2017 Program

Expanding the conversation around academic credential innovation.

MARCH 1, 2017

Washington Marriott Georgetown


Jeff Selingo

9:30 – 10:30 AM

Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post contributor and author of There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow; visiting scholar, Center for 21st Century Universities, Georgia Institute of Technology; professor of practice, Arizona State University.

Fireside Chat

10:30 – 11:00 AM

The Future of University Credentials

At a time of heightened attention to how universities and colleges are preparing young people for the workforce, questions about the meaning and value of university credentials have become especially prominent. A discussion on the ecosystem of credentials, including universities and colleges, employers, government agencies, policy makers and influencers—and, not least, the students whose futures are profoundly affected by these certifications.

Sean Gallagher, Ed.D, Chief Strategy Officer, Northeastern University Global Network, author of  “The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring”

Interviewer: Kathleen DeLaski 

Break Out Session

11:15 – Noon

Degree Payoff:

The Role of Academic Major and Institution in Hiring Decisions

Colleges and universities have long relied on their brand names as the value they provide to their graduates in the job market. More often than not, students and parents are drawn to a specific institution, not a degree major. But with a growing body of research finding that majors often matter more than institutions, a discussion about what matters most to employers and how they determine which campuses to visit to recruit graduates.


Matthew Boyce, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, George Mason University

Teresa Flannery, Executive Director, University Communications, American University

Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research

Martin Van Der Werf, Associate Director of Editorial and Postsecondary Policy, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Moderator: Jeff Young, EdSurge

Credentialing in a University for Life

As college becomes less of a life stage and more as a platform for lifelong learning, new approaches to credentialing will emerge. As students move in and out of postsecondary education, the credentials that universities offer are diversifying from a limited set of formal degrees (Bachelors, Masters) to more differentiated and fluid options, such micro-credentials, certificates and more.


Rich DeMillo, Director, Center for 21st Century Universities, Georgia Institute of Technology

Pulin Sanghvi, Executive Director, Career Services, Princeton University 

Matthew Pittinsky, CEO, Parchment 

Moderator: Nick Anderson, Washington Post 

Credential Innovation in Action:

Comprehensive Student Record Project

Education leaders AACRAO and NASPA recognized the need for a new type of student record that would provide additional information on learning outcomes, competencies and experiences outside of the classroom. Through a grant from Lumina Foundation, the Comprehensive Student Record Project took shape. Real credential innovation projects in action will be discussed.


Tom Green, Associate Executive Director, AACRAO

Amelia Parnell, Vice President for Research & Policy, NASPA

Rodney Parks, University Registrar, Elon University

Insiya Bream, Assistant Vice Provost, Registrar Strategic Operations, Projects & Communications, University of Maryland University College

Moderator: Tom Green & Amelia Parnell

Networking Luncheon

Fireside Chat

1:00 – 1:30 PM

Big Data & Hiring: The Growing Use of People Analytics by Employers

While some claim that the college degree is losing its strength as the primary signal in hiring, recruiters are beginning to look to other measures to evaluate potential candidates. What employers are gaining from big data can signal how higher education can expand the reporting of outcomes to improve learner opportunities. This discussion will look at how one company is harnessing data to figure out why and how its workers are hired, fired, and promoted.

Karyn Marciniak, Vice President, People Analytics, Two Sigma

Moderator: Jeff Selingo

Break Out Session

1:45 – 2:45 PM

Employers as the New Accreditor

While the debate over the role of accreditation in determining the value and quality of a degree rages on in Washington, employers are increasingly taking on a role in quality control through their work training and tuition-assistance programs. More and more employers want control over where their dollars are spent for education, and in doing so, are having an impact on the quality discussion in higher education.


Judith Eaton, President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Cody Cleverly, Senior Analyst, Academic Programs, JetBlue Airways

Marc Singer, Vice Provost, Center for the Assessment of Learning, Thomas Edison State University

Burck Smith, CEO, Straighter Line

Moderator: Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The Degree Signal:

Communicating to Employers What Undergraduates Have Learned

While undergraduate learning knows few boundaries, much of the experiential learning that happens outside the classroom isn’t assessed, documented, or communicated to employers. As a result, the impact of universities is left implicit, not explicit. A discussion of how institutions can better demonstrate to the job market the education of the whole student.


MJ Bishop, Director for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland’s Center for Academic Innovation

Holly Zanville, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation

Nina Morel, Dean, College of Professional Studies, Lipscomb University

Moderator: Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Credential Innovation in Action:

21st Century Skills Challenge

Education Design Lab posed the  question, “How might we capture learning beyond the traditional transcript in ways that are meaningful to employers?”. The answer: a 21st Century Skills Challenge. Education Design Lab and a cohort of colleges and universities are prototyping a full suite of 21st century skills digital badges—and refining possible solutions. Real credential innovation projects in action will be discussed.


Stephen Brand, Executive Director of Global Learning and Development, Bay Path University

Erika Cohen-Derr, Assistant Dean for Student Engagement, Georgetown University

Abra McAndrew, Assistant Vice Provost, Student Engagement, University of Arizona

Moderator: Kathleen DeLaski, Education Design Lab


Michael Roth

3:00 – 4:00 PM

Michael S. Roth became the 16th president of Wesleyan University on July 1, 2007. Formerly president of California College of the Arts (CCA), Roth is known as a historian, curator, author and public advocate for liberal education.

Networking Reception

4:00 – 5:00 PM