Conference Sessions

34th Annual TASS Conference

May 20 - June 20, 2024
Virtual Asynchronous Conference


Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent sessions will be added to this listing after each round of review and upon acceptance by the proposal review committee for presentation. Check back periodically for updated concurrent sessions

Sessions for 2024: Sessions are in alphabetical order by last name of each presenter. Where there is more than one presenter, the session is listed by the presenter's name appearing first on the proposal.

  • Best Practices for Using AI in the Classroom
    Presenters: Kristin Conley, Rebecca Williams Jackson
    Ferris State University
    Students tell us there isn't enough time, always rushing. Resorting to AI to lighten the workload models business use: 97% of business owners think ChatGPT helps their business( Hahn 2023), and 54% use ChatGPT for writing-based tasks. Incorporating ChatGPT into curricula helps students investigate sources, break down text, and engage in deep learning (Roose 2023). A college student invented GPTZero to thwart cheating (Bowman 2023), but utilizing AI in lessons can train students how to think like professionals (Abrahamson 2023). ChatGPT is to writing what the typewriter is to the computer: a tool to develop analytical skills, if we can teach them to ask the right questions.

  • Using Deliberative Dialogue to Foster Sense of Belonging and Community
    Presenter: Kristin Conley
    Ferris State University
    This presentation will focus on the importance of fostering a sense of community and belonging on campus. Both of which are proving essential to college success. COVID brought with it many changes, two of which were social distancing and isolation. Spending so much time alone or in a virtual setting has had lasting effects on incoming college students (Gopalan et al., 2020). They are lonely and anxious. For this reason, campuses need to provide more opportunities for individuals to come together and learn from one another in settings other than the classroom. The purpose of this session is to explore the method of deliberative dialogue as a tool for fostering community and a sense of belonging on campus, share examples of its application, and identify ways to incorporate it into any environment. The presentation will begin by discussing how changes in the last decade have given rise to the importance of learning and listening from one another despite our differences. After sharing and discussing the need for developing the important skill of deliberation (Solomon & Abelson, 2012), participants will be given an overview of the deliberative dialogue process. Participants will then engage with the process to illustrate how this deceptively simple yet profoundly important practice can change one's thinking. The presentation will conclude with participants sharing and discussing practical applications of the process through a variety of educational platforms. TASS attendees will leave with a packet of resources to help them implement their ideas.

  • Start Smart: Start college on the right foot and find the pace and path that leads to success
    Presenters: Kris LoFrumento, Dawn Hundley
    University of Cincinnati- UC Clermont
    The Office of Student Success introduced the innovative Start Smart program to address the needs of our underprepared students entering college. This session aims to share insights into challenges faced by these students, strategies to help them find a pace that increases the likelihood of success, and the impact of the program on the college’s retention rate. Attendees of TASS will leave with a comprehensive understanding of how the Start Smart program has effectively addressed the needs of our students at UC Clermont. They will gain valuable insights into implementing a holistic approach to student success and receive a model of an individualized success plan that can be adapted to their institutions. Specific objections of the session: 1. Identify at-promise students at your institution: a. Utilizing multiple measures including high school GPA and placement testing b. Defining criteria for at-promise students and the rationale behind it. c. Discussing the importance of early identification in fostering success 2. Make a plan to increase your retention rate: a. Analyzing data on first-semester and first-year attrition rates. b. Identifying common challenges leading to student attrition. c. Sharing strategies and interventions implemented to address those challenges 3. Commit to a student-focused individualized action plan: a. Presenting the Start Smart model of individualized success plans. b. Discussing the components of the success plan, including academic support, financial literacy programs, engagement initiatives, and health and wellness resources. c. Highlighting the positive impact on retention rates as a result of implementing the program. Our website:

  • Career Exploration
    Presenter: Dave McCall
    Ferris State University
    While most college students think they know what they want to do with their lives, the reality is that over 50% of college students change their major at least once and some reports claim that nearly 33% of college students will change their major three or more times before graduating; this adds an extra burden of time and money to what is already a very expensive investment. With over 20,000 different occupations to choose from, it is no wonder that so many students enter college undecided. Add to this that the World Economic Forum predicts that 65% of elementary aged children will work in careers that do not even exist yet and we quickly understand why choosing a career is a difficult choice for today's college students. Changes in technology, societal needs, and the world of work in general will continue to change for the foreseeable future, adding yet another component to this already complex process. This presentation will delve into several different activities that can be used to either strengthen a current career exploration course or create one from scratch. Additionally, participants will learn various aspects of a proven career exploration curriculum and leave with activities to take back to their campus and their classroom. While it is suggested that campuses create a full course around this curriculum, many of the activities can be implemented into any work-based course to help students make connections between their classes and their careers.

