Pre-Convention Forums

Pre-Convention Forums
Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Leaders are learners! Hungry to grow, they seize opportunities to sharpen their competency and expand their capacity. Consider the options for your professional development in these twelve Pre-Conference Forums offered during this 2022 Annual Meeting.

 

Each Forum includes four presentations by a distinguished faculty of presenters. Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors, refreshment breaks and lunch is included for all of these forums. Register early; seating is limited. A great opportunity for learning, networking, and growing . . . all for the extraordinary price of only $100.

 

Check out this lineup:

ONE DAY FORUMS (Wednesday, February 16) – $100/ea.
8:00am – 4:30pm

Presidents Forum

Institutional Planning Forum

Grace Relations Forum

Chief Academic Officers Forum

Enrollment Leaders Forum

Institutional Marketing Forum

Major Donor Relations Forum

Capital Campaigns Forum

CFO Forum

Student Development Officers Forum

Forum on Retention

Title IX Training

Take advantage of this unique professional development opportunity.  Click on the respective workshop below for program details.

Presidents Forum

Presidents Forum

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Facilitator: Philip Dearborn, President; ABHE
Presenters: Bill Blocker; Paul Alexander; Al Lopus; Mark Pettus
Location: Salon 9

Overview: The role of president has become increasingly challenging considering internal and external realities. Join colleagues from other ABHE institutions to learn how to navigate the myriad of opportunities and challenges.

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — A Prescription for Leadership Burnout (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Presenter: Bill Blocker, President — College of Biblical Studies-Houston (TX)

Overview: Burnout — one of the biggest challenges facing leaders in biblical higher education today.  Navigating the challenges of COVID-19, defending religious liberties, staff turnover, changing guidelines, plus daily operations, takes a toll on many leaders.  Explore ways for leaders on the verge of burnout to be encouraged & empowered to reboot or be recharged, including . . .

  • Grasping the mission/vision in light of your calling — Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
  • Recognizing the frank awareness of your current reality — identifying painful blind spots
  • Applying proven leadership fundamentals — godly wisdom and biblical principles
  • Cultivating servant leadership that ignites the power — how to refuel and retool
  • Embracing the proper perspective and balance — God’s pace = God’s grace


9:30 – 10:15   
Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45  Session 2 — Reversing a Campus Trajectory from Near Bankruptcy to Debt Free

Presenter: Paul Alexander, President — Trinity Bible College (ND)

Overview: One of the most difficult assignments for a leader is to shift the mindset of an organization from surviving to flourishing.  From financial concerns to an ethos of defeatism, flipping the culture takes hard work and persistent commitment.

  • Best practices that build a positive trajectory forward for a college community
  • Key characteristics necessary to build positive momentum
  • What detractors work against forward progress?
  • The importance of establishing a spiritual and relational campus ethos


12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — The Road to Flourishing

Presenter: Al Lopus, CEO & Co-Founder — Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI)

Overview: After years of testing and measuring the most significant factors affecting organizational flourishing, hear from the BCWI CEO’s new book detailing the most salient insights from his research. Consider important lessons from institutions that are flourishing.

  • The most compelling features of a flourishing institution
  • Dynamics that build synergy and momentum
  • The vital role of executive leadership – pros & cons
  • Signposts on the road to flourishing – staying on course

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Leading Innovation

Presenter: Mark Pettus, President — Highlands College (AL)

Overview: The future of biblical higher education is dependent on our capacity to lead innovative institutions.  By nature, the academy has traditionally resisted innovation.  But we serve an innovative God who has worked through the ages to accomplish His plan of redemption.

  • Learn the keys to building a foundation that fosters a campus culture of innovation
  • Identify the enemies that work against innovation
  • Embrace managing the tension that comes with innovation and excellence
  • Develop some initial steps that you can take now to lead innovation on your campus

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab –Sponsored by Columbia International University

Institutional Planning Forum

Comprehensive Institutional Planning Forum

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Presenters: Tim Fuller, Founder | Fuller Higher Ed Solutions, ABHE Sr. Fellow & Jeff Spear, Founder | CFO Colleague
Location: Salon 10

Overview: Every college needs a strategic plan. Accreditors require them. Board members and donors expect them as a window into where the institution is heading. Faculty and staff are looking for focus and direction; to know there’s a plan behind their daily activities. But how do plans like a campus master plan, strategic enrollment plan, budget plan and operational plan . . . how do they all fit with your comprehensive strategic plan?

