About the Conference



Location: 20 Trowbridge Road
Phone: 508-831-4900
Fax: 508-831-5188

The 2020 Conference Committee is pleased to offer our Annual Conference in a virtual format this year. Originally scheduled to take place at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, this virtual experience will offer learning, growth and opportunities for our community of pre-college professional to come together and grow through a variety of offerings. 

Since this is an entirely different offering than the traditional in-person conference experience, our program and registration format has changed to reflect that. Our 2020 Annual Conference will take place on October 26 and 27, 2020 from 1:00-4:00 PM each day. Content for this year's conference will be condensed to adapt to our new virtual format.  The conference is free of cost for members.

For more information regarding our conference please reach out to Ryan Meadows at rnmeadows@wpi.edu or Andreas Armenis at aarmenis@wpi.edu

Additional Conference Information

Here are a few additional pieces of information that we would like to share with attendees.

  • Sessions will not be recorded since we want discussions to be an open space for colleagues to share tips/strategies/etc. 
    • Except for the "Virtual Student Recruitment Fairs" session to capture the details of the virtual fair opportunity information.
    • Except for the "Pre-College Mission: Preparing Students & Developing a Diverse Pipeline" session to capture the panelist portion.
  • After the conference, slide decks and session notes will be shared.
  • During sessions, please rename your Zoom name to your Lived First Name, Pronouns, and/or Institution.

1:00 - 4:00pm EST Lobby Space

Lobby Space

This is an open space for colleagues to hangout in if they are not attending a session.  Join this space to network and meet other colleagues in a casual and informal setting.

1:00 - 1:30pm EST Welcome and Summer In Review

Welcome and Summer in Review

As we welcome you to this virtual conference, we will take some time to review the responses to the annual program questionnaire.​

  • Presenters:
    • Ryan Meadows, Associate Director of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    • Jackie Newcomb, Director of Pre-College Programs, Harvard University
  • Session Style: Traditional Educational


1:35 - 2:20pm EST Session Block One

Alice’s Virtual Pre-College Wonderland: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward

For a large public university like UC Berkeley, it is very important to foster a sense of belonging for all incoming pre-college students. This past summer, the challenge was even more pronounced with all of our programs pivoting to a virtual format due to COVID-19. While summer 2020 was plagued with disruption and ambiguity, the Pre-College team at UC Berkeley harnessed this uncertainty as a creative force and vehicle to cultivate both connection and belonging for our visiting high school students. From leveraging available resources such as Canvas to creating an ambassador program engaging former program participants, we succeeded in providing one of the most successful iterations of our summer pre-college program to date. In this presentation, we use the metaphor of Wonderland along with the adventure of Alice as a departure point to share the lessons we learned and the creative possibilities we found in the virtual world.

  • Presenter: Ebrahim Nasher, Program Coordinator, UC Berkeley

  • Session Style: Traditional Educational


Crisis Management with Minors

Roundtable discussion for professionals working with Crisis Management in programs for minors. Presentation will allow for guided questions and open questions from the group to allow new and seasoned professionals in precollege programs to share knowledge.

  • Presenter: Brandee Nicholson, Assistant Director of Residential Life, Cornell University

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Partnering with Community Based Organizations & K-12 Schools

Join this open conversation about partnering with community based organizations (CBOs) and K-12 schools. We will discuss the importance of these partnerships, what challenges we are facing, strategies that have worked for some programs, and any additional topics that are brought to the roundtable.

  • Presenter: Jeffrey Norquist, Director of Student & Residential Life, Pre-College Programs, Columbia University

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Virtual Student Recruitment Fairs 

Learn about the upcoming Association for Pre-College Program Directors virtual student recruitment fairs!  In this workshop you will learn about:

  • the platform we are using (Brazen)
  • dates and event structure
  • the cost of participating in one or more events and
  • next steps and deadlines to take advantage of this cost-effective, collaborative recruitment strategy 

Registration for the events will open immediately after the workshop with a deadline of November 16, 2020.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to raise awareness of your summer programs! (Note: This session will recorded during the conference and will be available to membership after the conference.)

  • Presenters:
    • Christine Parker, Executive Director, University of Chicago Summer Session
    • Jackie Newcomb, Director of Pre-College Programs, Harvard University
    • Lina Kim, Director, Pre-College Programs, UC Santa Barbara
    • Nicki Charles, Director, School of Professional Studies, Northwestern University
  • Session Style: Traditional Educational
2:25 - 3:10pm EST Session Block Two

Diversity, Outreach and Inclusion

Join this open conversation about diversity, outreach, and inclusion with our pre-college programs.  We will discuss the importance of our efforts, what challenges we are facing, strategies that have worked for some programs, and any additional topics that are brought to the roundtable.

