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November 1-3, 2022

A CULTURE OF CARE: Empathy, Advocacy, and Non-Traditional Student Success
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Call for Proposals April 16, - June 30, 2022
A CULTURE OF CARE: Empathy, Advocacy, and Non-Traditional Student Success


While flexible course scheduling and degree pathways, reduced costs, or institutional student engagement programs give working adults, traditionally underserved populations, or first-generation college students clear opportunities to enter college, they alone cannot mitigate the tension between life demands and academic work that pervade the non-traditional student’s college experience. Higher-education institutions have evolved to encourage non-traditional student enrollment. But, given that non-traditional student populations tend to “experience greater challenges in achieving certificates and degrees and realizing their economic benefits” (Post-Secondary Value Commission, 2018), how are institutions ensuring their continued access to learning? A recent long-term study by the University of Southern California (2019) on how to promote “at-promise” student success suggests, “A validating approach among faculty, staff, other institutional agents, and peers affirming students’ capabilities for success was more important than specific programmatic elements.” In other words, for college students who face unique external demands, how the institution treats them could be more important than what programs they give them. Empathy and advocacy could be keys not only to non-traditional student success but also to resolving a gap in equity in access to higher education.

Post-Secondary Value Commission. (2018).

Promoting At-Promise Student Success. (2019). University of Southern California.

 Acceptable Formats: 
Call for Proposals – April 16, 2022 – June 30, 2022

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) 2022 Teaching & Learning Conference (TLC) aims to broaden the concept of access to higher education through a discussion of the role of institutional empathy and advocacy in student success. Especially for non-traditional students, empathy and advocacy can ensure that institutional practices do not unnecessarily obstruct access to learning opportunities on a day-to-day basis. They also can help ensure that students have the skills necessary to advocate for themselves, both in academics and in the workforce, which is a key to their continued success.

TLC 2022 seeks proposals that leverage both practical and theoretical approaches to addressing questions like:


  • How can individual staff and faculty reassure non-traditional students that their unique personal experiences and priorities do not need to stop them from achieving their academic goals?

  • How can institutions create policies and uphold practices that do not unnecessarily obstruct non-traditional students’ access to learning opportunities on a day-to-day basis?

  • What creative teaching and student support practices can help institutions simultaneously uphold academic rigor and mastery and honor the uniqueness of students’ life demands?

TLC will accept proposals for the following formats:

  • Panel Discussion – up to 60 minutes – 3-5 panelists present their expertise related to a central problem or theme and then have a group discussion on the relevant intersections of their work. TLC will give preference to panels that demonstrate cross-departmental and inter-institutional collaboration.

  • Individual Presentation – up to 25 minutes – Individual presentations address research on theoretical and/or practical applications of empathy or advocacy as a driver for non-traditional student success.

  • ePoster Presentation – up to 10 minutes – ePosters offer worked scenarios of how applications of empathy or advocacy resulted in non-traditional student success.

TLC Committee Sign Up


There are many opportunities to contribute your time and talent to the conference this year! Please consider sharing your time and skills as a proposal reviewer, a session or tech host, or TLC engagement representative.

 Acceptable Formats: 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

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