  • Understanding the various types and parts of institutional planning
  • Seeing the whole picture along with the essential parts
  • Knowing who should do what planning

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — The Context for Institutional Planning

Overview: Besides the strategic plan, which other plans should a college have?  How do they fit together?  What’s the ideal timing for what happens on a comprehensive planning agenda?

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45   Session 2 Strategic Planning 101

Overview: Who should be involved in creating a strategic plan?  What are the right number of planning themes and initiatives to include to strike the correct balance between too many and not enough?  How do colleges ensure plans get implemented?

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Financial Planning

Overview: Creating a comprehensive financial plan which guides annual expenditures and future projections is an important task and must be tied to the strategic plan.  How should such a plan be created, monitored, and measured? And what other information is needed beyond standard reports to better guide the institution over multiple years?

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 —The Rest of the Planning Agenda

Overview: Strategic enrollment and campus master plans are other critical elements of a thriving college.  What should be included in each of these plans?  How do they get tied to the strategic plan?  How should they be monitored, funded, and updated?

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Grace Relations Forum

Grace Relations

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Presenters: Charles Ware, Executive Director, Grace Relations & Paul Nyquist, VP of Discipleship, Special Assistant to the President — College of Biblical Studies-Houston
Location: Salon 11

Overview: Issues of diversity and inclusion bombard us every day. Having no response or a reactive response are not options. Learn how to properly address these sensitive issues in a way that demonstrates the love of Christ and fosters a campus committed to biblical reconciliation.

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — Start at the Beginning — A Biblical and Theological Construct for Grace Relations

Overview: One of the most divisive issues of this time is diversity and inclusion. The increasing voices, policies, laws, and resources focused on diversity and inclusion programs demand a biblical/theological perspective.  How do we prepare our students with a biblical/theological foundation through discipleship that leads to loving God and one’s neighbor?

  • Why is a biblical/theological perspective on reconciliation?  
  • What are some key components of a biblical/theological perspective of reconciliation? 
  • What outcomes does God desire for biblical reconciliation?

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Modeling the Grace Relations Way

Overview: One of our most diverse colleges, The College of Biblical Studies, is committed to modeling the Grace Relations way, through truth, training, and transformation.  Both failures and successes all lead to trusting God’s grace for the present and future.  Consider conversations that lead to collaboration and cultural change.  

  • Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Celebrating God’s grace in CBS’ past
  • Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Celebrating God’s grace in CBS’ present
  • Realizing CBS’ Grace Relations dream — this to be a generation of biblical reconciliation

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — How Do They See Us?

Overview: How do we biblically address the polarizing issues of diversity and inclusion.  What are some of the fears and frustrations that paralyze us?  Do we dare believe that by the Grace of God we can rise above the divisions within the world and create communities of light? How do we become known for loving God and our neighbor, committed to truth, training & transformation.

  • How is loving God and your neighbor manifested on your campus?
  • Reflecting upon your institution’s Grace Relations story
  • How do we handle opposition to the truth? 
  • God is not looking for our counsel but our obedience

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Your Next Steps — A Roundtable Conversation

Overview: Each of our institutions has a unique Grace Relations story. Therefore, the application of biblical/theological truths will not look the same in every institution.  Yet every institution should be a manifestation of the wisdom of God in creating a diverse body of believers known for their love.  Through roundtable discussions we will seek to discover two or three next steps in your Grace Relations journey that you can implement immediately.  

  • Conversations about collaborations leading to cultural change manifesting God’s Grace
  • Challenges facing our campuses and culturally appropriate next steps 
  • Pursuing the dream to make this a generation of biblical reconciliation -daring to dream

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Chief Academic Officers Forum

CAO Forum

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Facilitator: Aaron Profitt, VP/Academic Affairs — God’s Bible School & College (OH)
Presenters: Zack Ritvalsky; Gina Cox; David Fincher; Aaron Profitt
Location: Salon 12

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — Utilizing Business Process Re-engineering to Improve Student Lifecycle Management

Presenter: Zack Ritvalsky, VP/Inst. Alignment — Lancaster Bible College (PA)

Overview: Having robust academic programs is only the beginning to successfully delivering biblical higher education.  Multiple interactions and transactions occur across departments in the student lifecycle from lead generation to alumni relations.  Learn how to deconstruct an educational “mega process” into its related sub-processes to gain operational efficiencies and enhanced student service within your college community.

