Breakout Sessions

Intersection of Politics and Christian Higher Ed | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:00 - 2:45 pm

Colleges and universities often find themselves stuck in the middle of competing political viewpoints and interests. What do Republicans, Democrats and Independents think of Christian colleges and universities, and what role do they see our institutions should play in the greater issues facing our society? We’ll dive into some fascinating, relevant research from national research firm Morning Consult.

Jason Cook, Vice President for Marketing & Communications and Chief Marketing Officer, Baylor University and Rahul Choudaha, Managing Director of Higher Education, Morning Consult

The Many Hats of Alumni Professionals | Tuesday Feb. 14 | 2:00 - 2:45 pm

This session will allow you to meet other Alumni Professionals and learn more about the roles they play at their institutions.  From Parent Relations, Government Affairs, Annual Giving and more - join us as we make introductions and find others who may be able to relate and support us in our work of alumni engagement and beyond. Facilitated by the Alumni Commission

What Were They Thinking? Insights from Summer 2022 Admitted Students | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:00 - 2:45 pm

Fuller Higher Ed Solutions conducted research with admitted students for 16 Christian college campuses in the summer of 2022, garnering responses and actionable data from more than 12,000 admitted students. What does the data say about factors which were most important in their decisions to enroll or not enroll? Who influenced their decisions? What role did campus guest experiences, admission teams, social media, and financial aid awards play in their final choices? This session will review aggregate data from this research.

Tim Fuller, Founder, Fuller Higher Ed Solutions and Dave Burke, Vice President, Fuller Higher Ed Solutions

Faith, Sexuality, and Gender | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:00 - 2:45 pm

The topics of sexuality and gender are some of the most controversial of our day, especially on college campuses. Administrators and staff feel ill-equipped to speak on these topics and most young Christians are struggling to know what to believe. It has been argued that what the Church has to say on the topic can be one of the largest obstacles to whether the next generation keeps their Christian faith. We need to equip ourselves with the historic Christian Sexual Ethic. In this session, higher education professionals will be equipped with some of the resources and curriculum we have produced at The Center.

Lou Phillips, Director of Church Relations, The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender

Advancement Flash Panels | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:00 - 3:30 pm
  1. Understanding Cryptocurrency and its Impact on Charitable Giving: Cryptocurrency donations are the fastest growing segment of the philanthropy space. Despite volatility in the crypto markets, crypto donations continue to fall into the major gifts category as thousands of charities have begun to accept this new asset class. However, as this new giving category has emerged, there are important nuances that need to be understood and regulatory requirements that need to be followed. This presentation focuses on blockchain basics, understanding Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies, practical aspects of how to receive crypto donations, and key lessons relative to tax and compliance requirements for nonprofits. James Lawrence, CEO & Founder, Engiven Inc.
  2. Board Engagement and Fundraising: Fewer than half of philanthropic organizations in the United States – including higher education – have 100 percent board participation in charitable giving and fundraising. Even board members who donate can be reluctant to fundraise from others. Based on a mixed methods study of nonprofits with high levels of board participation in fundraising, this session explains six practical, evidenced-based practices for fully engaging your university's board of trustees and advisory councils in charitable giving and fund development. Bill Stanczykiewicz, Assistant Dean for External Relations, The Fund Raising School at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
  3. Best Practices on Alumni Engagement and Retention: This panel will review the most effective practices for engaging and connecting with your alumni. Jon Merryman, Director of Alumni Relations, Ouachita Baptist University and Stephanie Carroll, Assistant VP for Annual Giving, Alumni, and Parent Programs, Lipscomb University
Enrollment Flash Panels | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:00 - 3:30 pm
  1. Working with Your Board: What’s the best approach to working with your board? Hear from others on ways to keep your board engaged as well-informed partners in your recruiting and marketing, as well as prepared with data to inform significant decision-making. This panel will share tips, tricks and lessons learned on how to craft a compelling meeting, what data is best to share, and more. Moderator: Bryce Chapman, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & University Communications, Missouri Baptist University Panelists: Teresa Smith, Vice President for Enrollment at Hope International University; Jason Black, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Samford University; and James Steen, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Houston Christian University
  2. Partnerships that Drive Enrollment: How do you craft external partnerships that will ultimately drive enrollment, whether in professional and grad programs or traditional undergraduate?  There are a wide array of partnerships with many types and scopes your institution can utilize, but where do you start? Or what adjustments to current partnerships would be the missing link? Hear from a panel of peers sharing what’s worked best for them, as well as some best practices for finding those partnerships that yield the best results. Anthony Turner, Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing, Charleston Southern University
  3. Leading Enrollment During Presidential Change: Among CCCU members alone, there have been close to 60 new presidents now leading institutions in the last two years. Navigating this kind of leadership transition and its impact on enrollment and marketing strategies is varied. This panel will discuss their experience in navigating these transitions, including the opportunities and challenges related to both the strategies impacting enrollment and marketing as well as the personal experiences of transition. Kimberley Wiedefeld, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Roberts Wesleyan University
Into the City: How A Collaborative Career Immersion Experience Provides Lasting Benefits | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:45 - 3:30 pm

