This event will cover the following key topics to set your college or university up for success:

  • Increase student enrollment while improving student success
  • Exchange ideas on course completion, retention, and graduation
  • Explore the role of transfers in long term student success 
  • Discuss rural versus urban enrollment challenges and opportunities
  • Examine non-degree success – workforce training, apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, certificates and other credentials


Governor Tony Evers, Confirmed 

Changing Lives & Launching Careers!

Presented By: Kimberly Bellum, Dean of Academics, Lake Area Technical Institute 

Lake Area Technical Institute was named the #1 Community College in the nation in 2017 by the Aspen Institute.  LATI is a public two-year technical institute with a student population of 2,500 students.  Our graduation and retention rates are among the highest in the nation (graduation running 70-80%), and we place over 99% of our students upon graduation.  Come find out what we do differently in this entertaining and enlightening presentation on 'Changing Lives & Launching Careers'!!

Pathways for student success initiatives in light of changes in governmental landscapes at the state and federal levels

Presented By: Thomas Downs, Principal, Downs Government Affairs and Jack O'Meara, O'Meara Public Affairs 

In January 2019, new governors take office in Wisconsin and nearly 20 other states, in many instances shifting party control of state governments.  At the federal level, party control of the U.S. House of Representatives is shifting.  The panelists will speak to their expectations concerning opportunities for public higher education institutions to achieve outcomes with innovative student success initiatives at the state and federal levels.

Improving Completion Through "Grass Roots" Alliances

Presented By: Greg Summers, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Carol Smith, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

Central to all of our missions is a student's completion of his or her program of study, signified by the award of a credential.  In the last decade, several prominent national completion initiatives have underscored the fact that most colleges and universities are not achieving their mission when measured by completion rates.  These national initiatives bring urgency to the need to improve completion rates.  This session will review the history, goals, logic models, and strategies of these initiatives, with special emphasis on those of the Lumina Foundation and Complete College America.  Then, this session will turn to a new area of strategic action: support of  "grass roots" inter-institutional alliances. Through these alliances, geographically co-located institutions are collaborating to improve completion rates in their regions.  

Dreaming Success: How Achieving the Dream's Network Drives Improved Student Success

Presented By: Ryan Knight, Associate Director of Network Recruitment and Retention, Achieving the Dream, Dr. Vicki Jeppesen, Vice President of College Advancement & Organizational Development & Dr. Angela Servi, Dean of Academic & College Effectiveness, Northcentral Technical College

This presentation begins by providing a brief overview of ATD's mission and work with community colleges. Since 2004, Achieving the Dream (ATD) has led the nation's reform agenda to empower community colleges. Through ATD's Network, community colleges have made important strides on improving student success on many fronts, including access (including for underserved and minoritized groups), transfer and baccalaureate attainment, and workforce preparation.

Leaders from Northcentral Technical College share work the College has undertaken since joining ATD's Network in 2016, and how this has changed the College's culture and set the stage for increased student success.

To conclude, this presentation reviews evidence-based best practices that have emerged from the work done by ATD's Network of community colleges around SUCCESS Conference's thematic areas, including work done by ATD Network community colleges in Wisconsin.

College Enrollment Trends in Wisconsin: A Review of the Data

Presented By: Jacklyn Fischer and Ellie Bruecker, Graduate Assistants, Office of Student Financial Aid, UW-Madison, and Nicholas Hillman, Associate Professor, UW-Madison School of Education

During this session, the research team from UW-Madison's Student Success Through Applied Research Lab will offer a look at college enrollment trends in the State of Wisconsin in the context of the most recent business cycle. The session will provide a comprehensive review of public college enrollment in Wisconsin (including both the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System) by drawing upon a variety of data sources and reports. Data sources include IPEDS, U.S. Census, and WI Department of Instruction.

Meeting them where they are: Embedding asset-based advising into classroom spaces at a community college

Presented By: Asif Wilson, Associate Dean of Instruction, Harold Washington College  

During this session we will review our model for embedded advising, which brings advising into the classrooms where students spend most of their time.  More specifically we will share an introduction of the embedded advising initiative and it's structure, the initiatives desired outcomes, data from our pilot, and our institutional plans to continuously improve the initiative. 

A Tool and a Team: Implementing Data-informed, Proactive Outreach

Presented By: Karen McLeer, Director of Retention and Academic Support, University of Wisconsin Platteville 

Investing in a student success management system (EAB Student Success Collaborative) created new opportunities for UW-Platteville to provide data-informed, proactive outreach for targeted student populations.  Learn how we built a team of retention specialists to identify the targeted population needing intervention, research best practices and interventions, act through implementation of a proactive intervention campaign, connect students to existing services, and assess effectiveness of intervention and adjust future campaign plans.  Specific examples of our outreach campaigns will be shared, so attendees can take these ideas back to their own institutions

What problem are you trying to solve?