  • Learn the skill of process decomposition
  • Understand the importance of collaborative engagement across multiple campus offices
  • Identify the critical integration points where coordination is necessary
  • Discover how to leverage technology in optimizing process workflow


9:30 – 10:15   
Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Creating the Culture for High-Capacity Teams

Presenter: Gina Cox, EVP of Academics & Ministry Training — Highlands College (AL)

Overview: In the ever-changing environment of higher education, an effective CAO needs a highly functional, effective, and efficient team who enjoys working together. How do we create an environment that both permits and encourages this type of high-capacity functioning? Discover principles that can empower you to lead your teams more effectively with joy.

  • Identify the components of a high-capacity culture
  • Learn the keys to creating an environment for effective teams
  • Determine the challenges to creating the right environment for high-capacity teams
  • Discover strategies to implement to create a high-performance culture


12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Will the “Big Blur” Affect Christian College Ministry Training?

Presenter: David Fincher, President — Central Christian College of the Bible (MO)

Overview: Secondary and higher education experts are designing new systems to combine career training simultaneously through high school, technical college, and job experience.  Is such an approach possible in ministry education?  Can we utilize this concept to add kingdom workers and student enrollments without undermining residential enrollment or ministerial quality?

  • Understand the recent emphasis on “11-14” career training in public education
  • Modify existing programs to utilize credentials already earned by transfer students
  • Design new degree programs to replicate characteristics in Christian college education
  • Imagine partnerships necessary to implement this concept into your institution

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Post-COVID Reality – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Presenter: Aaron Profitt, VP/Academic Affairs — God’s Bible School & College (OH)

Overview: There’s no question that COVID has (and continues) to impact how we operate the academic enterprise of our institutions.  Join in a conversation around what new opportunities are here to stay and what needs to go.

  • How to stay student-centric through a distributed workforce
  • What technologies are here to stay and how we can leverage them 
  • Building a sense of “team” when F2F is not an option
  • Spiritual formation opportunities and challenges

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab –Sponsored by Columbia International University

Enrollment Leaders Forum

Creating & Executing a Highly Effective Enrollment Strategy

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Presenter: Keith Mock, VP/Enrollment Marketing Consulting Liaison International (AL)
Location: Salon 14

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — Understanding How an Effective Enrollment Strategy Works

Overview: To be most effective, enrollment leaders must both see the big picture of their enrollment strategy as well as the essential parts of the process that must flow smoothly together.  Let’s get started . . .

  • Unpacking the parts of the process — how enrollment works
  • Defining key terms — learning the language of enrollment management
  • Understanding your market — learning from your data
  • Dissecting a comprehensive enrollment strategy


9:30 – 10:15   
Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Getting Organized for Enrollment Growth

Overview: After understanding the process, then it’s time to put the plan together. Plan your work, then work your plan. What does this comprehensive strategy look like? 

  • Building your enrollment funnel — how to get started
  • Setting goals — realistic, reachable, and stretching
  • Making assignments with accountability
  • Strategic reports — to whom and when

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Building & Leading a Winning Enrollment Team

Overview: Growing enrollment is rarely a solo sport. It takes a team that’s trained well, led well, enjoys good synergy and knows how to make academic sales. Build and lead your “A” team.

  • Recruiting & training admissions leaders with the right gifts, disciplines, and attitudes
  • Empowering your team for academic sales — understanding the enrollment decision
  • Leveraging financial aid for maximum results
  • Strategic reports — to whom and when


2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Creating Communications that Produce Results

Overview: Relationships with prospective students are built with effective communications. Creative, consistent, timely communications that help a student through the decision process is essential. Think through your communications, and make it work . . . better than ever.

