2025 NASPA Annual Conference

2024 Community Colleges Institute

Thank you for joining us at the 2024 Community Colleges Institute!

NASPA's Community Colleges Institute (CCI) is the only pre-conference experience designed solely by and for our community college members and occurs before the NASPA Annual Conference. The CCI is your exclusive opportunity to engage with colleagues from across the country serving in student affairs or service capacity at community colleges and open-enrollment institutions. This experience will accelerate your professional development and kick-start your conference experience! A compact day and a half of learning offers attendees an enriching opportunity to come together and rethink how they organize programs of study, methods of instruction, and student support services. With the continued focus on student success and completion, community colleges are uniquely positioned to lead the way for student success.

2025 Community Colleges Institute Planning Committee Interest Form

We are excited to announce that the 2025 Community Colleges Institute (CCI) Planning Committee Interest Form is now open. The CCD seeks creative-thinking individuals to join the 2025 CCI Planning Committee. The Committee is responsible for developing a high-quality professional development experience for all CCI attendees in New Orleans, Louisiana. Specifically, team members identify relevant themes and learning outcomes, identify individuals who can serve as content experts, plan networking opportunities, and review program proposals.

If you are interested in joining us, please complete the application by May 20, 2024. We hope to have the first committee meeting in June. We look forward to planning the 2025 Community Colleges Institute with you!

Complete the 2025 Community Colleges Institute Planning Committee Interest Form

2024 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Daria J. Willis

The fifth president of Howard Community College, Dr. Daria J. Willis assumed office in January 2022, following a nationwide search and unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees. She is the first African American to lead the college.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Willis was the president of Everett Community College. She has held leadership positions at community colleges in New York and Texas and taught in Florida and Texas.

She currently serves as a 2021 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow, and on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, the Howard County Economic Development Board, Local Children’s Board, Rising Leaders, and Phi Theta Kappa advisory board. Dr. Willis most recently received the Daily Record’s 2022 Most Influential Marylander, Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, 2023 cohort of VIP Women of Influence, honored as a Living Legend by Councilmember Opal Jones, and recently received the Attorney Frank E. Emory, Jr. Trailblazer Award.

Dr. Willis holds a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University and has her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Florida A&M University.

Dr. Keith Curry

President of the Compton College and CEO of the Compton Community College District.

Compton College is the 114th California Community College, achieving initial accreditation status on June 7, 2017. Dr. Curry is responsible for overseeing all departments and functions of Compton College and the District and serves as secretary for the CCCD Board of Trustees. He brings an abundance of energy and innovative ideas to Compton College, along with a wealth of experience as a postsecondary education administrator.

Dr. Curry is an active member of the Foundation for Compton Community College District, the Association of California Community College Administrators, the California Community College Athletic Association, the Statewide Association of Community Colleges (SWACC), the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice Advisory Board, and the President’s Roundtable. He has participated on Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Visiting Teams, most recently for San Quentin University Prison Project.

In 2018, Dr. Curry received the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award. The Association of California Community College Administrators bestows the award to administrators who demonstrate integrity, principle, compassion, strength in leadership, and who have made significant contributions to the college district and community.

At the 2019 Community College League of California Annual Conference, Dr. Curry was honored as one of three 2019 Champions of Equity by the Campaign for College Opportunity and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational fund. The award honors those who prioritize student-centered policies that produce equitable outcomes and expand opportunities for Californians.

In June 2020, Dr. Curry was invited by Governor Newsom’s Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education Lande Ajose to serve on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force.

Dr. Curry earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Curry is an adjunct faculty member for the College of Education at California State University, Fullerton.

