Supporting Students with ASD as they Transition to College and the Workforce

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 1:45 – 3:00 pm
Room: Richmond


As the number of students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, many students with ASD are now entering college and the workplace. Participants will be able to recognize when interacting with a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), describe the characteristics of student with ASD: what it looks like in the college setting and identify strategies that can be used to help students on the autism spectrum succeed and transition to college and/or the workplace.


ajulianPresenter 1

Aimee Julian, Ph.D.
Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support

Biography: Aime´e Julian, PhD is the Director of the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support (ICSPS) at Illinois State University. ICSPS provides technical assistance, develops publications, and facilitates program improvement strategies for our partners as they relate to equity, college transition, recruitment, retention, and completion−encouraging achievement of special populations learners. Aimee creates, supports, and delivers professional development for career and technical education professionals across Illinois. She has 17 year experience working extensively with the implementation of the Perkins legislation through the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois State Board of Education, and in her current position at ICSPS. Aimee is an experienced lecturer and facilitator working to build capacity for understanding of Programs of Study, Career Pathways and the importance of partnerships.

Presenter 2

nmichalakNikki Michalak
ATTA Project Coordinator
Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support

Biography: Nikki Michalak has worked in special education for over 13 years. Nikki strives to facilitate success for special education administrators, staff, and students by providing access to information and tools specifically designed to support student s with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her goal is to understand the needs and challenges of educators working with individuals with ASD and be a relevant resource while empowering staff and students to succeed. Nikki continues to provide professional learning, technical assistance, coaching and consultation to educators, and families of individuals and youth with ASD. She co-created online professional development as well as under graduate and graduate courses on ASD. Ms. Michalak publishes in the field of ASD and informs local service provision through service on multiple leadership boards.


This presentation will showcase the Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project (ATTA) which seeks to develop and present resources that assist individuals with Autism in their transition from secondary education to postsecondary education or employment. This session will also provide training and support to important stakeholders (secondary and postsecondary educators, community members, family members and employers) as they work to provide an equitable experience for individuals with autism.

The Autism Training and Technical Assistance Project (ATTA) is accessible via a web portal which is located at The presenters have created this project for the state of Illinois to assist students with Autism as they transition to postsecondary and the workplace.

Resources that will be shared include:
– student self-assessment to be completed by the student/young adult with ASD
– workplace/environment assessment
– tips for faculty on working with students with ASD
– evidence based practices for ASD
– why should I hire someone with ASD
– getting the best out of your employee with ASD

This session will be engaging, and provide hands on exploration of what ASD looks like in your classroom, building or workplace. During this session participants will learn how to recognize when interacting with a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the presenters will describe the characteristics of student with ASD, and the session will explore what ASD looks like in the college setting. Moreover, participants will learn strategies that can be used to help students on the autism spectrum succeed and transition to college and/or the workplace.

Good Intentions and the Unintended Consequences: What Classroom Equity Mapping Revealed about Teacher-Student Interactions and Teacher Beliefs at One Middle School.

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 8:15 – 9:30 am
Room: Roanoke


Share in my journey of practice and discovery as a maiden participant in NAPE’s Certified Educational Equity Coach (CEEC) program. Participants will learn about the program as well as innovative and practical strategies to support equity coaching in their classroom, campus, or district. See how GoPros and classroom equity mapping revealed beliefs and biases that sheltered some students from the learning process, and how equity action plans can guide instructors to more equitable practices.


Presenter 1

Christopher Martell
Innovation & Design Specialist
Austin Independent School District

Biography: Christopher Martell is a career science educator and a burgeoning proponent for equity. He is a graduate of the UTeach program at the University of Texas Austin and a current graduate student at Texas State University studying educational leadership and social justice. He is a former middle school science teacher and is now the Innovation & Design Specialist for the Austin Independent School District in Austin, TX. In his current role, Christopher is able to investigate, implement, and participate in innovative programs that support teachers and students. He is thrilled to be part of NAPE’s Certified Educational Equity Coach pilot program and continues to seek out opportunities to acquire, develop, and practice new knowledge and skills as well as reflect on his own practices, biases, and culture. He credits his family, Star Trek, and LEGOs for much of his passion and creativity.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)


For this presentation, I will share out my experiences as a pilot participant in NAPE’s Certified Educational Equity Coach (CEEC) program in Austin, Texas. The goal is to provide my audience with practical strategies to support equity coaching while also providing a brief overview of the CEEC program. The session will be grounded in current research and framed within the NAPE Culture Wheel, which precisely models how educator beliefs can impact student learning.

Participants can expect a short overview of the CEEC program, its requirements, and how I approached it. I will specifically focus on my experience coaching teachers at an Austin-area middle school with a roughly split population of Hispanic and White students. I will describe and model a coaching cycle (adopted from Glickman (2009)) that includes a pre-conference, classroom observation, post-conference, formative check-ins, and a summative evaluation. Participants will be able to view and interact with real classroom data, including first and third person videos collected using GoPros as well as classroom equity heat maps that allow for quick visual interpretation of classroom observation data. Using these resources, participants will discuss and develop their own equity action plan (EAP), which we will compare to one generated by myself and a teacher. Finally, we will hear from one teacher – and possibly one student – who will describe their experience as a participant in this project.

By the end of the workshops, participants will hopefully discover how beliefs and assumptions about a group of students can foster an inequitable learning environment, but more importantly how coaching and thoughtful data presentation can generate needed awareness of inequities and ultimately lead to better instruction. Time permitting, I will also share some of my work designing and hosting an equity PLC with science and social studies teachers.

