Shift Happens Logo

May 26 – 27, 2021

The conference will be offered via Zoom 10 a..m. – 4 p.m. CT each day. View the full schedule and replay video presentations below!

View Schedule and Details Here

Troubleshooting Audio Issues in Zoom

How do we acknowledge the changes that our learners are going through? What challenges and inequities do our students face? What was exacerbated by the pandemic? How did you shift? How do you look at your work differently? Which policies and practices did you put in place to meet the shift?

How do you innovate for when Shift Happens?

Sessions will be available in these areas as they pertain to adult learners:

  • Serving Students as they Shift
  • Providing Non-Traditional Populations with Credit for Prior Learning and Adult-based programs
  • Collaborating with External Partners: Workforce, Adult Basic Education, Community-based Organizations
  • Teaching and Learning with the Adult Student
  • Enveloping The Work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Pivoting with Corrections and Reentry Programs
  • Leaning into the Needs of Veterans

Learn from experts and each other how to best serve adult learners. Explore proven methods to increase access, facilitate success, and remove barriers to your students achieving their goals!

Another way to participate!

Hello Shift Happens participants! We are one year into Covid-19 and would like to know how you have filled your time.

We are asking participants to send us a 1-minute video and /or a screen shot of your COVID-19 home office space. We’ll run these during our virtual breaks.

Think of it like bumping into someone during a coffee break or getting to know your neighbor before a concurrent session begins. You know sharing the things we used to do before we were quarantined.

What are we looking for? Here are some ideas:

  • Share something about how adult learners made it through quarantine.
  • Brag about your work, your students, your school/college, your partnerships.
  • Give us tips on living through a pandemic?

We hope you’ll participate. Send your photo/video to

Event Schedule

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Workshop / Event
10 – 10:15 Welcome and Housekeeping
10:15 – 11:15 Keynote

  • “Rethinking Higher Education Across a 60 Year Curriculum”
Rovy Branon
11:30 – 12:30 Break out session 1

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch/networking
1:30 – 2:30 Break out session 2

  • “Earning Penn State credit for Military training”
  • “The Open University: Inclusive College in Prison during the Covid-19 Pandemic”
  • “The inner workings of the Education Justice Project”
  • “MN Reconnect Program—Supporting Returning Adult Learners”
  • “How to Modify a Program to Increase Adult Success:  Course Scheduling and CPL”
  • “Using MCIS for Online Career Exploration and Planning”
2:45 – 3:45 Student Panel

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Workshop / Event
10 – 10:30 Welcome

  • “Why Adult Learners are Essential in Meeting Our Equity 2030 Goal”
Equity 2030 – Terry Lyn Hinds
10:45 – 11:15 Break out session 3 (30 min sessions)

  • “Adult Immigrants’ Experiences as Knowledge- a Path to College Level Credit”
  • “Cycle of Course Design”
  • “The Lived Experiences of Adult Learners in an Individualized Program: Empowerment, Responsibility, Tensions, and Anxiety”
  • “Adult Learners and Guided Self-Placement: Empowering Students to Succeed”
  • “Prior Learning Assessment: Understanding the Barriers and their Impact on Program Implementation and Success”
11:30 – 12:30 Breakout Session 4

  • “Helping Post-Pandemic Adult Learners to Skill Up ”
  • “Math Foundations Collaboration – a partnership between North Hennepin Community College and Osseo ABE”
  • “We are Family: Creating a Culture which Educates, Embraces, and Affirms All Learners”
  • “DCTC Customized Training and the Variety of Students We Serve”
  • “Art Gives Voice to Incarcerated Artists”
  • “Attract, Recruit, Retain, and Complete (ARRC)- Solutions for the Adult Learner Journey”
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch/networking
1:30 – 2:30 Break out session 5

2:45 – 3:45 Closing Keynote

  • “Shifting from Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) to being Anti-Racist”
Donte Curtis
3:45 – 4:00 Closing

Troubleshooting Audio Issues in Zoom

Keynote Speakers

Rovy Branon

Rovy Branon

Vice Provost, Continuum College
University of Washington

Rethinking Higher Education Across a 60 Year Curriculum

Wednesday, May 26, 10:00 – 11:15 CT

Student Panel

Student Panel

The Reality of Shift Happening

Wednesday, May 26, 2:45 – 4:00 CT

Teri Lyn Hinds

Teri Lyn Hinds

Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives – Equity 2030
Minnesota State

Why Adult Learners are Essential in Meeting Our Equity 2030 Goal

 Thursday, May 27, 10:00 – 10:30 CT

Donte Curtis

Donte Curtis

Owner/Lead Consultant
Catch Your Dream Consulting

Shifting from Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) to being Anti-Racist

Thursday, May 27, 2:45 – 4:00 CT


Planning Committee Members:

  • Brenda Lyseng, Title III Grant Project Director
  • Aria Kronebusch, Title III Grant Coordinator
  • Kendrah Pearson, IHCC/DCTC Credit for Prior Learning Director
  • Jan Austad, Associate Dean of Career Programs, IHCC
  • Nicki Bottko, Associate Director of Student Life
  • Mary Beth Lakin, CPLAN Director, Metropolitan State University
  • Jess Niebuhr, Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships and “All Learning Counts” Director, Minnesota State
  • Shelly Auldrich, MN Reconnect Program Manager, Minnesota State
  • Eva Scates-Winston, Career and Technical Education Equity Specialist, Minnesota State
  • Gina Sobania, Director of Military, Veteran, and Adult Learner Services, Minnesota State


We want to acknowledge the various partners that are making the Adult Learner Institute possible:

Title III Logo
Title III Grant: Adult Learners: Service, Success and Growth

Lumina Grant: All Learning Counts

Minnesota Reconnect Logo
MN Reconnect

Minnesota State Career and Technical Education Logo
MinnState Career and Technical Education

Minnesota State Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network
CPLAN = Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network

Military and Veteran Services, Minnesota State