  • Understanding the role and power of a CRM
  • Crafting your message that connects with your market
  • Building a proactive communications sequence
  • Tapping the potential of your website and social media

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab –Sponsored by Columbia International University

Institutional Marketing Forum

Get More Right-Fit Students Through Effective Institutional Marketing

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Presenters: Steve Wolgemuth, CEO; Aimee Deraco, COO & Brandon Schmidt, Digital Strategist  YDOP Digital Marketing
Location: Salon 15

Overview: How can a school with limited marketing resources fill their classrooms in a crowded recruiting environment? If that’s a question worth answering at your institution, this forum may be a game-changer for you and your team. The day’s lectures, discussions, and workshop exercises will provide clarity, encouragement, and practical steps you can take to help your school get to the next level in your marketing. As a leader, you’ll come away from this Forum better equipped to make smart marketing decisions and to lead your institution more effectively.

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — The Foundation for Your Success in 2022

Overview: In this session, attendees will understand the innate challenges in capturing the attention of and enrolling Biblical higher ed students in 2022, identify and define their institution’s unique attributes that align with the “right-fit” students, and recognize potential communication misalignment between their institution and students they wish to recruit. 

  • Is student enrollment that difficult? Or is it just me?
  • Understanding enrollment marketing challenges in 2022
  • Creating clarity around your unique position, student prospect, and language
  • Gaining recruiting power through brand alignment

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — You Need Stronger Enrollment Numbers; Here’s How You’re Going to Do It

Overview: In this session, attendees will discern and plan for how to best use their limited marketing resources to gain maximum enrollment numbers this year. By understanding the three phases of the student enrollment pathway, leaders can more easily recognize how they will support each one. 

  • Understanding the student pathway — from stranger to enrollment
  • Learning the key to creating a highly effective marketing strategy for your institution
  • Recognizing your institution’s highest ROI opportunities for your marketing resources
  • Developing a customized enrollment strategy for your institution; one that has teeth

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Your Enrollment Strategy is Measurable; Here’s Some Practical Advice

Overview: In this session, attendees will understand how marketing has shifted from advertisement-based strategies (buying brand exposure to targeted audiences), to user-experience ones on digital platforms. These strategies are highly measurable and can track all phases of the student enrollment pathway. Attendees will learn to better evaluate their marketing success, and how to avoid common mistakes.

  • Getting your head around what your marketing numbers are really telling you
  • How to better track performance of your advertising campaigns – including traditional, print, & billboards
  • Seeing the limitations on analytics and how you need to artfully blend other sources

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Demystifying Google and Ranking Online

Overview: In this session, attendees will recognize the important role that search engines, Google in particular, plays in every institution’s student recruitment.  Learn about the latest changes Google has made to online searching and understand practical steps an institution can take to improve their visibility.

  • Understanding the new marketing world: Immediacy trumps branding in the battle for student attention online
  • Ending obscurity: Do you have the best website that no one can find? 
  • Adapting to today’s online environment: See how Google’s latest updates change everything about SEO
  • Getting practical steps & tips on how to improve your visibility on Google

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Major Donor Relations Forum

Cultivating Major Gifts & Becoming a Friend and Trusted Advisor to Your Donors

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Presenter: Clark Vandeventer, Chief Fundraising Coach — Major Gifts Fundraiser, Inc.
Location: Salon 16

Overview: It’s a major stewardship responsibility — caring well for the high-capacity friends that God brings to your institution. Not using them just to meet fundraising goals or even accomplish the institution mission, but truly caring for them as fellow believers in whom God has entrusted his resources. What does this look like? How can you lead your advancement team to effectively care and cultivate your major donors in ways that pleases God?

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — Fundraising as Ministry – Fundraising as a Spiritual Act

Overview: This is the foundation. In this session we will discuss the underlying philosophy from which we operate as fundraisers. Before we can get into “Best Practices,” we have to ensure we lay a good foundation. Fundraising is not the work we do as a distraction from our mission — raising funds so we can get back to work. Fundraising itself is ministry.