Cultivate and Sustain Diversity and Equity Through Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Learning

button-download-workshop-files Strand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 9:45 – 11:00 am
Room: Richmond


Comprehensive, constituency-led design and implementation of online and in-person diversity and equity interdisciplinary professional and community development provides the critical reflection necessary to incite a long-lasting systemic shift toward equity. An intersectional, decolonizing pedagogical lens means leaders and stakeholders can arrive and participate in tact, inspiring awareness and understanding of biases and strengths, making conflict and difference valuable and transformational.


esternPresenter 1

Emily Stern, M.F.A.
Santa Fe Community College

Biography: For 25 years, Emily Stern, founder and principal consultant at Intersectional Consulting LLC, has consulted for academic, diversity and equity, and Title IX programming, curriculum, and professional development, as well as creates and consults to implement original diversity and equity online and IRL programming and educational tools, including El Corozón Deck, a bilingual educational tool designed to inspire critical thinking about social justice, community, and identity. Emily wrote This Is What It Sounds Like, a memoir about her childhood and her mother’s death in 1993 from complications of HIV/AIDS. She founded and oversees the Santa Fe Community College’s Center for Diversity and Integrated Learning. She was Phi Theta Kappa’s Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014 and has received a Presidential Diversity Advisory Committee Certificate of Excellence, and served two years as Vice-President of Diversity for the SHRM Northern New Mexico Human Resources Association.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Facebook)


When looking at the Diversity Collegium’s 2016 Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks report, it becomes clear that the future success of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts will rely heavily on the executive leadership endorsement and participation in a constituency-led approach to the design and implementation of comprehensive, strengths-based, culturally-responsive learning opportunities that acknowledge and uplift multiple realities.
The Santa Fe Community College, a Hispanic Serving Institution with a predominantly anglo faculty and primarily non-anglo employee and student population, is in the midst of implementing an institutional and community-wide framework that reflect and utilize these values and efforts. Centering collaboration, community partnerships and guidance, simultaneous professional and student development and events, equitable hiring practices, and interdisciplinary, culturally-responsive online and in-person curriculum, assignments, and materials, we are seeing a demonstrated shift toward a more engaged and equitable environment aware of personal and social responsibility and values.
Participants will learn more about the impacts of using a collaborative and intersectional approach to identify and better understand their personal and constituent needs.
Participants will learn how and why using a shared-leadership framework to design and implement short, relevant, experiential and accessible multi-media learning opportunities will facilitate critical thinking, reflection, compassion, and awareness as a means to creating and sustaining more meaningful, equitable and inclusive diverse environments.
Participants will learn how to create and implement high-impact diversity and equity focused blended interdisciplinary learning opportunities that are easy to implement, access, evaluate, and utilize in classrooms, boardrooms, departmental meetings, and individually.

Presentation Agenda
• Small Group Introductions: Name and ONE word/phrase describing your greatest strength. (5 minutes)
• House rules/norms. (5 minutes)
• ACTIVITY: collective brainstorm on social justice terms and definitions. (10 minutes)
• PRESENTATION: Global Benchmarks, leading through an equity lens, and The Center for Diversity and Integrated Learning framework and strategic plan. (15 minutes)
• Demonstration and presentation of blended online and in-person diversity and equity training and reflection. (30 minutes- facilitator will provide handouts with instructions and guidance on how to replicate the design process and implementation of presentation activity)
♣ Video: “Somewhere in America”
♣ Small group reflection: What is the impact on you of seeing this-thoughts/feelings/sensations, etc.?
♣ Small group guided reflections: Please respond to your group’s assigned prompt. (Handout provided by facilitator). Each small group will be given one question on which to focus and analyze.
• Discuss differences and similarities between participants experiences and the subject-matter in this lesson.
• How does the subject-matter relate to current local, national and/or global events?
• Discuss questions you may have, and possible solutions for the issues raised.
• Brainstorm possible relationships between the subject matter and your course/area of study/department.
• Based on the claims and ideas in the video, what are some examples of ways that unconscious bias, microaggressions, and systemic oppression might utilize, affect, hinder, demonstrate, and/or inform the issues raised in the video? (This can be answered in reference to the area of study, i.e. a specialty within math, the act of learning and utilizing math, the relevance and efficacy of data/statistics, etc.)
o Large Group Discussion: How and why can accessible, culturally relevant and responsive learning opportunities promote, cultivate, and sustain more equitable and inclusive environments?
• Closing (10 minutes)
o ACTIVITY: Small group action plans and large group share out (facilitator will provide handouts.

Becoming a Threat to Educational Inequity: The Equity Literacy Framework

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Crystal


Many diversity frameworks focus on vague notions of culture (like cultural competence) or detour around inequity. The equity literacy framework helps us maximize integrity of equity initiatives by avoiding detours. Based on the idea that there is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity, it cultivates in educators the ability to be threats to inequity. In this workshop I introduce equity literacy and how it helps us focus on rooting injustices out of schools.


pgorskiPresenter 1

Paul Gorski
Equity Literacy Institute

Biography: Paul Gorski has spent the past 20 years working with educators and schools to prioritize equity in every dimension of education. He is the founder of EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute and author, editor, or co-editor of 10 books including Reaching and Teaching Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap and Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice Education (with Seema Pothini). Gorski is the co-architect (with Katy Swalwell) of the equity literacy framework, a school change and professional development approach designed to cultivate educators who are a threat to the existence of inequity in their spheres of influence. His website for educators, the Multicultural Pavilion, attracts close to 1 million visitors per year. Gorski lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his cat Buster.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)(Facebook)


Many popular frameworks for attending to diversity in schools are built around vague notions of culture (such as cultural competence) or around concepts that detour around equity. The equity literacy framework was constructed to help educators and school systems maximize the integrity of equity initiatives by avoiding these sorts of detours, like all of the rehashings of the bootstrap mentality that have made their way into educational “equity” conversations: grit and growth mindset, for example.

