University Relations and Communications

Two-year educators, developmental education specialists meet at MSUB this week

June 4, 2012



Dr. John Cech, Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education 444-0316
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


"" Link to full agenda and flyer


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Two-year educators, developmental education specialists and adult education advocates will meet at Montana State University Billings this week for a statewide summer conference.


The two-year and community college conference — “Best Practices in Serving the Underprepared Student” — will be held Wednesday and Thursday (June 6-7) at the MSU Billings College of Technology, 3803 Central Ave.  It is supported by the College!Now initiative through the Montana Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.


""The keynote speaker is Bruce Vandal, who coordinates research and policy work as director of the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute at the Educational Commission of the States in Denver. Currently, he is the director of “Getting Past Go, a three-year Lumina Foundation for Education project to more effectively leverage investments in developmental education to increase college attainment. Vandal is also the co-director of the Tennessee Developmental Studies Redesign Initiative, which is a partnership with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) to reform developmental education courses at TBR institutions funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. He also has directed projects on aligning education and workforce development policy, teacher preparation and college access. He earned his Ph.D in Education Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.


Vandal’s keynote address will be Wednesday at 9:45 a.m. at the COT’s Health Sciences Building.  It will be followed up by a review of current data and a panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. on “Adult Basic Education and Developmental Education Reform Strategies” to increase student success through more effective transitions from adult basic education and through developmental education reform.


The panel features John Squires from Chattanooga Community and Technical College and Rachel Pleasants of Jobs for the Future. She is a senior project manager for “Breaking Through,” JFF’s collaboration with National Council for Workforce Education to create opportunities for adults with little education to prepare for and succeed in college technical programs. Pleasants also works on “Accelerating Opportunity” an initiative which seeks to fundamentally change the way Adult Basic Education is delivered.  


Thursday’s session includes panel discussions with Montana faculty and institutional leaders who are implementing various course redesign principles as well as small-group strategy sessions.


For more information, contact Dr. John Cech, the Deputy Commissioner for Two-Year and Community College Education in Helena at 444-0316.