To provide a professional, academic conference that inspires a joy of learning for FSCJ students and local high school students.

Summary

The spring conference focuses on FSCJ and local high school students for day one and, then, on day 2, focuses on FSCJ and local high school faculty. The "student focus" day offers a variety of academic sessions for students to choose from, which is the magic of the conference. Students have a choice in their learning for a day. For example, if they want to learn about astronomy, or writing techniques, or service learning, there is a session to spark their engagement. Students also are exposed to the expertise of our faculty, so it serves as an excellent recruiting event for high school students in attendance. The "faculty focus" day offers sessions that focus on teaching strategies for multiple disciplines.

Full Description of Program

The purpose of the annual Student Life Skills Conference, which launched in 2013, is to inspire and ignite students and faculty in the FSCJ community. The SLS Conference brings together the following stakeholders: Students currently enrolled in SLS and other college courses, recent SLS graduates, faculty and college leaders dedicated to enhancing student success and retention, and experts in the areas of educational neuroscience and motivation. A conference brochure is produced each year with a new student-centered theme. Each session over the two-day conference promotes growth in awareness for learners and instructors by showcasing (1) the success stories of recent SLS alumni, (2) the wealth of available college resources, (3) techniques to help students reach their goals through self-awareness and efficacy, and (4) best practices in brain-compatible and psychological educational methods. This is intentionally delivered in 10 sessions: three keynotes and seven concurrent workshops. All attendees enjoy the opportunity to learn from students as role models, develop new approaches to promoting student achievement, and celebrate success in student performance. The students are offered a realistic conference experience in that they have the opportunity to choose which sessions to attend. Giving students a choice reminds them that they are active, participatory learners in their own education.

In the two-day format, day one is designed for a student audience. Students hear directly from peers who have used success strategies to their advantage in coursework and life. A master faculty member also delivers a keynote address intended to motivate students to turn their academic dreams into reality through action. Representatives from across FSCJ, including Student Life and Leadership, Academic Advising, and Libraries and Learning Commons, join the event to raise awareness about the vast array of support in all aspects of college life. The success of this event is evidenced by the fact that students from all campuses, centers and course modalities actively participate, and it is not uncommon to hear them sharing their enthusiasm and positive energies from the conference with each other throughout the day. Day two of the conference focuses on faculty and professional development in teaching student motivation and success strategies in all disciplines. On this day, faculty experts deliver inspiring, cutting edge keynote addresses to dual enrollment faculty and college faculty alike, aiming to promote impassioned and effective teaching and learning strategies with students across the learning spectrum. The overall goal of the SLS Conference is to promote and celebrate best practices in student success and retention at FSCJ.