Francis, JT, Dave, and John

Your requirement is to plan a large scale conference (3000 – 3500 participants) for a consortium of liberal arts colleges from around the United States.
The topic is centered on accreditation issues that this group of small colleges encounter that are unique to their experience.
The consortium has almost 1500 members from around the country and wields considerable power in the academic world. While the consortium has historically gone to Chicago for the conference, the leadership is allowing you to consider other sites as long as they have the ability to handle a conference of this size at least as well as Chicago. The conference will be proposed to move to San Diego.

The Executive Committee of the consortium has formed this working group and will be involved throughout the process. They are elected officers of the organization, but the committee has one full time staff member who provides support for the organization throughout the year. She works out of the consortium’s Kansas City office and has a great deal of say in what happens in the consortium. Some members have commented on the fact that she might have too much power in the consortium. The Executive Committee is leaving the details to your working group, but has a desire to focus on some specific topics in the program, including assessment of general education and cooperative agreements with other colleges or organizations. You must make sure these are included in the program in some way.

Three of the four members of your working group are from different venues within the consortium and are doing this as part of their service to the organization. The Vice Chair of the Executive Committee heads your working group, as that position historically has responsibility for next year’s conference. Two other members of the group are administrators from small colleges in the Kansas City area and are close enough to work out of the consortium office located there. The final member is an event planner who was hired by the full time staff member at the consortium office to aid you with the logistical details of the conference.

Your final product, due to the Executive Committee at their fall meeting on November 17th, is a collaborative Wiki detailing the program you recommend with all of the educational and administrative issues worked out and any problems identified. The full time staff member is a graduate of a local adult education program and has convinced the Vice Chair to utilize Caffarella’s model to guide your deliberations and the organization of your Wiki.

You have time to research this organization and the specific program you must plan. Many resources exist for your use; research is part of program planning. Any additional information you believe you need may be gained from Dr. Martin.

Vice Chair of the Executive Committee - Francisco P. Santos
School Administrators - David Adams and John Greer
Event Planner - JT Zablocki

Organizational decision making: The executive committee will base all final decisions on the inputs from all attending colleges.

Coalition building: Important to ensure training events are included on the final conference schedule.
The more executive committee members you can influence the easier the planning process will be.

Power relations: Strive for a milieu of equality which will help negate power struggles.
Full time staff member with support from the organization in the K.C. office has many opinions on what happens in the consortium. Some committee members believe she has too much power in the consortium. It will be important for our committee to get these staff members on our side to ensure all ideas/communications get to the executive committee in a timely manner and with her support.

Cultural Factors
History and traditions: Traditionally in Chicago, considering alternative location of San Diego. This change in location has potential to cause controversy and inconsistency. This will be mitigated by showing how San Diego, in terms of facilities, location, attractions, weather and ease of travel, is a much better choice than Chicago to hold the conference.

The presidents and senior academic officers of the forty-nine member colleges identified two areas of primary concern:
(1) the support and development of undergraduate science education; and (2) the enhancement of academic computing facilities to include library automation. Each issue being developed will be examined by the committees for approval. These topics need to be well represented during the conference due to the association's interest along with other current information technology issues that are relevant to the association's interests.

The yearly conference is the primary avenue for introduction and discussion of new technologies, issues and concerns and has been successful in creating a strong organization. The selection of the programs or topics will be important to ensure that the interest of the members are tweaked and that a good number attend the conference.

Administrators and event planners will respond to inquiries from the executive committee once the outline for the event schedule and use of facilities is formulated.
Program Goals:
The main topic for this year's conference is "accreditation", main speakers needs to be known experts on accreditation issues and how they fit into the liberal arts education.
Program Objectives: Ensure adequate physical facilities
Equipment for each lecture set up and prepared
Budget maintained
Feedback attained concluding the conference

A myriad of ideas relevant to the three major topics of ACCREDITATION, ASSESSMENT and COLLABORATION will be presented to the Executive Committee. Their decision on the final topics will be presented during the conference.