  • Your donors are human beings, not wallets with people attached
  • Being a life-coach, helping the donor become the person God has created them to be
  • Helping your donor figure out who they are and what they truly value
  • Becoming a friend and trusted advisor to your donors, not just a person pitching a cause

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Creating an Institutional Culture and Experience

Overview: Your donors should get more joy out of giving to your institution than anything else they could do with their money, charitable or otherwise. That’s a tall order! How do you do it? In this session we’ll discuss: 

  • The Starbucks Experience. How Starbucks changed our relationship with coffee not by serving coffee but by creating an experience
  • Creating experiences that makes all other organizations pale in comparison
  • How to turn a donor’s campus tour into an experience
  • How tiny details lay a foundation to allow us to surprise, delight and WOW our donors

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Listening the Gift & Asking Strategic Questions

Overview: As a fundraiser you make a living by asking questions. Your job is not to go make your pitch. Your job is to ask questions and listen the gift. In this session we will discuss

  • Listening more than talking. Rule 75/25
  • The “Why” behind Rule 75/25. What we know about what people remember
  • The Best Strategic Questions the very best fundraisers ask of their donors
  • What happens when we don’t listen

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Asking and Closing gifts

Overview: There comes a point when it’s time to ask. But the best fundraisers aren’t just “not afraid to ask.” They know how to close. In this session we will discuss:

  • The build-up to “the pitch.”
  • How to actually “make the ask.”
  • The Four Closing Questions
  • Dealing with Objections

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Capital Campaigns Forum

Secrets of a Highly Successful Capital Campaign

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Presenter: Pat McLaughlin, President The Timothy Group
Location: Salon 17

Overview: The highest stress and ultimate test of a strong advancement program is to successfully lead a major capital campaign. What are the essential elements of this process and what have veteran leaders learned about the secrets of success? Consider prudent lessons and insights from a distinguished leader of many campaigns.

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — Conducting a Pre-Campaign Audit to Know When You’re Ready

Overview: Look before you leap. Review an essential check list of elements that should be considered before launching a capital campaign. Making sure your house is in order and that you’re prepared to successfully launch this major effort.

  • Leadership issues to be assessed and addressed
  • Alignment and agreement within institutional planning
  • Measuring effectiveness of annual fund management
  • Review of relevant external issues

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Testing the Campaign Through a Feasibility Study

Overview: Major campaigns test the strength of their plan through a well-executed feasibility study. The findings will confirm the appeal of the campaign goals and the likely results of fundraising. How is this conducted and what are the results you should expect?

  • Creating and crafting a strong case statement
  • Selecting the right team for feasibility interviews
  • Assessing the results – implications for success
  • Weaving the findings into the campaign plan

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Getting Organized for Success

Overview:Now it’s time to get each of the essential pieces of the campaign puzzle in order and arranged for maximum campaign results. What does this picture look like?

  • Creating and crafting a strong case statement
  • Setting the campaign gifts table
  • Recruiting/hiring campaign leadership – voluntary and paid
  • Confirming the right campaign timeline

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Highly Successful Campaign Execution

Overview: Talk is cheap. And hard work is just that. After planning the work, working the plan is the path to success. Review the key signposts on the journey of a highly successful campaign. 

  • Conducting major donor screenings and making solicitation assignments
  • Launching the quiet phase with top donor solicitations – key asks
  • Going public – when and how to push all levels of the campaign
  • Donor appreciation, recognition, and campaign reporting

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

CFO Forum

The Effective Financial Management of a Higher Education Institution

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Presenter: Fred Johnson, CEO/CPA Telcom Communications; Former Commission on Accreditation Member
Location: Salon 3

Overview: Strong institutions are served by astute financial leaders who both accurately manage the financial operations of the organization and provide keen foresight for the financial planning of institutional leaders. Drill one level down and you are quickly immersed into the complex details of effective budgeting and reporting, financial ratios and key performance indicators, governance compliance, auditing standards, HR policy, risk assessment/management, etc. Learn from a distinguished former member of the ABHE Commission on Accreditation, with long tenure as both CFO/CPA and now CEO, how wise CFO’s give prudent leadership.

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — The Essential Roles and Responsibilities of the CFO

Overview: For an institution of higher education, what are the most important duties and responsibilities of the CFO? What bucks unavoidably stop at their desks? How do distinguished CFO’s provide oversight and direction to the financial operations of the institution and discharge their fiduciary responsibilities to the board and public? 

  • Grasping the essential functions and roles
  • Understanding the risks and fiduciary responsibilities
  • Tracking and interpreting key performance indicators and ratios
  • Giving wise financial counsel to the president, board, and executive team

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Building & Managing the Institutional Budget

Overview: Building and managing a sound operational budget is at the financial heart of every great institution. How does a wise CFO effectively build the annual budget, secure the right input and buy in, protect the process from blue sky temptations, meet expectations . . . and then effectively manage this for sound financial operations?