2024 Themes & LEarning Outcomes

Disrupt, Innovate, and Transform: Community Colleges and the Future of Higher Education 

Higher education continues to undergo a historical transition resulting from many recent events in the world and our country. These changes impact the structures, traditions, practices, and people within all higher education institutions. Moreover, societal ills that were not always predominant issues confronted by college leaders are now widely recognized as complications to students' retention and overall success. Personal and institutional commitments to address these modern issues require personnel seeking solutions to help students thrive and graduate. To a considerable extent, community colleges have already been responsive to this work. To expand it on a larger scale, however, community colleges must embrace new methodologies, programs, and services. They also have a duty to explore progressive pedagogies, novel approaches to technological use, and collaborative initiatives that enhance accessibility and the student experience. 

With these issues in mind, the 2024 CCI will include and invite interactive, thought-provoking sessions that explore how community colleges can prosper amid the ever-changing educational landscape. CCI participants will have opportunities to engage in inclusive dialogue and develop ideas that will ensure that community colleges remain dynamic and effective contributors to higher education's evolution.  

2024 CCI Learning Outcomes

  1. Innovative practices/resources that aid digital access, online learning, or other technologically based outcomes
  2. Disruptive approaches that enhance student equity
  3. Transformative support services and institutional initiatives designed to improve student retention, completion rates, and/or personal growth and development  

2024 CCI Schedule

The schedule has been designed to provide participants with interactive and engaging programming, opportunities for deeper discussion, and networking. Click the button below to browse the 2024 NASPA Community Colleges Institute Full Schedule, including the educational session lineup, and review the schedule-at-a-glance to familiarize yourself with the layout of the institute. All listed schedule items below are tentative and subject to change. All times are PT.

The 2024 NASPA Symposium on Military-Connected Students program book and symposium app will be available in mid-January 2024.

2024 Community Colleges Institute Schedule

2024 CCI Planning Committee

  • NASPA 2024 Community Colleges Institute Chair, Will Bowlin, Ph.D., Political Science/History Instructor, Northeast Mississippi Community College

  • NASPA 2025 Community Colleges Institute Chair, Mayra Olivares-Urueta, Ph.D., Executive in Residence, Higher Education Program, Director, Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education
  • Ángel Gonzalez, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and LeadershipAssistant Professor of Higher Education Administration and Leadership, California State University, Fresno
  • NASPA Community Colleges Division Director,  Richard Monroe, Ph.D., Student Engagement Manager, Metropolitan Community College-Blue River
  • Katy Launius, Ph.D.​, Strategy Officer for Student Success, Lumina Foundation

  • Dantrayl Smith, Ed.D, Director of Student Development Services, Tarrant County College South Campus

  • Gabriela Mata, Director of College Community Experience, Morton College

  • Candice P. Baldwin, Ph.D., Chief of Staff, Monroe Community College 

  • Scott Peska, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President of Student Services and Alumni Relations, Waubonsee Community College 

  • Dana Horne, Ed.D., Vice President of Student Services, Cochise College

  • Christopher Conzen, Ed.D., Executive Director, Secaucus Center and Early College Programs, Hudson County Community College



  • 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm

    Institute Check-In Open

  • 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    Institute Welcome & Opening Keynote featuring Dr. Daria Willis

  • 4:50 pm to 5:40 pm

    Programmatic Session Block

  • 5:50 pm to 6:40 pm

    Programmatic Session Block


  • 7:10 pm to 8:45 pm

    Opening Reception

    CCI attendees are warmly invited to this welcome networking reception at Seattle Central College (SCC)! There are multiple options to move from the Hyatt Regency to SCC. We will have transportation captains to assist those walking or taking the light rail and those needing to take Ubers or rideshare options. Spend time networking with your colleagues to end the first day with great company!


  • 9:30 am to 2:00 pm

    Institute Check-In Open

  • 9:30 am to 10:30 am


  • 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

    Day 2 Keynote featuring Dr. Keith Curry

  • 12:10 pm to 1:00 pm

    Programmatic Session Block

  • 1:10 pm to 1:40 pm

    Poster Sessions Block


  • 1:50 pm to 3:10 pm

    Lunch and commUNITY Conversations

  • 3:20 pm to 4:10 pm

    Programmatic Session Block

  • 4:20 pm to 5:10 pm

    Programmatic Session Block