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John Dyer

Hot Topics in Continuing Education: A View from the American Association of Community Colleges


Innovation and nimble responses are fundamental to continuing education. From new models of apprenticeship, to innovative models of prior learning assessment and competency-based education and other innovations across the country, it is an exciting time to be working in this field. The need has never been greater, and the opportunities to develop creative responses abound. This plenary will be an opportunity to hear from the national membership organization for 2 year colleges about some of the exciting things ongoing across the country, and across the horizon.

Bio: John Dyer serves as the director of workforce and economic development for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He is the former Director of Community and Corporate Affairs at White Mountains Community College, in Berlin, New Hampshire, where he was responsible for the workforce, economic, and community development efforts of the college. He has served on a variety of local, regional, state, and national boards with a focus on workforce and economic development.


Ray McNulty


Education in a VUCA World

To borrow a phrase from the military, we live in a VUCA World! The translation, volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Such a world requires agility to quickly respond to opportunities and challenges. Rigid and siloed organizations do not do well in a VUCA world and there are few organizations more rigid than our public educational systems. Alan Kay once said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." In this session, Ray McNulty will describe the internal barriers we need to overcome and the types of performance and strategic systems needed to survive in a VUCA world.

Bio: Raymond J. McNulty is the dean of the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University. McNulty has an extensive career in education and serves on the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Board of Directors at Clemson University. McNulty comes to SNHU from Penn Foster Education where he served as Chief Learning Officer. Prior to Penn Foster, he was the President of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and was a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he worked with leading educators from around the country on improving high school education. He has held numerous teaching, principal, and superintendent positions in Vermont.

McNulty has worked around the world giving speeches and influencing the change/improvement agenda in education and has presented at over 1,000 events in 7 countries and all 50 states. He has published many articles by the International Center, Scholastic Corporation and other sources including "It's Not Us Against Them—Creating the Schools We Need," published in 2009.

The recipient of numerous awards, McNulty most recently received the Ben Cruze Award for Distinguished Service, International Center for Leadership in Education, 2012.


Leslie Talbot


The Time is Now! Strategies to Create Innovative Learning Opportunities for Diverse Learners

This interactive presentation will focus on strategies to create innovative learning opportunities within the continuing education space. Leslie will highlight the pre-college program she launched at ESF in partnership with Sponsors for Educational Opportunities. She also will describe various types of partners and partnerships Colleges typically pursue, and strategies for funding these initiatives. Time will be set aside for whole group knowledge sharing so that participants walk away with action items for creating new programming.

Bio: Leslie Talbot is a recognized strategic partner to educators, schools, state and local education agencies, charter management and other nonprofit organizations, school design teams, foundations and philanthropic institutions. She is the Founder and Principal of Talbot Consulting, an independent education management consulting practice launched in 2006. The practice specializes in tailored, results-oriented solutions for the K-12 education space. Acting primarily as thought partners and strategists, Leslie and her work with clients to establish systems and processes designed to help schools tell compelling stories to their stakeholders, authorizers and funders.

Leslie’s most recent publication, “Pathways to Opportunity Project: Increasing Educational Equity through Innovative School Design Elements,” was co-authored with Aretha Miller in August, 2015. This position paper recommends seven design elements essential for schools and programs serving off-track youth. Her latest presentation, Active Ingredients for Successful Schools Serving Opportunity Youth was presented during the SUNY Charter Schools Institute’s Active Ingredients Expert Convening in 2018.

Leslie is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for SUNY ESF. In this capacity, she launched a diversity pipeline initiative on behalf of ESF in partnership with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). The ESF/SEO pipeline initiative is comprised of three primary components:  a pre-college summer program, support around admissions and financial aid, and research and internship opportunities. This past August marked the fourth year of the pre-college summer program (serving 80 students thus far), four students have enrolled, two students recently graduated and two new students enrolled in the class of 2022.


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