September: Free professional learning opportunities

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As you probably know, I’m a big fan of the Future Trends Forum with Bryan Alexander. Every Thursday afternoon, Alexander hosts some really fascinating higher education authors/leaders in a virtual forum that encourages questions from the audience.

Back in March, I blogged about his conversation with Dr. Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University.

Years ago, Alexander introduced me to the work of Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom — author of “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.” Since then, Dr. Cottom has received a MacArthur “genius grant” award … and now she’s a New York Times columnist!

So what I’m trying to say is that I always learn something cool when I tune into the forum.

And here’s a bonus tip: If you can’t join the live conversations, Alexander posts YouTube recordings here. I usually carve some time out on Fridays to watch any forum recordings I’ve missed.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, the forum will host Kelly M. Mack, Ph.D., who will help explore the question:

How can we best support underrepresented populations in STEM study?

Below are the details, followed by my roundup of free professional learning opportunities for September.

And don’t forget about our “How to Design a Successful Innovation Grant” virtual workshop series, which starts this month.


The Future Trends Forum with Bryan Alexander

The Future Trends Forum: Discussions about the future of education and technology with writer/futurist Bryan Alexander. 

(Watch recording) Thursday, Sept. 2, 2 p.m.: Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society
How has the disinformation crisis impacted academia? What can colleges and universities do in what some call the post-truth age? We will explore these questions with authors and the editor of Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society: From Fake News, Datafication and Mass Surveillance to the Death of Trust (Emerald, 2021). They include Dr. Emma Pauncefort, Natalie Smolenski, and Dr. Alex Grech.

Kelly Mack, Ph.D.

(Watch recording) Thursday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m.: Will scholarly publishing become open?
How will scholarly publishing, that crucial output of higher education, change in the future? Will it flip to open? To understand and explore these questions the Forum will host one of the world’s leading experts, Glenn Hampson, founder of the Science Communication Institute and program director of the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI).

(Watch recording) Thursday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m.: Supporting STEM and equity on campus
How can we best support underrepresented populations in STEM study? What are the connections between growing STEM enrollment and overall academic equity? With Kelly M. Mack, Ph.D., Vice President, Undergraduate STEM Education; and Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope, Association of American Colleges and Universities.

(Watch recording) Thursday, Sept. 23, 2 p.m.: Equity, Access, and Opportunity in Higher Education
How can we best support student access to higher education in an equitable way? President Paul LeBlanc of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) will discuss his just-published book, “Students First: Equity, Access, and Opportunity in Higher Education.” President LeBlanc is a return guest by popular demand, having first appeared on the Forum in February 2021.

More upcoming programs. Video recordings available on YouTube.


The #RealCollege Virtual Journey

The #RealCollege Virtual Journey, sponsored by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. A series of online workshops and engaging activities led by experts and delivered free of charge. The theme for September is Student Advocacy.

(Watch recording) Tuesday, Sept. 14, 3 p.m.: In the Room Where it Happens: Featuring the #RealCollege SLAC
As students make their way back to campus, how are their voices being recognized and considered after a year of virtual learning? Join The Hope Center’s Student Leadership Advisory Council as they explore the various ways institutions engage student leaders in decision making, and the opportunities ahead in this period of transition. In this fishbowl discussion, students will also discuss a range of topics like the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, to their ideas on the best ways institutions can spend their HEERF allocations.

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 3 p.m.: Empowering Students to Lead Change
How to engage students in basic needs programming, benefit enrollment outreach activities, and institutional change management. Register here.

Recordings of previous events are available by scrolling down this page.


The Chronicle of Higher Education virtual events

Chronicle of Higher Education. Free virtual events (and plenty of previously recorded webinars):

(Watch recording) Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2 p.m.: The Road Ahead for Community Colleges
Higher-ed institutions have all been dramatically affected by the pandemic, but perhaps none as much as community colleges. As part of the Road Ahead for Higher Education series, The Road Ahead for Community Colleges examines the unique challenges two-year institutions face and how they are positioning themselves for the future.

(Watch recording) Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2 p.m.: What Students Need This Academic Year
A new academic year is coming. What kind of educational experience do students need in this — yet another — uncertain, unprecedented year? Join our co-host Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, as he talks with experts and students in a four-part series of virtual forums, “Going Forward: The Higher Ed We Need Now.”

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2 p.m.: The Right Curriculum for Digital Skills
College students today are among the most digitally savvy higher ed has ever seen, but there is always more to learn. In an interactive virtual forum, panelists and attendees share their thoughts on how colleges can ensure their students are prepared with the technology and communications skills needed post-graduation.