  • Presenter: Vinika Porwal, STEM Partnership Manager, Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Managing Change: Supporting Staff and Customers Effectively through COVID-19 and Beyond

COVID-19 presented challenges to pre-college programs nationwide, radically changing the way we run and manage our programs. These challenges may continue for some time and may exist alongside other institutional changes in the future. How can we best support ourselves, our staff, and our students and families in the coming years? This session provides an overview of how to understand the impacts of radical change on individuals and those who manage others, as well as on concrete tools you can use now and in the years to come. 

  • Presenter: Christine Parker, Executive Director, University of Chicago Summer Session

  • Session Style: Traditional Educational


Planning for 2021

Join this open conversation about planning for this upcoming summer. Below are a few examples of possible questions to discuss.

  • What does your “Big Picture” look like in-person, online or hybrid?  How did you reach that decision?
  • When do you hope to have final decision on how to move forward?  What are the influencers for that timeline?
  • For in-person programs, what COVID-19 measures will you be implementing? What will your institution require of you? What national guidelines will you follow? ACA, CDC?
  • For online programs, can you generate the revenue that you want/are expected to generate? 
  • What things happening on the national stage would cause you to flip the switch in one direction or the other? i.e. New waves of virus, readily available vaccines, etc.

If you have additional topics or questions, please bring them with you!

  • Presenter: Suzanne Sontgerath, Director of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Virtual Marketing Madness

A facilitated discussion about key messages in the new era of marketing. During this session, this shared document will be used.

  • Presenter: Jennifer Gallacher, Assistant Director, UC Santa Cruz Summer Session

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


3:15 - 4:00 pm EST Session Block Three

Best Practices for Onboarding Pre-College Summer Instructors

In this interactive roundtable session, participants will discuss their priorities and processes for onboarding instructors for pre-college summer programs: What topics and issues does your pre-college team include? How do you structure your instructor onboarding to be most effective? What would you change about your instructor onboarding moving forward? To help the conversation be most relevant and engaging, participants will be divided into small groups of institutional peers and use Google Jamboards to collect and share ideas. 

  • Presenters:
    • Vinika Porwal, STEM Partnership Manager, Illinois Institute of Technology
    • Natalie Polacek, Assistant Director of Pre-College Programs, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


How to Conduct Effective (and Useful) Program Assessment

"Did the students have a good time? Did they learn anything? Are their parents happy with their child's experience? Are they likely to recommend to a friend? What about the staff; what was their experience like?

If you find yourself struggling to answer (or avoiding altogether) questions like these then this session is for you. Come learn how to create an effective 360 assessment of your pre-college program. You'll walk away with concrete tools and strategies for implementing change in your programs and measuring success."

  • Presenter: Becki Baker, Director of Pre-College Programs, Washington University in St. Louis

  • Session Style: Traditional Educational


Partnering with Housing & Residential Life

For programs that work closely with their own institution's housing and residential life offices, this open roundtable gives participants the opportunity to hear about how others in the field partner with their colleagues on not only campus housing but also RA training and supervision, student life programming, student conduct, and emergency and crisis response. Share best practices, ideas, and reflections about your own programs, learn about other models, and bring any questions.

  • Program Preparation: This program is an open roundtable discussion and participants will determine topics of discussion.  If you have topics you want to address or questions to pose to the group, please contact the facilitator, Kristin Balicki, at kristin.balicki@nyu.edu by Monday at 12:00pm EST.

  • Presenter: Kristin Balicki, Director of University Programs, New York University

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Staff Hiring & Training in a Virtual World

Join this open conversation about staff hiring and training in a virtual world. We will discuss the lessons learned from 2020, planning for the upcoming summer, and any additional topics that are brought to the roundtable.

  • Presenters:
    • Eli Lesser, Executive Director, Wharton Global Youth Program, Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania
    • Allyson Vaughan, Coordinator, Summer High School Programs, Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania
  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion



1:00 - 4:00pm EST Lobby Space

Lobby Space

This is an open space for colleagues to hangout in if they are not attending a session.  Join this space to network and meet other colleagues in a casual and informal setting.


2:05 - 2:50pm EST Session Block Four

Leveraging Your Campus Partners for Promoting Programs

Join us as we share WPI's approach to relationship building with campus partners to build our promotional efforts of pre-college programs during the summer. Attendees will learn the importance of building and maintaining communications with key campus partners like Marketing and Communications to promote events. 

