CSPEN 6th Anual Conference
October 27th – 30th, 2020
Ritz Carlton, St. Louis MO 




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CSPEN 2020 Conference Agenda

Wednesday, October 28th

10 am – Noon  Developing  Soft Skills and a Growth Mindset: A Collaboration between American Career College and Pearson Career Success  

Presenters: Kim Cook, Regional Director of Clinical  and Career Success, American Career College and Paul Smith, Acquisitions Editor, Pearson Education

To aid students in completing their academic programs and positioning themselves better for the job market, American Career College revamped its entire curriculum, integrating focused instruction and practice in Learning and Soft skills and Mindset (GRIT) across the curriculum. To achieve this, ACC instituted a rigorous curriculum revision and a wide-ranging instructor training effort. Pearson Career Success, a digital program of career development assets and tools was adopted to provide the content for students’ work. This Workshop will review what ACC did to incorporate these new emphases into their courses and to bring faculty on board to effectively implement these innovative concepts. 

Sponsored by Pearson Education


Noon – 1 pm  Lunch on your own


Concurrent Sessions: 1 – 2 pm   

#1 State Association Panel Discussion: Aligning Our Community’s Mutual Goals and Agendas

Join a panel of State Association and Institutional Leaders as they discuss ways in which our community can build upon existing lines of communication and information sharing to better serve our students and schools.  What is working?  What would you like to see more of?  Less of? And, how do we work together to form a more cohesive message for both state and federal representation of our community?  Let’s talk about it TOGETHER.


Concurrent Sessions: 2 – 3 pm  


#1  2020 Elections:  What Are the Predictions for Our Future

Come and listen to an up to the minute summary of the prognosticators’ and pundits’ predictions for the 2020 Presidential, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives elections and what their educated guesses may mean for our community’s future.  This session will include discussions on the Presidential candidates key Higher Education Policy planks, what the climate looks like under a Democratic-controlled Senate, and a focus on key House and Senate races.


#2  Two Guys and Some Solid Marketing Advice – Round II

Presenters: Greg Gragg, CEO and Darryl Mattox, President of Gragg Advertising

Analysis, Attribution, Branding, Messaging, Strategy…Do you ever wonder what it takes to get your marketing to the next level?  In this session you will get the opportunity to engage with a couple of guys that have been successfully marketing in the EDU Sector since the 1990’s. Greg Gragg, CEO and Darryl Mattox, President of Gragg Advertising will share insights, answer questions, and give you some advice on what works and why. They will even share tips on how you can avoid some of the pitfalls popping up in this ever changing digital world.

Sponsored by Gragg Advertising


Break: 3 – 3:15 pm


Concurrent Sessions: 3:30 – 5:00 pm 

#1  Racial Indifference


#2  Streamlined COVID Proof Enrollment  – Update Society

Presenters: Mike O’Brien, CEO and Nick Jimenez, COO of Career Conext

Your inquiries and students want to know everything, all the time.  They have been trained by Amazon Prime email alerts, automated text and apps that provide instant updates.  Inquiries want to be kept in the loop with regard to their enrollment progress. Students and graduates want real-time access to grades, extern hours they have completed and jobs. This session will focus on strategies to overcome the enrollment gaps caused by COVID-19.

Sponsored by Career Conext


Networking Reception in the Garden: 6:00 – 7:30 PM


Thursday, October 29th 

Breakfast:  7 – 8 am

Opening Keynote: 8 – 9:15 am  “Outlook Cloudy, Ask Again”

Building upon Wednesday’s Panel discussions and presentations, CSPEN’s Opening Keynote Address will focus upon efforts to answer the most important questions of the here and now and how we can work together to shape our own future without having to rely on the predictions of a Magic 8 ball.


Concurrent Sessions: 9:15 – 10:15 am

#1  Best Practices in Non-Title IV: Now More Than Ever

Presenter: Jim Tolbert, CEO, Vista College

Given the current debate in Congress of excluding military education funding from non-TIV sources of 90-10 calculations, proprietary schools, now more than ever, need to explore ways to generate cash.  We will present best practices in: cash collection; accessing sources of non-TIV funding such as Department of Labor (e.g., WIOA), Bureau of Indian Affairs and prison funding; corporate training and apprenticeships: setting up and funding scholarship IRS approved 501 c(3) foundations; corporate reimbursements and scholarships; third party loans; short term training; and clinics.  A framework for budgeting, planning and executing these strategies will also be provided.  In addition to presenting the wide array of strategies being utilized by Vista College, the presenter will lead a discussion by the participants in strategies they are using for the benefit of the participants in the session.

