Who Should Attend

The 2020 NC ACA Conference welcomes all faculty and staff committed to the academic development of North Carolina Community College students.

Previous conference attendees include

  • ACA instructors
  • ACA department chairs
  • Student Services staff
  • Academic Affairs staff, and
  • Other interested faculty and staff.

Read what previous attendees have to say about the NC ACA Conference!

Benefits of Attending the ACA Conference

"There are several benefits including networking with others who teach ACA, the idea exchange, and very importantly, the encouragement to continue." - 2019 NC ACA Conference Attendee

"I am new to teaching ACA (my first year) so I found each session I attended very useful." - 2019 NC ACA Conference Attendee

"All of the sessions were relevant to my work. It was great to speak with 4-year college representatives and hear their thoughts and confirm the information that I provide to my students." - 2019 NC ACA Conference Attendee

Previous Conference Sessions

Do you Speak Fluent Student?

An individual who steps into the role as college student quickly encounters a different culture we call higher education. How do we as educators help or hinder that transition? We speak in acronyms and talk about processes unfamiliar to our students. How do we improve our communication practices with ACA students (and indeed, all students) so that we are “speaking student?” We will examine cultural communication differences, our role as cultural navigators, and discuss practices for ACA faculty to incorporate to make the transition into our colleges meaningful and relatable for our students.

Equity in the Classroom

This session is designed to provide faculty with a better understanding of equity in the classroom and best practices on how to facilitate student success in ACA. This session will explore how to define equity and help promote equitable practices in the classroom. The goal is to assist faculty in not only understanding equity and its role in the classroom but to also discuss strategies on how to close the equity gap. This will provide a supportive environment for the success of all students regardless of background.

Dream Casting and Vision-Building: Using Mindful Reflection and Metacognition to Help Students Clarify Their Goals

Regardless of which ACA course you teach, you likely have the aim to help your students realize, refine, and in some cases, redirect their goals - whether those goals are academic, career-related, or personal/life goals. This session will walk participants through a guided reflection activity designed to prompt metacognition and reflective inquiry, all while building motivation, and increasing personal buy-in. The connection between SMART goal-setting, grit, and mindset will also be explored and discussed. While the activity featured in this session in used in an ACA 122 class at Durham Tech, it could be adapted to any ACA course.

Putting the Puzzles Pieces Together: Transitioning from a Community College to University

Enrollment trends across the country have shown an increase in transfer students, and Appalachian State University has seen a 77% growth in the last 10 years, with the 70% of current transfer students coming from a North Carolina community college. The creation of an Office of Transfer Services, with various transitional support personnel and services, has worked to ease the transition of community college students to main campus. In this presentation we will discuss the transfer trends Appalachian has and is currently witnessing, including the continued success of the Office of Transfer Services, the creation of the transfer advisor position, and Jump Start Appalachian. Further detail will be given to best practices, with regard to appropriate advising and transitional services, that have proven effective when working with transfer students. The goal is to provide a holistic perspective of Appalachian’s transfer practices and services that will benefit not only transfer students but also those professionals who work with them.

A Strengths-Based Approach to Working with First Generation and Low-Income Students in ACA Courses

TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) is a U.S. Department of Education grant program that provides academic, personal, and financial support to first-generation and low-income college students to assist them with completion of their postsecondary education. At Central Carolina Community College, TRiO SSS staff teaches cohort specific ACA courses for our program participants. This session will identify some of the challenges and strengths of first-generation and low-income students, as well as specific strategies that can be implemented to meet their needs in the ACA classroom. Topics will include content specific lessons on study skills, transfer success, and financial literacy.

Using ACA as a Retention Tool

Using Student Services personnel to create modules in ACA has benefitted students immensely. By adding modules that provide essential college success skills that extend beyond the first semester, we have found that students who take these classes tend to stick around. This presentation will provide attendees with topics and information that they can use in their own ACA classes.

A 3-Perspective Look at Promoting Best Practices in Pitt CC’s ACA Courses

ACA 122 courses should provide information and strategies necessary to facilitate students’ transfer success, but the delivery methods for this content can vary greatly across an institution. This session introduces how Pitt CC redesigned its ACA 122 curriculum to meet specific course objectives and to help students explore academic expectations and transfer options. A three-person panel— providing administrative, faculty, and staff perspectives—will explain how the new class structure scaffolds to a cumulative, individual conference where students and faculty meet to discuss each student’s educational plan and portfolio of work. Participants will leave with a handout that sequences key activities.

Enhancing the Freshman Experience Through ACA 090

Enhancing the Freshman Experience Through ACA 090 is designed to expound on the method in which ACA course offerings have been restructured and expanded from ACA 115 and ACA 122 to include ACA 090 at Sandhills Community College. Discover ways in which this course enhances students’ initial or “Freshman Experience” within the community college. Learn how students increase their academic engagement when interacting with a real, relevant, and fluid curriculum that focuses on improving study skills, life skills, college processes, etc. View longitudinal data and personal stories to support student retention via an ACA 090 course.

Using Blackboard Collaborate to Engage Your Students

This session will present best practices for using Blackboard Collaborate as a teaching tool to engage your students in an synchronous and asynchronous online environment from an instructor point of view. These best practices will include office hours, interactive lectures, and group collaboration.