Conferences & Training
Conference for Community College Grant Professionals: Navigating the Future

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 1, Wednesday, Nov. 1

NOON-4:30 PM

Preconference Sessions

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Strategically Redesigning Your Grant Department for Maximum Productivity
    Learn how Lone Star College (LSC) redesigned its Resource Development and Administration Department to improve its grant success rate, grant processes and accountability mechanisms. The redesigned department better aligns with LSC strategic goals and has stronger institutional support. Participants will come away with specific strategies for building or redesigning a grant department and tangible examples of grant tools to use in the process.
    Rand Key, Chief Executive Officer, Lone Star College System Office at University Park; and Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Director, Resource Development and Administration, Lone Star College
  • Prior Experience Points: Who Needs Them? A Practical Guide to Winning a New TRIO Grant Award
    Attend a TRIO grant program technical assistance workshop and you will invariably hear an attendee's question related to the "unfair" prior experience points. How can an institution breach what seems to be an insurmountable barrier in order to receive a "new" award? How can an institution earn every possible point available in a competition so that you can keep a long-time project? This session looks at how to plan, construct and submit competitive TRIO grant proposals, including a compelling statement of need, a realistic plan of operation, an effective and efficient budget and evaluation components.
    Deborah Douma, Dean, Institutional Effectiveness and Grants, Pensacola State College
  • Ballroom Dancing in a Minefield: Creating an Agile and Resilient Organization
    Ours is a turbulent, complex, data-rich and dynamic world and community colleges are in the center of it. Today's success can become a liability overnight. Creating a resilient organization that can simultaneously deliver excellent performance while adapting to the roiling change surrounding it is key to sustainability. Consider the essential elements of resilience tied to the community college mission and explore adaptive/performance-oriented organizational characteristics. Participants will leave with critical questions—but probably not answers—to guide the transformation of colleges from robust but fragile to a forward looking, self-correcting entity that responds immediately, thoroughly and constructively to challenges and unforeseen change.
    Mary Brumbach, Chief Strategy Officer, Dallas County Community College District

Opening Key Session
The inaugural conference will begin with a keynote address that effectively describes the landscape for community colleges, especially in reference to crucial student success strategies, and helps grant professionals in understanding how valuable their contributions are in the current legislative and budgetary environment.
Karen Stout, President and Chief Executive Officer, Achieving the Dream, Inc.

Welcome Reception

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Day 2, Thursday, Nov. 2

7:00-8:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Federal Agency Session
    U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce Development
    Cheryl Martin, Program Officer
  • Case Study: Panel Presentation On How to Develop Integrated and Competitive S-STEM Grants
    STEM grant opportunities for community colleges are numerous; determining the best strategy and type of grant initiatives that can best support a collective and integrated approach to supporting STEM efforts in community colleges, can be the challenge. With more and more community colleges offering STEM degree programs and certifications, there is a growing demand to strengthen interest and opportunities for underrepresented populations including Hispanic students and women.

    At Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, Calif., collaborative efforts between the two-year college, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly State University have led to more than $8.8M in successfully funded STEM grant funding. Sustainable funding from NSF and ED have supported more than 400 underrepresented students in completing a two-year community college degree and leading to the successful transfer to four-year college-creating strong STEM pathways leading to well-paying jobs in a predominately agricultural region with fewer STEM opportunities than urban areas and with an opportunity for growth over the next two decades.
    Dom Dal Bello, Faculty, STEM PI/Co-PI, UC Santa Barbara; Cheryl Dettrick, Interim Director, Institutional Grants and Principal Consultant Resource Development Services, Allan Hancock College; Mario Castellanos, Executive Director Office of Education Partnerships, UC Santa Barbara; and Jane Lehr, Faculty Director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation (LSAMP) in STEM Program, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Developing an Evaluation Proposal: Getting It Right from Step One
    Developing an evaluation design can be challenging. But with a solid foundation to build upon, a strong evaluation plan that provides valuable information for program improvement (and impresses reviewers) is within reach. Identify several resources that can help build the solid foundation including resources for assessing how to match your design to the maturity level and focus of your study, for developing a theory of change and logic model, and for developing a framework for assessing implementation fidelity. Participants are expected to learn important fundamentals for approaching evaluation design development and for laying out a strategy for assessing formative accomplishments.
    Joy Frechtling, Vice President, Westat; and Jill Feldman, Senior Study Director, Westat

