ROCK THE FUTURE: OATYC Conference returns

HIGHLAND HILLS — More than 200 higher education professors and professionals from 23 different colleges are expected to converge on Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)’s Eastern Campus for the 2022 Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges annual conference on Friday, October 7.   

“Rock The Future: Learn, Adapt, Teach” is the theme for this conference, and many of the presenters are focused on how to enhance and improve the learning experience for students in the post-pandemic world. This conference was originally planned for 2020. Then Covid-19 hit.   

“After a couple of false starts delayed by the pandemic, Tri-C and its Eastern campus are beyond thrilled to finally welcome everyone here,” says Dwayne Keeney, Cuyahoga Community College Associate Dean for Liberal Arts (Eastern Campus). “Tri-C has been an active OATYC member but has never before hosted the annual conference. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity, twice delayed due to the pandemic, to shine the spotlight on our faculty and students.” 

Check-in for the conference begins at 8:30 a.m., with welcome and opening remarks set to begin at 9 a.m. There is a keynote speaker, three concurrent professional learning sessions, a poster session, campus activities, lunch, and a concluding awards program. Below is the complete day’s schedule. Above are photos of some of the Tri-C programs and activities which will also be on display at the conference.  

Closely aligned with the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, OATYC’s mission is to foster cooperation and communication among Ohio’s two-year institutions of higher education. It is also affiliated with the Ohio Faculty Senate of Community and Technical Colleges (OFSCTC) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), organizations dedicated to faculty governance and national advocacy for two-year colleges.   

OATYC is governed by a Board of Directors and led by officers all elected from the ranks of faculty and staff from Ohio’s two-year colleges. The OATYC Board includes Tri-C faculty member and past faculty award winner Dr. Michele Hampton, professor of business education. 

Some of the conference objectives are: 
— Learn approaches to inclusivity in the classroom
— Gather examples they can implement in teaching
— Network with colleagues from Tri-C and peer institutions

 “Attendees of the 2022 OATYC Annual conference will learn about best practices in higher education from 66 faculty and staff representing 11 institutions across the state of Ohio,” says Stacey Souther, professor of psychology and collegewide Faculty Development Coordinator at Cuyahoga Community College. “They will work together to learn new techniques and pedagogy in order to adapt to the continuous changes in student populations and teach effectively to increase student success. The conference will also celebrate faculty excellence and provide the opportunity to connect with colleagues for the first in-person OATYC conference since 2019.” Here is a list of presentations and presenters, also available via download:  

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek, who directs the International Teaching Learning Cooperative at the University of North Carolina, will deliver the keynote talk on “Becoming an Increasingly Inclusive Instructor” at the OATYC Conference. As founding director of the International Teaching Learning Cooperative, Zakrajsek brings faculty together to advance student learning in higher education. He has delivered more than 300 campus workshops and keynote addresses in 49 states and has consulted with organizations such as the American Council on Education, Microsoft, Harvard University, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The link to registration for the 2022 OATYC Conference and hotel information for attendees is here. Registration is still open as long as space remains. Email with Inquiries. If you’re attending, below is a link with directions to the Tri-C Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, which is less than a mile from the Harvard Avenue exit off Interstate 271.

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