This session will detail the history, planning elements, and outcomes of Messiah University’s “Into the City” program. Twelve years ago the university set out to create an immersive experience that connected alumni with students to share their career stories and first-hand experiences living and working in a particular city. It has resulted in a wildly successful program with hundreds of students and 22 trips to alumni cities. The program increased alumni engagement and donor participation, assisted students with career and networking skills, and is widely utilized by our admissions and marketing departments to strengthen student recruitment.

Abby Book, Director of Advancement Affinity Programs, Messiah University and Jay McClymont, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, Messiah University

Into the City: How A Collaborative Career Immersion Experience Provides Lasting Benefits | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:45 - 3:30 pm

This session will detail the history, planning elements, and outcomes of Messiah University’s “Into the City” program. Twelve years ago the university set out to create an immersive experience that connected alumni with students to share their career stories and first-hand experiences living and working in a particular city. It has resulted in a wildly successful program with hundreds of students and 22 trips to alumni cities. The program increased alumni engagement and donor participation, assisted students with career and networking skills, and is widely utilized by our admissions and marketing departments to strengthen student recruitment.

Abby Book, Director of Advancement Affinity Programs, Messiah University and Jay McClymont, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, Messiah University

When Less Is More: How Christian Institutions Can Successfully Compete | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:45 - 3:30 pm

Small to mid-sized Christian institutions are regularly competing for students with other universities that are significantly larger and have seemingly infinite resources. Enrollment managers are a facing pressure to increase the number of inquiries, applicants, admits, and enrollees each year – often against seemingly insurmountable odds and declining high school graduation rates. By working smarter and being more strategic about recruitment approaches, most institutions can achieve their enrollment goals in an increasingly competitive market. In this session, we will explore practical techniques that can be implemented to leverage your greatest assets, to maximize your funnel, steward your brand, and ultimately do more with less.

James Steen, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Houston Christian University

Washington Updates | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 2:45 - 3:30 pm

This session will provide an overview of the issues most relevant to higher education and religious liberty within the three branches of government.

Joy Mosley, Associate Vice President for Government & Strategic Relations, CCCU and Jacob Dunlap, Director of Government & External Relations, CCCU

Advancement Small Group Chats | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 4:00 - 5:30 pm

This will be a time for advancement professionals to collaborate and discuss information from the conference. More information will be available shortly.

Leading a Campus Rebrand | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 4:00 - 4:45 pm

In 2022, Geneva College successfully launched an institutional rebranding project that included research, strategy, messaging, and a new visual identity for the institution. Join Willem de Ruijter (Geneva College) and Ryan Morabito (5 Degrees Branding) to learn more about how Geneva successfully rebranded on time and on budget. You’ll learn how Geneva leveraged its internal marketing team’s skills, partnered with an external firm, and engaged the campus community in the project. The results were a bold, new identity that helps reinforce Geneva as a leader in Christian higher education.

Ryan Morabito, Senior Advisor to College & University Leaders, 5 Degrees Branding; and Willem de Ruijter, Vice President of Enrollment & Marketing, Geneva College

Summer Reunions, Yes You Can! | Tuesday Feb. 14 | 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Asbury University hosts an annual Alumni, Family and Friends event each summer that is coordinated and programmed by the Alumni Office, under the umbrella of Advancement. This effort involves departments across the campus, including Advancement, Marketing/Communications, Student Life, and more. The core team plans, leads, and produces this massive effort that brings in more than 1200 people and raises up to $250,000 for the Reunion Class Gift Project. From golf cart shuttles to the Hymn Singing and Ice Cream Social, learn behind the scenes details about this logistical puzzle. We will share about our budget, team set up, logistics, vendor management, joys, and challenges.

Lisa Harper, Director of Alumni Relations, Asbury University and Taylor Collingsworth, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Asbury University

 

Pricing and Aid Strategies. Can we Rethink This? | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 4:00 - 4:45 pm

In the face of demographic challenges, many have turned to experimental aid and pricing strategies to bolster demand. Price resets and aggressive discounting have not proven successful, however, with many experiencing both reduced demand and lower net tuition per student. In this session, we will re-examine the reasons why students choose you and consider anew the connection of recruitment and retention.

Jeff Spear, CEO, CFO Colleague and Tim Fuller, Founder, Fuller Higher Ed Solutions 

Enrollment Small Group Chats | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 4:00 - 5:30 pm

This will be a valuable time to speak with the facilitators and panelists from each flash panel topic along with your fellow enrollment peers. Come with questions to dive deeper on any or all specific topics, hear from CCCU colleagues on what strategies and decisions are looking like on their own campus in a relaxed, roundtable setting.

