Skip to content

V4I3: Reflecting on the 2021 NWCCU Annual Conference

Thank you to all those that joined us for the 2021 NWCCU Annual Conference; held virtually on Zoom, November 18-19, 2021.

We had outstanding pre-conference workshops and insightful plenary presentations, topical discussions, and critical looks at the changes within higher education. Over the four days of workshops, trainings, and presentations, we had a record number of attendees, representing over 150 institutions. Our presenters provided valuable resources to aid with our shared focus on higher education accreditation, closing equity gaps, and promoting data-driven decisions. We awarded the 2021 Beacon Awards to Linfield University, Clover Park Technical College, and College of Southern Nevada. Click on the linked articles for more information on their successful student achievement endeavors. For those that missed the event, the schedule of presentations and guest speaker details can still be found listed online here:

Following the event, a survey was sent to conference registrants to hear reflections and solicit feedback on the session offerings. There were 67 responses from those that joined for the Annual Conference, and 44 of those were also Pre-Conference Workshops attendees. Response make up:





A selection of replies received:

Connecting with initiatives working to address improved student outcomes in general and equity in outcomes in particular has been the strength of the annual meetings. Please keep up the great work, and know that it is appreciated and is having a positive impact.

For a virtual conference, I thought this event went very well. I was impressed with the on-time transition between sessions, and the topics were relevant and thought-provoking.

I appreciated the high level view of the educational landscape. Your speakers were eloquent, organized, and informative. I am glad I attended and plan to come again.

I am grateful for the wealth of information provided and the smooth operation of a whole digital experience. Your team crushed it.

Overall, the conference was great. However, the highlight for me was the two-year college assessment pre-conference workshop. I really, really liked it–it was very timely.

The Beacon Awards presentations were a highlight, especially the great powerpoints and data slides.

It would be helpful to have institutions of different sizes and types jointly present around a topic–the closest example was the Beacon Awards recipients. That ended up being way more informative than I expected.

These were some very engaging speakers and interesting topics! The attendees from my institution got a lot of new ideas and areas to explore out of this meeting.

Nothing NWCCU can do about it, but I can’t wait to see you all in person! I hope we can gather together next year.

In reflecting on the 2021 Annual Conference, several entries provided ideas for additional engagement.  From our survey responses following the 2020 Annual Conference, we were able to implement suggestions on event scheduling and expanding pre-conference options to present a more responsive event for 2021. In the spirit of continuous improvement, many of the comments received are being discussed and incorporated into ongoing NWCCU Educational Programming, Webinar topics, interactive trainings, as well as format and subjects of focus for the 2022 Annual Conference. Thank you to all that were able to join us and those that took the time to fill out the feedback survey.

Thank you again to the 2021 NWCCU Annual Conference sponsors: Academic Search, Barnes & Noble College,

The Registry, BECU, and The Gardner Institute.

We look forward to seeing you next year!



Sign up for our Newsletter

Explore the latest issue of NWCCU’s quarterly newsletter, The Beacon, and discover educational resources, innovations, and events happening in the Northwest.