The objective of the conference is to provide information and stimulate discussion on the following topics of interest to the consortium.
1. To create a discussion on the relevance of liberal arts college accreditation in the current educational setting. The seminars will look at accreditation and the resulting quality assurance that conference members are responsible for in order to provide guidance to the participating educational institutions.
2. To provide information on assessments as it relates to assessing goals and student growth. Introduce to the consortium the "Dimensions of Learning Model" assessment tool and the benefits of it's use.
Prior to the conference taking place (approximately 3 months), a blog will be generated to stimulate inputs of interest. These inputs will be filtered and prioritized to cater to the specific intent of the conference. Once key topics are selected, subject matter expertise will be acquired to promote areas of interest.

- Collect all transfer-of-learning data after conclusion of the conference. Six months later via email ask the following questions - Have the lectures / training recieved at the conference been useful this academic year? Were the topics presented during the course of the conference beneficial to both your faculty and students?
- Evaluation after each lecture/training seminar during the conference - Did the program accomplish what it was supposed to?
- The goal is for learners to transfer 100% of the knowledge gained through the seminars to their jobs where applicable, hopefully resulting in positive changes that result in improvement in the quality of services at their facilities.

As we progress through the planning stages, information briefs will be sent in via the committee staff members which will then be forwarded to participating memebers to ensure that they are aware of the progress being made. The Vice Chair of the Executive Committee will also meet with the Chairman to ensure that the information is being received and that the committee is clear on the plans of the working group. The Chairman will ensure that all questions are addressed in a tiemly manner. On Nov 17, a final report to the Executive Committee in the form of either an information brief or power point presentation (EC will decide) will be presented. The working group will then evaluate and approve a plan of action which will be presented through the conference web page.


Upon Executive Committee approval of the conference plan, the "CLAC 2010 Annual Conference" website will become available which will provide links to the schedule, speakers, local hotels, and attractions. This site will also allow the members and prospective attendees to register for the event.
- A mass email to all members will also be initiated as well as flyers to be sent via postal mail for advertising within their colleges.

- Price for conference per person attending- $250
. In my calculation this event may be executed within a $600K budget which would allow us to bring down the conference fee to $200 per person, our break even attendance will be 3000 persons. If more than 3000 sign up, that will be profit to the organization.

The yearly conference has been seen by the association as a viable forum for idea introduction and exchange which makes these very popular among all member organizations. Support from the community will be necessary to facilitate event logistics and can be accomplished through ad hoc groups.

The following are the recommended conference topics that will be presented to the Executive Committee.
1. College accreditation, it's relevance in the present educational setting.
- This seminar will provide an insight on the relevance of accreditation in the current collegiate environment. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided by institutions meets acceptable levels of quality.
2. When accreditation standards change.
- This seminar will look at different colleges and organizations and their reactions when accreditations standards change.
Are educational institutions responsive to changes in the accreditation standards?

1. Liberal Arts Education - Assessing goals and student growth.
- This seminar provides information on approaches to evaluating liberal education, measuring cognitive motivational and educational outcomes. It will provide some insight on the importance of the liberal arts education in adult life and comparing institutional characteristics and student development at other colleges.
2. Student surveys - Tools for classroom success.
- This seminar will provide information on how to define appropriate classroom targets for attitude assessment. Differentiate among open-ended, multiple choice, and ranking surveys. How to construct a classroom survey and create graphs and tables to effectively convey survey results.
3. Assessing Student outcomes using the Dimensions of Learning Model.
- Dimensions of learning is an instructional model that is based on the premise that five types of thinking are essential to the learning process. Assessment is seen as closely linked to teaching and learning, and it should therefore be conducted in a way that provides useful feedback to teachers, students and parents. This seminar will provide an overview of this system.

1. Cooperative alliances - towards increased enrollment in the Liberal Arts colleges.
This seminar will explore the effect of cooperative allinaces towards its principle goals of getting more high school students into college, getting more adults to continue their education or begin college, expanding access to postsecondary education, and the efficient use of federal, state and local resources.
2. GI BILL Transferability and cooperative agreements with the U.S. Military.
- This seminar will look at cooperative agreements with the US Military in light of the increased transferability of the GI BILL. A cooperative agreement indicates some level of partnership between the organizations and details the obligations and responsibilities of each party. These agreements may be written in terms of specific courses or entire programs.