#2  The Clery Act and the Concept of Administrative Capability: Best Practices and Lessons Learned from Recent Enforcement Cases

Presenter: James Moore, Senior Advisor for Clery Act Compliance/Campus Safety Operations, U.S. Department of Education

This session will cover the campus safety and crime prevention requirements that apply to all Title IV schools.  Best practices for career schools and lessons learned and other takeaways from recent enforcement cases will also be covered.  This session will also explain the sexual violence prevention and response provisions and key connections between the Violence Against Women Act and the new Title IX rules.


#3  TBD


#4  Managing Contractual Obligations During COVID 19 Pandemic

Presenter: Yolanda Gallegos, Gallegos Legal Group

This presentation will provide guidance both on how to defend against student and vendor breach of contract related to COVID-19 and how an institution may navigate its own inability to meet contractual obligations during this pandemic. 


Force Majeure Clauses: These clauses, otherwise known as Act of God provisions, may be available as a defense to allow a party to a contract to suspend or discontinue performance of contractual obligations under certain circumstances.  The presentation will discuss when a force majeure provision may be asserted, when an institution should consider asserting it, and how an institution should respond when one is asserted against it.

Contracts Without Force Majeure Clauses: The absence of a force majeure clause does not prevent a successful excuse for nonperformance.  Parties seeking relief from contractual obligations may still avail themselves of the common law doctrines of impossibility or impracticability.  The presentation will discuss how this doctrine may be used by institutions when performance on a contract is not feasible or defended against to prevent breach.

Business Interruption Insurance Under the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance on how institutions anticipating potential business interruption may utilize applicable insurance policies and provisions, including business interruption and contingent business interruption insurance.


Break: 10:15 – 10:45 am 


Concurrent Sessions: 10:45 am – 12 pm

#1  World Class Partnerships that Change the Math: 1 + 1 = 7 Highly Effective Habits

Presenters: Tara Dailey, Campus Director, Pima Medical Institute, Jean Vanderzee, Assistant Director of Education, Pima Medical Institute, Mary-Jo Kovach, Client Partner, Franklin Covey

Frequently school-wide initiatives are aimed at either improving student or staff performance.  It is the rare occasion when an initiative improves the performance of the entire campus inside and out.  Pima Medical Institute and FranklinCovey are both well respected organizations who share a foundational goal of transforming the lives of people.  Students, staff and faculty are immersed in a common purpose of achievement.  This partnership has given Pima Medical Institute the world class FranklinCovey content with its focus on productivity, leadership, respect, and appreciation.  The availability of time tested content to all staff and students has provided a shared language resulting in improved communication, satisfaction, and success from top to bottom.  The partnership has also provided new opportunities to increase enrollments and student outcomes.  This session will detail the multi-faceted incorporation of the content and the documented impact of this partnership.


#2  Financial Responsibility, Leases and Long-Term Debt Under the Borrower Defense    Final Rule

Presenters: Michael Wherry, Shareholder/Director, McClintock & Associates, PC, Jonathan Tarnow, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle and Reath,  Eileen Keller, Partner, Salmon Sims Thomas & Associates and Chris DeLuca, DeLuca Law LLC, of counsel Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, P.C.

The Borrower Defense Final Rule issued in September 2019 reflected significant changes from the Department of Education’s 2018 proposed rule, and to the previous 2016 final regulations. In addition to revising the events that may trigger a letter of credit requirement, there are significant changes from the earlier regulations related to the composite score’s handling of lease accounting changes under FASB Accounting Standards Update 2016-02, and to the Department’s allowance for long term debt in the composite score calculation. This session will provide a detailed overview of these crucial regulatory changes, which take effect July 1, 2020, from two attorneys that participated in the Department’s negotiated rulemaking process and two industry CPAs that serve as independent auditors to numerous career focused educational institutions.  


#3  TBD



#4 How to successfully nurture post-applicant potential students

Presenter: Brian Walker, President, Statwax

You cleared the first hurdle – your marketing efforts have gotten a potential student to fill out an

application. But days or weeks later when you check in on that student, you find out that they never enrolled and have gone silent on the process. What happened and could it have been avoided? By having a strong post-applicant nurturing process in place. Learn how digital marketing can be used to guide applicants after they’ve inquired, helping to build trust and provide information that nudges your prospects towards enrollment. Making the choice to attend school is a huge step – it is an investment of time, money, and energy. We will walk you through post-applicant nurturing digital touchpoints that are proven to be successful in leading students to enrollment – from information they need to receive to timing of messaging, and data that is the most useful to marketing and admission teams.


