Welcome, Innovations presenters! The 20th annual Innovations Conference incorporates ideas and initiatives from five conference tracks into the broader goal of encouraging and facilitating student and organizational learning through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation. Your participation at Innovations 2018 represents your dedication to the future of education.

Presenter Agreement Form

All presenters must submit a Presenter Agreement Form to affirm their commitment to attending the conference, presenting their session(s), registering for the conference, and paying for registration. In order for a session to appear in the conference program, a Presenter Agreement Form must be submitted by the deadline; failure to meet this deadline will result in session(s) being removed from the program.

Conference Registration

All presenters are required to register for the conference and pay the registration fee. Those from League Board and Alliance institutions receive a registration discount. If you have registration questions, please contact Judy Greenfield at 480.705.8200, x200.

When you register and pay by credit card, you will receive an email invoice that serves as your receipt. If you select the “Pay by Check” option, the email invoice can be forwarded to your college’s business office for payment. You may also log onto our website with your username and password to access and/or pay open invoices in the My Account dropdown menu.

Neither honoraria nor expenses are provided to presenters.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that preclude presenter participation. Should this occur, we appreciate your help in minimizing the impact of such changes. If you find that you are unable to attend the conference, please email Robin Piccirilli as soon as possible. In the message, include your name, the title of your presentation, and the reason you are canceling.

Refunds minus a $100 cancellation fee will be issued after the conference for cancellations received in writing (e.g., email) by March 6, 2018. Conference registration fees for cancellations received after March 6, 2018, will not be refunded.

Conference Schedule

The 2018 Innovations conference will take place over 3.5 days starting at 8:30 AM on Sunday, March 18, and ending at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, March 21. The schedule provides a big picture view of all activities taking place at the conference.

Video Streaming Sessions

Special Sessions and Lightning Talks will be recorded for future delivery on iStream, the League's web-based, multimedia portal. All Special Session and Lightning Talk presenters will be notified and asked for their permission to record their session. No session will be recorded without written permission from all presenters involved in that session. For more information about iStream, contact Sherry Sklar.

Presentations on the Web

Presentation materials will be posted on the League’s website after the conference for presenters who provide their files. This is entirely optional. Presenters who want their files posted online should provide them to the Speaker Support desk upon arriving onsite or send them to Lee Anna Elmore after the conference (include session title, presenter name(s), and day/time of the presentation). Files will not be edited or changed and will be posted exactly as they are received.

Questions about your participation as a presenter at Innovations?

Contact Robin Piccirilli.

PLEASE NOTE: Presenters who need a laptop or tablet for their session(s) are required to bring their own. The League does not provide this equipment.

Special Sessions, Lightning Talks, and Forums

Special Sessions, Lightning Talks, and Forums are supported with wired high-speed Internet access, a video projector compatible with Windows and Mac platforms, a microphone, speakers, and a screen. Presenters who need a laptop or tablet for their session(s) are required to bring their own. The League does not provide this equipment or associated adapters.

Presenters are responsible for ensuring that presenter-provided equipment connects and functions with the equipment provided by conference organizers. Presenters assume full responsibility for the technical requirements of custom setups, as well as the security and operation of their own equipment.

Before arriving, presenters should ensure that their laptops have updated virus detection software and the latest software patches installed. Onsite, presenters who need technical assistance may contact League staff or the Technical/AV Support Team. The Technical/AV Support Team cannot provide laptops, tablets, adapters, specialized cabling, drivers, software, connectors, or other out of the ordinary items.

Poster Sessions and Roundtable Discussions

Please note that neither electricity nor an Internet connection are available for Poster Sessions or Roundtable Discussions. Poster Sessions and Roundtable Discussions cannot accommodate equipment other than a presenter-provided, battery-operated laptop. Flipcharts are available for Roundtable Discussions on a first come first serve basis.

To order additional equipment, contact William Trombino, AV Images, at 800.801.1500, x7406. Presenters may be responsible for expenses associated with additional equipment.

