29 USG member institutions on 15 to Finish and other innovative RPG programs.  Earlier in his career, Dr. Robison served for eight years as Assistant Dean of Students at Georgia State University and also has worked in Student Affairs administration on college campuses in Massachusetts and New York.  

Changing Cultures, Changing Outcomes: Embracing Academic and Student Affairs Collaboration

Case Willoughby, Ed.D 
Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management 
Butler County Community College

Francie Spigelmyer, Ph.D. 
Independent Education Consultant

Abstract: Butler County Community College’s (BC3) Academic and Student Affairs Divisions embarked on a multi-year process to improve student success. Now midway through that process, the College has increased collaboration, advanced the use of student learning outcome assessments and improved student retention rates. The VP for Student Affairs and the former VP for Academic Affairs who co-launched these initiatives will share the process, the wins, and the lessons learned, and will also include opportunities to consider potential applications on participants’ campuses.

  • Bio: Case Willoughby has been a change agent in student affairs organizations for over 20 years, believing that investing in people brings growth to the organization and success to its students. Currently the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Butler County Community College, he previously served as Director of Academic Achievement at Hostos Community College and Class Dean at Columbia University. Previously he consulted on the creation of Columbia’s student affairs division, bringing it into alignment with student affairs research and best practices. The ACPA/NASPA Joint Task Force on Student Affairs Professional Competencies, the ACPA Senior Student Affairs Officer Advisory Board, and the Directorate of the ACPA Commission on Two Year Colleges are his most recent service roles. With an Ed.D. and M.A. in Higher Education from Columbia University, an M.A. in Hispanic Civilization from NYU, Case’s formal schooling is over, but his education continues.
  • Bio: Dr. Francie Spigelmyer is an independent education consultant and also teaches as an adjunct assistant professor at Butler County Community College (BC3) in Butler, Pennsylvania where she also served for seven years as the Vice President for Academic Affairs, which included a yearlong interim assignment as Vice President for Student Services. Prior to her administrative work, she served BC3 as a full-time faculty member in the Humanities/Social Sciences Division. A recipient of the BC3 Oscar Award for outstanding faculty member, Dr. Spigelmyer’s expertise is in leadership and professional development, specifically, cultivating effective research-based pedagogical practices that enhance the teaching and learning environment, including student affairs’ personnel as integral partners. Dr. Spigelmyer completed her PhD at Robert Morris University in Instructional Management and Leadership in 2011. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Education/Political Science (Minor) from Buffalo State College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from The Pennsylvania State University.

Beyond Access & Retention: Fostering the Success of Low-Income, First Generation Students

Joe J. Palencia, M.Ed.
Advisor, Student Support Services TRIO Program
Oakton Community College

Abstract: College opportunity programs and federal pell grants have granted students from low-income and first generation backgrounds access to a postsecondary education in recent years. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 5 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 whose parents did not finish high school have a college degree. Institutions of higher education have prioritized student retention and degree completion, while acknowledging that there are numerous cultural, social, and economic barriers hindering student success. This session will share ways in which colleges can assist students in achieving their academic and personal goals while implementing interventions to reduce personal, financial, and academic concerns.  

  • Bio: Joe Palencia is an advisor for the Student Support Services (SSS) TRIO program at Oakton Community College in Northern Cook County, Illinois. Mr. Palencia also teaches COL 108 – The College Experience, a 3 Credit Undergraduate course that develops the competencies that are necessary to be a successful college student. Joe is a First Generation Student Affairs Educator with experience in Residence Life, Orientation, Multicultural Affairs, Student Retention, and Academic Advising. He is also an active member of ACPA – College Student Educators International and currently serves on the directorate board of the ACPA Commission for Two-Year Colleges.. He earned a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Communication and Latina/o Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Achieving Student Success through Faculty Collaboration

Shammah Bermudez, M.Ed.
Director of Disability Services
Ursinus College

Abstract: Strong campus partnerships can go a long way in achieving student success. This presentation will focus on how student affairs professionals can achieve success through collaboration, establishing trust, and nurturing relationships with faculty. The presentation will use a student services lens to provide examples from past experiences and provide tangible takeaways. Participants will be provided with variety of scenarios and have the opportunity to discuss different approaches. Topics include how to repair fractured relationships, crafting your message, and identifying cultural travelers.

  • Bio: Shammah Bermudez is the Director of Disability Services at Ursinus College. Prior to working at Ursinus College, Shammah worked at Delaware County Community College as the Coordinator for Disability Services for 6 years, overseeing six branch campuses. While at DCCC, he served on a number of committees including the Institutional Assessment Processes Committee. Shammah is an active member of ACPA and has held a number of leadership roles including Chair/Past Chair of the Commission for Two-Year College, Ethics Committee Member, and Trustee Associate for the ACPA Foundation Board. Shammah is completing his Ed.D in Higher Education Leadership from Widener University where he also holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education.

The Role of Change Leadership in Transformative Advising and Planning Reform

Julia Lawton
Assistant Director of Data, Technology, and New College Experience
Achieving the Dream

Cammille Powell
Coordinator, Data, Technology, and Analytics
Achieving the Dream, Inc.

