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2019 NSPA Conference Guide: 14 Must-See Sessions for College Success Programs

2019 NSPA Conference Guide: 14 Must-See Sessions for College Success Programs

Planning to attend the annual conference of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA) in Minneapolis, October 1-3?

The conference brings together nearly 600 attendees representing organizations throughout the scholarship landscape. This year, the conference will explore our collective role in expanding access to higher education, supporting students through college, and positively impacting communities and society as a whole.

We developed this guide to highlight the top sessions at the 2019 conference on the topic of college success, offering inspiration and practical tips for programs supporting students along the college journey.

Even so, the whole agenda is overloaded with brilliant presenters and fantastic sessions, so make sure you take a look at the full schedule too! And when you’re between sessions, don’t forget to come visit the GradSnapp team on the exhibitor floor.

See you in Minneapolis!

 

More than Money: Supporting Students through Persistence Challenges

 

Monday, September 30 | Pre-Conference

11:30 AM: Adopting a Holistic Mental Health Scholarship Program Culture – What Providers Can Do

Presenter: Dr. Kristen Lee, Lead Faculty for Behavioral Science at Northeastern University

Location: Rochester

There’s a growing need for mental health and emotional support services for college students, with rates of anxiety and depression on the rise. Dr. Lee will be offering practical tips on how to take action and support students through these struggles.

 

Wednesday, October 2

8:30 AM: General Session: Reaching Excellence and Equity: Understanding and Supporting Underprivileged Students

Presenter: Anthony Jack, Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard University and Author of The Privileged Poor

Location: Minneapolis Ballroom

We couldn’t be more excited to see Anthony Jack after all the buzz around his recently published book, The Privileged Poor, which explores the unique challenges facing disadvantaged students on campus. Even with financial and academic support, what are the cultural and personal struggles that can impact a student’s success in college?

 

Wednesday, October 2

9:45 AM: The Lifecycle of a Scholar: Supporting Students From Matriculation Through Graduation

Presenters:

Johnna Hargens-Brown, Director, Scholarships & Grants at Bellevue University

Chelsea Scoffone, Associate Director, Georgia Institute of Technology

Jamie Williams, Director of Scholarships, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Location: Salon E

How can scholarship providers better nurture professionalism and leadership in their students, all while helping them balance the financial and academic challenges of college? In this session, hear from universities and private foundations about their own experiences providing this type of support, and walk away with practical tips to nurture your own students’ development.

 

Wednesday, October 2

9:45 AM: Ignite Session: Elevating Diverse Students

Location: Conrad A

This presentation will explore the unique aspects of the college experience for different student populations, helping advisors to tailor support strategies accordingly. Caitlin Cardinal and Melissa Burwell of Wallin Education Partners will offer insight into the journey of first-generation college students, while LaTrena Artist and Alexis Crewse from Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund will take a look at the experience of female students.

 

Wednesday, October 2

3:00 PM: More Than Just the Money – Supporting Scholars Beyond the Dollars

Presenters:

LaTrena Artist, Scholarship Program Director at Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Alexis Crewse, Development and Marketing Director Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Carolyn Bailey, Assistant Director of Programs, Loran Scholars Foundation

Location: Rochester

While easing the financial burden can make college a reality for so many deserving students, there are many other factors that can impact a student’s journey to graduation day. In this session, hear from the Jeannette Rankin Foundation and Loran Scholars Foundation about strategies they have implemented to help students stay on track.

 

Wednesday, October 2

3:00 PM: Getting Students to the Finish Line: Beginning to End Support

Presenters:

Vicent Fedorko, Student at Webster University

Cindy Freeman, Senior Manager, Learning & Development at Scholarship America

Ana Leyva, Student at Minnesota State University – Mankato

Amy Robinson, Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy at Scholarship America

Erin Vogel, Awards & Alumni Manager at Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars

Location: Salon G

As we like to say at GradSnapp, acceptance letters are great, but diplomas are even better. Our friends at Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars and Scholarship America will share their approaches to student support while offering sample tools and resources you can bring to your own student success initiatives.

