Conference Program


The HLC Annual Conference provides opportunities for administrators, faculty and staff of HLC member institutions, along with members of the HLC Peer Corps, to learn information and promising practices from fellow practitioners and the HLC staff. Attendees also engage with featured speakers who are leading thinkers, researchers and advocates in the field of higher education.

The 2018 conference will highlight the theme of Innovation and Transformation, addressing major changes in higher education brought on by new technologies, new credentials, new providers and new public policy priorities. The conference will provide forums to explore how institutions can embrace the opportunities presented by transformative change, and how accreditation can facilitate this evolution while continuing to assure quality and promote student success.


Peer Corps Program

Friday, April 6
7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This program offers professional development and specialized training for current members of HLC’s Peer Corps. The program will include updates on HLC policies and procedures and good practices for conducting and leading evaluations. Special training sessions will be offered for new team chairs, presidents, new Institutional Actions Council members, and substantive change reviewers and chairs.

Who Should Attend: All active members of HLC’s Peer Corps are invited to attend professional development sessions. Training sessions are offered by invitation only.

Accreditation Workshop

Saturday, April 7
7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This workshop (previously known as the Pathways Workshop) offers in-depth presentations on the expectations and processes for HLC accreditation. A track for those new to HLC, called Orientation to HLC Accreditation, includes sessions on the Pathways for Reaffirmation of Accreditation and what to expect from the peer review process. The Preparing for a Comprehensive Evaluation track, intended for those with a review scheduled in the next two years, includes sessions focusing on each of the Criteria for Accreditation.

Who Should Attend: Faculty members and administrative leaders involved in accreditation processes, and Accreditation Liaison Officers.

Eligibility Workshop

Saturday, April 7
7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This informational workshop is designed to explain the process of seeking affiliation with HLC. The workshop will outline the Eligibility Process, provide an overview of key Eligibility Requirements and offer tips for a successful Eligibility Filing.

Who Should Attend: Individuals leading their institution’s process of seeking accreditation. Because seating is limited, no more than four representatives per institution (including any consultants) should attend.

Presidents Program

Saturday, April 7
7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

This program offers institutional leaders a chance to engage with HLC’s president and trustees as well as invited speakers on key issues in higher education and accreditation.

Who Should Attend: Up to four CEOs and trustees from any HLC-accredited or candidate institution.

Supporting Student Success Workshop

Saturday, April 7
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This interactive workshop will help participants take an inclusive approach to establishing and sustaining a success-focused campus. Attendees will explore potential barriers to student success, examine promising practices and devise strategies to support students inside and outside the classroom. The content aligns with HLC’s ongoing strategic initiatives to better define, measure and support student success.

Who Should Attend: Faculty members and those supporting the work of faculty.

Exhibit Hall Open

Saturday, April 7–
Monday, April 9

The Exhibit Hall features many resources, including displays by dozens of exhibiting companies offering products and services for institutions of higher learning. Events taking place in the Exhibit Hall include the Accreditation Share Fair, the Academies Poster Fair and the Special Interest Group Meetings. Complimentary breakfasts and purchased lunches will also be available in the Exhibit Hall on Sunday and Monday.

General Program

8:00 a.m. Sunday, April 8–
11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 10

The General Program offers information on the latest developments, issues and good practices in higher education. HLC staff members will provide updates on HLC policies, procedures and initiatives; leading researchers and practitioners will share innovative approaches to current and future challenges; and institutions from across HLC’s 19-state region will present on how they have embraced the opportunities presented by transformative change.

The final day of the General Program features two extended sessions, each providing a choice of several interactive seminars. These seminars will allow attendees to engage with presenters and peers while taking part in exercises to promote both professional development and quality improvement at their institutions.

Who Should Attend: HLC contacts and institutional representatives, including Accreditation Liaison Officers, Data Update Coordinators, Assurance System Coordinators, administrative professionals, faculty members, peer reviewers, and CEOs, presidents and chancellors.

Accreditation Share Fair

Sunday, April 8
2:30–4:00 p.m.

The Share Fair provides an opportunity for all conference attendees to learn from institutions that have successfully completed an accreditation process or activity. Representatives of institutions invited to discuss a designated process will describe their experience and answer questions through informal discussion and displays in the Exhibit Hall.

Special Interest Group Meetings

Sunday, April 8–
Monday, April 9

Special Interest Group Meetings are informal roundtable discussions facilitated by conference attendees that provide an opportunity to share ideas in a small group. Participants can network with colleagues who share interest in a specific topic, come from similar institutions or serve in similar roles.

Academies Poster Fair

Monday, April 9
10:00 a.m.–noon

The Poster Fair is an opportunity for all conference attendees to visit with institutions involved in the Assessment Academy and the Persistence and Completion Academy. Academy participants will display posters depicting their projects and experiences and answer questions about Academy events and expectations.