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Federal Funding Task Force Debrief
    Annually, over 65 volunteers come to Washington to obtain updated information on Federal funding and other opportunities available to two-year colleges. The Federal Funding Task Force visits over 30 federal agencies and/or departments/offices within these agencies to gather information needed to produce the Federal Funding to Two year College report available in a wiki format to all CASE members. Members from the 2017 task force will present a panel discussion of information gleaned from this year's visits. This year's task force is led by Chair Michelle A. Alexander, Director of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director, Vernon College Foundation, and Vice Chair Melissa Rupp, Director of Grants Development and Administration, Northwest State Community College.
    Michelle Alexander, Director of Institutional Advancement/Executive Director Vernon College Foundation, Vernon College; and Melissa Rupp, Director of Grants Development and Administration, Northwest State Community College
  • How to Diversify and Fund College Operations Through a College/Foundation Partnership
    In 2016, Los Angeles City College Foundation was the recipient of the single largest gift endowment ever awarded to a community college in Southern California; it manages several highly successful commercial ventures, and has active alumni and corporate/foundation relations offices. Through its development efforts, LACC Foundation serves as the primary champion of the college by building partnerships for the purpose of boosting enrollment and visibility, and raising funds for existing programs, college needs and LACC's students. During the 2015-2016 academic year, the foundation provided $1M to LACC's students and the campus, and added nearly $12.1M to its net assets in 2016. Learn strategies and ideas used to achieve such a relationship.
    Martha Pelayo, Director, Corporation and Foundation Relations; and Robert Schwartz, Executive Director, Los Angeles City College Foundation
  • How to Find Data and Use It Effectively
    Need to include data in your proposal but don't know where to start? Have data but don't know what to do with it? This session covers the steps to finding, acquiring, cleaning and displaying data for use in grant proposals. Participants will leave with an expanded list of local, regional and national data sources, a number of visualization methods, and an understanding of tools to display information visually.
    Samantha Dana, Director of Grants Research and Evaluation, Springfield Technical Community College

11:00 AM-12:15 PM
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Federal Agency Session
    Panel Discussion on Bridges to Baccalaureate/Doctorate Programs
    Mercedes Rubio and Patrick Johnson, National Institute of General Medical Sciences/National Institutes of Health; and James Hicks, National Science Foundation, Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP),
  • Community College Executive Leadership Panel on Grants
    Listen as a panel of community college presidents and chancellors share insights on the role grants play in their institutions' overall resource development strategy, how they nurture an environment that is conducive to successful grant development, and the challenges they have faced in creating and sustaining a grants culture at their institutions.
    Rand Key, Chief Executive Officer, Lone Star College System Office at University Park; Nancy Nuess, Associate Senior Vice President of Advancement and Community Engagement, Montgomery College; and Joseph M. Sopcich, President, Johnson County Community College
    Facilitated by: Anthony Funari, Grants Professional, Johnson County Community College
  • How to Prepare for and Facilitate Audits or Desk Reviews
    Audits are an eventual consequence of receiving grant money. A team can build a mindset of compliance from development, through award, and finally to close-out. Embracing the notion that every step in the grant process has to move you toward being “audit-ready,” is paramount to future success in the new era of grant accountability. Institutional leadership support of this notion is a key component of success in building this mindset.

    Attitude has everything to do with audits. If you understand that no one person is perfect, then you will be open to accept constructive criticism and use it to your advantage in the next audit. Audits are not events to be dreaded. Some auditors can make your life difficult, but the secret for a grant office is to anticipate and plan for an in-depth review. Often well-prepared offices are rewarded with abbreviated audits or cancelled visits. Join this session and learn how to prepare for and facilitate an audit.
    Michael Moore, Director, Office of Grants Management, San Jacinto Community College District

Lunch On Your Own

NSF Grants Why Community Colleges Often Fail
Over the past 18 years, community colleges have found favor with NSF, and the agency created a division exclusively for two-year institutions: Advanced Technological Education or ATE. But what about the other NSF programs for undergraduate students? Why don't more community colleges secure TUES, RISE and other NSF grants? It is clear that community colleges do not compete well against four-year colleges and universities, even though the some NSF programs seek to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for all undergraduate students? In this session, the presenter will compare community college NSF proposals to four year institutions' NSF proposals on similar topics.
Mary Ann Amelang, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, College of the Mainland

