League’s Virtual Learning Summit Focuses on a Culture of Caring, Connecting Student Learning and Basic Needs


The League’s virtual Learning Summit, October 25-27, 2021, focuses on students' basic needs as factors influencing access, learning, and success, and the exploration of innovative approaches to connecting students with the resources they need to improve retention to completion. Daily programs will include interactive presentations by experts and practitioners as well as time for teams to discuss topics in the context of their own institutions. Over the three days, sessions will focus specifically on Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating, Housing and Homelessness, Mental Health, and Unemployment and Financial Insecurity.

The virtual Learning Summit will begin at 9:00 a.m. Pacific/12:00 p.m. Eastern and end by 1:00 p.m. Pacific/4:00 p.m. Eastern each day. Click here to see the schedule.

Objectives include:

  1. Exploring student basic needs as an access and equity issue aligned with the community college access mission.
  2. Identifying options for helping students connect with services to meet basic needs, including food, housing, employment, and other personal and family needs.
  3. Identifying and exploring ways to overcome barriers to a comprehensive, ongoing cross-college program of student information and access around available services.
  4. Exploring ways to reduce stigma around seeking assistance for food and housing insecurity, unemployment and financial need, and other personal and family needs.
  5. Beginning or expanding conversations around cross-college collaboration (academic, student services, administrative) to facilitate basic needs/social justice across the curriculum.

Presenters include:

  • Diana Arredondo, Professor, Architecture, Southwestern College
  • Christine Baker-SmithExecutive Director, The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, Temple University
  • Suzanne Desjardin, Acting Vice President of Student Affairs, Pima Community College
  • Jim Jacobs, President Emeritus, Macomb Community College, and Research Affiliate, Community College Research Center, Columbia University
  • Jennifer Latino, Senior Director, Strategy and Planning, EAB
  • Amanda Latz, Associate Professor, Higher Education and Community College Leadership, Ball State University
  • Teresa Leyba Ruiz, President, Glendale Community College
  • Irene Lopez-Robles, Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Pima Community College
  • Emily Peck, Vice President, Student Services, West Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Carmen Shurtleff, Instructor, Sociology and Social Work, Northeast Texas Community College

The Learning Summit is a virtual working retreat for college teams to focus on improving and expanding learning at their institutions, and to accelerate progress on these efforts. The sessions provide presentations of various research and case studies in an online workshop environment. Participants interact in large group settings and college teams explore Summit topics in the context of their own institution. Each college team is strongly encouraged to identify a specific project or initiative that will be its focus during the Summit. For example, your team may decide to plan a new or emerging initiative, redesign or strengthen an existing program or project, or reinvigorate a postponed or stalled effort. Although the Learning Summit is designed as a team event, individual representatives from community colleges are welcome to participate.

Visit the Learning Summit website to learn more about and to register for this innovative, through-provoking professional development experience.