The equity literacy framework is based on several principles crafted to keep educators focused on real equity work. For example, it is based on the principle that there is no path to equity that does not involve a direct confrontation with inequity. It is also based on the principle that equity initiatives should never focus on fixing marginalized people. Rather, they should focus on fixing the conditions that marginalize people. By keeping these ideological principles front and center, equity literacy is designed to cultivate educators who have the knowledge and skills to be a threat to inequity in their spheres of influence.

In this workshop I introduce the principles of equity literacy, concepts that can help deepen educators’ equity literacy, and five guiding questions to help us assess the transformative nature (or lack thereof) of our equity initiatives. I use examples related to race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, (dis)ability, and other equity concerns.

In response to the questions posed in the call for proposals:

1. I have spent the past 20 years working with educators all over the US on these issues as well as working directly with school systems intent on deepening their equity work. I have presented previous versions of this work at the Summit (under its previous name) in the past.
2. The equity literacy framework was constructed out of several decades of research on best practices related to equity and equity-based leadership in schools. In some way it is an ideological framework, but it is also very practical—for example, we will talk about strategies for helping educators cultivate the ability to recognize subtle inequity or spot policies that humiliate students unintentionally.
3. Participants will engage in several brief activities applying equity literacy skills to their own educational contexts. For example, they will engage in small group discussion about examples of deficit views in their organizations’ policies.
4. Participants will receive several handouts and short magazine-length articles about equity literacy.
5. The whole workshop is built around presenting framing ideas then strategies related to those ideas. Again, they will address students of color, students with (dis)abilities, and a variety of other groups.

Change through Dialog: Working Together to Improve Education and Employment Outcomes for Deaf Individuals

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 9:15 – 10:30 am
Room: Richmond


The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) will share how we use data-informed root causes to (a) promote evidence-based strategies and (b) foster supportive relationships with local communities, both in an effort to improve educational and employment outcomes for a diverse deaf population. NDC will share examples of evidence-based practices, resources, and activities through this OSEP-funded technical assistance center.



scawthonPresenter 1

Stephanie Cawthon, Ph.D.
National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes

Biography: Dr. Stephanie W. Cawthon is the Director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, OSEP-funded Technical Assistance and Dissemination project that promotes positive postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals. She is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin with a long history of scholarship in issues related to accessibility and equality for deaf individuals in education and employment.

Social Media: (Twitter)(Facebook)

cgarberoglioPresenter 2

Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Ph.D.
Associate Director
National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes

Biography: Dr. Carrie Lou Garberoglio is an educational researcher and evaluator affiliated with the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin, and Associate Director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. She also teaches research methods and statistics coursework at the University of Northern Colorado. Carrie Lou obtained her PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Social Media: (Twitter)(Facebook)


Access to equitable education is important for the development of youth today, yet there is evidence of significant gaps in educational attainment across diverse and marginalized groups. While students with disabilities are afforded access a ‘Free Appropriate Public Education” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, educational opportunities presented may not be equitable to those of their non-disabled peers. This is gap evident in the national numbers representing postsecondary outcomes of deaf students, the focus of this presentation. Even though deaf students are graduating high school at record levels, yet statistics unveil significant gaps in their secondary and postsecondary attainment. The gap in high school completion rate across the U.S. is 6% between deaf (83%) and hearing (89%) students. The bachelors’ degree attainment gap between deaf (18%) and hearing (33%) individuals is 15%. Furthermore, educational attainment gaps increase to as high as 22% for marginalized populations, individuals from different ethnic or racial groups, or those who are deafdisabled.
Education is the gateway to employment and social mobility. Yet, despite the promising trends in postsecondary attainment and improvements in legal policies regarding access, the employment gap between deaf and hearing people is of significant concern. For example, employment rates for deaf adults overall; is just 48% compared with 72% for their hearing peers, a gap of 24%, with the majority of this gap attributed to differences in the percentage of individuals who are no longer in the labor force (vs. actively searching for a job). The above gaps in education are important because there is a direct correlation between employment rates of deaf individuals and level of education attainment.

The mission of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) is to provide support that closes these education and employment gaps. While a focus on outcomes is useful, it does not deepen our understanding of the factors and conditions that lead to these results. Deaf students face many barriers and challenges as they move from high school into college, training programs, and the workplace. NDC conducted a root cause analysis of existing literature to identify underlying causes that affect deaf individuals’ levels of postsecondary education and employment attainment. Root causes identified including (a) limited access to language and communication, (b) reduced social opportunities, (c) negative attitudes and biases, and (d) lack of qualified and experienced professionals. There is no simple solution to these challenges, but we know that one thing is true: We must all work together to make sure that deaf students are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them.

Current Data.

