The Student Success Summit Series

This summit focuses on strategies from the Complete College America (CCA) Purpose First Initiative, which seeks to empower students with resources to make informed choices of majors, building early academic momentum, and ultimately increasing their likelihood of success and completion. The initiative promotes the importance of early and intentional major and career exploration and strives to facilitate a culture of purpose that supports students as they work toward graduation and a rewarding career.

When: October 4, 13 & 19, 2022, from 8:30 – 11:45 a.m. CST

Where: The summit was held virtually and included virtual campus/team consultations with Nikolas Huot, Strategy Director for CCA. 

 If you have any questions, please contact Angela Kellogg at

Building Momentum with Early Career Development
Noon - 1 p.m.

Find information on the speaker and registration (due March 31).

Making the Case
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

  • Speaker: Nikolas Huot, Strategy Director for Complete College America (CCA) | Bio
  • Description: To ensure greater social mobility for minoritized communities, high school graduates, or displaced workers, colleges must provide relevant information and integrate career exploration activities throughout the student’s academic experience. This session will discuss how best to support students in identifying their purpose and provide an overview of Purpose First strategies.

Setting the Stage for Purpose First Strategies in the UW System
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

  • Speakers: 
    • Melissa Wilson, Director of Career Services, UW-River Falls |Bio
    • Jaime Paige-Stadler, Director for Career & Professional Development, UW-Oshkosh 
    • Brian Hinshaw, Director of Pathway Advising, UW-Milwaukee |Bio
    • Laurie Marks, Executive Director, Office of Student Experience & Talent, UW-Milwaukee | Bio
  • Description: This session will present relevant UW System data and provide specific examples on how Purpose First strategies are being implemented at campuses across the system.

Career Integration into the Onboarding Process
10:15 - 11:45 a.m.

  • Speaker: Brian Montalvo, Senior Director for Florida Atlantic University’s Career Center | Bio
  • Description: This session will present practical applications to actively engage students with information and activities designed for career exploration and major choice, especially through required onboarding processes such as the application process, student orientation, academic advising, and first-year experience program.

Aligning Career Competencies and Learning Outcomes
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

  • Speaker: Dr. Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Founder, Director, and Principal Investigator of the Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education project (TILT Higher Ed) | Bio
  • Description: Employers and institutions of higher education often speak different languages, even when saying the same things. This session will discuss explicitly how to showcase the relevance and alignment between coursework, programs of study, and workforce needs by, among other things, translating course and program learning outcomes into skills and competencies.

Connecting to the Workforce
10:15 - 11:45 a.m.

  • Speaker: Kathleen Powell, Chief Career Officer & Associate Vice President for Advancement, William and Mary | Bio
  • Description: To best connect degrees to the workforce, higher education must go to the source and engage with employers. This session will provide models for institutions to engage with local and regional employers to help identify desired competencies in jobs and careers, help connect programs of study with careers, and develop opportunities for experiential learning activities.

Career & Professional Development Collaborations, UW-Oshkosh pdf

  • Speaker Bios | link
  • College on Purpose, Executive Summary | link
  • College on Purpose, Full Report | link
  • Purpose First Guidebook pdf
  • Shared Beliefs and Practices for Putting Purpose First in American Higher Education | link
  • TILT Higher Ed Examples And Resources | link
  • Outcomes and Metrics that Matter - Embedding Career Services at Higher Education's Core | link pdf
  • Skills Required - How higher ed can meet the needs of learners and employers in a skill-based economy | link pdf
  • Career Pathways - Five Ways to Connect College and Careers | link pdf
  • Why Higher Ed? - Top Reasons U.S. Consumers Choose Their Educational Pathways | link pdf
  • NACE - Development and Validation of the NACE Career Readiness Competencies | link pdf
  • Transparent Instruction: Aligning Learning Outcomes and Career Competencies | link