 

Dollars & Cents: Helping Students Navigate Financial Challenges

 

Tuesday, October 1

11:00 AM: Mitigating Scholarship Award Displacement through Collaboration and Advocacy

Presenters:

Sharon Beers, Outside Scholarships and Study Abroad Manager, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Nadja Jepsen, Financial Programs and Scholarships Director, College Track

Michele Waxman Johnson, Vice President at Central Scholarship

Location: Salon F

When supporting students from low-income backgrounds, it can be gut-wrenching to see often sorely-needed financial aid displaced by scholarship funds. Join this session to learn how best to support students to keep more of their financial aid and avoid being penalized by hard-earned scholarship dollars.

 

Tuesday, October 1

1:30 PM: How to Appeal for More College Financial Aid

Presenter: Mark Kantrowitz, Publisher and VP of Research, Savingforcollege.com

Location: Conrad C

When it comes to succeeding in college, figuring out how to pay for it all is a huge factor. Even for students receiving robust scholarship funds, a financial emergency can throw a wrench into careful financial planning. Hear from Mark Kantrowitz about how to guide students through the process of appealing for more financial aid.

 

Tuesday, October 1

3:30 PM: Supporting Students through College Choice and Financial Aid Verification

Presenters:

Sonja Demps, Operations Coordinator at Dell Scholars

Paola Rabago, Retention Officer at Dell Scholars

Location: Conrad D

During onboarding, Dell Scholars helps students navigate college choice, financial aid issues, and the verification process – all critical factors that can lay the groundwork for success in college. Learn more about the program’s strategy to identifying risk factors and tackling this personalized approach at scale.

 

Wednesday, October 2

9:45 AM: Crossing the Finish Line: Impact of Emergency and Completion Funds

Presenters:

Kevin Almasy, Engagement Officer at Dell Scholars

Aaron House, Director, Post Secondary and Alumni at Pathways to Education

Julie Kim, Senior Director of Operations at UNCF

Dr. Sumiko Martinez, Associate Director of Scholarships and Student Funding at University of Utah

Carolyn Nelson, Director of Scholarships at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Paola Rabago, Retention Officer at Dell Scholars

Location: Rochester

A shocking number of students end up leaving school right before they’re about to graduate; nearly one in five students leaving school without a degree has completed 75 percent or more of required credits! With that statistic in mind, it’s not hard to imagine why emergency and completion funds can have a huge impact on degree attainment. Learn more about student outcomes in this roundtable discussion.

 

Wednesday, October 2

3:00 PM: Financial Barriers to Higher Education

Presenter: Tom Mortenson, Senior Scholar at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education

Location: Conrad D

This session is a must for those supporting students through the financial challenges of college. Tom Mortenson will be sharing a big-picture perspective on the trends that impact each and every one of our students.

 

Know Your Students: Tools for Engagement, Support & Reporting

 

Tuesday, October 1

1:30 PM: Creating Spaces: The Importance of Community in a Digital Age

Presenters:

Maloni Fox, Communications Coordinator and Scholarship Associate at Indigenous Education, Inc.

Julia Mosconi, Coordinator of Research and Engagement at Indigenous Education, Inc.

Location: Salon E

The first generation of digital natives is making its way to college campuses, and it’s more important than ever to have a strategy in place to reach these students effectively. In this session, Maloni Fox and Julia Mosconi of Indigenous Education, Inc., home of the Cobell Scholarship, will discuss how best to engage students in a digital age and create community in a national scholarship program.

 

Tuesday, October 1

2:50 PM: GradSnapp: Know Your Students. Each One.

Presenter: Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, President and Founder, GradSnapp

Location: Salon G

Come see GradSnapp in action! Today, only 20 percent of college attending low-income students will graduate within six years. At GradSnapp, we provide best-in-class technology to college success programs to increase college graduation rates on a national scale. We can help more students reach their higher education goals if we’re equipped with the right information to support their progress through college.

 

Thursday, October 3

9:45 AM: Evaluating Your Impact: Beyond Dollars Spent and Numbers Served

Presenter: Meredith Dohmen, Executive Director of the Bright Foundation

Location: Salon F

What does success look like? It’s a question that is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Meredith Dohmen will share insights from her experience at the Bright Foundation while guiding attendees to establish outcome measures, consider long-term impact, and track progress along the way – all focused on the ultimate goal of helping students achieve success.