Fostering Connections Between Industry and Academia

Schedule At-A-Glance

9:00 to 9:30 - Opening Session

9:30 to 10:30 -  Keynote Presentation with Joe Barela

10:30 to 11:30 - Concurrent Sessions

11:30 to 11:45 - "Grab Your Lunch" Break

11:45 to 12:45 - Roundtable

12:45 to 1:45 - Affinity Group Breakouts

1:45 to 2:45 - Concurrent Sessions

2:45 to 3:45 - Concurrent Sessions

3:45 to 4:00 - Closing Session

The 2020 Colorado Adult Learning Symposium will take place virtually on Friday, August 14. See the detailed schedule of sessions and events below. 

9:00 to 9:30 - Opening Session

9:30 to 10:30 - Keynote Presentation

Joseph Barela, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment


10:30 to 11:30 - Session #1


Make and Model: Ten Tips for Designing and Facilitating Zoom Training for Adults
John O'Malley and Lindsay Brunhofer, University of Denver

If you build it, they might not learn. In this session we will cover the equal importance of effective design and facilitation practices for training adults online, with a special emphasis on cross-collaboration between academia and industry. Leave this session with 10 tips to give you the confidence to wow with a well-designed, masterfully facilitated training.


Building a Secure Future in Uncertain Times: Growing Colorado's First Registered Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program

Yarrow Spitzfaden and Mary Ann Tillman, Red Rocks Community College

The IT, networking and cybersecurity industries are growing fast, especially now. The apprenticeship career development model is also taking hold here in the US. RRCC acts as both the sponsor and a related technical instruction (RTI) provider for Colorado's first DOL registered apprenticeship program in cybersecurity. Building on an existing relationship with Northrop Grumman, we are excited about the opportunities and benefits this program gives to our students, local employers and the community. In our first year, we have had many successes and challenges, both of which we'd like to share! Join us for more info on this exciting field and career pathway, as well as open discussion on lessons learned and plans for a secure future.


Reaching Every Learner: Discovering the World of Accessibility 

Gaye Horne and Danielle Ongart, Colorado Department of Education

Accessibility laws have been on the books for at least 50 years. Originally accessibility was limited to strictly physical accessibility. Later strategies in accommodating learning through Universal Design were developed to help educational services become more equitable. Recently, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, section 188, recognized that programmatic accessibility, this includes policies, procedures, and program design providing same quality of service, was a key factor in providing a more comprehensive ways to establish equity. This interactive presentation participants will learn about how programmatic accessibility can increase interactions with learners, create a culture of learning, and meet legal requirements. Join this interactive presentation and learn about a new, free online course and accompanying toolkit to help programs remove programmatic barriers.


Metacognition to Threshold Concepts: Linking Student Learning with Instructional Pedagogy

Ann McCalley and Neecee Matthews-Bradshaw, Community College of Denver

Students often arrive to higher education without understanding the critical skills necessary for learning and participation (Adler-Kassner and Wardle, 2015; McGuire, 2015). Lacking strategies for addressing threshold concepts, and without a clear way forward as to how to “focus on learning concepts”, students often seek additional services without a defined idea of what they need. Faculty can contribute to the teaching and learning cycle by providing specific feedback based on their assessment of the students’ needs. The presenters propose a workshop where participants will examine ways to encourage metacognition in students as they own their learning process; we will also explore ways instructors can engage in helping students seek support through effective identification student success strategies.


11:30 to 11:45 - "Grab Your Lunch" Break

11:45 to 12:45 - Roundtable

This roundtable, comprised of leaders from industry and academia, will explore questions around how industry and higher ed can collaborate and leverage each other’s strengths, best practices, and resources to address the workforce-skills gap. Confirmed participants include: 


  • Josh Davies, CEO The Center for Work Ethic Development

  • Dr. Michele Haney, President of Red Rocks Community College

  • Sarah Heath, Assistant Provost and State CTE Director Colorado Career and Technical Education

  • Clarence Low, Director of Organizational Relationships for the Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers

  • Brandon McReynolds, Director of Workforce Development Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE)

  • Moderated by: Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero, Vice President, Front Range Community College (Boulder Campus)

12:45 to 1:45 - Affinity Group Breakout Sessions

Upskilling & Credentialing 

Facilitator: Renae Jacob, Executive Director of the Center for Professional Development, University of Denver

Upskilling and credentialing are distinct but important concepts across nearly all sectors today. What are people already doing? What’s working? How can we all share ideas and resources? What’s still needed?

Navigating Logistics and Mechanics in Creating Industry/Academic Partnerships

Facilitator: Chris Nicholson, Assistant Dean of Enrollment, Marketing, and Partnerships, University College

This affinity group is specifically intended to serve as a platform for follow-up discussion from the Roundtable. Let’s continue the discussion of thoughts and ideas shared during the roundtable to consider ways to logistically put some of them to practice.

Virtual Engagement Best Practices 

Facilitator: Bernie Fischer, Marketing and Digital Experience Consultant; Faculty, University College

Regardless of one’s sector—public, private, voluntary, or educational services—we’re all engaging virtually now. When it comes to communication and training efforts, what can we learn from one another to promote best practices in virtual engagement to support success in achieving our objectives?