Leading the Next Generation | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 4:45 - 5:30 pm

Many offices have multiple generations serving in them. However, each upcoming generation has its own unique talents, gifts and challenges. This session focuses on leading strategies and tactics for the multigenerational workforce.

Heather Shalley, Vice President and Dean of Student Enrollment Services, Moody Bible Institute and Sam ChoyVice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Moody Bible Institute

Is College Still Worth It? Data and Evidence to Demonstrate the Answer is Still, "YES!" | Tuesday, Feb. 14 | 4:45 - 5:30 pm

More than ever, students and families are asking, “Is College Worth It?” The data clearly show that college is still worth the investment and we’ve pulled together all of the relevant research to prove it. Attendees at this session will be equipped with all the facts and data needed to answer the question of why college is still worth it.

Matthew Osborne, Strategic Enrollment Management Leader, Ardeo Education Solutions and Roger Kieffer, Higher Education Consultant, Ardeo Education Solutions

Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Enrollment Leadership | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 9:00 - 9:45 am

The great resignation, quiet quitting, and moving to remote employment are trends impacting the ability to retain, hire, and motivate admissions staff. Enrollment leaders have expressed concerns about open positions and finding the right candidates to fill them. In this session, the presenters will share the results of NACCAP’s Fall 2023 survey of admissions staff. The survey will offer insight on what staff expect from their employers and how we can attract and retain the next generation of enrollment leaders while mitigating burnout.

Molly Smith, Director of Special Programs, NACCAP; Denise Cunningham, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives, NACCAP; and Phil Cook, Executive Director, NACCAP

Refining Your Prospect Management Approach: Keys to Major Gift Development | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 9:00 am - 10:30 am

This session will detail how Gonser Gerber’s most successful clients build a system to discover, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift prospects. Gonser Gerber Partners, Kent Huyser and Chad Jolly, will detail best practices related to identifying major gift prospects, assigning prospects to staff, and the categorization and coding that supports the most productive outcomes. This approach has benefited hundreds of colleges and universities seeking to make more logical prospect assignments, clarify major gift officer goals, better forecast future fundraising, and improve the advancement team concept.

Kent Huyser, Partner, Gonser Gerber LLP and Chad Jolly, Partner, Gonser Gerber LLP

CCCU Talks Session | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 9:00 - 10:30 am
  1. Handling Controversial Speakers on Campus: Does your campus have a vetting process or policies to follow when it comes to inviting a speaker to campus? What are the protocols and policies that a campus should consider when the decision to rescind a speaking invitation is made? These questions and more will be answered with quick takeaways on what peers across the CCCU have found helpful. Betsy Holloway, Vice President for Advancement and Marketing, Samford University and Brenda Velasco, Senior Director of University Communications, Biola University
  2. Town – Gown Relations: An institution’s relationship with the local community & government is a special and, can at times, be a unique one to navigate. We’ll cover some best-practices, tips and tricks, and lessons learned on how to engage dutifully and respectfully with these relations. Rob Felton, Chief of Staff, George Fox University
  3. Placing Op-Eds: What strategies are best to utilize when placing an op-ed? Is there a “right time” to place an op-ed? How and when do you decide to submit an op-ed? We’ll cover these questions and more tips during this valuable topic presentation. Dr. Amanda Staggenborg, Chief Communications Officer, CCCU
  4. Presidential Inauguration 101: The installation of a new president can be an exciting time in the life of an institution. It can also bring many layers of logistics, planning and protocols from the Communications, Public Relations and Marketing offices; where do you start when planning a presidential inauguration comes to your campus? What should you do first and what are some aspects you should absolutely not forget? This topic will dive into all of that and more. Kim Chaudoin, Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Lipscomb University and Betsy Holloway, Vice President for Advancement and Marketing, Samford University
  5. Social Media Monitoring & Managing Issues: Image. Public perception. More and more, social media is telling your campus’ story faster than ever. At times it seems like an impossible obstacle to monitor, and at other times, a ‘no end in sight’ crisis or issue that needs to be resolved. We may not have it all figured out, in fact we’re all still learning, but during this time we’ll cover some of the best lessons learned and tips for how to effectively manage and monitor this valuable source of communication and marketing. Carla Gross, Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Messiah University and Brenda Velasco, Senior Director of University Communications, Biola University
  6. Project Management & Workflow: How do you best manage your projects and keep everyone on the same timeline? There are plenty of best practices to implement and new strategies that can be tested, and during this time we’ll share some lessons learned on what’s worked well and what hasn’t when it comes to managing a communications and marketing team. Carla Gross, Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Messiah University and Julie Gumm, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, John Brown University
Alumni Small Group Chats | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 9:00 - 10:30 am

This will be a time for alumni professionals to network, collaborate, and discuss challenges and strategies for alumni engagement. Facilitated by the Alumni Commission

 

Results from the 2022 Bethel Study | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 9:00 - 10:30 am

For the twenty-fourth year, Jeff Olson and Dan Nelson have surveyed financial aid directors at CCCU institutions. This wide-ranging session will cover issues ranging from discount rates to debt, staffing to student employment, and packaging to appeals. Trends in enrollment, sticker price, financial aid, discount rates, student debt, and family wealth will lead to an assessment of affordability and institutional financial health at our schools.