Lunch – Noon – 1:15 pm


General Session: 1:30 – 2:30 pm “And the Answer Is…” Attorney Roundtable Discussion

Back by popular demand is the third Attorney Roundtable panel discussion!  On average, over 400 CSPEN subscribers have participated in two CSPEN: CARES Act webinars in which legal experts from within the community have shared their view on the key issues of the day.  Now you will have the chance to share in discussions with these knowledgeable individuals in person as several of CSPEN’s Attorney Roundtable members share their latest interpretations and guidance with our community.


Break: 2:30 – 3 pm 


Concurrent Sessions: 3 – 4 pm

#1  Calling All Brand Ambassadors! Are You Top Talent or an MVP?

Presenter:  Micaela Alpers, President Education Division, Career Team, LLC

What separates institutions that survive from those that thrive?  Join Micaela Alpers, President of Career TEAM’s Education division for a thought-provoking discussion about creating a “Brand Ambassador” mindset at every level of your organization.  During this session you will learn tangible strategies to improve brand awareness in the communities we serve.  All with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes, driving employer engagement and building a positive campus culture.


#2  Federal Regulatory Update

U.S. Department of Education Panel Presentation

Top officials from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation have generously offered their time to provide our community with a summary of the status and interpretation of many of the key regulatory revisions that have been implemented over the past year and what is yet to come later this year.  Attendees will learn about the latest guidance on regulatory policy issues such as the July 1, 2020 disclosure requirements, CARES Act policy revisions – including R2T4, SAP, Financial Responsibility, et. al.


#3  Next Gen Admissions and Leadership

Presenters:  Eric Evans, President, Bryan University Online/DeXL and Aaron Edwards, Founder, Edwards Shoen

For decades, admissions and leadership training have been deployed to help individuals obtain skills to benefit themselves and the organizations they serve. But far too often, individuals leave a seminar, finish an online training, or wrap up with a coach to find themselves shortly thereafter having forgotten what they have learned and no apparent tangible skill improvement. It is time for a Better Way to Learn.

Core skills such as emotional intelligence, crucial conversations, active listening, overcoming objections, and managing change are a few key skills that make the difference between a good and advanced team in admissions, management, faculty and staff.

Join us as we share the Better Way to Learn formula as well as early adopter performance data from various organizations.


#4  Hot Topics in Employment Law in 2020

Presenter: Ben DeGweck, Shareholder, Maynard Cooper & Gale PC and Roger Swartzwelder, Shareholder, Maynard Cooper & Gale PC

The world of employment law is always evolving and 2020 is no different. This presentation is tailored to address issues that are frequently encountered by campus administrators and operators and will discuss best practices to manage change and stay compliant. This session will cover several timely and relevant topics including: COVID-19 related workplace legislation (FFCRA, FMLA and ADA); the #MeToo movement and its continued impact on the workplace; rapidly evolving state marijuana laws and there intersection with federal policy; Title VII and LGBTQ issues; anti-harassment legislation; new parental and paid leave laws; wage and hour changes that impact instructor pay and classification; as well as developments in employee alternative dispute resolution, including the use of arbitration agreements and class action waivers in the workforce.


Concurrent Sessions: 4 – 5 pm

#1  Changing Control When Things Seem Out of Control: Running a School During Uncertain Times

Presenters: LeeAnn Rohmann, High Desert Medical College, Scott Haid, Audit Partner, Weworski & Associates, David McClintock, Managing Partner, McClintock & Associates, Megan Banks, Attorney, Rouse Frets,  and Ron Holt, Rouse Frets 

This panel, comprised of a school executive, two industry CPAs and two industry lawyers, all experienced in school acquisitions, will address the extent to which school deals are occurring during our COVID and enrollment challenged environment, how motivated buyers select target schools, seller preparation for market, seller management of school operations during the deal process, deal term negotiation factors and structure, buyer due diligence, and current regulatory approval requirements and timetable.


#2  Campus Cybersecurity: A Department Priority

 Presenters: Brandon Sherman and Dan Commons from the Department of Education 

Brandon Sherman and Dan Commons from the Department of Education discuss the cybersecurity challenges facing institutions of higher education. This session will focus on cybersecurity compliance requirements, potential policy changes, threats to Institutions, and best practices for safeguarding information used in the administration of Title IV. Additionally, the session will define what constitutes a breach, discuss common and not so common examples of breaches, describe how to report a breach to FSA, and the FSA process to manage breach reports.


#3  Improving Financial Literacy for More Successful Repayment Outcomes

Presenters: Marigrace Klomstad, Senior Financial Specialist, Valley College and Matt Chinn, COO, UNISA, Inc.