The majority of the events are seminar type where ideas and information introduced and presented. Therefore, instructional plans do not apply.

Learning objectives will be tailored to attendees requirements and the instructional plan will be harmonized with the learning objectives.
For the seminar on the use of the Dimensions of Learning Model, the following instructional plan is proposed.

The participants will be able to…
Content Heading
Key Points to Emphasize
Instructional Techniques
Estimated Time
Help educators increase their own understanding of the learning process.
Acquaint participants with model
Development tool that helps teacher shape curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Examine past assessment cases using the outlined model.
Examine historical models
Small group study of historical model
Evaluate the applicability of the model
Application of the model
Relevance to specific practice


Collection Location
Conference meet needs of colleges
Lectures used for accreditation
Post Conference Surveys / gift card for turning in survey
End of conference
Get people to come back to future conferences
Following years attendance
Blog / Surveys
30 days upon completion of conference
Improve instructional processes and materials
Testimonies of success from attendees
Interviews / gift cards for completion
Randomly through conference
Stay within or under budget
Surplus of funds / enough funds to complete conference
Dedicated financial planner
Completion of conference
Overall increase awareness of topics
Delta from surveys taken
Pre/post survey from attendees
At conference

Every Survey turned in - Receive a gift coupon for local restaurant



The conference is mainly conducted via seminar. A subject matter expert for each topic is invited to speak and depending on how the speaker
would like to conduct the seminar (i.e. free wheeling discussion, question and answer after the presentation) will be made clear at the start of each seminar.
Seminars will be conducted in succession with breaks in between which will allow all participants to attend all of them if they so desire.


Each day a certain topic will be addressed. On the first day ACCREDITATION will be the focus topic followed by ASSESSMENT on the second day. The final day will concentrate on COLLABORATION. This will allow participants the flexibility to schedule the days they will want to arrive/depart based on the scheduled topics.

Preliminary Conference Schedule

Day 1 (Tuesday)

Registration & Check In
Main Lobby
Welcome Reception
Seminar 1
Conference Rm 1
Seminar 2
Conference Rm 2

Day 2 (Wednesday)

Breakfast Buffet
Seminar 1
Conference Rm 1
Seminar 2
Conference Rm 2
Conference Rm 1
Reception Dinner
Onyx Ballroom
Day 3 (Thursday)

Breakfast Buffet
Seminar 1
Conference Rm 1
Seminar 2
Conference Rm 2
Wrap Up/Closing

The site for the 2010 CLAC Annual Conference is the San Diego Convention Center

Hotels available in San Diego.
Accommodating over 50,000 hotel rooms throughout the region.
Working with San Diego Convention Center sales staff to arrange hotel packages for event.
Convention Services department assist in facilities and on-site events planning.
Services offered include:

  • Coordinating and conducting hotel and venue site visits
  • Suggesting various venues for entertainment and pre & post convention activities
  • Providing referrals and vendors for San Diego services
  • “San Diego" video available to enhance your marketing efforts
  • Custom hotel locator maps

First choice in hotels will be in the Downtown area close to the Convention Center.
As a quick reference guide, see our regional hotel maps for more information about specific hotels and locations.

Coordinate for bus transportation from hotels to Convention Center.

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Downtown San Diego Hotels
Over 10,000 hotel rooms conveniently located within one mile of the San Diego Convention Center in and around downtown.

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Island Area Hotels
San Diego Bay is one of San Diego's largest attractions and is home to some of the finest hotels in the region.

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Mission Bay & Beaches Hotels
Located only 8 miles from Downtown San Diego, Mission Bay and surrounding areas feature 70 miles of beautiful beaches and many of our hotels have a front row seat.

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Mission Valley & Old Town Hotels
Mission Valley is just minutes away from the airport and downtown, making it one of the most centralized locations in San Diego.

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La Jolla Hotels
Located 14 miles from Downtown San Diego, La Jolla is home to sophisticated shopping, dining and accommodations.

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North County Hotels
North San Diego County offers excellent golf and spa resorts, as well as pristine beaches, fine dining and exciting attractions.