Funder Resource Room
Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know program officers and discuss some potential grant ideas with them. Meet and dialogue one-to-one or in small groups with program officers who will be available to answer questions and discuss their agencies'/funders' various grant programs. Agencies and funders include:

  • National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education, V. Celeste Carter (12:45-1:45 PM)
  • National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical, Bridges to the Baccalaureate /Bridges to the Doctorate Programs, Mercedes Rubio and Patrick Brown
  • National Science Foundation, Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program, A James Hicks and Martha James
  • National Science Foundation, Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, Sandra Richardson, Program Officer (12:45-1:45 PM)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Education Programs, Julia Nguyen (2:30-4:45 PM)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency, C. Gary Rogers
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), Erin Rogers
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Student Services Division, TRIO Programs, Tanisha Hamblin-Johnson, Lavelle Wright, Suzanne Ulmer, Mose Cartier, and Mary Dominguez

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Federal Agency Session
    V. Celeste Carter, Program Director, National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education: National Science Foundation Opportunities for Community College
  • Community Colleges National Initiatives Panel Discussion
    Featuring representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and Achieving the Dream, this panel discussion will provide a high-level overview of nation-wide initiatives in higher education and how community colleges can become involved.
    Patrick Allison-Rossol, Senior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Karen Stout, President and CEO, Achieving the Dream, Inc.; and Keith Wytham, Deputy Director, Aspen Institute