Today, so many students are saddled with student loan debt and many find themselves in challenging situations when repayment begins. Personalized entrance and exit counseling can promote non-default and ideally student loan borrowers have financial literacy education and repayment experience, however this commonly is not the case. Typically, commitments and loan provisions are not fully understood and default can easily occur. Tuition payment plans and institutional loans with in-school payments can promote real-time experience while enrolled promoting out of school repayment. This interactive session promotes improving financial literacy for prospective, current and alumni students promoting budgeting 101, peer mentors, reality town, on-campus promotional events, and other best practices currently in use across the country. 


#4  Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Lawsuits Against Schools

Presenters: Bill Bay, Partner, Thompson Coburn and Jeff Fink, Partner, Thompson Coburn

This session will examine the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on campus operations in Spring 2020, and the litigation that followed.  The panelists will discuss class actions brought by students, breach of contract claims, and other lawsuits tied directly to the pandemic.  The session also will specifically consider and discuss recommendations for best practices on a go-forward basis.


Cocktail Reception: 5 – 7:00 pm 


Friday, October 30th

Breakfast: 7 – 8 am

Keynote General Session: 8 – 9 am “The Outlook is Promising”

Despite all of the challenges that our nation and our community are facing, our community must, and will be, part of the answer to rebuilding and restoring our country through the education of our nation’s workforce.  New federal campaigns and Executive Orders promoting skills-based education have recently been introduced, key national task forces and industry leaders are focused on the need for our students as their employees, and federal discussions are looking at the need to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure too.  Who better than our community to assist in meeting these workforce demands!


Break: 9 – 9:30 am

Concurrent Sessions: 9:30 – 10:30 am

#1  The Future of Course Materials – What Do the Next 5 Years Look Like?

Presenters: Bruce Schneider, Vice President of Business Engineering, Ambassador Education Solutions and Kristen White

Dynamics between educators and publishers continue to change, and while change keeps the industry moving forward, this shift is impacting the adoption, management and delivery of course materials. Today, traditional forms of content are still in demand, yet will the same hold true five years from now? Questions and uncertainties are plenty! 

Where are the publishers going to focus their efforts? How will everything be integrated?  What burden will IT, faculty, administration and students carry? Are print textbooks and stand-alone eBooks here to stay, or is more content going to be bundled with courseware? What options will students have? How will affordability weigh in? What impact will content integration have on your students’ experiences, as well as your school’s processes and publisher relationships? How will schools and publishers work together? What role will analytics play? Join us for a glimpse into the future of course materials – the content, the delivery and the outcomes.


#2  The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA): Best Practices for Career Schools

Presenter: James Moore , Senior Advisor, Clery Compliance/Campus Safety Operations

U.S. Department of Education

Is your school in compliance with ED’s substance abuse prevention requirements?  Do you even know these rules exist?  The Department has increased enforcement in this area so it is important that you know how to get it right.  Substance abuse can also negatively affect you students, employees, and reputation in the community.  Data shows that substance abuse leads to higher rates of absenteeism, academic problems, student withdrawals, and other issues that can adversely affect your school and business.  This session will cover the basics of the DFSCA that apply to all Title IV schools.  Best practices for career schools will also be covered.   


#3  Millennial Myths and Gen X,Y,Z Gibberish

Presenters: Mike Lanouette, Regional Director of Operations, Centura College/Aviation Institute of Maintenance

The following presentation addresses the unique (and maybe generational) differences in learners. The following presentation explores the common facts and myths of Millennials and Gen X,Y,Z traits and how addressing these traits can increase or reduce overall instructional effectiveness. The presentation also examines how educators can “morph” these myths to more effectively understand and relate to all learners.


#4  Setting Up Students for Success: Remediation and Intervention Solutions

During this presentation, the panelists will explore the most effective, contemporary solutions for enhancing the remedial learning process with the quality, flexibility, interactivity, and online access that are vital to prepare adult learners for the next step in college and career.

Presenters: Tammy Noel, Executive Director, EYC Academy, Lou Reuss, Head of School, EYC Academy, Rick Perkins, Vice President Instructional Service, Edmentum 

Moderator:Aaron Lacy, Thompson Coburn 


Keynote Closing: 10:45 – 11:45 am  “Signs Point to Yes”

CSPEN will conclude with a summary of a number of the key takeaways from the two and half days of intense discussions and a discussion on next steps for the future. 


Academics Workshop #1  12:30 – 2:30 pm


Admissions Workshop #2 12:30 – 2:30 pm

Included States

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