Questions about your participation as a presenter at Innovations?

Contact Robin Piccirilli.

Here are some helpful tips to assist you in preparing and delivering an effective presentation.

PowerPoint Tips

Keep the size of your audience in mind. Visuals that are not clearly legible to all participants are distracting and annoying. Remember that some participants will be in the back of the room.

Use fonts that are simple and easy-to-read. Generally, one font should be used throughout your presentation, with perhaps another used sparingly for special emphasis.

Keep your displayed message simple. Your presentation graphics should highlight the points you are making, not repeat them word for word.

Four to six colors are usually plenty to communicate your message. Of these, only one or two should be intense colors.

Black text on a white background is always the best visually, but is also a boring choice. Use colors that are easy on the eyes and always keep good contrast in mind so that conference participants do not have to strain to guess what is typed on a slide.

Presentation Tips

Plan your presentation well in advance. A good presentation requires careful planning and review.

You will lose your audience if your presentation does not address the issues described in your session description. One of the most common complaints heard from conference participants is that the session description provided in the Conference Program did not describe the actual presentation.

Rehearse your presentation in advance. A dry run of your presentation to knowledgeable individuals is the most successful method of preparation.

Be sensitive to your audience. Avoid distractions and potential offense by insensitivity to gender, sexual preference, race, and ethnicity.

Equipment failures are not uncommon, so be prepared to make your presentation without equipment support.

Your session will be 60 minutes long. Throughout the conference, there will only be 15 minutes in between sessions. Out of respect for those presenters who follow you, it is imperative that you begin and end your session on time.

Be prepared for questions and answer them directly. Try to anticipate the types of questions you may be asked. Repeat the question to make certain the entire audience has heard it before you begin to answer.

Be comfortable and poised. Good eye contact will help hold the audience's attention, as will a steady voice that emphasizes the variety and interest of your presentation. Your body movement should be conscious and deliberate. Avoid swaying and pacing. Remember, you do have something important to say and the audience wants to be supportive!

Questions about your participation as a presenter at Innovations?

Contact Robin Piccirilli.

Please note: Presenters who need a laptop or tablet for their forum, roundtable discussion, or poster session are required to bring their own. The League does not provide this equipment.


Forums are traditional one-hour breakout sessions that form the core of conference offerings. Forums are intended for an audience of approximately 50 people, and a maximum of three speakers is recommended. Presenters are expected to use active learning techniques to engage audiences, to distribute materials, and to respond to follow-up requests for more information. Lecture-only presentations are strongly discouraged.

Sample Forum Descriptions

Dealing With Change: Creating Successful Project Teams 
Project teams learn about a five-phase model for creative problem solving, project creation, and implication, including assessment and refining. Participants discover ways to enhance individual and team performance.

Mathematics, Computation, and Modeling for the Life Sciences
Presenters discuss systems biology, bioinformatics, chance and stochastics in biological processes, models for describing biological events, and biological rhythms in the mathematics curriculum.

Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable Discussions afford a personal and interactive setting for exploration of key issues related to each conference topic. Roundtables are particularly well suited for exploratory topics and topics that require small group interchange. Roundtable presenters are expected to facilitate substantive discussions or small group activities and to distribute handouts. Roundtables are aimed at audiences of 10, are limited to two presenters, and cannot accommodate equipment other than a laptop computer provided by the presenter(s).

Laptop computers will need to be battery operated, as Roundtables do not have access to power outlets. Roundtables also do not have access to an Internet connection.

Sample Roundtable Discussion Descriptions

The Road to Student Success: Blending Instruction and Support Services
San Jacinto College’s Student Success Center is a bridge between student services and instruction. Study the partnerships with faculty, staff, and administrators, and methods for blending instruction and support services.

NGA Study: Addressing Academic Weaknesses of Recent High School Graduates
This study examines methods to determine the need for developmental education and formulates strategies to address weaknesses before high school graduation. Review study results and progress on implementing recommendations.