  • Supporting and Celebrating First-Generation Students
    Presenter: Dave McCall
    Ferris State University
    Nearly half of all current college students are First-Generation and we think we know a lot about them. Based on research conducted by the Center for First-Generation Student Success, we know that First-Generation college students are 12% less likely to utilize academic advising services, 7% less likely to utilize academic support services (tutoring, writing, etc.), and 15% less likely to utilize health service resources (physical and mental). We also know that only around 27% of First-Generation college students graduate within six years. Furthermore, we know that First-Generation college students are more likely to be members of, and/or present historically underrepresented groups, low academic self-esteem/self-efficacy, and have a greater difficulty adjusting to college life. These narratives tend to be the brushes that we use to paint the picture of First-Generation students on college campuses. And while there is certainly clear data to back this up, we often fail to also realize that these students are often the most resilient, proud, resourceful, and fearless students on our campus. They are the generational trailblazers that need to be celebrated at every opportunity. In this presentation, participants will learn how Ferris State University went from virtually no support for First-Generation students to being recognized as one of the top institutions in the nation focusing on this population of students in just three years - with no fulltime staff support, no formal First-Gen office, and a shoestring budget. Participants will learn a step-by-step approach to building a campus-wide support structure for First-Generation students and leave with ideas that they can take back to their campuses and begin implementing. Remember, when we do what is best for First-Generation students, we are truly doing what is best for all students.

    Presenter: Robert McWilliams
    Bishop State Community College
    In today's digital age, the integration of video content into instructional materials has become increasingly prevalent and impactful in educational settings. This presentation explores innovative strategies and best practices for effectively incorporating video into instructional design and course delivery. By leveraging the power of video, educators can enhance student engagement, promote active learning, and facilitate deeper understanding of complex concepts. The presentation begins by examining the diverse range of video formats and platforms available for educational purposes, including pre-recorded lectures, instructional videos, video discussions, and multimedia presentations. Drawing on research-based pedagogical principles, the presentation then explores creative ways to design and deliver video content that aligns with course objectives and promotes student learning outcomes. Furthermore, the presentation delves into practical tips and techniques for creating high-quality video content, including strategies for scripting, filming, editing, and incorporating multimedia elements. Additionally, the presentation highlights innovative approaches for fostering student interaction and collaboration through video-based activities, feedback sessions and online discussions. Through a combination of theoretical insights and practical examples, this presentation equips educators with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively integrate video into their instructional practices and enhance the overall learning experience for students. Whether teaching in-person, online, or in hybrid environments, educators will gain valuable insights into leveraging video as a powerful educational tool to engage and inspire learners.

  • 15 Free Software Tools in 15 Minutes
    Presenter: Robert McWilliams
    Bishop State Community College
    Join us to explore a plethora of lesser-known, yet invaluable, free technology tools tailored for faculty, staff, administrators, and students. Our webinar will unveil a comprehensive array of FREE software solutions encompassing various domains such as Office Productivity, Grammar, Survey Instruments, Cloud-Based Storage, Video & Presentation, Image & Audio Editing, Content Management Systems, Plagiarism Checkers, Communications Tools, App Development & Creation, File Conversion, and more. Throughout the session, participants will uncover an extensive range of no-cost tools designed to enhance student engagement and streamline everyday tasks. Additionally, we will delve into innovative methods for interacting with student activities, marketing initiatives, and beyond. Our primary aim is for each attendee to depart with at least one tool ready for immediate implementation. In summary, educators have access to an abundance of cost-free software resources, with a total of 15(+) tools set to be showcased during the webinar. Don't miss out on this opportunity to revolutionize your educational practices with these invaluable resources.

  • TracCloud Preview (Exhibitor Presentation)
    Presenter: Aidan Murray
    Redrock Software, Corp.
    TracCloud (formerly TutorTrac) is the most comprehensive, powerful, cloud-based software solution providing on-demand access to essential tools such as appointment scheduling, visits, demographics, and activity reports. Contacts, appointments, and schedules are managed on multiple criteria. Integration with campus information systems links course enrollments and other critical data. Our new Student Success Plans module will allow you to create and document success plans for each student.