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • The Nature of Nurture: Cultivating and Sustaining a Foundation Relationship
    Using the example of renewing a grant with a small New York-based family foundation, this presentation will consider ways to manage a strong relationship with a foundation. The session will examine Guttman's grant funding process with this foundation, the challenges of renewing the grant, and the lessons learned along the way. The presentation will conclude with tips on best ways to sustain a successful foundation relationship. Attendees will be encouraged to share their experiences and perspectives for a lively and informative discussion.
    Bruce Lyons, Director of Foundation Relations and Communications, Guttman Community College/The City University of New York
  • Federal Agency Session
    Jason Cottrell, Research Analyst, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education; and Nalini Lamba-Nieves, SIP Program Lead, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • What Really Happens in that Little Room? How to Improve Proposal Scores and Respond in the Event of Denied Proposal
    The uniform guidance has affected how federal agencies and pass-through entities review applicants and their proposals. Federal agencies, and to some extent, pass-through entities, must assess applicant risk and integrity in addition to the merit review of the proposal. There are protocols in place for reviewing applicants and their proposals, but what happens if a proposal is denied? What are the options open to applicants and what steps, if any, should be taken by an applicant organization in the event a proposal is denied? Develop an understanding of the federal peer review process and the uniform guidance, explore definite no-no's to avoid and tips to use to improve proposal scores, raise awareness of four applicant rights: selection of reviewers, review comments, resubmission, and appeal, and recognize the risks and benefits when engaging Congressional representatives.
    Karen Norris, Principal and Subject Matter Expert, K4rnoco - A Karen Norris Company
  • Backing into Grant Project Design, or How I Learned to Parallel Park in the Grants World
    Linking grants management to grants development is a bit like learning to drive a car. Grantees need to learn the rules of the road, put the wheels in motion, parallel park in sometimes awkward spaces, and think fourth-dimensionally. Identify issues of grants compliance informing grants development, review steps for designing a thorough compliance process, understand whether or not project goals are being met and explore ways to assure funder satisfaction with work being done to assure eligibility for future requests.
    Christopher McRoberts, Grants Compliance Officer; and Nancy Smith, Director, Grants Development, Community College of Baltimore County
  • Roundtables
    Enjoy an informal, discussion-oriented networking opportunity. There will be three rotations of 20 minutes each. Select a topic of interest, and the presenter and attendees will engage in learning and discussion about the selected topic. At the end of the 20 minutes, a signal will indicate it is time to move to another table of interest to begin this sharing/discussion process again on an additional topic for the duration of the session.
      • Roundtable: Just the Facts, Ma'am: What Works Clearinghouse Standards for Evidence and Evaluation
        The Department of Education's grant applications have increasingly relied on research-based practices and research-driven evaluations. This roundtable presents the basic standards of the What Works Clearinghouse (general and postsecondary-specific) and points to resources for further information. Participants will leave with a clearer understanding of what to look for in supporting evidence and what to include in evaluations to meet these criteria.
        Samantha Dana, Director of Grants Research and Evaluation, Springfield Technical Community College,/p>
      • Roundtable: The Ins and Outs of an NSF S-STEM Proposal
        The National Science Foundation Scholarships for STEM (S-STEM) students is a highly competitive grant program that provides scholarship support to students in STEM majors. Overall, the S-STEM program is a way for NSF to learn more about what works and what does not for helping community college students succeed as STEM majors. The key to a successful proposal is putting together a research project to help NSF understand how community colleges can best serve our students. This discussion covers some effective strategies for putting together a competitive proposal, for developing a research plan, for formulating appropriate objectives, and for outlining evaluation and management plans.
        Anthony Funari, Grants Professional, Johnson County Community College
      • Roundtable: Using an External Evaluator to Improve Project Outcomes and Compliance
        Independent external evaluators typically assist institutions to document activities and outcomes. But an evaluator can also partner with the college or university to offer salient recommendations for improvement, provide context for similar challenges overcome by other institutions, assist with compliance and reporting, and provide technical assistance. This focused discussion explores institutions' needs and expectations of external evaluation. Participants should expect to identify the needed services unique to their institutions and proposals in the design of evaluation plans and selection of evaluators.
        Mike Gaudette, President, Lighthouse Consulting, Inc.
      • Roundtable: The Impact of Data in Grants: Deciding What Data to Use and Finding Where to Get It
        Higher education revolves around accountability, performance monitoring and high-impact practices. How can you use performance indicators and key data points connected to college strategies to tell funding agencies your story? What role does data play in grant applications? This session provides an overview of the many options for data points, what to consider when choosing data points for your projects, and strategies to increase your knowledge and awareness of the impact that data can have on your resource development work. Participants will walk away with ideas and a tool box of data point ideas and resources to consider when working on projects.
        Karla Zahn, Director of Advancement, Lakeshore Technical College
      • Roundtable: Securing Department of Education Funding: Lessons Learned from a Community College
        Lone Star College has a long history of securing highly competitive funding from the U.S. Dept. of Education, such as HSI STEM, Title V, and various TRIO grants. This roundtable session will share tools and focus on how the LSC grant development team leverages lessons learned from both funded and unfunded grant efforts to serve six community colleges with various demographics and needs.
        Cyndi Drummond, Director, Grant Development, Lone Star College
      • Roundtable: Benchmarking Community College Grant Offices
        This session will present key findings from the 2017 CASE Community College Grant Office Benchmarking Survey as well as highlights from several other similar surveys.
        Judith Larsen, Director, Grants and Resource Development, Grand Rapids Community College; Nancy Nuell, Associate Senior Vice President of Advancement and Community Engagement, Montgomery College; and Marc Westenburg, Director, Center for Community College Advancement, CASE
      • Roundtable: Compliance Matters: Strategies for Internal Evaluation and Compliance
        Whether your institution is active in applying for grants or just beginning, the information from this discussion will be valuable as you move forward. Participants will benefit from information on topics such as incorporating compliance into grant applications, the role the grants office plays in compliance, how post-award activities are handled, and how those involved with grants coordinate with other institutional departments to ensure compliance. Review best practices learned through working with multiple colleges throughout the United States.
        Sharla Trimm, Manager, Grants Services, Ellucian; and Laquetta Peters, Senior Grants Specialist, Ellucian

Dinner On Your Own

Walking Tour of National Monuments
Enjoy a narrated, guided night-time walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall to experience iconic landmarks and monuments. Sights include the White House, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the Washington Monument and other fascinating sites. This walking tour is a loop and there are many points to jump out if you are short of time or energy.