Presented By: Shauna Davis, Holistic Student Supports Coach, Achieving the Dream

Solutions, Solutions, Solutions. Before beginning large scale college reforms it's important to clearly define the problem you are trying to solve. Often well-intentioned champions attempt to solve the issues of retention and completion with a host of solutions and strategies that address the symptoms of the issues without tackling the root cause of the problem. Through Achieving the Dream's vast network, we have supported hundreds of colleges working towards the implementation of student success reforms. This session will explore common mistakes in approaching the "fringe solutions" to root cause issues, explore techniques to clearly identify the problem you are trying to solve, and map the structural, process, and attitudinal changes needed to address root cause issues.

The Connecticut College of Technology: Educational Pathways to Success

Presented By: Karen Wosczyna-Birch, Executive Director and Wendy Robicheau, Project Manager, CT College of Technology-Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing 

This session will introduce attendees to the Connecticut College of Technology, a statewide consortium of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, additional public and private universities, and business and industry, which oversees the stackable credential model in engineering and technology programs among the institutions. The student and faculty benefits of this model will be discussed as well as grant funding that has been a result of this model. The session will also include the opportunity for attendees to discuss their experiences with creating pathway partnerships and programs. 

Poverty Informed Practice in Higher Education

Presented By: Chad Dull, Dean of Learner Support and Transition, Western Technical College

Becoming a student ready college is a goal of many colleges in this day and age. This session will teach how approaching our work with a "poverty informed" lens leads to solutions that benefit students of all types. Our students with the greatest barriers teach us how to improve in ways other students never could. Please join us to learn about one college's journey and to learn steps to begin your own transformation.

How do we know students are successful? National Student Clearinghouse Data Approach

Presented By: Ricardo Torres, CEO and President, National Student Clearinghouse

Mr. Torres will highlight both the nationwide, regional and local efforts that are underway by the Clearinghouse to complement their current work on progression and completion pathways. The session will touch on new initiatives focused on credentials including workforce and industry based credentials, their value and how both for-credit and not for credit enrollments weigh in on these types of analysis. The presentation will also discuss comparative outcomes frameworks and their relative effectiveness in providing an informed visualization.

Tentative Schedule

(*Schedule is subject to change.)

DAY 1 – Tuesday, March 12

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.   Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.   Welcome from Dr. Lori Weyers, President, Northcentral Technical College & A message from Senator Tammy Baldwin

8:45 a.m. - 9:35 a.m.   What Problem Are You Trying to Solve? (Presented by Shauna Davis)

9:35 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.   A Tool and a Team: Implementing Data-informed, Proactive Outreach (Presented by Karen McLeer)

10:25 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.   Break/Networking

10:55 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.   Dreaming Success: How Achieving the Dream's Network Drives Improved Student Success (Presented by Ryan Knight, Vicki Jeppesen & Angela Servi)

11:45 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Sara Guild, representing Congressman Sean Duffy  

11:55 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.   Pathways for Student Success Initiatives in Light of Changes in Governmental Landscapes at the State and Federal Levels (Presented by Thomas Downs & Jack O’Meara)                                                        

12:45 p.m. - 1:35 p.m.   Lunch/Networking

1:35 p.m. - 2:25 p.m.   Meeting Them Where They Are: Embedding Asset-Based Advising into Classroom Spaces at a Community College (Presented by Asif Wilson)                                                                              

2:25 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.   Changing Lives & Launching Careers! (Presented by Kimberly Bellum)                                            

3:15 p.m. – 4:05 p.m.   Nevada System of Higher Education

4:05 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.   Closing


DAY 2 – Wednesday, March 13

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.   Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.   Michael Brickman, Department of Post-Secondary Education                  

9:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.   The Connecticut College of Technology:  Educational Pathways to Success (Presented by Karen Wosczyna-Birch & Wendy Robicheau)  

10:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Break/Networking 

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.   Governor Tony Evers

10:45 a.m. - 11:35 a.m.   Great Lakes Completion Project (Presented by Shannon Livingston, Christine Munson, and Laura Litzer)

11:35 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.   How Do We Know Students are Successful? National Student Clearinghouse Data Approach (Presented by Ricardo Torres)

12:25 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.   Lunch/Networking

1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.   College Enrollment Trends in Wisconsin: A Review of the Data (Presented by Jacklyn Fischer, Ellie Bruecker, & Nicholas Hillman)

2:20 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.   Improving Completion through "Grass Roots" Alliances (Presented by Greg Summers & Carol Smith)

3:10 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  Closing


The cost of this two-day conference is $350, which includes daytime meals as well as an evening networking reception and dinner. Conference speakers who will be attending the entire SUCCESS Conference are extended a reduced registration fee of $150. 


We have secured the Jefferson Street Inn, 201 Jefferson St., Wausau, WI, for conference attendees, with a hotel room rate of $109 per night.  You may reserve a room by calling the hotel at (715) 845-6500 and referencing the SUCCESS 2019 conference. Rooms will fill quickly, so please make arrangements as soon as possible. 

Shuttle Transportation  

NTC will facilitate shuttle transportation to/from the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA), Jefferson Street Inn, and Northcentral Technical College for any attendees who need. Please make note of this on your registration form if you anticipate needing ground transportation (if you don't plan to drive or have a rental car).