The fascinating and rapidly changing world of higher education forces those of us who are practitioners to keep on learning.  The following presentations address some of the issues that I believe we need to consider and discuss:


Walk with Grace, Live in Peace, and Act with Courage
(Commencement Address, Fresno Pacific University; December 2016)



Agents of Shalom
(Commencement Address to Fresno Pacific’s Graduating Class, May 2012)



What High School Students and Their Parents Should Know About College

Success in college does not come by accident!  The research is consistent and clear about the factors that increase the likelihood that students will excel in class and graduate from college in a timely way.  Unfortunately, many high school students and their parents are unaware of all the things they can do to increase the probability of success.

The following Powerpoint presentation was developed in conjunction with some workshops, seminars and presentations for high school students and their parents.  You may download the presentation by clicking on the following link:

What High School Students and Their Parents Should Know About College


The Changing Landscape of Higher Education

The world is changing; so must our higher education institutions.  This is particularly true for small, independent colleges and universities with limited endowments and no direct government support.  My former colleague and Provost at Fresno Pacific University, Dr. Patricia Anderson, and I have been examining data around the challenges facing these institutions.  The following Powerpoint slides were part of a presentation at a Symposium at Bluffton University (October, 2015)  on the future of Mennonite education.  This presentation addresses the broader context of higher education rather than the specific issues facing faith-based institutions.   You may download it by clicking on the following link:

The Changing Landscape of Higher Education


Facilitating Adult Learning

When thinking about education, too many people conflate the art of teaching with the facilitation of learning. In his acclaimed Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire first introduced me to the concept of “banking education” in which the “knowing” expert poured knowledge into the open receptive mind of the “receiving” learner. That book turned my view of education upside down. Instead of trying to become a more effective in transferring knowledge, the educational task should focus on the facilitation of learning.

Once I came to that realization, I spent the next years of my career, sharpening my facilitation skills and helping others become more effective facilitators. The following slides provided the framework for a workshop with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension educators in Maricopa County.  You may download the presentation by clicking on the following link:



 Building a College-Going Culture

Although some people still question the value of a college degree, the data are unequivocal.  Studies show that people significantly improve their life-chances when they earn college degrees.  Statistically, college graduates earn higher salaries, hold onto their jobs longer during economic downturns and find new positions more quickly if they lose their jobs.  People with college degrees are also more engaged in civil society than those without degrees.  It is in a community or region’s interest to build a college-going culture.

The following PowerPoint presentation which was given to some local civic leaders here in the west valley, summarizes the data from several studies and suggests that college education is good for individuals and communities.  You may click on the following link and download the presentation:



The Facilitation of Learning

Many at least give lip-service to the concept of “facilitation” as an approach to working with people and helping them learn.  But what is the process of facilitation?  How does it work?  The following PowerPoint presentation summarizes the highlights from some of the workshops and seminars I have lead on the process of facilitation with many different groups around the world.  Essentially, the process is one of engaging people in the collective process of critical refection in ways that result in learning or lead to action.  “Teaching” is often seen as transferring content from someone who has mastered it, to those who either want or are perceived as needing it.  “Facilitation,” on the other hand, involves guiding people through a process of critical reflection in ways that lead to transformation.

In the same way, the process of facilitation can lead groups and communities from the analysis of problems to action in ways that are transformative.  To see more about this process, click on the following link and download this presentation:



Does TRIO Make a Difference?

President Johnson’s War on Poverty led to passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, creating the Upward Bound program. In 1965, the Higher Education Act (HEA) established Talent Search, which in turn was followed by a 1968 amendment to the HEA that created the Student Support Services program. Together, these three federal programs, established to make higher education more affordable and accessible to students from families of limited means, became known as “TRIO.” TRIO subsequently evolved into eight programs designed to address the needs of students who need assistance.

At a time when higher education is under closer scrutiny, legislators and policy makers are asking whether or not TRIO is having an impact.  As a result, while working as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, I reviewed research that studied TRIO. We have data about the investments in TRIO (inputs), the process (what happens within these programs) and outputs (the extent to which enrollment and completion goals are met).   Given the absence of double-blind studies of program impacts, we’re left with anecdotal data and inferences based on what we do know about TRIO programs.

This PowerPoint presentation summarizes some of the data that we do have and responds to several issues that emerged in other studies of TRIO.  You may click on the following link and download the presentation:



Does College Matter?

Drawing on the data, this presentation examines the question of whether or not, college makes a difference in the lives of students.



Myths, MOOCs and Inconvenient Truths

This presentation was part of a seminar series at the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Postsecondary Education.