  • Setting up the process for building a good budget
  • Securing input and ownership from the right institutional leadership
  • Managing the budget in partnership with the leadership team
  • Protecting the process from dangerous and typical mistakes

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Leading with Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) & Dashboard Development

Overview: What is the art and science of compiling the relevant financial data (Key Performance Indicators) into a meaningful financial dashboard? How do you move from historical data (lagging indicators) to projections (leading indicators)? Why is timing of the essence? 

  • Defining the right KPI’s – what’s important and why
  • Developing the process for timely data collection
  • Establishing meaningful dashboards for financial oversight and strategic decisions
  • Keeping your finger on the financial pulse of the academic enterprise

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Understanding Key Financial Ratios and Indices

Overview: No one at the institution should have a better understanding of key financial ratios than the CFO. That’s also true for other relevant indices and financial scores that reflect the financial health of the institution. Learn what these mean and how to interpret these key ratios and indices for your board and leadership team.

  • Unpacking the meaning and relevance of key financial ratios
  • Understanding how financial ratios contribute to the DOE Composite Score
  • Grasping other important ratios and stats that unmask your financial reality
  • Interpreting ratios and indices for the benefit of the uninformed

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Student Development Officers Forum

SDO Forum 

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Facilitator: Rick Swift, Dean of Student Life — Columbia International University
Presenters: Kirk Sabine; Amy Huber; Sonja Vernon; Rick Swift
Location: Salon 2

Overview: Every campus needs the wisdom and gifts of a student life officer who watches over the student body as a shepherd and manages the many diverse activities with finesse. From campus safety, security and health to campus morale and spiritual vitality — the opportunities are abundant and a plethora of challenges. Sharpen your SDO leadership with these distinguished campus leaders.

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — Safeguarding & Cultivating Campus Culture During Crisis

Presenter: Kirk Sabine, VP for Campus Life — Kingswood University (NB)

Overview: On a good day, the SDO ensures the safety and security of students while creatively cultivating campus morale. How has this changed during the pandemic and what have we learned about these core SDO responsibilities during crises. Consider . . .

  • Effectively handling flash points during a crisis — proactive poise
  • Monitoring campus morale and keeping spirits up during dark days
  • Reinventing student health and safety services during duress
  • Student relationships & communications — what’s different and not during crises

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Creating Community with Off-Campus Students

Presenter: Amy Huber, VP of Academic affairs & Student Engagement — Pillar College

Overview: The growing reality of many ABHE institutions reflects an increasing percentage of a non-traditional and diverse student populations living off-campus. Connections are vital for both retention and cultivating a sense of community with the campus. What are creative ways to stimulate these relationships.

  • Understanding the unique needs of adult and diverse off-campus and online students
  • Building bridges of connection and authentic relationships 
  • Leveraging technology to enhance student interaction and engagement
  • Creative leadership from the student development office

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Shepherding the Spiritual Vitality of Your Campus

Presenter: Sonja Vernon, VP for Student Affairs – God’s Bible School & College

Overview: The student body of our institutions is a gracious gift of God with a commensurate responsibility to nourish their spiritual transformation. The spiritual vitality of campus is an indispensable part of that process. So how do spiritually focused student development leaders stoke the fires of God’s transforming Presence day after day.  Explore . . .

  • Engaging the entire campus for spiritual renewal and vitality
  • Creating spiritually focused relationships & conversations
  • Addressing spiritual vitality killers — it happens
  • Creating spaces & times for spiritual renewal and refreshing

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Empowering Student Leadership Through Social Tumult & Crises

Presenter: Rick Swift, Dean of Student Life — Columbia International University

Overview: Developing student leaders is one of the greatest legacy points for distinguished student development officers. What has happened to this dynamic during the pandemic and in response to pressing social issues? Consider ways to pivot and re-invent student leadership development during crises, including . . .

  • Finding new roles and places of service
  • Empowering student initiatives and ideas
  • Changing strategy to meet new realities
  • Identifying student leaders who emerge during crises

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Forum on Retention

Creating & Executing a Highly Effective Retention Strategy 

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Presenters: Matt Boisvert, President; Rachel Philips-Buck, VP for Student SuccessPharos Resources
Location: Salon 13

Overview: The most expensive student an institution recruits is the one they lose. Keeping mission-fit students and empowering student success are as important as effective recruiting. How does this work and what are the vital parts of a comprehensive campus retention plan that produces consistent results — graduates!