A review of current data on postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals calls to question the level of equitable opportunities and variability across the nation. Available data shows that for those of us who share the goal of increasing postsecondary success in deaf communities, there are some areas of optimism, yet also some areas of concern. The implications of the education gaps described above are significant. Compared to deaf individuals without a college degree, deaf college graduates have greater career mobility, enhanced earnings, and an increased likelihood of stable employment. Deaf individuals who have not completed postsecondary education are at risk for underemployment and unemployment, and they are also more likely to have shorter job tenure. Within the deaf population, current data reveal significant gaps in postsecondary outcomes for deaf people of color and deaf people with additional disabilities, which is crucial for the field to consider. There is also significant variation in postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals across states. This presentation will include a series of multimedia resources that make complex data accessible for a variety of audiences. These will be shared to encourage further conversations about how this information can guide practice and policy decisions.

Root Causes.

Shifting the focus from the symptoms of the problem but rather to the underlying causes of issues is critical to moving the needle towards improvement. NDC conducted a root cause analysis of existing literature to identify factors impacting education and employment outcomes. This root cause analysis is important in working towards solutions because it shifts the focus to uncovering and addressing causes of conditions not just the symptoms (Bagian et al., 2002; Wilson et al., 1993).

Evidence Based Strategies.

Drawing from this understanding of the root causes of challenges to deaf individuals’ postsecondary attainment, NDC identified practices that can mitigate the impact of root causes and associated negative outcomes. NDC focuses on the following five key impact areas: Designing Accessible Environments, Promoting High Expectations for Success, Collecting and Using Data for Decision-Making, Leveraging Community Resources, and Developing Collaborative and Integrated Systems. The National Deaf Center provides technical assistance to stakeholders on how to implement evidence based strategies that support deaf students in postsecondary education and training settings.

Implementation of these practices requires a shared vision and collaboration between all members of the system, including community organizations, institutions, and state and federal level agencies. This systems based approach can result in an increased capacity to implement evidence-based practices and strategies, and, when accompanied by an improvement approach to systems change, increase the body of knowledge on how these strategies result in positive outcomes for deaf individuals. This section of the presentation will also include specific examples of how these strategies for success have been implemented for diverse deaf populations.


NDC recognized the path to improved outcomes also includes actively involving the communities surrounding youth today. One of our goals is to build models of community networks to leverage social capital available at the local level with community clusters. This is an opportunity for families, in particular, to strategize and problem solve issues within their lived context. These networks will have a special emphasis on strategies to support positive outcomes for individuals underserved in the deaf population, including those who are not college bound and recent immigrants to the United States. This model responds to the need for active capacity building at the local level to both identify promising practices and to deliver evidence-based intervention. Taken in conjunction with the strong social media and outreach approach to sharing information, the community cluster model invites community members into the process of identifying critical needs and potential solutions, thus increasing buy-in and the chance for successful impact on postsecondary outcomes.

Drawing from the community conversation model based at the Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Vanderbilt University, NDC will model how “community asset-mapping” is used to identify the existing resources, opportunities, and organizations in a community and then addresses barriers to reaching target constituents. Community conversations are effective because they are focused opportunities for dialogue around concrete issues (Campbell et al., 2013). Beyond the purpose of focus groups, community conversations raise participants’ expectations about what is possible and encourage participants to work toward formulating solutions to problems. This model can be replicated by participants in their own contexts.

Through strategic, innovative, research-based technical assistance on national, state, and local level NDC seeks to transform systems and increase the postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion rates for a diverse deaf population. Yet, we recognize no one entity can provide the range of expertise required for transformational change across all levels of the system.

We believe that change can only happen if everyone is involved. Participants at the National Summit for Educational Equity are have a shared vision for educational opportunities for all communities. This is an opportunity for NDC contribute to capacity building, knowledge, and skills of participants in order to actively contribute to transforming education for deaf students or other marginalized populations. While the focus of this session is on deaf individuals, participants interested in this session will gain insight and strategies for reaching other low-incidence, culturally diverse, or underserved populations. The strategies we propose – data use, evidence-based strategies, and inclusive dialog – are effective across a wide range of contexts and diverse populations. Deaf individuals are not alone in facing systemic barriers in education and employment, the evidence-based strategies and practices can create opportunities for improved postsecondary outcomes for any population.

Professional Development From the Inside Out: Transforming Campus Culture With Equity-Based Non-Cognitive Pedagogy

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 8:15 – 9:30 am
Room: Monroe


An evidence based model to cultivate campus stakeholder buy-in for equity-based change in campus culture through a series of in-house facilitated professional development programs that teach non-cognitive pedagogy, emphasize why culturally relevant curriculum and programming is vital to student success, provide colleagues with practical tools for implementing non-cognitive practice, and offer colleagues support to develop, research, and disseminate new student success strategies.


eImhofPresenter 1

Elizabeth Imhof, Ph.D.
Faculty Resource Center Faculty Director
Santa Barbara City College

Biography: Dr. Imhof is the Faculty Resource Center Faculty Director at Santa Barbara City College where she co-directos two Hispanic Serving Institution Federal grants. Before beginning her academic career, she worked as a community organizer facilitating programs to build dialogue and understanding between diverse religious and cultural groups. Dr. Imhof now combines her academic interests and her desire to promote equity and diversity based education at SBCC where she has taught history and Social Justice Research and co-founded SBCC’s Middle East Studies Program. Midway in her career, confronted by falling student success rates, Dr. Imhof began to employ a wide range of non-cognitive/social-emotional pedagogies with great success. She now continues her work and research in non-cognitive learning, curriculum design, and leads experiential workshops to demonstrate to faculty and administrators the essential nature of non-cognitive teaching to student success and equity.