Abstract: Effective advising and planning services are essential to the success of students no matter what their academic or career goals. In the past few years the higher ed field has increased it's focus on enhancing these services by using technology to empower advisors to spend less time registering students for classes and more time on meaningful discussion of their career and academic goals. Achieving the Dream (ATD) believes that student success is increased when all staff are able to propose and lead enhancements to the student experience. This session will review the importance of change leadership and the significant role advisors play in enhancing the student experience and increasing completion rates through advising and planning reform. Lessons from ATD's work with 26 colleges and universities in integrated planning and advising for student success (iPASS) will be shared and attendees will engage in activities designed to increase their familiarity with the work and resources available to support their institution in implementing advising and planning reform. 

  • Bio: Julia supports and guides colleges through their first few years in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and works to grow the Network. As part of her role, Julia organizes the Kickoff Institute and professional development for first year Achieving the Dream colleges, manages the annual Leah Meyer Austin Award, and supports the Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) initiative. Before joining Achieving the Dream, Julia served as an Account Executive in a global market research consultancy based in London, United Kingdom. In this role she managed and supported a broad portfolio of global and local clients providing data analysis, research, and consumer insight to assist in the marketing, sales, and development of their brands.Julia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.
  • Bio: Powell is responsible for coordinating and supporting the Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) initiative and a variety of essential data team functions. Prior to joining Achieving the Dream, Powell served as Data Collection Research Assistant with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In this position, she assisted with two different research studies conducted in collaboration with the Sheppard Pratt Health System focused on creating safe and supportive school environments for middle school students and on the evaluating effects of interventions on improving student performance and behavioral outcomes. Powell earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Temple University and has completed coursework toward a Master of Public Administration at the University of Baltimore.

Learning In, and Despite, Complexity: Meeting the Challenge of Completion in Community Colleges

Richard P. Keeling, M.D.
Principal & Senior Executive Consultant
Keeling & Associates

Abstract: Community colleges enroll the majority of Native American, Black, and Hispanic undergraduates; more than a third of their students are first generation, almost one in five is a single parent, and 60% receive financial aid. About three quarters are working while enrolled. Attendance, engagement, persistence, and retention are challenges that require better solutions. The imagination, ingenuity, and diligence of Student Affairs professionals are essential assets in meeting this challenge.  

Inclusivity & Equity: Policy, Promotion, & Action for Belonging

Needham Yancey Gulley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Higher Education & Student Affairs
Western Carolina University

Abstract: Language matters, as do actions. Community college missions frequently boast accessibility concepts such as open access to indicate that these institutions are for everyone. However, are our campuses actually welcoming of all individuals? Do our written materials reflect language of inclusivity and equity? Do our actions and verbal dialogues embrace all of our students? This session will challenge the ways in which the accessibility mission of the community college is often underminded by our policies and actions. We will also explore ways to better align institutional and divisional missions, policies, and actions to promote the belonging of all students.

  • Bio: Yancey Gulley is an assistant professor at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. Prior to that position he was an assistant professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD in the Community College Leadership Program. Yancey spent 15 years in collegiate administration before making the switch to faculty life. As an administrator, he worked in several states and primarily served two-year colleges in a variety of roles within student affairs. His research reflects a passion for two-year colleges and social justice. Yancey earned his doctorate from the University of Georgia, his master’s degree from North Carolina State University, his bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and his associate’s degree from Louisburg College.

Using CAS Standards to Sustain a Culture of Assessment in Student Affairs

Ralph Johnson, Ph.D.
Dean of the Center for Student Success,
Washington Adventist University
Treasurer, Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS)

Abstract: In a climate of continuous accountability in higher education, divisions of student affairs must cultivate a culture of assessment in order to meet the demands of governing bodies and accrediting agencies. One of the methods available to student affairs professionals to evaluate whether programs are meeting their goals is the CAS Standards. This program will define and outline the CAS standards and suggest ways that attendees may use the standards to assess goals and/or conduct student affairs programs and services reviews using basic self-assessment techniques. The presenter will give an overview of the six student learning and development domains and their associated dimensions as published in the 9th edition of the standards.

  • Bio: Ralph E. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Alabama, having completed his BS degree in Speech/Language Pathology in May of 1981. He then enrolled at the Florida State University, and received his Masters degree in Student Personnel in 1982. He took his first professional position at the University of Arkansas in 1982, as Coordinator of Greek Affairs. In 1985, Dr. Johnson began a nine-year tenure at the University of South Carolina as the Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Minority Student Affairs. He received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of South Carolina in May of 1993. He left USC in 1994 to become the Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at Johns Hopkins University. From 2000 to 2010, he served as the Associate Dean of Students at Hopkins and in 2010-2011 completed a one-year term as the Interim Provost at the Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. He is now the Dean of the Center for Student Success at that same institution. He is a long standing member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, (NASPA) and has served as President of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA), Treasurer of the SACSA Foundation, and Chairman of the Alpha Phi Alpha Education Foundation. He now serves as the treasurer for CAS.