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Day 3, Friday, Nov. 3

7:00-8:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Federal Agency Session
    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Noel Kyle, Cybersecurity Education Awareness (Cross-Cutting Initiatives with NSF)
  • Building a Culture of Faculty Engagement
    This panel will discuss the benefits of, and ways to, engage community college faculty in grant projects. The following topics will be explored:
    • General resistance/trepidation to pursuing/implementing grant-funded projects
    • Benefits of both the grant development and project implementation for faculty
    • How to reach out to faculty to become interested in grants
    • Where can grant ideas come from?
    • Helping the faculty to understand an RFP and reporting/compliance
    • Helping the faculty to know that there are smaller grants available for them
    • Importance of a grants office for faculty

    Anthony Funari, Grants Professional, Johnson County Community College; Heather Layton, Director of Grant Development, Mount Wachusett Community College; Debra Poese, Faculty, Montgomery College; and Susan Weeks, Grant Development Officer, College of the Mainland

  • Using Strategic Planning Tactics in Developing Your Grants Program
    Best practice tells us that the successful grant development office aligns its work with the institution's strategic plan. What would happen if the practices and tactics that are used commonly in strategic planning were applied to developing an annual and multiyear grant development program? Learn how to use informed data and information to develop a planning road map, identify your stakeholders and mandates, and scan the internal and external environment to develop a strategic vision and implementation plan for your own department. Participants will receive a tool kit of resources to use and adapt, along with a strategic planning primer to guide their work.
    Joseph Stiso, Vice President for Planning, Development and Institutional Research, Mount Wachusett Community College

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Funder Roundtables
    Participants will have an opportunity to visit up to three separate 20-minute roundtable sessions from various funders during this time period:
    • National Education Association Foundation, Jesse Graystock, Program Manager
    • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Division of Education Programs, Julia Nguyen, Senior Program Officer
    • U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Systems and Carrer Planning Tools Unit, Donald Houghton, Director
    • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs, David Levin, Senior Program Manager
    • U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Noel Kyle, Program Manager
    • National Science Foundation, Division of Undergraduate Education, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE), Abiodum Illumoka, Program Director
  • A Road Map for Grant Development: Tips of the Trade to Help You Plan Consortium or Single College Projects
    The Wisconsin Technical College System is home to the Presidents' Statewide Grants Association, recipients of three statewide consortium TAACCCT grants totaling $60M. This group of 16+ professionals meets quarterly to network and develop projects. Learn how they capitalize on their varied expertise and relationships to develop successful proposals for consortium projects involving from two to 16 colleges, as well as how they help each other compete for limited state grant resources.
    Kelly Haverkampf, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Staff Development, Nicolet College; Patti Saunders, Grants Specialist, Lakeshore Technical College; and Karla Zahn, Director of Advancement, Lakeshore Technical College
  • How to Successfully Collaborate Across Your College to Impact Innovation and Transformation through Grants
    Grants can make a significant impact on the college and the students it serves especially when it involves individuals across the college's different departments. Through collaboration grants can become richer and gain more momentum, while being easier to implement and potentially transform the college. Planning for a cross-collaborative grant may require additional steps than traditional grant planning. These two presenters developed a white paper, Planning Transformational Change for Student Success in Higher Education, as an outcome from a grant which planned for transformational change and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Using the white paper as one of the tools, this session will provide participants with details on how to collaborate with individuals from multiple departments on grants, including tips, successful examples, and lessons learned.
    Catherine Crary, Coordinator, Grants, Rio Salado College; and Xaxiri Yamane, Grants Development Specialist, Rio Salado College

11:15 AM-12:30 PM
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Federal Agency Session
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, Suresh Sureshwaran, Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Developing Innovative National Science Foundation-Advanced Technological Education Grants: Ideas Through Implementation
    Critical to the success of NSF-ATE grants is faculty involvement. Learn how, working with the grants office, a faculty member can take a spark of an idea and transform it into a fundable proposal. Discuss reviewing/referencing existing or past work related to the proposal, as well fleshing out goals, objectives, activities, collaborators/partners, deliverables and success metrics. Presenters share a budget template and discuss the iterative development of a budget that aligns with the project goals, objectives and activities. Examine the required elements of "Intellectual Merit" and "Broader Impact" and identify strategies to ensure that the proposal properly addresses these two requirements.
    Laura Qaissaunee, Director, Grants and Institutional Development; and Michael Qaissaunee, Faculty, Brookdale Community College
  • Catching Up with Capitol Hill: A Federal Legislative Update
    Join the American Association of Community Colleges for a briefing on recent legislative activity and an update on the issues that matter most to community colleges.
    Jim Hermes, Director of Government Relations, American Association of Community Colleges

Conference Adjourns

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