  • Fostering a Culture of Kindness and Boosting Resilience: Social-Emotional Learning for Student Success
    Presenter: Donna Nalley
    South University
    Social-emotional learning (SEL) can strengthen students' interpersonal, decision-making, goal-setting, and problem-solving skills and help students who struggle with mental health and behavioral issues, such as emotional regulation and conflict resolution. SEL equips learners in acquiring proficiency in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making, while enhancing their educational experience. By incorporating these competencies into the online classroom, instructors can help to build a learning community where emotional intelligence and pro-social skills such as empathy and respectful disagreements are valued, and students feel safe to share their perspectives. These abilities are especially important for learners in developmental English courses, where students are gaining better communication skills, developing a growth mindset to persist through challenges, and learning how to interact with their peers at the college level. SEL can help students learn to manage the stress and anxiety related to taking a remedial class and provide them with coping mechanisms for emotional resilience, and by practicing effective communication and collaboration, students are acquiring essential skills for academic and professional success. By integrating SEL principles into the curriculum and creating a supportive virtual learning environment, instructors can empower students to become not only proficient in writing but also prepared to navigate the complexities of the academic world. In this session, we will cover topics such as self-assessment, goal setting, the use of reflective journals, peer feedback and collaboration, stress management techniques, conflict resolution, cultural competency, and personalized feedback and support. The presentation will share information on SEL, specific ways to incorporate SEL into the online classroom, and an opportunity for participants to consider how they might respond to a specific challenge.

  • Unlocking Career Success in a Student Success Course
    Presenter: Shemeka Phipps
    Lee College
    The ever-changing economy and job market require comprehensive career readiness skills (McKinsey & Company, 2021). This presentation proposes a forward-looking approach to education by integrating career readiness competencies within a student success course. This approach aims to provide students with the tools necessary to excel in the workforce by bridging the gap between academic knowledge and practical skills essential for career success. This session will delve into the rationale behind embedding career readiness within a student success course, discuss current trends in the job market, and outline a framework for integrating key career competencies such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork into learning modules and activities (NACE, n.d.). Participants will gain valuable perspectives on fostering a learning environment that equips students with the skill set required to excel in their careers, setting them on a trajectory for success in the future. Explore how a mid-size community college integrated career readiness competencies into its curriculum to promote career success. The session offers curriculum insights, activities, and resources, encouraging reflective discussions on effective curriculum structuring.

  • The Power of "Syllabus Day": Preparing College Students for Course Success on Day One Using Interactive Technology
    Presenter: Caitlin Riegel
    Niagara University
    The first day of class sets the tone for the entire semester, yet it's often characterized by the mundane routine of distributing syllabi and reviewing course policies. With the use of innovative educational technologies, educators have the opportunity to revolutionize this critical day into an engaging and interactive experience, providing an opportunity to engage students, establish expectations, and cultivate a positive learning environment. This presentation will explore how to transform the traditional "syllabus day" into an interactive and engaging experience using Pear Deck, a powerful educational technology tool. Participants will learn practical strategies for leveraging Pear Deck to create dynamic presentations, foster student participation, and effectively communicate course objectives, policies, and expectations. Participants will be provided a link to join an active Pear Deck presentation as a model of its multifaceted features and seamless integration into a real syllabus day agenda for a current course. From dynamic presentations to real-time feedback mechanisms, interactive technology offers a plethora of tools to captivate student attention and foster active participation. Through practical demonstrations and interactive exercises, educators will learn how to leverage these technologies to breathe life into their syllabus presentations, turning passive listeners into active contributors. By incorporating Pear Deck into syllabus day activities, educators can enhance student engagement, promote active learning, and set the stage for a successful semester.

  • Borrowing Survival Lessons from Historical Nonfiction
    Presenter: Lou Ann Sears
    University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
    Let's explore some historical nonfiction--Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, The Zookeeper's Wife, and A Chance in the World--to see what success strategies, connections, and hope we can find.

