2017 Major Topics

Below are detailed descriptions of each of this year’s Major Topics 

  • Connecting College and Career Success: career readiness; helping students make decisions leading to gainful employment; career guidance and exploration; aligning program efforts to meet emerging labor market needs; forecasting labor trends; and nurturing, attracting, and retaining talent.
  • Equity and Opportunity: strategies aimed at ensuring equity for specific populations including low-income, first generation, young men and women of color, foster or homeless youth, rural students, and undocumented/DACA students.
  • Financial Aid and Literacy: FAFSA completion; financial aid advising; scholarship management; financial literacy; helping students and families use consumer information to make decisions about college and career options; asset building for college costs; and early FAFSA implementation.
  • Management and Leadership: sessions focused on the needs of “C-suite” staff such as resource development; financial management and budgeting; back-end organizational effectiveness and efficiency; board development; branding/communications; leadership, management and supervisory skills; developing a succession plan; sustainability; staffing; and strategic planning.
  • Networks and Collective Impact: cultivating, managing and sustaining partnerships and collaboratives such as building or expanding college access and success networks; engaging business and other partners; working effectively with community-based, higher education and/or K-12 school systems; working collectively to impact student success.
  • Policy and Advocacy: policy change and implementation at the federal, state, local and/or institutional levels such as presenting a policy briefing; advocacy training; implementing successful advocacy campaigns; crafting local, state or institutional policies to increase access and success.
  • Postsecondary Access and Readiness: early awareness; academic preparedness; mentoring or tutoring; family engagement; engaging and working with “non-traditional” students; non-cognitive skills; effective communication with students and families; and college readiness.
  • Research, Data, and Evaluation: practical applications of research; program evaluation; using data and technology to enhance program effectiveness; benchmarking; logic models; and measuring outcomes.
  • Success in Postsecondary Education: persistence and retention; increasing graduation rates; enrollment management; non-cognitive skills and college success; and using data and technology to enhance program effectiveness.