Call for Proposals

2023 SACSCOC Annual Meeting

Orlando, FL | December 2 – 5

This year’s conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, the world’s epicenter  for theme parks.  A quote from the founder of the city’s most notable theme park, Walt Disney, was viewed by the members of the Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee as an appropriate call to action for this year’s conference theme:

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

As we look to strengthen our connections while envisioning what we want to achieve in the future, the theme, Imagine New Paths Forward: Building Stronger Community Networks through Curiosity and Visualization,emerged. 

While we continue to manage our daily activities both personally and professionally, we keep moving forward uncovering hidden gems in the success we find along the way. Our students are still on the journey with us, and we owe it to them to stay the course.  With the many changes in the educational, corporate, political, social, and financial landscapes over the past few years, we find ourselves opening new doors and doing new things in order to ensure the value of higher education remains clear. We are seeking proposals that can guide institutions on how to identify and succeed in those new endeavors, including how to collaborate with others on accomplishing new goals. 

Some of the doors we are opening lead to paths of innovation because we’re curious about incorporating creative methods for continuous improvement in student learning, instructional design, and operational efficiencies. If your institution has experienced success that demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, consider submitting a proposal that shares your institution’s success story and how others can model your work. Taking advantage of the networking opportunities during this conference allows participants to find those strategies to address challenges they are facing on their campuses.  As a membership, our curiosity keeps leading us down new paths where we can imagine success, imagine innovation, imagine improvement, and imagine beyond. We are seeking proposals that will help participants identify those paths and obtain the direction needed to navigate them.  Consider submitting your proposal today!

The 2023 Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee is seeking proposals that directly address the following five program tracks:

Imagine Success

  • How has your institution successfully demonstrated compliance with the Principles of Accreditation?
  • How has your institution mastered the management of substantive change?
  • What has led to the success your institution is seeing in student achievement?
  • What goal has your institution achieved to address the mental well-being of students, faculty, and staff, and how was this accomplished?
  • What can other institutions learn from your institution’s success in managing finances?
  • What academic programming success has your institution experienced, and how was this accomplished?
  • How has your institution succeeded in implementing a program and/or general education assessment plan with strong faculty engagement?
  • In what ways has your institution successfully demonstrated it has sufficient full-time faculty for each of its academic programs?  

Imagine Innovation

  • What innovative solutions has your institution adopted to realize efficiencies or solve a problem?
  • How has your institution innovatively used its resources (information technology, library, etc.) to support its students and academic programs?
  • What innovative data mining/analysis has your institution discovered to reveal new information?
  • What innovation has led to a transformation of enrollment management at your institution?
  • How has your institution employed the usage of AI/VR (artificial intelligence/virtual reality)?
  • What innovative trends in higher education have impacted your work?
  • What alternate methods has your institution adopted for students to reach degree completion?
  • How has your institution developed or incorporated credentials and microcredentials into the curriculum?

Imagine Improvement

  • What initiatives has your institution adopted to realize improvements in student learning?
  • How has general education improved at your institution?
  • What results has your institution seen from enhancements to the scholarship of teaching?
  • How has your institution improved its offerings of professional development for staff?
  • How has the learning environment improved for students on your campus?
  • How has your institution improved its strategic planning or assessment processes?
  • What enhancements to support services has your institution made to better serve students?
  • What strategies has your institution implemented to improve faculty/staff performance and morale?

Imagine Collaboration

  • How has networking with peer groups or peer institutions positively impacted your institution?
  • How has your institution’s leadership encouraged and engaged in collaborative efforts?
  • What steps has your institution taken to develop and manage partnerships in dual-credit arrangements, advancement opportunities, or employer relationships?
  • How have different departments within your institution worked together to improve student success?
  • What new external partnerships have you established to improve student success?
  • How has your institution leveraged collaboration with its internal and external constituents?
  • What example of cross-institutional synergy has resulted in positive change at your institution?

Imagine Beyond

A number of current issues in higher education, which are not directly addressed in the program tracks above, 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 2023 Annual Meeting Program will feature more than 150 different sessions offered by approved proposal submissions, including poster sessions, group discussions, concurrent sessions, and pre-conference 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:

  • Poster sessions feature a visually appealing presentation consisting of results from an adopted initiative or research project that includes implications for a wider audience. These sessions are held during the Opening Reception and last for 30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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 are either 60- or 90-minutes long and should include at least 5-10 minutes for questions from the audience. Sessions that warrant 90 minutes must be fully justified and include an active learning component.
  • Pre-Conference 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, Content Level and Institution Level

Each proposal should identify the target audience that will benefit most from participating in the session.

Examples of appropriate responses:

  • “Graduate business faculty, assessment coordinators, and academic deans.”
  • “Individuals who are responsible for developing the narratives for Section 12 (Academic and Student Support Services) of the Principles of Accreditation.”
  • “Individuals who are responsible for preparing their institution’s Compliance Certification.”

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.

To identify the target institution level(s) for your session, use the categories below, which reflect the highest degree offered at a member institution:

  • Level I – Associate degrees
  • Level II – Baccalaureate degree
  • Levels III-VI – Master, Educational Specialist, or Doctorate degree

Components of Proposal Evaluation

All proposals should be well developed with thorough responses. Incomplete documentation will not be reviewed.

  1. Proposal title – Does the title clearly describe the session and enhance interest?
  2. Session description – Does the description coherently and concisely describe what will be covered in the session while piquing the interest of an attendee?
  3. Currency, relevance, and appropriateness of the topic to the theme – Does the proposal make a strong compelling argument for its inclusion in the conference program? Does it represent a timely topic that is relevant to the field of higher education? Is the topic appropriate for the conference theme?
  4. Organization of session – Is there a well-structured outline with sufficient details about the content to be covered and realistic timeframes for each segment of the proposed session?
  5. Participant learning outcomes – Are the participant learning outcomes attainable, address what participants will learn (rather than what the presenter will do), and in alignment with the content of the session outline?
  6. Active learning (Pre-conference workshops and 90-minute concurrent sessions only) – Does the proposal include meaningful activities for participants that appropriately support the participant learning outcomes?
  7. Professionalism – Does the proposal reflect the level of professionalism expected of SACSCOC presenters (well-written and error-free)?
  8. Presenter qualifications – Does the presenter possess the expertise to deliver the proposed session?

Proposal Submission Deadline: Thursday, May 18, 2023 at noon (eastern time)