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December 13
9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. ET

December 14
9:00 a.m.—12:15 p.m. ET


Join the College Completion Network for a convening to explore policies, programs, and practices that support pandemic recovery and college persistence and completion.

Open- and broad-access institutions—community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities that accept 75% or more of their applicants—provide a broad range of students, including a majority of first-generation college students, the opportunity to earn a credential.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, these institutions face unprecedented challenges, among them enrollment declines and shifting approaches to course delivery and student supports in response to the evolving pandemic. Community colleges—which tend to enroll more low-income students, students from diverse backgrounds, and older students—have been hardest hit.

Join the College Completion Network for a 2-day convening where we’ll discuss research-driven policies, programs, and practices that support pandemic recovery and continued improvements in college persistence and completion.

Update: As of October 6, the National Press Club no longer requires proof of vaccination to attend this event.

Browse the materials below to explore what the field is learning about supporting college persistence and completion at open- and broad-access institutions and where research and policy should go next.

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View the Agenda


Dr. Tia Brown McNair

Keynote Address: Building Our Knowledge Base for Student Success: Realities, Opportunities, and Capacity

Dr. Tia Brown McNair, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the American Association of Colleges and Universities, will share reflections on the lessons learned through the pandemic and the importance of enhancing our knowledge on who our students are and the capacity needed to fulfill expectations for success.

Funders Panel: Priorities and Opportunities for Future Work to Accelerate College Completion

In this moderated panel, Under Secretary James Kvaal of the U.S. Department of Education, Commissioner Elizabeth Albro of the National Center for Education Research at the Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Keith Witham of Ascendium Education Group, and foundation leaders will discuss priorities and opportunities for future work related to college persistence and completion.

Interactive Panel Discussions

Convening sessions and panels will give participating researchers, practitioners, and policymakers an opportunity to discuss the body of evidence related to different types of college completion interventions, the feasibility of implementing and scaling those interventions that show promise, and how to build on that knowledge to accelerate college persistence and completion.

Additionally, convening participants will have an opportunity to reflect on changes and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, equity, and other timely themes; and explore how research and lessons learned from the field can guide institutions as they support students into the future.

Featured speakers include:

  • Mark Schneider, Director, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
  • James Benson, Program Officer, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
  • Nicole Baird, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, Community College of Baltimore County
  • Denise Bartell, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs, Kent State University
  • Gilberto Becerra, Jr., Associate Vice Chancellor for Advocacy, Retention & Completion, Alamo Colleges District 
  • Eric Bettinger, Professor, Stanford University School of Education
  • Thomas Brock, Director, Community College Research Center
  • Ben Castleman, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Education, University of Virginia
  • Andrea Dardello, Acting Senior Diversity Officer, Frederick Community College
  • Lindsay Daugherty, Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Nikki Edgecombe, Senior Research Scholar, Community College Research Center
  • Kayla Elliott, Director for Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust
  • Frank Swanzy Essien, Jr., Strategy Officer for Research, Lumina Foundation
  • Tony Erwin, Principal Consultant , National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Consulting
  • Sara Goldrick-Rab, Independent Scholar, #RealCollege Consulting
  • Melinda Karp, Founder and Principal, Phase Two Advisory
  • Robin LaSota, Senior Research Scientist, Development Services Group
  • Joaquín Martínez, Provost and Vice President of Instruction, Community College of Baltimore County
  • Crystine Miller, Director of Student Affairs and Student Engagement, Montana University System
  • Trey Miller, Associate Professor of Economics; Director, Texas Schools Project; University of Texas at Dallas
  • James Minor, Chancellor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 
  • Cynthia Olivo, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services, Pasadena City College
  • Amelia Parnell, Vice President for Research and Policy, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Vice President, Westat Insight
  • Maxine Roberts, Director, Strong Start to Finish
  • Lauren Spires, Higher Education Resource Officer, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury
  • Alexandria Walton Radford, Director, Center for Applied Research in Postsecondary Education, American Institutes for Research
  • Greg Walton, Professor, Stanford University
  • Michael Weiss, Senior Fellow, Postsecondary Education, MDRC
  • Rashida Welbeck, Senior Associate, Postsecondary Education / Co-Lead, Equity Collaborative MDRC
  • Keith Witham, Director of Education Grantmaking, Ascendium Education Group
  • Quentin Wright, President, Lone Star State College–Houston North

We're excited to bring our Network and guests together for keynote sessions, high-quality research, policy and practice discussions, and networking with experts and practitioners from around the country—all in-person in Washington, DC.

National Press Club
529 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20045
Visitor Information

Venue vaccination policy: As of October 6, the National Press Club no longer requires proof of vaccination to attend this event.

Cost: There is no cost to attend the 2022 CCN Research, Policy, and Practice Convening. Current IES grantees are encouraged to discuss with their program officer how existing IES funding may support your attendance.

Travel scholarships: The College Completion Network has a limited number of travel scholarships available to support the attendance of early career scholars. To request more information, contact