2021 Programming

September 28th

LearnX Seminar: The Comebacker’s Odyssey: Transforming Higher Education

Three graduates.  Three extraordinary journeys.  But did those journeys really need to be so challenging?

Every year, millions enroll in college.  More than half of them do not stay on track to graduation.  A courageous group returns, confronting myriad challenges.  We can do better.  Join us as we explore how.

Moderator: Anne Mosle, Executive Director, Ascend at the Aspen Institute

Panelists: 

  • Eva Gamez, Comebacker (Wayland Baptist University, BAS, Human Services, 2020), San Antonio, Texas
  • Kimberly Lowe Sawyer, Comebacker Chestnut Hill College, BS, Human Services, 2011, MS, Human Services, 2012; Doctoral Candidate, Holy Family University), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Louis Soares, Chief Learning and Innovation officer at American Council on Education (ACE). 
  • Dr. Aaron Thompson, President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Craig Toombs, Comebacker (UMKC, BA, Political Science, 2019), Kansas City, Missouri

You can read more about The Comebacker’s Odyssey, a new report from The Graduate! Network here.

September 15th

Higher Education & State Affinity Group Meeting

In this first meeting, individuals from higher education institutions/systems and state level organizations met to learn about updates from one another across the network. Individuals had an opportunity to network and begin building community.

September 14th

Special Session: The Comebacker’s Odyssey Discussion for Directors & Navigators

This session included a discussion on the findings of The Comebacker’s Odyssey and included a presentation from Annettte Mattei, principal investigator of this project. Small group discussion focused on what findings mean for communities and how communities will use the data with stakeholders.

August 24th

Navigator Professional Learning Community:

Consultation and Best Practices

“What should I do when a student is calling me after 8PM, and expects me to answer?”

“If I suspect that a student may have a learning disability that is impacting their experience in the classroom, how do I start a conversation with them?”
 
“I keep encountering students who drop courses without understanding the consequences of dropping. How can I better communicate with our Comebackers to help them understand the drop policies?”
We’ve all been there and have experienced different challenging scenarios.  This month’s Navigator Professional Learning Community provided an opportunity to consult with colleagues. We know there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise amongst Graduate! Network navigators!  This meeting will included:
  • Icebreakers & Introductions
  • Small group consultation: In groups of 3, Navigators shared a challenge that they are experiencing with the group. This was an excellent chance to seek feedback from colleagues.
  • Brainstorming: How do you manage these challenging situations? What do you do to prevent burn out?

August 12th

Special Session:

The Comebacker’s Odyssey Pre-release Media Toolkit

As part of the release for the DTMU Report: The Comebacker’s Odyssey, this session focused on a media toolkit to provide research communities with the resources and tools to promote the report within their communities. This session provided information on an Op-Ed template, social media posts, and tips from a PR specialist.

June 30th

Director Professional Learning Community:

Updates and Fall Outreach Strategies

June’s Director Professional Learning Community started with general updates from The Graduate Network’s Interim CEO, Sallie Glickman. Sallie focused on new and future developments for the Network, including new partners, models roadmaps and supports.

June’s DPLC also included several community members sharing their outreach strategies. Featured in this video are Rebeca Gonzalez from Upgrade San Antonio, Rome Busa from College Now Greater and Cedric Deadmon from KC Degrees.

June 22nd

Navigator Professional Learning Community:

Finding Scholarships for Comebackers

June’s Navigator Professional Learning Community focuses on a discussion around student debt, including federal student loans and prior balances. This session features a presentation from College Now Greater Cleveland staff members David Burke and Tonya Booker focused on student loan rehabilitation, loan consolidation, income-driven repayment plans, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Perkins Loan Forgiveness.

For the second half of the session, Kannon Hall of Capture Your Dream in Corpus Christi helps facilitate a discussion on how Navigators help Comebackers navigate past-due balances. While every state has a different policy, we strive to have a deeper discussion on strategies you use to help Comebackers manage past-due balances.

May 11th

Special Session

Learning Lab with College APP

College APP uses data science to identify aggregate person-level data into neighborhoods, zip codes, school service areas, counties, regions and states. This session focused on the data available from College APP that could help communities identify locations of Comebackers in their own respective communities.

April 27th

Navigator Professional Learning Community:

Supporting Comebackers with Student Debt

Please join us for a presentation and discussion on student debt, including federal student loans and prior balances. This session features a presentation from College Now staff members David Burke and Tonya Booker that will provide information on student loan rehabilitation, loan consolidation, income-driven repayment plans, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and Perkins Loan Forgiveness. Following the presentation is a discussion on how Navigators help Comebackers navigate past-due balances. While every state has a different policy, it’s important to have a deeper discussion on strategies you use to help Comebackers manage past-due balances.

April 20th

LearnX Seminar:

Eliminating the Transcript Trap

Prior student debt and its impact on transcript release is a major barrier for many Comebackers and a hot topic for the communities that serve them. Our inaugural LearnX Seminar will be devoted to this topic. Eliminating the Transcript Trap will share the story of how College Now Greater Cleveland inspired research and action in Ohio, feature HCM Strategists to provide insight into the findings in their groundbreaking report on this issue, and engage with participants on how we might individually and collectively take action state by state and at the federal level to ensure no Comebacker is prevented from re enrolling because their transcript is being held hostage.

Moderator: Sallie Glickman, The Graduate! Network

Speakers: 

  • Julie Szeltner, Senior Director of Adult Programs, College Now Greater Cleveland
  • Piet van Lier, Senior Researcher, Policy Matters Ohio
  • Malia Sieve, Director HCM Strategists
  • Juana H. Sanchez, Senior Associate, HCM Strategists
  • Thomas J. Lasley III, Program Manager, Policy Attainment and CEO Emeritus, Learn to Earn Dayton

April 15th

Special Session:

Data That Move Us Update for Directors & Navigators

In this PLC Special Session, Annette Mattei shared the most recent findings from the Data That Move Us research. This session focused on the results of the qualitative research and Comebacker interviews done by the DTMU over the previous year. The qualitative research findings were broken up into the following four points.

  1. Why Comebackers change schools and how this is negatively impacting completion rates
  2. Comebackers’ experience with Pell grants, and the ramifications for their education journeys
  3. How certificates and non-degree credentials figure into Comebackers’ education journeys
  4. Promising ways the Network’s higher education partners are supporting Comebackers

March 24th

Director Professional Learning Community Kickoff Event

Our kickoff event for the Director Professional Learning Community was a great way to bring the network directors together to virtually meet, get to know one another and share updates and experiences working as a director. This session also featured resources and tools to help calculate and understand the return on investment for Comebackers.

March 17th

Navigator Professional Learning Community Kickoff Event

We launched our Navigator Professional Learning Community with a meeting was focused on setting up expectations for the PLC, sharing experiences working as a navigator and building connections and rapport. 

January 28th

Urban Spatial Webinar on Predictive Modeling

Dr. Ken Steif at University of Pennsylvania and the Urban Spatial team discuss their recent predictive analysis using Data That Move Us data. Dr. Steif also wrote a blog post highlighting their work which you can read by following the link below. 

Data Science to Drive Education Success