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2 p.m.: Enhancing the Student Experience
The COVID era has taught colleges many lessons about creating an effective learning experience. In this virtual forum, a panel of experts shares their thoughts on how COVID has influenced their understanding and how it may continue to evolve.

Monday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m.: Fall Covid Action Plans: Taking Stock
Colleges have returned for another semester that’s far from normal. In this virtual forum, a panel of experts shares how colleges can create safe and fulfilling experiences on campus while in the midst of a pandemic.

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m.: Evolving Models for Predictive Analytics and Student Success
The pandemic has profoundly changed the ways in which students engage with their colleges — and with it the predictive-analytics models that support student success. In this virtual forum, higher-ed experts discuss how colleges can adapt their models to keep their students on the path to a degree.

Thursday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m.: Helping Students Pay for College
The cost of college prevents many from achieving the goal of a college degree. What can institutions do to help students get access to financial aid? A panel of experts will examine how changes to the FAFSA and other developments may affect applicants.

Register for the Chronicle webinars here


VCCS: The ALICE Series

The ALICE Series: Engaging Our Under-Resourced Students

Successfully serving under-resourced students will be a key to creating the future, skilled workforce required by the Commonwealth. Are you ready to meet this challenge on your campus? This interactive series of workshops hosted by the VCCS will examine economic class and the implications for engaging under-resourced students. Each session will be offered Live via Zoom twice during the fall semester. No registration required.

  • Monday, Sept. 13, 12:30 p.m.: Let’s Meet ALICE
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, 12:30 p.m.: Under-Resourced Students and Hidden Rules of College
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, 12:30 p.m.: Relationships and Motivation: Building Bridges for Student Success
  • Thursday, Sept. 16, 12:30 p.m.: Building Cognitive Skills: Strategies to Improve Student Success
  • Friday, Sept. 17, 12:30 p.m.: Language and Communication: Missed Opportunities for Connection

Details and Zoom link available here.

Bookmark the VCCS professional development website


VCCS: Go2Knowledge webinars and on-demand training

Go2Knowledge: All VCCS faculty and staff have free, unlimited access to live webinars and on-demand training provided by Go2Knowledge. The live webinars are highlighted at the top of the Go2Knowledge dashboard, but you can search through an entire library of recorded, on-demand sessions on topics including teaching and learning, campus safety, institutional effectiveness, and student success.

Some upcoming live webinars:

  • Thursday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m.: How to Transition Your Face-to-Face Content to Online Delivery in 48 Hours
  • Thursday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m.: Conflict Resolution: Practical Strategies for Handling Difficult, Disruptive & Aggressive Students
  • Friday, Sept. 10, noon: How the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is Using a Trauma-Informed Approach to the Fall Semester
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m.: Violence Risk & Threat Assessment: Understanding the Core Principles of Crisis Communication
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m.: Creating a Compassionate Classroom: How to Address Anxiety, Stress, Failure & Grief
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, 3 p.m.: Developing a Proactive Culture of Well-Being in the Aftermath of COVID-19
  • Monday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m.: Removing Barriers: Using Online Videos As Your FYE Textbook to Improve Access & Equity
  • Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m.: Designing Student-Centered Flexible Assignments While Still Meeting Curricular & Pedagogical Goals
  • Tuesday, Sept. 28, 1 p.m.: How to Recognize & Respond to Microaggressions in the Workplace
  • Thursday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m.: Building a Better Student Ambassador Program: Lessons Learned from COVID

You can access Go2Knowledge on your MyVWCC dashboard or here: Go2Knowledge.org/vccs


NSF ATE Program Opportunities & Mentor-Connect Orientation Webinar

(Watch recording) Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m.

Acquire the knowledge needed to prepare competitive proposals to the NSF ATE program. This hour-and-a-half webinar features personnel from both the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program and the Mentor-Connect program.

The webinar offers an overview of both programs and of the grant proposal process. Information includes:
• ATE program funding options
• the Mentor-Connect cohort structure
• tips for grant funding success
• application instructions

The deadline for applications to Mentor-Connect is Friday, Oct. 8. (More information about applying)


Thank you for reading. Why does Stephanie Ogilvie Seagle feature free learning opportunities on the Green House Grants Blog? Because we transform ourselves by learning like our students. All of us are teachers and learners, no matter our titles.

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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!

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