  • Presenters:
    • Andreas Armenis, Assistant Director of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs and Admissions, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    • Lynn Saunders, Marketing Creative Project Manager, Marketing and Communications, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    • Lindsay Beaulieu, Digital Marketing Specialist, Marketing and Communications, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Session Style: Traditional Educational & Roundtable Discussion


Managing Change Effectively: Moving Pre-College Online for Sumer and Beyond

Not only did COVID-19 require a complete re-imagination of how we engage with our students, it gave administrators, faculty, and students very little opportunity to process the necessary physical, financial, social, and psychological changes that come with change. Boston College (BC) had traditionally been hesitant to engage in fully online learning was forced to transition our residential summer high school (HS) programs to a completely online format within a remarkably short period of time. However, instead of just making the shift to meet the immediate need, we tried to approach the initiative thinking about the long term strategic impact of our summer and pre-college programming. The challenges we had to overcome included aligning the complexities of an internal development process with the demand for speed-to-market while maintaining academic quality expected from BC—all in a timeframe not typical of our university.

In this presentation, I will share how we successfully moved pre-college programming online and how it has allowed us to expand our reach and brand; creating a pipeline to undergrad admissions and helping us become a stronger community partner. 

  • Presenter: Dee Masiello, Assistant Dean of Summer Term and Extended Studies, Boston College

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


No Time for Data?: Quick Tips for Easy Assessment

An extremely basic overview of assessment and ways to build assessment into the pre-college program experience.

  • Presenter: Gina Neugebaur, Assistant Director of the Secondary School Program, Harvard University

  • Session Style: Traditional Educational


Pre-College Mission: Preparing Students & Developing a Diverse Pipeline

Pre-college outreach programs were designed to increase the number of students historically underrepresented in higher education to prepare, enroll, and graduate from colleges and universities across the country. Pre-college programming is an important component of U-M's diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan as a path to develop and strengthen the pipeline of diverse students at the University of Michigan and across the state. Developing trajectory changing inclusive in-person and virtual programs requires thoughtful planning - we are excited to share some of our highlights, lessons learned to date, and learn from our participants' experiences at their institutions. (Note: This panelist potion of this session will recorded during the conference and will be available to membership after the conference.)

  • Panelists:
    • Kim Lijana, Director, Center for Educational Outreach, University of Michigan
    • Karina Moore, Associate Director/Director of Outreach, Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach, University of Michigan
    • Domonique Weston, Senior Program Manager, Wolverine Pathways, University of Michigan
  • Session Style: Panel Session


2:55 - 3:40pm EST Session Block Five

Developing Your Offerings and Your Instructors Too: Building a Curriculum and an Instructional Staff

Choosing which courses you will offer over the summer matters, and so does choosing -- and training -- the people who will teach them. In this session, we'll discuss questions such as: What course offerings make the most of your institution's reach, reputation, and resources? How do you attract the best possible instructors? What sort of pedagogical support and development do you provide to set up instructors (and students) for success, regarding concerns such as inclusive pedagogy and differentiation?

  • Presenters:
    • Stephanie Friedman, Director of Academic Programs, University of Chicago
    • Sarah Lopez, Assistant Director of Academic Programs, University of Chicago
  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


How to Best Serve International students in Pre-College Programs

International students bring lots to our programs but we sometimes worry more about how to recruit them and make them fit our needs than about how we can best serve them. This roundtable discussion will allow us to share best practices and challenges around serving international students the best we can.

  • Presenter: Elena Gosalvez Blanco, Director, Yale Young Global Scholars

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Minors On Campus (and Virtual) Policies

Join this open conversation about Minors on Campus (and Virtual) Policies. We will discuss the importance of minors policies, how these policies translate in both in-person and virtual programs, and any additional topics that are brought to the roundtable.​

  • Presenters
    • Tori Weston, Assistant Director of Youth Programs, Emmerson College
    • Jeffrey Norquist, Director of Student & Residential Life, Pre-College Programs, Columbia University
  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


Social Media and Technology Platforms

Join this open conversation about social media and technology platforms within our pre-college programs.  We will discuss the role that social media plays in the summer and in advertising, how colleagues have leveraged technology platforms for information sharing, and any additional topics that are brought to the roundtable.

  • Presenter: Amy Kruse, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Syracuse University

  • Session Style: Roundtable Discussion


3:45 - 4:00pm EST Closing Session

Closing Session

Join us as we wrap up our virtual conference experience together. We will share where session information and resources will be located.  Please note we will be offering a social hour immediately following the closing session for attendees to partake in. 


4:00 - 5:00pm EST Virtual Social Hour

Virtual Social Hour

Get the chance to connect with colleagues during our virtual social hour, in a casual and informal setting.