The belief that one does not belong in higher education is among the greatest inhibitors to success for underserved college students. This unique and experiential workshop will demonstrate and present evidence for how non-cognitive/social emotional learning pedagogy works to support student success and persistence through the cultivation of a sense of academic and cultural belonging. The benefit of non-cognitive pedagogy springs from the collaboration among faculty and educational professionals and students who co-produce knowledge to ensure courses and campus programs support student equity, are relevant to students’ experiences and goals, are academically rigorous, and cultivate belonging and community among students, faculty, and other campus educational professionals.

Workshop participants experience examples of non-cognitive teaching from the perspective of the student and leave the workshop with tools and techniques that can be immediately integrated into any academic discipline or program. As participants live through the pedagogy, they more fully internalize the methodologies and appreciate the personal development benefits of the techniques, as well as become grounded in the academic and communication skills they will be encouraged to share with their students.

Despite the documented evidence of the benefits, disseminating affective strategies across a college campus is challenging. Faculty often resent the imposition of perceived outside and trendy teaching practices and actively resist administration or institutional encroachment into the classroom. Administrators and Student Services staff often resist change in their programs because of territorialism and limited resources and funding. The Affective Learning Institute (ALI) provides a model for how to get faculty, administrator, and staff buy-in for sweeping equity-based change through in-house created and facilitated professional development opportunities that lead to a certificate in affective learning that can be completed in a year. Through a series of four multi-day workshops and a monthly Inquiry Group meeting, The ALI model teaches the basics of non-cognitive teaching and learning strategies, emphasize why social-emotional learning and culturally relevant teaching and programming is vital to the success of underserved student populations, provide participants with practical tools for incorporating non-cognitive pedagogy into their classrooms and campus programs without sacrificing core content, empowers participants to develop and research new student success strategies, and provide opportunities for faculty, administrators and staff campus-wide to collaborate and disseminate best practices.

Participants leave the ALI committed to enhancing the quality of relationship between faculty, administration, staff, and students, a key factor for successful student learning, a sense of belonging in the college environment, and student retention. The social-emotional experience of a student is key to learning and the quality of that experience is largely related to a student’s sense of place in the college learning culture. In a recent study of 30,000 college graduates, participants rated “supportive relationships with professors,” as the most important factor in evaluating whether or not their college experience had been worth the cost. According to studies at the Center for Disease Control, school connectedness, which is defined as how strongly students feel a sense that they belong to their school community, may be the number one contributing factor to students’ academic success. A sense of belonging is strongly correlated to educational outcomes including school attendance, staying in school longer; and higher grades.
Participants will understand how equity, relevance, and belonging increases student success through experiencing non-cognitive pedagogy from the perspective of the student and reviewing evidence demonstrating the success of non-cognitive teaching and learning methods. We will provide national evidence for how and why non-cognitive teaching works, evidence from our campus programs for how these practices have earned SBCC national recognition as one of the leading community colleges in America including the prestigious Aspen award for #1 Community College in America, and the Affective Learning Institute (ALI) model for comprehensive, faculty-led professional development that supports SBCC as one of the most successful community colleges in the country with student success rates far above the national average.

Equitable Leadership Impacting Institutional Change & Positive Outcomes

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 10:45 – 12:00 pm
Room: Richmond


Designing solutions that create equity in STEM is a priority at FIRST. In addition to a D&I initiatives overview, we’ll provide activities, strategies and tools from three equitable leadership practices: 1) the strategic Equity Priority Plan with department/program annual Equity Action Plans, 2) the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee with associated tools, and 3) the Designing STEM Equity Fellowship–an 18-month leadership development, solutions-generation program and curriculum.


Presenter 1

Shelley Henderson, Ed.D.
Diversity & Inclusion Manager

Biography: Shelley Henderson is the national Diversity and Inclusion Manager for FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. She has spent nearly a quarter-century working as a youth development specialist, certified teacher, non-profit executive, university program coordinator, adjunct professor, community organizer, public policy advocate and now TEDx speaker.

Shelley serves on her local New Leaders Council board and is leading two racial and gender equity efforts—regional implementations of My Brother’s Keeper in the Heartland, an Obama Foundation effort, and Let Her Learn collaborative, a National Women’s Law Center effort.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is working on courses toward a certificate and doctoral degree in Diversity & Equity in Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)(Facebook)

Presenter 2

Earl Redrick, M.B.A.
e4 Leadership Solutions

Biography: Earl Redrick is the founder of e4 Leadership Solutions and possesses a wealth of knowledge and experiences in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). He is a current senior public service employee and a U.S. Army Veteran, retiring after 22 years of service. He has compiled more than 20 years of executive and senior management leadership experience. He has compiled a lengthy and accomplished background in civil rights, fair housing and employment, and DEI in holistic community development using social determinants of health or place-based approaches. Earl is also a current Adjunct Professor teaching social and cultural equity. He is a dynamic and relational leader, whose blend of education, worldly/multicultural experiences, assignments in paid and non-paid, voluntary projects and relevant training make him a uniquely qualified professional to mediate conflict, facilitate dialogue and lead training around DEI initiatives.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)(Facebook)

Presenter 3

Domonique Bulls, Ph.D.
Diversity and Inclusion Fellow

Biography: Domonique Bulls is the inaugural FIRST Diversity & Inclusion Designing STEM Equity Fellow! Domonique is a native of Buffalo, NY. Her family and STEM education is two of her favorite passions. She received a B.S. in Biology from North Carolina A&T State University, a Master’s in Science Education from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Domonique is the founder of ‘Girls Can Do Science Too’ an initiative to inspire, empower, motivate, and educate girls in science. In her free time, she is a sports fanatic and loves to run. Domonique lives in Morrow, GA.

