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Check out the sessions, breakout discussions, and a workshop jam-packed with trending higher education topics! 

Bonus! There is a track built for just about anyone:

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Student Success Symposium:
Focused on achieving student success initiatives

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Academic Track:
Focused on optimizing the
academic schedule

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Events Track:
Focused on best practices for
event scheduling 

10 - 10:15 a.m. ET

Opening Remarks with Ad Astra Founder and CEO 

Tom Shaver Founder and CEO,  Ad Astra

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

10:20 - 11 a.m. ET

Completion Promises Delivered

Martha Kanter, CEO, College Promise

Van Wilson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Experience and Strategic Initiatives, Virginia Community College System

Moderator: Scott Jaschik, CEO and Editor, Inside Higher Ed

The College Promise movement requires financial aid, but also access to pathways that work for today's students. Join a discussion about the importance of pathways-aligned course scheduling to deliver on the promise of on-time completion moderated by Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik with Martha Kanter, CEO of College Promise (former U.S. Under Secretary of Education for the Obama Administration) and Van Wilson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Experience and Strategic Initiatives, Virginia Community College System.  

Student Success Symposium
Session

Reimagining Scheduling

Laura Kelley, Vice President Solutions Strategy at Ad Astra

Learn how the Ad Astra apps- Align, Schedule, Monitor, Enrollment, and Pathways - provide opportunities to reimagine the way institutions have done scheduling in the past. "Roll-forward and tweak" scheduling has served the industry well. Still, we are ready to embark on a new way of scheduling that allows data to be at the fingertips of the decision-makers simplifying the inherent complexity. Imagine using your pathways and enrollment as a way to build out a cohesive, predictable schedule that provides for student and faculty needs.

Academic Track
Events Track
Session

11:05 - 11:35 a.m.  ET

Managing the Academic Enterprise and the Change Management that Goes Along with It!

Terry Brown, VP Academic Innovation and Transformation, AASCU

Lisa Hunter, VP of Education, Ad Astra

Moderator: Jacquelyn R. Jones, Senior Director of Frontier Set & Student Success Strategy, AASCU 

Listen in on a fireside chat between two former colleagues and academic administrators, Terry Brown and Lisa Hunter, who led multiple student success and financial health initiatives together. They will reflect on their work in managing the academic enterprise, how they brought faculty and other leaders alongside, and how it all came together.

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

11:40 a.m. - 12 p.m. ET

Product and Services Update

Charlie Stroble, Director of Product Experience, Ad Astra 

Get ready to learn about the latest and greatest Ad Astra solutions that help you better manage your academic enterprise. We've been hard at work creating powerful scheduling solutions that make it easier to understand course demand and increase collaboration to improve student success and financial sustainability. This is a session you won't want to miss!

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

12 - 1 p.m. ET

Break

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track

1 - 1:45 p.m. ET

Pathway Design and Delivery Through Scheduling: Opportunities and Gotchas

Nikolas Hout, Strategy Director, Complete College America

Higher Ed is devoting much time and effort to refine degree maps and pathways to support students. How do we ensure those pathways do not create unintended barriers that impact student progress and retention? Join the discussion that brings together perspectives from various lenses about aligning initiatives, people, and the data to make intentional design and delivery decisions. 

Student Success Symposium
Session

Eventually is Now: Re-imaging the Event Management Experience

Ryan Townsend, Founder and CEO, Hively

In this session, you’ll learn how you can benefit from Ad Astra’s new event management features, powered by Hively. 

Events Track
Session

Room Optimization Strategies to Improve your Academic Schedule 

Max Arb, Manager of Campus Operations, Osceola Campus at Valencia College

For over five years, Valencia College's Osceola Campus has matched a thousand courses with their classrooms. Learn how they do it and how you can too as Max Arb dives into: 

  • Eliminating room ownership 
  • Focusing faculty and course preferences 
  • Using pre and post-optimization strategies that support success for your academic schedules
Academic Track
Session

1:50 - 2:35 p.m. ET

Financial Health and Student Success: Two Sides of the Same Coin 

Jim Hundrieser, Vice President for Consulting Services, NACUBO

Jim Lynch, AVP for Learning and Academic Affairs, Mohawk Valley Community College 

Having insight into the fiscal and enrollment health of academic programs informs strategic investments and refinements that can prevent broad cuts. In this session, we will discuss the synergy between financial health and student success. Panelists will discuss real-world scenarios and strategies they implemented as a result of having this information in the hands of academic and enrollment stakeholders.

