Special Topics

Advanced registration is required for all KCPDC events. Registration is FREE to employees of member institutions. Please contact your campus representative for registration.

The Special Topics Series is an annually planned group of seminars. Topics are chosen collectively by KCPDC board members based on identified development needs from each member institution. Employees participating in the seminars can learn new skills, build relationships and share ideas with colleagues from other institutions, having some fun in the process. Effective July 1, 2011, Special Topics sessions may be used to satisfy the elective requirements for the Supervisory and Faculty Development Certificate Programs.

Leadership from Any Chair

Presented by: Kevin Sansberry

Date: Tuesday, September 26th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00pm
Location: Baker University (OP), Room 101

Description: Leadership from any chair is an empowering course that investigates transformation leadership qualities and theory. This course also has participants go through exercises and activities to discover their leadership style. This course serves as a foundational investigation in the areas of personal and professional leadership with an emphasis of leading no matter where they &ldqou;sit” on an organization chart.


  • Learn what defines leadership traditionally and transformational
  • See how leadership can occur not just in traditional roles, but in every job!
  • Discover your personal leadership style
  • Take this new perception back to your workplace and inspire others to “Lead from Any Chair”

Engaging Students: Drive Student Learning with Strategic Use of Technology

Presented by: Eugene Matthews

Date: Friday, September 29
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: Park University, AP 271

Description: This Special Topics Training is a compilation of many of the best teaching practices for higher education that I have found to be uncompromisingly successful in the classroom, and in the course room. The comments and feedback I’ve received after presenting at several of the KCPDC ETL trainings, and the Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference has revealed that while K-12 educators are often exposed to best practices for using technology to drive student learning, many in HigherEd do not. This training will expose participants to teaching practices that integrate with existing, free, or low cost technologies, and share some best practices for their strategic use across teaching modalities.

Project Scope: This training is focused on the beginner and intermediate Teaching Professional in HigherEd. Although the skills and techniques shared and discussed will benefit anyone engaged in sharing information with college or university students, the training is designed to meet the classroom or course room educator’s needs. This training is not intended to promote any one product, application or service, but will expose Teaching Professionals to products, applications or services I’ve applied with success.

Since this is a training workshop participants are expected to come away with additional skills, knowledge, and strategies or ideas they can implement immediately to drive student learning. To provide the best opportunity for success and implementation, we will be working in the online virtual environment; Google, Box, DropBox, and more. These environments will provide a repository for templates, guides, and other shared information you can access during and after the training.

High-Level Requirements: Attendee/participants must have an active Google Gmail account before attending the training. For assistance in creating or setting up a Google Gmail account, contact your institution’s Information Technology department, or check out this 3-minute video link on YouTube, and follow these simple instructions.

Attendee/participants should bring a laptop computer with an external mouse. This training will be presented using a PC, and while most of the applications and programs discussed will work on Apple/Mac this trainer is not fluent in working with Apple/Mac.

Other Recommended Accounts: 
Box, DropBox, or Microsoft OneNote.

Deliverables: At the conclusion of this training workshop Attendee/participants should be functionally literate in basic and intermediate strategic use of technology used to drive student learning. The following topics will be addressed:

  • How to Enhance Student Engagement (Start with Feedback)

  • How to Rapidly and Effectively Assess Essays AND Get Students to Read and Apply Your Comments
  • How to Use Quiz Results to Drive Your Teaching Strategy (The Power of the Pre-test/Posttest)

  • How to Encourage Distributed Practice (spaced repetition or spaced practice) to Enhance Student Success

Attendee/participants will also gain a functional understanding in the use of several applications or templates, such as:

  • Google Gmail and related applications
  • iSpring Free Cam (application)
  • Maximize Your Office Hours (template)
  • OneNote (application/template)
  • Plickers (application/template)
QR Code Dominance (application/template)
  • Research Project (template)
  • ScreenCast-o-Matic (application)
  • Thesis Builder (application/template)
  • ZipGrader (application)

*Attendee/participants will also be provided recommended links to high impact external resources to continue their professional development online.

What does Change have to do with it?

Presented by: Judy Korb

Date: Thursday, October 5th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: JCCC, Regnier Center, 101 C & D

Description: Change. One simple word describes excitement, opportunity, progress… stress, conflict, and frustration in our workplaces. The ability to adapt to change has been identified as one of the most important competencies for success in today’s environment. If that is the case, why do the majority of people resist change?