As a Fellow, Domonique will create solutions to STEM inequities for underrepresented and underserved youth, and support existing D&I efforts at FIRST. She will rigorously apply equity literacy, anti-deficit framing, leadership development, collective impact and human-centered design mindsets and approaches to to create for large systems-level change.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)


A FIRST Diversity & Inclusion activities overview and evaluation data collected on capacity-building and impact will be provided. These 5 core components include the NAPE online training modules and survey data collected. We will go into more depth about 1) the multi-year, strategic Equity Priority Plan with embedded department/program annual Equity Action Plans, 2) the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, and 3) the inaugural Designing STEM Equity Fellowship–an 18-month leadership development, solutions-generation program and curriculum.

Shelley, Earl and Domonique have firsthand experience with their topic and understand their audience. We will provide timely and relevant information that can be put into immediate use (Equity Action Plan Template, Advisory Committee tools, etc.). Participants will engage in 3 hands-on learning activities. We will provide clear and useful handouts for workshop attendees. We will present effective strategies focused on underrepresented and underserved groups at FIRST.

Gallery Walk
-This activity is designed to allow participants to identify strengths, challenges and aspirations leading equity efforts on different colored post-it notes. They will place their post-it note reflections in the 3 areas designated on the walls, and then take a “gallery walk” to see what others said. Once time is up, we will debrief as a whole group.
-Desired outcome is that participants will see how others view positioning and feasibility as we all strives to create equity, diversity and inclusion.

Here I Stand
-This activity is guides participants through an exercise around some of the more pressing social issues and how they potentially intersect or impact equitable outcomes. Four position boards will be placed on the wall around the room-Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. Several questions will be read to the broader group at which time participants will be asked to take one of the four positions as it relates to the question. Following each question, dialogue is facilitated.
-Desired outcome is to challenge participants to be mindful and open to discussions of varying perspective without judging.

Reader’s Theater
-This activity helps participants become familiar with and differentiate between the four Dimensions of Inequity—Micro-level (internalized and interpersonal) and Macro-level (institutional and structural). After these are defined, participants will read through a script as a whole group where they portray characters in a scenario. In four groups, they will discuss examples of the level of inequity playing out then generate solutions.
-Desired outcome is that participants practice generating ideas/solutions at all levels in ways that allow them to demonstrate understanding of the concepts and to generalize this to their day to day leadership work.

Teacher Identity and Attitudes: Strategies for Disrupting Inequity in Education

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 1:45 – 3:00 pm
Room: Crystal


This session will present research examining the ways White teachers perceive and respond to student behavior based on race. Findings from a study involving 125 White teachers from school districts in New England that reported disproportionate discipline rates will be presented. Participants in this session will self-reflect on their own beliefs and biases, use multiple lenses to review information shared by others, and collaborate to offer take-away strategies to disrupt inequity in education.


ctapleyPresenter 1

Colleen Tapley, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator for Undergraduate and Graduate Special Education
Southern New Hampshire University

Biography: Colleen Tapley received her doctorate in Leadership and Learning from Rivier University in May of 2016. She has over 16 years experience in the field of education with experience in special education, elementary education, middle school, and administration. Tapley has a strong background in curriculum development and a focus on preparing teachers to implement STEM and LEGO Robotics in grades K-6. Her doctoral dissertation examined the ways White teachers perceive and respond to student behavior based on racial identity status and racial attitudes. Tapley also has experience developing and implementing trainings to improve educators’ cultural competency. She recently presented a session called “Who Am I? Exploring Learner Identity and Biases to Disrupt Inequity in Education” at the 2017 Learner Research Network international conference at the University of Hawaii. Tapley became a full time faculty member in the School of Education at SNHU in Fall of 2016.

Social Media: (Facebook)


Black students are disciplined at a greater rate than students from any other ethnic group or race beginning in preschool. According to Fenning and Rose (2007), disparities in discipline rates have been a problem for over 30 years. Research indicates that racial issues may underlie disproportionate discipline rates (Saft & Pianta, 2001; Skiba et al., 2000; Chen, 2013). This session will present research from a doctoral dissertation examining the ways White teachers perceive and respond to student behavior based on race. Participants in the study were 125 White teachers from school districts in New England that reported disproportionate discipline rates. One interesting finding from this study was that there was a statistically significant difference in White teachers’ personal racial attitude scores based on the race of the student in the vignette that was presented to participants. Teachers who received the Black student vignette had more negative personal racial attitudes than teachers who received the White student vignette. This means that teachers’ personal racial attitudes may have been activated by reading the Black student vignette.
If White teachers’ personal racial attitudes were activated by seeing the image of the Black student and reading the accompanying vignette, it is possible that White teachers’ personal racial attitudes are also activated when they have a Black student in their classroom. This finding has implications for the field of education and the problem of disproportionate discipline rates. Another finding from this research study was that effective cultural competency training may help improve teacher attitudes. The implications findings from this study have for practice, as well as current research in the field, will be discussed. Using activities based upon the Kagan Model for Cooperative Learning, participants will self-reflect on their own beliefs and biases, use multiple lenses to review information shared by others, and collaborate in small and large groups to offer take-away strategies to disrupt inequity in education.
As a faculty member in a teacher education program, I believe it is important for individuals in the field of education to create more inclusive learning environments that meet the diverse needs of all student learners. This process requires ongoing self-reflection and acknowledgement of one’s own biases and stereotypical patterns to disrupt the perpetuation of inequities in education. Participants in this workshop will be provided with handouts that they can take back to utilize in their current positions, and strategies to help them work to disrupt inequity in the settings they are in.

