Highlights from NCAN’s 2016 National Conference

November 8, 2016

By Sara Melnick, Deputy Director

With the 2016 NCAN national conference, Driving Postsecondary Attainment for All, a fond memory, we would like to share some of the highlights of this record-breaking event. A new, fast-paced session format that maximized peer learning and sharing, popular tours of the greater Detroit area, and a record-breaking 1,000+ attendees were just the beginning.

Plenary Speakers Michael Middleton and Jaime Casap appeared in front of a packed house and even earned a standing ovation as our luncheon speakers. Michael Middleton, Interim President of the University of Missouri System, spoke frankly and eloquently about the importance of engaging with students about race relations and racial tensions on campus. Jaime Casap, the Chief Education Evangelist from Google, shared his thoughts on reframing the age-old question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” in terms of helping students think about what problems they might want to solve in the future.

In addition to Middleton and Casap, attendees had their pick of over 175 speakers and more than 125 workshop sessions covering topics such as career readiness, equity, policy and advocacy, and data and evaluation. Among the most highly rated sessions: 

  • Beyond Diversity: Why and How Race Matters, presented by the Center for Social Inclusion;
  • From Surveys to Interventions in a "Zap": Cheap, Simple & Fast Methods to Make Real Data Work for You, presented by Degrees of Change;
  • How to Count What Counts to Make Your Strategy Stronger, presented by Root Cause;
  • Leveraging Your Philanthropic Potential: Taking Your Fundraising Program to the Next Level, presented by the New Kensington Group;
  • Putting Passion To Use: How to Inspire Your Millennial Staff to be Wildly Successful, presented by College Forward; and
  • Social Emotional Learning: What is It and How Will It Help Our Students Succeed in College? Presented by Project GRAD LA.

Last but not least, NCAN presented five awards at this year’s conference:

We would be remiss is we did not thank The Kresge Foundation and the Michigan College Access Network for their generous support of this conference!

And as for next year, we hope you’ll agree that Sept. 11-13, 2017 will be a lovely time to visit San Diego. Mark your calendars and be on the lookout for the call for proposals early next year.

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