While the pandemic shut down many in-person conferences for organizations across the nation, many regional conferences in New England shifted their large-format conferences online. For presenters like Assistant Dean Marilyn Cleary and Elena Arranz, adult student advisor, both of the Division of Graduate School and Continuing Education, made virtual presentations seem second nature.
On Oct. 22, Cleary and Arrnaz presented “Identifying Adult Student Traits and Exploring Successful Support Strategies” at the 2020 New England Regional UPCEA Conference, which focused on adult student initiatives at Worcester State University. They were joined by Bridgewater State University colleague George Darmody.
The next day, Oct. 23, Cleary led a leadership discussion at the same conference, where she focused on post-traditional support strategies. A week later, on Oct. 28, Cleary spoke to faculty and staff as part of a professional development session at Bridgewater State University, which delved into the specific attributes about the post-traditional students and how they may be able to support state university enrollment goals in light of changing demographics.
According to Cleary, it was a wonderful event. “Sharing the support systems that we have developed to engage and retain adult students has made us even more excited about creating more robust supports and pathways for them in the near future,” Cleary says. “It was wonderful to be able to represent Worcester State at the UPCEA New England Regional Conference and at our sister institution Bridgewater State University. We had several requests for additional information from institutions wanting to create similar post-traditional student initiatives.”