Press release: Pathways conference attracts national audience

by OCCRL / Jan 30, 2014

(Champaign, Ill.) – A conference focused on building, evaluating and improving pathways to achieve equitable outcomes expects more than 200 attendees and speakers from across the country.

The fourth annual Scaling Up Pathways to Results 2014 conference will be held in Champaign at the I Hotel and Conference Center on March 5, 2014. The conference features a keynote by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Marcy Drummond, a lead senior program officer for postsecondary success, who will speak about structuring flexible pathways for mobile learners and diverse learning environments.

The conference is sponsored by the Office of Community College Research and Leadership and the Pathways Resource Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. OCCRL works with colleges to implement Pathways to Results, which is an equity- and outcomes-focused continuous improvement process to improve student transitions to college and careers.

The process empowers partners–schools, community colleges, universities, employers, community groups, and others–to improve pathway programs of study and produce equitable student outcomes. The Pathways Resource Center works with Illinois school districts that are participating in the federal Race to the Top grant obtained through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Debra Bragg, higher education professor and OCCRL director, said the conference will focus on many forms of pathways.

“We are very pleased to have speakers from throughout the country who will present research and information about pathways to and through education and employment that are closing equity gaps for students historically underserved by P-20 educational systems,” Bragg said.

Breakout session topics include secondary to postsecondary transitions, evaluation and benchmarking, and career pathway policies and practices. Speakers hail from across the country including the states of Illinois, Washington, Arkansas, Florida and Nevada.

Photo: Marcy Drummond from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.