 Download Program Schedule


8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — IDENTIFY At-Risk Students — Step ONE

Overview: Retention begins with early identification. It’s both art and science. Sharpen your retention eyes and you are off to the right start. Let’s start by sharpening your . . .

  • Understanding and identification of leading & lagging indicators
  • Thinking through the examples — and how they apply to you
  • Grasp of the nature and weight of success debt
  • Use of data analytics and predictive modeling to give actionable information

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Developing a Student-Support Culture that CONNECTS — Step TWO

Overview: Connection combined with engagement is the secret sauce of the retention success. A comprehensive strategy makes this intentional and effective. Leaders who . . . 

  • Understand the power of connection — our hard-wiring
  • Have the tools, people and processes to facilitate meaningful connections
  • Help students experience a sense of belonging — without exception
  • Communicate the campus commitment of each student’s success

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Becoming a SOLUTION Oriented Campus — Step THREE

Overview: After identifying systemic or acute factors that make student success difficult and creating meaningful connections now you’re ready to do the hard work: solve retention problems. It’s not if these will happen it’s what, when, and how we are ready to solve them.

  • Identify your barrier processes — found in every institution
  • Break down silos and barriers to serve students holistically
  • Establish campus-wide collaboration and problem solving
  • Become more flexible and creative for student intervention 

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — MEASURE Your Retention Success – Step FOUR

Overview: Telling your story of retention success is impossible without accurate measurements. The government, public, parents and responsible students all call for exemplary outcomes. Its part of our stakeholder accountability. What should this include?

  • Five vital outcomes to measure and weigh
  • Tying your measurements to your accreditation needs
  • Assessment of what’s working . . . and not – prompting change
  • Tapping the potential of digital tracking software – high efficiency
  • Celebrating retention success stories and staff who prompt student success


4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University

Title IX Training

Title IX Coordinator & Investigator Training — An Overview

ONE DAY WORKSHOP | Wednesday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Presenter: Scott Cawood, Senior VP/Student Affairs & Administration Cairn University (PA)
Location: Salon 1

Overview: Being responsible for Title IX on your campus is a lonely responsibility. There is tremendous burden to be compliant to federal expectations while safeguarding individuals and the institution. This Title IX forum features integrated group discussion through case studies and is intended to support anyone involved in Title IX whether as a coordinator or investigator.

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8:15 – 9:30     Session 1 — An Institutional Assessment of Title IX

Overview: With the use of two brief assessments, we will explore where you and your respective institution are in Title IX compliance and preparedness.

  • Institutional Title IX Assessment
  • Personal Title IX Assessment
  • Institutional Resource allocation to Title IX
  • Access to and yet independence from leadership

9:30 – 10:15   Refreshment Break


10:15 – 11:45     Session 2 — Crafting Title IX to your Institutional Culture and Structure

Overview: In Title IX one size does not fit all. Our distinctions as institutions of Biblical Higher Education should dictate your response to Title IX.

  • A “Safe Campus” perspective
  • Components of Title IX that should be present on every campus
  • Building the Title IX team that fits your institutional culture and size.
  • Taking institutional ownership of training to fit your mission and programmatic design.

12:00 – 1:00   Lunch


1:00 – 2:15     Session 3 — Title IX from Intake to Investigation

Overview: Through use of a case study, we will examine the elements of processing a report, engaging supportive measures and commencing appropriate investigation techniques.

  • Engaging the Complainant and Respondent
  • Support, equitable process and preventing retaliation
  • Can we use mediation in this incident?
  • Trauma informed investigations

2:15 – 3:00   Refreshment Break


3:00 – 4:15     Session 4 — Title IX Hearing Panels

Overview: Perhaps nothing is more challenging in the 2020 regulations than the prescribed Hearing Panels. This session will present a Title IX sexual assault case, adjudicated as we study the recommended process. 

  • Engaging the investigative record
  • Opening statement and investigative summary
  • Cross examination and the advisor
  • Reaching a decision

4:15 – 4:30     Wrap-Up

6:00  Dinner  Connections Dinner & SAK Comedy Lab Sponsored by Columbia International University