Thank You

To Featured Speakers Ken Burns and Laurie Santos, our President Panel Speakers, our Sponsors, and all of our attendees!

Announcing Eduventures Summit Virtual Research Forum

Eduventures Summit Virtual Research Forum (VRF) brings together higher ed leaders to help navigate the complex issues facing education today.

After a successful virtual Eduventures Summit in November, and keeping the safety of our members, speakers and staff our top priority, we are pleased to announce that we will host our second Eduventures Summit Virtual Research Forum on Wednesday, June 16!

We are thrilled to announce Ken Burns, celebrated documentary filmmaker, and separately, Dr. Laurie Santos, Yale Professor and expert on student well-being, as our keynote speakers! Through his films, Burns tells stories that resonate with all Americans, across all political and ideological divides, and provide a new way of looking at our collective past. As faculty of the most popular undergraduate course in Yale’s history, Dr. Santos will address her latest research on student well-being and the implications for recruitment and support services.

Don’t Miss Out – Register Today! The VRF will bring the best of our in-person Summits, with a few twists that take advantage of the online modality. What you can expect:

  • Passes for all member institutions—taking advantage of online capacity
  • Expanded Q&A throughout sessions rather than only briefly at the end
  • Recording and re-purposing session excerpts available on-demand after the event
  • The opportunity to interact with our analysts with follow-up sessions
  • Member institutions will receive a complimentary gift box

Keynote Speakers

CREDIT Tim Llewellyn Photography

Ken Burns

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for over forty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; The Vietnam War; and Country Music.

A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time. In March 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “… Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” And Wynton Marsalis has called Ken “a master of timing, and of knowing the sweet spot of a story, of how to ask questions to get to the basic human feeling and to draw out the true spirit of a given subject.”

Future film projects include Muhammad Ali, Benjamin Franklin, The Holocaust and the United States, The American Buffalo, Leonardo da Vinci, The American RevolutionEmancipation to Exodus, and LBJ & the Great Society, among others.

Ken’s films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including sixteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Laurie Santos

Psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition, its origins, and the evolutionary biases that influence our all-too imperfect life choices. She is also knowledgeable in how behavioral change through positive psychology can lead to a happy and fulfilling life.

Currently, the big project of Dr. Santos is to positively influence the culture of Yale University by teaching happiness and well-being. She created a course so meaningful that it became the most popular class taken at Yale in over 316 years.

In her course, “Psychology and the Good Life,” Santos teaches her 1200 students about behavioral change through positive psychology. Dr. Santos wants her students to be more grateful, procrastinate less and increase social connections. She believes that those positive habits will decrease mental health issues on campus and create happier and more motivated students. The popularity of the class has prompted Yale to create a free online course. Dr. Santos is the host of the podcast, “The Happiness Lab.” From her research, Santos speaks to how we are biologically programmed to be motivated by sex, to be deeply influenced by other people — and to repeat our mistakes. And while Santos often uses subjects from the animal kingdom to help explain our sometimes-illogical behaviors, she also provides advice on how to engage our uniquely human faculties to counteract evolution, choose more wisely, and live happier lives.

Dr. Santos was appointed Head of Silliman College on July 1, 2016 to a five year term. She is a professor of Psychology at Yale University where she serves as Director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory as well as the Canine Cognition Center, a research facility that studies how dogs think about the world. She teaches one of Yale’s most popular undergraduate courses, “Sex, Evolution, and Human Nature.” She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University. Her numerous awards for science, teaching, and mentorship include the Stanton Prize from the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary research.

Agenda

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
12:00pm – 12:15pm ESTWelcome and Opening Remarks
Getting Real: The Imperative for Higher Education
Doug Hughes, CEO, ACT | NRCCUA
12:15pm – 1:15pm ESTOpening Keynote Presentation
A Fireside Chat with Ken Burns
Richard Garrett, Eduventures Chief Research Officer at ACT | NRCCUA

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for over forty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; The Vietnam War; and Country Music.

A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time. In March 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “… Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” And Wynton Marsalis has called Ken “a master of timing, and of knowing the sweet spot of a story, of how to ask questions to get to the basic human feeling and to draw out the true spirit of a given subject.”

Future film projects include Muhammad Ali; Benjamin Franklin; The Holocaust and the United States; The American Buffalo; Leonardo da Vinci; The American Revolution; Emancipation to Exodus; and LBJ & the Great Society, among others.

Ken’s films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including sixteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

1:15pm – 2:00pm ESTResearch Update
The New Enrollment Practice
Kim Reid, Eduventures Principal Analyst at ACT | NRCCUA

It’s time to reflect on the valuable lessons we’ve learned during the difficult COVID enrollment cycles. The silver lining of this singularly dark cloud is that it spurred on both fast-moving and wide-ranging changes in the way colleges and universities recruit high school students—many of them for the good. This presentation will outline the most important changes we’ve seen in how students think about their college choices and how colleges have chosen to adapt their enrollment practices to meet the circumstances. Most importantly, we’ll define the key criteria for building a future-oriented undergraduate enrollment practice.