Student Success Symposium
Session

How to Streamline Your Academic and Event Schedule

Maria Saucedo, Business Analyst, North Dakota University System Office

Join Maria Saucedo from the North Dakota University System Office as she takes you through the ever-so-wonderful world of Astra Schedule. This session will introduce you to key academic and event scheduling features such as room optimization, section scheduling, calendars, and event request forms to help you streamline your campus schedule.

Academic Track
Events Track
Session

2:40 - 3:25 p.m. ET

Graduate More Students Faster and Sustain Student Success

John Barnshaw, Vice President of Research and Data, Ad Astra 

This session will challenge you to think differently about how we measure student success. Learn how to transform student success from a lagging indicator to a leading metric of progress, the structural factors that facilitate to inhibit student progress, and how to build a sustainable model of student success for the next normal. 

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

Events in a Changing Landscape 

So you're having events again, what changed? Come discuss how you're gathering together and scheduling events in a post-lockdown world.

Events Track
Roundtable

Academics in a Changing Landscape 

A lot has changed over the past 18 months. Come share with your peers what has worked and what hasn't as we navigate forward into the next normal. 

Academic Track
Roundtable

Conference Connections

Looking to expand your network? Join this roundtable to connect with other Aspire attendees to share best practices and tricks of the trade.  

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Roundtable

3:30 - 4 p.m. ET

Wrap-up Day One

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track

10 - 10:10 a.m. ET

Welcome Back to Day Two!

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

10:15 - 11 a.m. ET

Bringing It All Together: The Schedule As  a Tool of Equity

Karen Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream

Sarita Brown, Co-founder and President, Excelencia in Education

Tom Shaver, Founder and CEO, Ad Astra

The past year and a half has demonstrated the opportunities and challenges related to course access. Fundamentally, these issues are not just about student success but equity. The pathway to a credential of value relies on a schedule that can meet students' personalized needs. In this session, experts will share how we can disseminate best practices and leverage networks to achieve scale- creating not just equitable opportunity but equitable outcomes for today's students. 

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

The Future of Event Management, Powered by Hively

Ryan Townsend, Found and CEO, Hively

Come chat with Hively to grow your knowledge about upcoming event management capabilities. This is your opportunity to share your experiences and features you want to see in the new tool. 

Events Track
Session

11:05 - 11:55 a.m.  ET

Navigating the Next Normal: Unlocking Postsecondary Value and Student Success

Christopher Marsicano, Ph.D., Co-Director/Assistant Professor, College Crisis Initiative/ Davidson College

Havidan Rodriguez, Ph.D., President, University of Albany

Amelia Parnell, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Policy, NASPA

Jonathan Turk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University

Moderator: John Barnshaw, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Data Science, Ad Astra

As higher education begins to navigate "the next normal", student success must lie at the heart of that reality. Learn from a panel of diverse experts on the activities they are undertaking to foster and maintain a culture of student success, and glean insights that you can implement at your institution to better demonstrate the value of higher education to students, the public, and broader communities. 

Student Success Symposium
Session

Ad Astra Product Overview

Charlie Stroble, Director of Product Experience, Ad Astra

We’re excited to share with you an overview of our new products and enhancements to your favorite Ad Astra Apps. Let’s discuss how Ad Astra’s products help you Manage your Academic Enterprise now and into the future.

Academic Track
Events Track
Session

Modality: What's Working, What's Not, and Planning for the Future

What does modality look like in "the next normal"? Connect with your peers to share what has worked, gain insight on what hasn't, and strategize on best practices to take back to your team.  

Academic Track
Roundtable

Managing the Academic Enterprise Workshop

Lisa Hunter, Vice President, Education, Ad Astra

Laura Kelley, Vice President, Solutions Strategy

As institutions navigate the uncertainty of fluctuating enrollments and constrained budgets, achieving institutional equilibrium between the appropriate amount of curricular choice and the ongoing sustainability of academic programs requires careful planning and execution. Academic leaders must be asking the right questions and using the right data to inform their decisions. In this highly interactive workshop, participants will learn how to optimize their academic operations, analyze and refine curricular pathways, effectively build course schedules aligned to student need, and contain instructional cost. 