  • Increasing Retention for Traditionally Underrepresented Students: HBCU Case Study
    Presenter: Elizabeth Taylor
    Miles College
    The purpose of this presentation is to share results from a case study of a student success and retention program at Miles College. This involves students that were previously determined to be at-risk and proactive intervention programs for incoming freshmen and those who were not yet indicated as being at risk. This study provides an important insight into retaining specific populations that have been traditionally underserved at larger institutions. This specific case study and methods used can be replicated at larger institutions through pre-existing programs, thus making it effective and cost neutral. The learning objectives of this presentation are to demonstrate methods to retain at-risk populations, advising and counseling methods for students, as well as coordinating information across campuses to ensure that students receive multiple touch points for support. Data sources utilized in this presentation draw from studies on retention for students of color, with a specific focus on HBCUs, with data drawn from a case study at Miles College. The results of this program saw increased buy-in from stakeholders on campus, as well as producing an early warning system for those in future academic jeopardy as well as a predictive model for determining student withdrawal due to academic difficulties.

  • How to Facilitate Adulting in Underserved, Unmotivated College Students
    Presenter: Dr. Joy Vaughan
    Baroness Productions Inc.
    College Freshmen face a myriad of issues. Understanding how their brains are wired gives us access to creating content that engages them in the learning process. In this presentation, participants will learn how the affective domain is critical to student success. Participants will learn about the ACE (Academy for College Excellence) program and the latest brain research in facilitating adulting in college freshmen. Participants will also have an opportunity to engage in experiential activities which they can add to their Student Success tool box.

  • Incorporating Reflections into Your courses to Support Engagement
    Presenter: Denise Wilkinson
    Virginia Wesleyan University
    Reflection is an important component of the learning process. In Kolb's experiential learning model, reflection takes place after a learner encounters a new experience or is prepared to re-examine a previous experience. The learner reflects upon the experience to make a personal connection (Roberts, 2008). When completing reflection assignments in a course, students revisit and reflect on specified content areas they have learned and draw upon their critical thinking skills to make important conclusions. In the process, they deepen their understanding of the material and are able to identify areas that may need further attention. In addition to offering students the opportunity to reflect on their understanding of course content, reflection activities can provide a venue for communication that allows students to connect with their peers and collaborate on different perspectives, views and thoughts (Chang, 2019). The presenter will share various examples of student reflection formats and activities that may be implemented into any course to support student engagement and learning. Examples will include: Guided discussion posts in which students share relevant and helpful information on resources and learning techniques; Electronic whiteboard applications that provide reflection and feedback for both students and instructors on a recent topic covered, upcoming material, or on test review material; and, Interactive test review activities in which students reflect on their performance from a previous test and share test preparation techniques that worked well, those that did not work well, and techniques they plan to use to prepare for an upcoming test. The presenter will conclude by sharing student feedback specifically about these activities. Session participants can expect to engage in an activity that utilizes at least one of the activities presented to gain a clearer understanding of its usefulness as a reflection tool. References: Chang, B. (2019). Reflection in learning. Online Learning, 23(1), 95-110. doi:10.24059/olj.v23i1.1447, March 5. Roberts, C., & Westville, I. N. (2008). Developing future leaders: The role of reflection in the classroom. Journal of Leadership Education, 7(1), 116-130.

  • A Multi-Method Approach to Improving Graduate Student Persistence and Retention in the Online Classroom
    Presenters: Michelle Wylie, E.d.D,MPA/HSA, Dr. India Rose, Dr. Sharonda Wallace
    Chamberlain University
    Institutions of higher education are seeking strategies to create a positive atmosphere that is supportive in meeting student needs in order to ensure student persistence and retention. Graduate school is a critical period of professional development often impacted by challenges and obstacles. Ensuring graduate students have access to resources and supports are integral to academic success, persistence, and retention. Using data from end-of-course surveys, program completion surveys, and focus groups, this presentation will provide the audience with tangible supports that can facilitate online graduate programs in improving student persistence and retention. An online MPH Program implemented a multi-method approach to address these issues including a mentorship and advisement program, live new student orientation, student-led organizations and initiatives, live tutoring sessions with faculty and peers, and an intensive professional writing workshop. These combined strategies have helped to improve persistence and retention and provided students with the resources that they need in order to be successful in their graduate program. Data indicated that mentoring and involvement in student-led initiatives made students feel more connected to their peers, faculty and staff. Data also revealed that tutoring and advisement encouraged students to persist in their graduate studies at times of adversity and challenges. Through storytelling, reflections, questions and answers, and slide presentation, the audience will engage in rich dialogue about strategies that they can use to address student persistence and retention at their institutions of higher education.