Call for Proposals

2020 SACSCOC Annual Meeting

TUNE in to a Clear Vision

Nashville, Tennessee | December 5 – 8

Proposal submission is closed.

Listening to an orchestra performance is a wonderful experience. Each section of the orchestra has spent years preparing to be the best at their craft. Each musician contributes to the section’s success, just as each section contributes to the success of the whole orchestra. The conductor’s vision provides the common thread around which they coalesce. The symphony can only be great when that vision is made clear and the overall collaboration works. This collaboration is the same within a higher education institution. Multiple departments across a campus become experts in their areas. But when these departments work in concert, focused on a common mission, an institution becomes truly harmonious.

As SACSCOC enters Music City, USA (Nashville, TN) this December, our thoughts center on the collaboration necessary to strengthen a great higher education institution. In 2020, the year of perfect vision, we are reminded of the common vision that unites all the various areas. How do the various areas across campus unite to achieve student success? What technological advances improve our efforts? How do the reaffirmation process and the QEP enhance our collaborative efforts? What innovations drive our progress?

The 2020 Program Committee is seeking the biggest, boldest proposals that directly address the challenges before us and that embrace change, innovation, and collaboration. We encourage submissions from a wide range of participants and institutions that address the varied modes of operation among us. Proposals should “TUNE” into the following program tracks:

Technological Opportunities
Technology continues to affect all areas of our institutions.

  • How are institutions navigating the new social media environment, where both positive and negative news can have immediate and widespread impact?
  • What technological advances are working in student and faculty development?
  • How is distance education continuing to improve and affect our institutions?
  • How is technology being used in new ways to facilitate teaching and learning?

Unraveling Student Success
The mission at the heart of all our institutions is student learning.

  • What are the best ways to measure student achievement? How do you disaggregate data to measure success across all student populations?
  • What high-impact practices are working on your campus? How is success measured?
  • How do student support services work with other areas of the campus to ensure student success?
  • How do student health and wellness efforts reverberate across campus to ensure student success?

Navigating Reaffirmation
Engaging in accreditation activities always requires extensive collaboration across the campus.

  • What techniques are being used to improve collaboration during accreditation activities?
  • What lessons can institutions share on selecting a QEP topic or developing a new QEP?
  • How are institutions successfully demonstrating compliance with the Principles of Accreditation?
  • How have institutions successfully developed a Fifth-Year Interim Report or QEP Impact Report?
  • How have institutions “retuned” from being out of compliance following a committee review to demonstrating compliance?

Educational Innovation
In music, the occasional riff adds vibrancy and freshness.

  • What innovations are enlivening the higher education landscape?
  • How are institutions finding new ways to reduce cost and time to degree completion?
  • What creative techniques have been implemented to improve learning, retention, and persistence?
  • What collaborations or partnerships, either internal or external, offer inventive ways to improve student learning or program outcomes?
  • How are institutions preparing to meet the challenges of a globally diverse environment?

Special Topics

A number of current issues in higher education dom­inate the cover stories of journals, periodicals, and websites. While considering the conference theme, proposals in this track should stimulate discussion and encourage participants to share methods to address these current issues facing higher education.

Format of Proposed Session

The 2020 Annual Meeting Program will feature more than 200 different  sessions offered by approved proposal submissions, including concurrent sessions, group discussions, poster sessions, and workshops. Consider the appropriate format of your session that will best ensure participants are able to achieve the desired learning outcomes. Below is a description of each session format:

  • Concurrent sessions offer practical applications (what worked and what did not work). It is imperative that the content extend beyond “this is how we did it” to the discussion being generalizable to other institutions. Concurrent sessions will be 60 minutes and should include at least 5–10 minutes for questions from the audience. Some topics may warrant 90 minutes, provided they are fully justified and include an active learning component.
  • Group discussions feature an open discussion between a knowledgeable facilitator and a small group. While the group discussions are 60 minutes, formal presentations will not be considered.
  • Poster sessions feature a visually appealing presentation consisting of results from a research project that includes implications for a wider audience.
  • Workshops incorporate active learning during sessions led by experienced professionals in full-day (6 hours) and half-day (3 hours) time frames. A schedule of activities to be conducted during the allotted time must be included in the proposal. In addition, the content must include both didactic and applied instruction that is relevant to accreditation and/or the theme. Workshop presenters should be knowledgeable in their fields and capable of presenting the content in creative ways and applying it to real problems in academia.

Target Audience and Content Level

Each proposal should identify the target audience that will benefit most from participating in the session (QEP Leadership Teams, Accreditation Liaisons, academic administrators, faculty, assessment officers, etc.). Each proposal should also indicate the anticipated content level of the topic as defined below:

  • Beginner content covers basic topics in accreditation or higher education. Familiarity with the Principles of Accreditation may be helpful; however, in most cases, prior knowledge is not assumed.
  • Intermediate content covers theory and practice in topics in accreditation or higher education for participants with some related work experience.
  • Advanced content covers highly developed or complex topics, knowledge, or skills for participants with several years of related work experience. Usually advanced sessions provide an opportunity for participants to apply the content to a real problem or to analyze some of the concepts presented.

Below are the accreditation tracks that reflect the membership institutions:

  • Track A institutions offer undergraduate degrees only.
  • Track B institutions offer undergraduate and graduate degrees or graduate degrees only.

Components of Proposal Evaluation

All proposals should be well developed with thorough responses. Incomplete documentation will not be reviewed. Proposals will be evaluated on how well the questions below are answered.

  1. Proposal title – Does the title accurately describe the session and enhance interest?
  2. Session description (to appear in the mobile app/program) – Does the description accurately and concisely describe what will be covered in the session while piquing the interest of an attendee?
  3. Relevance of the topic and its appropriateness to the theme – Does the proposal make a compelling argument for its inclusion in the conference program? Does it represent an issue of immediate importance to the field of higher education? Is the topic relevant to the conference theme?
  4. Organization of session – Is there a well-structured, descriptive outline (with realistic time frames) of the session content? Does the outline reflect coherence with the title, description, and participant learning outcomes?
  5. Participant learning outcomes – Are the participant learning outcomes realistic, clearly stated, and reflect what participants will learn, instead of what the presenter will do during the session? Will the participants receive practical, transferable knowledge?
  6. Professionalism – Does the proposal reflect the professionalism expected of SACSCOC presenters?
  7. Active learning (workshops and 90-minute concurrent sessions only) – Does the proposal include meaningful, varied activities for participants that appropriately support the participant learning outcomes?