1:45 to 2:45 - Session #2

Today's Workforce Needs Tomorrow's Skills

Ellen Leher, Trilogy Education Services & Renae Jacob, Center for Professional Development, University of Denver

Trilogy Education Services partners with the world’s leading universities to help companies bridge their digital skills gaps. We bring together companies, universities and adults and power skills-based trainings that are driven by market needs. We’re on a mission to ready thousands of adult learners for high-growth careers in the digital economy. Join us to learn about our partnership with the University of Denver (University College). Together we have graduated over 800 adults across our offerings in Data Analytics, Coding, Cyber Security and UX/UI.

But I Can't Do That Online!

Kerry Floyd, Catherine Sailer, Michael Ballard, and Drew Ritchie, University of Denver

We learned some exciting lessons during our COVID-19 quarantine! In this session, Kerry Floyd, a DU Instructional Designer, will interview Dr. Catherine Sailer, the Director of Choral Studies at the DU Lamont School of Music. Faced with the task of translating a choir to an online environment, Kerry and Catherine worked together to make an engaging online class that helped students build relevant skills, even though they weren't singing together as a choir. In this session, we'll explore best practices and lived experiences of translating unique live experiences into impactful (though not identical!) online learning experiences. We know there are a lot of in-person experiences that you can't replicate online, but you'll be surprised to find out how much you can do online that complements and strengthens your in-person experience!

Education and Career Exploration Informed by Data and Return on Investment - My Colorado Journey

Michael Vente and Julia Pirnack, Colorado Department of Higher Education

Think of My Colorado Journey as the Alexa™/Siri™ for career, job, financial aid and postsecondary planning – only you don’t have to ask for what you want - MCJ knows or can figure it out. While the platform doesn’t yet respond to voice commands, our groundbreaking personalization engine assists individuals of any age to select or accept recommendations for content, tools and resources if and when the person is ready to use them. The purpose of the session is to introduce the multi-agency partnership in Colorado that is building an innovative online platform, My Colorado Journey. This platform leverages the agencies’ existing features, tools and resources to collaboratively deliver career, education and training and human services to residents throughout the state.

Connecting Alternative Credentials, Competencies, & Upskilling to the Skill-Based Workforce

Rose Beane and Stephen Petrone, Community College of Denver & Trevor Pruitt, Colorado Skillful | Markle

Connecting Alternative Credentials, Upskilling, Competencies, to the Skill-Based Workforce session will unpack the options and implications for higher education, job seekers, non-credentialed job seekers, employers, career progression and skill-based hiring. What does this mean for the future workforce? What are some proactive activities? How can a SWOT or PESTLE Analysis of this topic assist in strategic planning?

2:45 to 3:45 - Session #3

Creating Cultures of Emotional Intelligence: Helping Young Adults Thrive, Not Just Survive

Nathan Lindsay, Regional Transportation District

As the organizational dynamics change with the workforce comprised of a growing number of people under 35 years old, business and academia both struggle with helping them improve their "soft skills." This session will reveal what work organizations desire as emotional intelligence (EQ) competencies of their new hires, and how academia can integrate those competencies into their curriculum. The role of social and emotional learning in colleges as well as businesses will be explored. The intended goal is a discussion about improving the EQ of young adults in academia and organizations so that they can thrive.

Drive Active Teaching and Learning with Video-Based Projects

Lisa Joslyn and Ann McCalley, Community College of Denver

Now more than ever in higher education it’s evolve or die. “Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.” --Mahatma Gandhi. Learning outcomes such as grit, critical thinking, effective communicator, and career ready frequently appear in institutional strategic plans. But how do we get there? Do we? Teaching, learning, and being career ready require digital literacy. This session highlights the power of video-based projects as a faculty-student engagement tool or a ‘deep learning’ tool. Video-based projects engage faculty in creating dynamic content and equity in assignments. Students learn to convey course curriculum through conceptualizing, evaluating, synthesizing and problem solving in video-based assignments. Diversify from ‘sage’ tendencies and leave this session with actionable implementation of video basics.

Identical Yet Inclusive: Fostering Inclusive Excellence at a Service Academy

Kim Hosler and Marc Napolitano, United States Air Force Academy 

This session presents the evolution of the United States Air Force Academy’s (USAFA’s) inclusive excellence programming. This programming and subsequent inclusive teaching recognition led to the creation of a growing group of faculty with whom we collaborate to create discussion panels, workshops, and other programs dedicated to improving inclusive practices. As a military service academy, USAFA necessarily creates a culture of standardization and conformity: students wear uniforms, respond to certain questions in unison, march in lock-step formation. It has traditionally been regarded as an institution populated by heterosexual males. Despite these cultural norms, inclusivity is a vitally important topic at the academy. Join us as we discuss our inclusive recognition program and then exchange ideas for encouraging inclusive practices.

Bring Your Work to School and Your School to Work!

Rachel Rogers and Bobbie Kite, University of Denver 

Leverage the experience of the adult learner through project-based assignments. Ditch the 10-page paper and let your students bring their most pressing work projects to the classroom. Discover the value of developing and assessing critical thinking while creating workflow diagrams, communication plans, market scans, gap and SWOT analyses, budget sheets, and other tools. Students hone key skills in class or online with faculty support and bring those tools into the office the next day, the next week, or with them to the next big promotion. This session will provide suggestions for lesson structure, sample assignments, and rubrics as well as the opportunity for robust group discussion!

3:45 to 4:00 - Closing Session