Shifting a Culture: Overrepresentation of African American Males in “Negative” Educational Experiences

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 9:45 – 11:00 am
Room: Crystal


Research shows that negative school experiences that include suspensions, enrollment in lower level courses, poor peer and adult interactions and low academic attainment exacerbates poor adult experiences and promotes linkage from the School to Prison Pipeline. During this session, participants will understand how placement on the Cultural Proficiency Continuum can alleviate or lessen these negative experiences.


sbrinkley-parkerPresenter 1

Sharone Brinkley-Parker, Ed.D.
Director, School Climate
Baltimore County Public Schools

Biography: Dr. Sharone Brinkley-Parker has been an educator and administrator for over 18 years for two public school systems- Baltimore City and Baltimore County. She was educated in the Baltimore City Public Schools and received post graduate degrees from Morgan State and Towson State Universities. She currently serves as the Director of School Climate for Baltimore County Public Schools. Prior to this appointment, she served as director, principal, district administrator, assistant principal and teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools. In addition to her professional work, she has worked for the past 4 years facilitating and presenting work in the Cultural Proficiency arena in Baltimore and Howard Counties and the Community College of Baltimore County. She serves as a board member for Greater Baltimore Health Improvement Initiative (GBHII), a non-profit committed to educating/advocating for families and communities experiencing health disparities experienced in impoverished communities.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)


Educating students of color often present challenges due to the cultural disconnect present in some educational environments based on the adults leading the charge. As cultural competence is built, the focus of equitable practices heighten which cause for a look at how expectations are communicated. The goal of all school environments is to nurture and foster the learning for all subgroups of students by developing cultural awareness that transcends the learning expectations for all students. The proposed presentation will explore the experiences of African American males in education as it relates to academics and discipline. I have first-hand experiences with this topic as a former administrator in both urban and suburban school districts in which the overrepresentation of AA males in suspension experiences and special education placement were polar opposite to their placement in Gifted and Talented as well as Advanced Placement courses. As an administrator, I was able to work with my leadership team in order to engage stakeholders in (1) understanding how cultural connections build relationships and (2) using academic and behavioral strategies to provide individualized instructional for all students. I also understand what it means to be part of a leadership team where the decision makers use their whiteness as a means to not influence teacher practices that will engage African American males and other students of color.

Additionally, my first-hand knowledge was obtained when I completed my doctoral degree with a dissertation topic on the experience of African American males with suspension and the impact of these experiences based on the placement of teachers on the Cultural Proficiency Continuum. While examining research and conducting interviews, I was able to get firsthand accounts of student experiences and how they viewed the situation as well as the teacher’s perception of the students’ actions and how their response impacted the students’ experiences. I used these personal accounts to make correlations to placement of the Cultural Proficiency Continuum and ultimately provided implications for educators, leaders and district staff for addressing these experiences as a means to eliminate the disparities seen in discipline experiences for this subgroup that also impacted the academic experiences.

Based on research and practices seen across the country, this aids in student drop out, low educational attainment and promotion of the school-to-prison pipeline. During the session, participants will look at current practices and data that provide an explanation for the educational experiences of this subgroup. This examination will promote the need to understand the dynamics necessary to foster courageous conversations. Such conversations can be used to shift the mindset of adults and promote a line of questioning that will help examine if adult actions are aiding in the negative experiences for African American males. Through the conversation pieces and examination of specific personal accounts within each participants school, the ultimate goal is to use the Cultural Proficiency Continuum to assess placement as a means to understand the impact that placement may have on how educators make decisions or handle situations with particular subgroups to engage in discourse around culturally responsive teaching practices and the shift in mindset to positively impact the educational experiences of African American males through conversation and actions.

Participants will engage in scenarios that align to the six practices on the Cultural Proficiency Continuum. Based on the engagement, they will develop ways that unhealthy practices show up in their present environment juxtapose healthy ones and how these shifts can create more positive experiences for African American males in particular while being beneficial for all student populations. This session will inform strategies for school districts and leaders around teacher preparation programs, onboarding practices for novice teachers, mentorship, trainings and professional development and programmatic shifts (alternatives to suspension, cultural responsive teaching, etc) and policy implications (zero tolerance, discipline mandates, academic placement criteria, etc). The handouts will provide types of questioning to promote inclusive environments under the courageous conversation tenants (fierce conversations). Participants will also have statements aligned to the Cultural Proficiency Continuum which will allow them to be reflective about placement for themselves and those within their environment as a means to determining a starting point to engage staff upon returning to their respective work environments.

The research guiding this topic will include participant materials on Cultural Proficiency for leadership (Lindsay, Nuri Robins & Terrell), as a connection to fostering courageous conversation and the impact of educators and their practices for students in the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Using these frames, participants will walk away with strategies to begin focusing making school inclusive for all populations, specifically African American males so there can be a shift in negative experiences.