Dan Nelson, Chief Institutional Data & Research Officer, Bethel University and Jeff Olson, Director of Financial Aid, Bethel University

Strategic Partnership of Marketing and Enrollment for Success | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 9:45 - 10:30 am

A strategic working partnership between marketing and enrollment that resembles the collaboration often found in the corporate functions can be a key to greater success in student recruitment for all venues and levels. This session compares the partnership between marketing and enrollment to that of market research, brand awareness, lead generation/qualification, sales enablement and sales.

Sam Choy, Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Moody Bible Institute and Heather Shalley, Vice President & Dean of Student Enrollment Services, Moody Bible Institute

Debt Perception: Student Loans, Financial Literacy, and a New Generation of Students | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:00 - 11:30 am

More than 45 million college students in the United States have amassed $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Cultural identity, family background, and communities where students grow up have a powerful impact on the way they perceive education, both as a family value and the economic value of a college degree. More than just financial knowledge, students need to be taught practical skills in order to make informed financial decisions. Financial security, paying for college, and being able to estimate the potential return on investment are top concerns for today’s students.

Steve Neilsen, Dean of Academic Persistence and Support, California Baptist University

Ethics in Fundraising | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Fundraising is crucial in most Universities and ministries. A culture of care highlights the responsibilities associated with asking donors to support good work. We are responsible to our governments and laws to be compliant. We also owe our supporters transparency and accountability in order to build trust and enhance integrity in our organizations.

Jake Lapp, Vice President of Member Accountability, ECFA

Advancing Your Mission Through Financial Strength | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This session will focus on ways to optimize revenue using examples from 4 CCCU institutions. In a flat to declining market where high school graduate and college participation rates are dropping, revenue growth is written on the backs of the eyelids of campus leadership. Most private colleges are seeing a drop in net tuition revenue per student as the market gets more competitive and discounting activity increases. Panelists will share strategies and examples from these areas: 1) Traditional Student Enrollment Growth, 2) Student Success Strategies to Grow Revenue, 3) Strategies to Increase Net Tuition Revenue Per Student, and 4) Optimizing Non-Traditional Student Growth.

Eric Groves, Senior Vice President of Campus Partnerships, Ruffalo Noel Levitz and Scott Shoemaker, Associate Vice President for Enrollment, Point Loma Nazarene University

Navigating Your Alumni Role Post-Conference. What Now? | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This session will be an opportunity for Alumni to debrief and strategize conference takeaways and how to apply and/or implement them when they return to their campus. Facilitated by the Alumni Commission

 

CCCU Talks Session | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This hour will be a dedicated time of Q&A on the various topics discussed during the previous breakout session. It will allow for a deeper dive into the topics.

Financial Aid Hot Topics | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

This open ended audience participation question and answer session will be moderated by the CCCU Financial Aid Commissioners. Any financial aid related topic will be open to discussion with an opportunity for others to share experiences and best practices. Participants will be specifically encouraged to discuss financial aid related issues that may be of mutual interest to Christian colleges and universities.

Troy Martin, Director of Student Financial Services, Eastern Nazarene University; Matthew Bazzel, Director of Financial Aid, Covenant College; David Burney, Director of Student Financial Services, John Brown University; Karen Belling, Director of Student Financial Services, Wheaton College; Marian Dill, Director of Financial Aid, Lee University; Shermain Reed, Director of Financial Aid, Dallas Baptist University; John Swan, Director of Financial Aid, William Jessup University; and Steven Woodburn, Assistant Vice President for Financial Aid, Colorado Christian University

Reshaping the Recruiter's Role on Your Campus and Enrollment Strategy | Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

This session addresses how professional development in admissions operations must be fully integrated into enrollment marketing to restore and sustain enrollment health. Admissions counselors are integral to enrollment-dependent institutions and in embodying your school’s brand. The pandemic reaffirmed the value counselors have through their evolving roles in the business of building enrollments.

CCCU institutions, like private and public institutions nationwide, are coping with staff turnover, adjusting to new methods of engaging high schools and churches, and seeking to maximize investments in digital and traditional marketing. In an intensely competitive recruitment environment where the value of Christian education is being questioned, changes to your practices are necessary.

John Chopka, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Messiah University and Dave Black, Vice President for Consulting & Research, PS&L