2:00pm – 2:15pm ESTEd Tech Analyst Break
Three Questions with James Wiley
James Wiley, Eduventures Principal Analyst at ACT | NRCCUA
2:15pm – 3:00pm ESTResearch Update
College Alternatives: Sizing Up Demand, Models and Pathways
Richard Garrett, Eduventures Chief Research Officer at ACT | NRCCUA

Eduventures research suggests that college alternatives have achieved unprecedented scale in recent years, and are key to understanding college enrollment volatility. College alternatives, supercharged by COVID-19, are working to transform what are often points of friction for colleges and universities, such as program length, cost, and employment support, into market-conquering business models.

Some alternatives compete with conventional institutions, while others have college or university partners or are offered by colleges directly. This session will piece together college and alternative enrollment trends, highlighting registered apprenticeships, credentials backed by corporate giants (e.g., Google), bootcamps, gap-year programs, and the new breed of graduate certificates. These college alternatives reveal something important about the future of higher education, and it is important to think through some implications, potentially positive and negative, for conventional higher education institutions and programs.

3:00pm – 3:45pm ESTResearch Update
Bring Them Back: What Students Need to Return and Complete
Ruth V. Watkins, PhD, President, Strada Impact, Strada Education Network
Earl Buford, President, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Jaime Nuñez, President, Education at Work
Moderated by Janet Salm, Managing Director, Strada Institute, Strada Education Network

As we wrap up an academic year that has brought no shortage of challenges for students and institutions, it’s time to shift our attention to what comes next. How will we begin to recover the enrollment declines that touched nearly every sector of higher education this year? And how can we ensure that institutions are prepared to serve these students once we bring them back?

The barriers that kept students from engaging in postsecondary education this year may have been exacerbated by the pandemic, but they have their roots in the same systemic inequities that have been with us for far too long. In this moment, we have both the urgency and the opportunity to put in place lasting solutions that support all students in pursuing their education and career goals. These solutions must encompass the entire learner journey, beginning with enrollment and extending through persistence, completion, and career readiness.

Join leaders from across Strada Education Network for a discussion on overcoming enrollment declines and driving equitable access and completion for all. Based on our new PoweringPurpose report on working-age adults and our latest surveys of the high school classes of 2020 and 2021, hear what will help learners reconnect and succeed in the coming months at two and four-year institutions, as well as non-traditional education providers. We’ll also provide evidence and best practices for interventions that improve student outcomes, bringing together findings from across Strada’s network of research and practice. Throughout the session, our panelists will offer insights and lessons learned on how to reconnect with students and engage them at every stage of their journey.

3:45pm – 4:00pm ESTEd Tech Analyst Break
Three Questions with James Wiley
James Wiley, Eduventures Principal Analyst at ACT | NRCCUA
4:00pm – 4:45pm ESTKeynote Presentation
The Mental Health Crisis in Higher Education
Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor, Yale University

An expert on student well-being, Dr. Santos will speak to the mental health crisis in higher education and the implications for both recruitment and student support services.

Psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition, its origins, and the evolutionary biases that influence our all-too imperfect life choices. She is also knowledgeable in how behavioral change through positive psychology can lead to a happy and fulfilling life.

Dr. Laurie Santos is the Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Prof. of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University. Dr. Santos is an expert on human cognition and the cognitive biases that impede better choices. Her course, “Psychology and the Good Life,” teaches students what the science of psychology says about how to make wiser choices and live a life that’s happier and more fulfilling. The class is Yale’s most popular course in over 300 years and has been adapted into a free Coursera program that has been taken by over 3.3 million people to date.

The popularity of the class has prompted Yale to create a free online course. Dr. Santos is the host of the podcast, “The Happiness Lab.”

From her research, Santos speaks to how we are biologically programmed to be motivated by sex, to be deeply influenced by other people — and to repeat our mistakes. And while Santos often uses subjects from the animal kingdom to help explain our sometimes-illogical behaviors, she also provides advice on how to engage our uniquely human faculties to counteract evolution, choose more wisely, and live happier lives.

4:45pm – 5:30pm ESTKeynote Presentation
College President Panel
Marc Jerome, President, Monroe College
Greg Fowler, President, University of Maryland—Global Campus
Elizabeth H. Bradley, President, Vassar College
Moderated by Howard Lurie, Eduventures Principal Analyst at ACT | NRCCUA

Our special guest college presidents will reflect on the stresses of the past year, as well as strategies for 2022 and beyond.