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Workshop

12 - 12:30 p.m. ET

Event Request and Workflow Roundtable

Come chat with other event professionals to share success stories and ideas on how you can use Ad Astra event request forms and workflows to improve your event experience. 

Events Track
Roundtable

Managing the Academic Enterprise Workshop (Continued)

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Workshop

12:30 - 1 p.m. ET

Break

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track

1 - 1:45 p.m. ET

Leadership and the Academic Schedule

Susan English, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Virginia Community College System

Stacey Moore, President, York Technical College

Ricky Tompkins, Vice President for Learning and Chief Academic Officer, NorthWest Arkansas Community College 

Moderator: Tom Shaver, Founder and CEO, Ad Astra 

The academic schedule is a critical factor in improving student success and effectively and efficiently managing the academic enterprise. Yet, it is often overlooked in high-priority conversations as a tool to drive institutional outcomes. Join this panel of higher education leaders to discuss why student-centric schedules and pathways have become a priority and how they increase student success.  

Student Success Symposium
Session

Building Event Request Forms and Keeping Your Sanity

Vicky Bond, Director, Scheduling & Conference Services, the University of Texas at Tyler

Are you tired of getting multiple emails, texts, phone calls, or work orders regarding an event? Don your hard hat and join the University of Texas at Tyler as they demonstrate how to build event request forms that drastically reduce the number of questions, lessening confusion for everyone involved. 

Events Track
Session

Monitoring Students' Needs from the Press of a Button

Jill Loveless, Provost/ VP of Academic Affairs, West Virginia Northern Community College 

Busy administrators can stay on top of registration and student demand with the press of a button. By streamlining interdepartmental communication and processes, institutions can observe real-time changes that improve enrollment and accessibility of their courses. Join this session to learn how easy it is to optimize course scheduling during open registration. 

Academic Track
Session

Product Showcase: Managing the Academic Schedule Roundtable

Product Experience Team, Ad Astra

If you are an academic scheduler, you need visibility into space, instructors, calendaring, and more. Come discuss your institution's processes and share your experience to impact the future of scheduling in Ad Astra. 

This session has limited capacity. To be considered for future product feedback opportunities, be sure to join our User Panel

Product Showcase
Roundtable

1:50 - 2:35 p.m. ET

Driving Equitable Degree Completion through Strategic Scheduling

Juan Garcia, Associate Vice President of Student Success, Texas A&M International University

Scott Sawyer, University Registrar, University of Houston

Moderator: Caleb Tegtmeier, Strategic Consultant and Data Analyst, Ad Astra 

In this session, you will hear from two universities about the strategic analysis that lead to targeted strategies around pathway design, course planning, and scheduling that focus on optimizing the path to completion for all student equally. These Texas institutions will discuss external factors that have accelerated intentional efforts to retain and improve outcomes for their large minority student populations.  

Student Success Symposium
Session

How to Effectively Manage Events

Mark Hendrix, University Events Scheduling Coordinator, Northwest Missouri State University

See Northwest Missouri State University's event scheduling process in Astra Schedule. Event Scheduling Coordinator Mark Hendrix will walk you through new tips and tricks. Gain insight into novel ways to use event types, customers and contacts, and outdoor spaces. 

Events Track
Session

2:40 - 3:25 p.m. ET

The Importance of Structures

Laurie Fladd, Director of Holistic Student Supports, Achieving the Dream

Laura Kelley, Vice President, Solution Strategy, Ad Astra

Shortened terms, annual scheduling, modality management, and pathway scheduling are all examples of structures that improve the student experience, persistence, and outcomes if designed with thoughtful intentionality. Join Ad Astra and Achieving the Dream to learn more about best practices for implementing student-friendly structures around delivering your curriculum. 

Student Success Symposium
Session

Conference Connections

Looking to expand your network? Join this roundtable to connect with other Aspire attendees to share best practices and tricks of the trade.  

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Roundtable

Product Showcase: Planning the Academic Schedule Roundtable

Product Experience Team, Ad Astra

The scheduling cycle is complex. Chat with your peers and Ad Astra to influence future functionality that could impact your institution's strategy to manage the schedule creation process- pathways, course offered, collaboration, planning processes, and more. 

This session has limited capacity. To be considered for future product feedback opportunities, be sure to join our User Panel

Product Showcase
Roundtable

3:30 - 3:45 p.m. ET

Closing Remarks  

Student Success Symposium
Academic Track
Events Track
Session

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