Poster Sessions

Poster Sessions take the form of an exhibit and are delivered primarily through the use of graphs, diagrams, pictures, data, and narrative text on bulletin boards. Presenters must arrange for their own display materials. During their assigned time periods, participants informally discuss their presentations with conference participants by making brief remarks, sharing information, and answering questions about the presentation topic. Conference participants are free to move from one presentation to another during the Poster Session. Presenters are encouraged to have ample handout materials available for participants. The conference will provide a table and two chairs for each accepted Poster Session presentation.

No electrical support or Internet connections are available in the Poster Session area.

Sample Poster Session Descriptions

Customer Service in Higher Education: Is This an Oxymoron?
Columbus State Community College implemented a higher quality of service for its students and community members by combining high touch and low tech in a college call center environment.  

The Learning Organization as a Model for Lifelong Learning
Discover the five principles of the learning organization in Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline. Participants explore how students use the principles for continued lifelong professional learning.

The Innovations Conference incorporates ideas, initiatives, and inspirations from five vital topics into the broader conference goal of encouraging and facilitating student and organizational learning through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation. The conference features Special Sessions, Forums, Lightning Talks, Roundtable Discussions, and Poster Sessions for each topic, along with General Session Keynotes aimed at inspiring innovation and change in community college education.

Join the most energetic professionals in community colleges as they come together to showcase their model programs, share lessons learned, and look to the future by exploring innovations in (1) learning and teaching; (2) leadership and organization; (3) workforce preparation and development; (4) student success; and (5) basic skills and developmental education.

STEM-related proposals are invited for every topic.

Learning and Teaching

Community college professionals continue to develop new and innovative ways of approaching learning and teaching, many of which promote the learning-centered movement. This conference stream affords educators the opportunity to share their innovations with colleagues around the world. Classroom assessment and research, learning styles, learning communities, service learning, distance learning strategies, interactive computer-aided instruction, multimedia in the classroom, ethics in instruction, and critical-thinking skills development are only a few of the wide range of instructional strategies featured.

Leadership and Organization

Accountability mandates, fluctuating funding, demographic shifts, and the rapid pace of change continue to challenge community college administrators to explore innovative strategies for leadership and organization. Learning organizations, knowledge management, quality principles, liberation management, and leading from the soul are only a few of the techniques used today to meet community college leadership challenges. In this stream, the League invites colleagues committed to transforming their community colleges to share their leadership, organizational, and staff development programs, processes, and perspectives in an effort to help all community college leaders learn how to blend diverse innovations together to make a difference in community college education.

Workforce Preparation and Development

The League for Innovation's Workforce Initiative explores the many ways community colleges are meeting the workforce needs of their communities. In a continuing effort to further this initiative, this stream highlights the individual and collaborative work of community colleges, K-12 institutions, businesses, and government agencies in contract training, continuing education, tech-prep programs, school-to-work initiatives, work-based learning activities, business and industry training, integrated academic and technical learning models, college and career transitions, and community college and industry partnerships. Some of these initiatives include the exploration of e-learning in workforce training, as well as the certification of workplace skills.

Student Success

The diverse needs and backgrounds of community college students have challenged student services personnel to develop and implement some of the most innovative approaches to serving students in higher education. Exciting methods for tackling the challenges of recruiting, admissions, advising, assessment, accessibility, orientation, early warning systems, learning support systems, enrollment management, retention services, and counseling are featured in this stream. This stream also presents a wide array of student activity and leadership programs.

Basic Skills and Developmental Education

The increasing needs of community college students demand that basic skills educators develop new and innovative ways to help underprepared students become successful members of a community of learners. This stream showcases a variety of organizational and instructional strategies to improve basic skills and developmental education programs in community colleges, including placement testing, assertive advising, peer tutoring, targeted mentoring, support groups, technology tools, faculty training, and outcomes assessment. Innovations in high school equivalency programs, adult high school, developmental education, and other basic skills programs are also featured in this stream.