Achieving Equity through Greater Investments in Single Mothers’ Postsecondary Success

button-download-workshop-filesStrand: Best practices for equitable learning environments
Time: Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 8:15 – 9:30 am
Room: Richmond


This session will explore the policy, institutional, and programmatic shifts that can improve equity in single mothers’ access to and success in higher education. Findings from a recent Institute for Women’s Policy Research study will highlight the quantifiable benefits of investing in single mothers’ educational attainment, and Generation Hope, a nonprofit serving teen mothers in college in the DC area, will discuss challenges, opportunities, and strategies for promoting single mother success.


lreichlincrusePresenter 1

Lindsey Reichlin Cruse
Senior Research Associate
Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Biography: Lindsey Reichlin Cruse is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Lindsey manages Student Parent Success Initiative projects, which promote awareness of, access to, and success in higher education for college students who are parents. She leads the Student Parent Policy Working Group and was a contributing researcher for IWPR’s Job Training Success Project. Lindsey has presented at numerous events & conferences, including serving as a panelist at UNDP’s Third Global Forum on Business for Gender Equality and as a keynote speaker at the 2017 Student Parent Success Symposium. An expert on access to postsecondary education, Lindsey has been quoted in several outlets including The Washington Post, Refinery29, the National Journal, and Market Watch. Prior to IWPR, Lindsey held positions at the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health and at Global Policy Solutions. Lindsey has an MA from Columbia University and a BA from UCLA.

Social Media: (LinkedIN)(Twitter)(Facebook)

nlynnlewisPresenter 2

Nicole Lynn Lewis
CEO and Founder
Generation Hope

Biography: Nicole Lynn Lewis serves as the CEO of Generation Hope, an organization which she founded in 2010. Nicole founded Generation Hope because, after completing college as a teen mother despite tremendous obstacles, she wanted to help other teen parents earn their degrees and achieve stable and successful futures. In just 8 years, Nicole has created a truly unique and thriving organization that is gaining national attention for its focus on college completion for teen parents. Generation Hope now serves more than 100 teen parents attending college in the DC region, has celebrated 30 teen parent graduates, and has provided more than $400,000 in tuition assistance. As a testament to her work, Nicole was named a 2014 CNN Hero, a 2017 Minority Business Leader by the Washington Business Journal, and a “Top 40 Under 40” by Washingtonian Magazine. Nicole holds a MA in Social Policy and Communication from George Mason University and a BA in English from the College of William & Mary.

Social Media: (Twitter)(Facebook)


Single mother families are increasingly common, and they have much lower incomes and higher poverty rates than other family types. Given the association of higher education with increased earnings, higher employment rates, improved well-being, and better outcomes for children, increasing single mothers’ college attainment can have far-reaching benefits for families and communities. Yet, despite the transformative power of a postsecondary credential, single mothers have disproportionately low rates of attainment: in 2015, just 31 percent of single mothers ages 25 and older held a college degree, compared with over half of comparable married mothers. With single mothers growing as a proportion of U.S. undergraduate students—their number in college doubled between 1999 and 2012—investing in supports that can help them tackle the major time-related and financial challenges they face is becoming increasingly important. Supportive services like affordable, high-quality child care, case management/coaching, mentorship, and targeted financial assistance can improve single mothers’ ability to enter and complete college, increase their economic security, and lead to multigenerational benefits.

This session will begin by describing the single student mother population. According to the most recent data, more than one quarter of women in college have children and most (60 percent) are raising children without the support of a spouse or partner. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) will share its analysis of the 2.1 million single mothers enrolled in college, including their racial/ethnic makeup, their enrollment patterns, their financial insecurity, and the caregiving considerations and time constraints that complicate their persistence in college. IWPR’s presentation will highlight key equity issues surrounding college-going single mothers, including the fact that women of color are especially likely to be raising children on their own while pursuing postsecondary education, and that single mothers are disproportionately likely to enroll in for-profit institutions—which cost more than traditional public institutions, lead students to take out significant debt, and often do not result in credentials that lead to high-quality jobs.

IWPR will also share findings from its recent study quantifying the costs and benefits for families, communities, and society of investing in single mothers’ educational attainment. These findings include the earnings gains that stem from single mothers’ attainment of two- and four-year degrees; the relative benefits for single mothers of earning a college credential compared with the costs associated with attending college (including lost wages); the impact of degree attainment on single mother family poverty; and a breakdown of the types and costs of supports that could promote single mothers’ educational success. These findings will help the audience understand and articulate the case for devoting greater economic and educational resources to improving degree attainment among single mothers.

Generation Hope, a community-based nonprofit focused on increasing college achievement among teen parents in the DC area, will then discuss challenges, opportunities, and effective strategies for promoting single mother family success. Nicole Lynn Lewis, Founder and CEO of Generation Hope, will share the organization’s two-generation model for promoting the educational success of teen mothers through targeted scholarships, case management, and mentorship. She will provide recommendations for campus- and community-based programs who serve or are interested in serving single mothers in college, and share her insights and lessons learned from her work helping teen parent families escape poverty and achieve prosperity through education. Ms. Lewis will also discuss how policy and institutional practices and systems could be improved to facilitate this population’s ability to enter college and persist to a degree.

The last 20 minutes will be open for audience participation, giving attendees the chance to ask questions and engage with the panelists and each other. Speakers will ask the audience questions as well, to better understand attendees’ interest in single student mothers, learn about the challenges they face and strategies they use for serving this population, and hear their insight and recommendations for helping single mother families achieve prosperity. Audience members will receive a handout that identifies supports and service delivery strategies that can address single mothers’ needs, and provides recommendations for promoting their educational success at the institutional, programmatic, and policy levels, in addition to a brief self-assessment tool developed by IWPR to determine how institutions and programs can become more family-friendly.