The 90th Annual DEAC Conference
The 90th annual conference for the DEAC* was held in Washington D.C. from April 10-12, 2016. Senior leadership from California Coast University, including President Tom Neal, Executive Vice President Shelly Marquardt, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Murl Tucker, and Director of Compliance Christi Okuma, traveled to our nation’s capital to attend the conference.
Starting on Monday morning, the conference was packed with interesting and thought-provoking information. Highlights included a keynote speaker Ryan Craig who discussed some of the important changes occurring in the field of education today. There was a workshop on institutional research presented by a senior staff member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Presentations focused on best practices in course development and instructional design, how institutions can work effective with their accreditor, how to offer science education through distance education, and validating credit hours. There was a special celebratory lunch honoring the long time Assistant Executive Director, Sally Welch for her many years of service to the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. It was an opportunity to say hello to our old friend and a chance to wish Sally well, as she enjoys retirement. In the afternoon, we had a presentation on increasing retention and graduation rates through adaptive technologies.
Tuesday morning began with Travis Reindl, Senior Communications Officer for Postsecondary Success with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation moderating a panel of policy experts. The panel provided their professional insights into legislative developments, federal policies for higher education, new initiatives of the U.S. Department of Education. It was a very informative panel discussion. In the afternoon, there was a workshop on “disruptive innovation.” Dr. Andrew Sears, President of City Vision University took the concept of disruptive innovation theory, applied it to institutions of higher learning, and discussed how traditional education will have to evolve and adapt to emerging markets and how innovations have to take place related to distance education. Tuesday's luncheon focused on outstanding graduates and famous alumni of DEAC schools.
As the conference came to an end, California Coast University staff all agreed it was a highly informative, productive, and interesting few days. Moving forward, this information will be used to shape many of the policies and programs we offer at the University.
In addition to meeting with many of our professional colleagues in the distance education field, we had a chance to visit some of the amazing sites in our nation’s capital including: the various memorials on the National Mall, the White House, the Smithsonian, and a side trip to Arlington National Cemetery.
Thank you to the DEAC and Washington D.C. for a great trip!
*California Coast University is accredited by the DEAC. “Founded in 1926, the DEAC holds recognition by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation by DEAC covers all distance education activities within an institution and it provides a single source of nationally recognized accreditation…” – DEAC website. For additional information on the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, visit (www.deac.org).