Objectives: Learn to identify typical responses to change and practical techniques for adapting to the changes taking place in your life.

Achieving a Life of Balance

Presented by: Thomas Vansaghi

Date: Wednesday, October 18th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MCC-BR, Education Center, Room 110

To fully actualize our best selves, we must guard against running ourselves into the ground by focusing on things that really aren’t important. Instead, we must focus our time and attention on those things that are fundamentally aligned with our highest values, strengths and provide the greatest opportunities for self-renewal. This session will allow participants to assess their energy management skills, identify their personal purpose, prominent roles and finally set goals within each of these roles. Each participant will receive a workbook where they can create a comprehensive plan to achieve a sense of balance, meaning and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

Learning Outcomes. Participants will:

  • Gain feedback on their energy management skills.
  • Gain an understanding of their strengths/themes of talent.
  • Sketch a personal purpose statement, identify their prominent roles and set goals within these roles.

Start with the Heart: Navigating Important Conversations

Presented by: Deb Shaddy

Date: Tuesday, December 5th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: KCKCC, Lower Level Jewell Bldg., Room 2325/2326

“Will you marry me?” “I believe I’m ready for a promotion.” These are only two of the many times in our lives when the outcome of conversation has a far-reaching impact on our life. Whether personally or professionally, mastering the skills to express ourselves honestly while maintaining and strengthening relationships contributes greatly to enhanced success and well-being.

Based on “Crucial Conversations” by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler (2012), this workshop provides participants the tools to:

  • Identify and prepare for highly-charged situations
  • Assess personal barriers that impede effective communication
  • Learn techniques that transform strong emotions into constructive dialogue
  • Move from “win/lose” to shared decision making

Building A Technology Teaching Toolbox

Presented by: Jason Pallet

Date: Tuesday, February 13th
Time: MCC-Longview, LV Learning Resources 115
Location: 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Description: This session is appropriate for anyone interested in using technology to help engage students in learning. The session will include discussion of the various uses of instructional technology and how it may assist an instructor in delivering content. There will be interactive activities related to questions surrounding instructional technology. Does technology really improve students’ understanding of course content? Are students more engaged when they use technology? How do we measure the impact of instructional technology? There will also be time for hands-on exploration of different tools that can be used for the purpose of creating videos, capturing lectures, engaging students, and allowing online collaboration. The session will be held in a computer classroom. But please feel free to bring your own digital device!

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the pedagogy of technology in the classroom
  • Determine appropriate uses of instructional technology
  • Determine methods for assessing the impact that technology has on learning
  • Explore specific tools that can be used in the classroom

The Emotionally Intelligent Employee: The Challenges and Benefits of Being Where You Are

Presented by: Todd Frye

Date: Tuesday, February 27th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MidAmerica Nazarene, Smith 120

Description: This session will explore various work environment challenges that create distance between co-workers and  their emotions. During the session, participants will look at the internal and external forces of productivity that push them toward excluding emotional presence and awareness. Participants will receive opportunities to discuss their own workplace challenges, and will consider strategies to develop new ways of being emotionally aware and present to themselves and those around them.

Learning outcomes. Participants will leave with:

  • Information on challenges and consequences of emotional distance in activities and relationships in the workplace.
  • Strategies for becoming fully present in their activities and relationships in the workplace.

How to be Interesting: Presentations that Keep your Audience Engaged

Presented by: Sarah Morris

Date: Tuesday, April 3rd
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Location: MCC-BTC, Campus Center 249

Which is more important: What your say or how you say it? We’ve all heard terrible presentations — as well as speeches that changed our lives. As a higher education professional, the ability to present yourself and your ideas effectively can be your most valuable asset… or your worst liability. Regardless of your current skill level, this session will help you learn how to prepare, practice, and deliver powerful presentations that positively impact your organization and ultimately your career.

As a result of attending this workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Identify the elements of an effective presentation.
  • Create a process for preparing and practicing nearly any kind of presentation.
  • Apply 3—5 techniques that will improve each individual’s ability to deliver presentations in a more engaging way.

Committed to providing professional development opportunities for the faculty and staff of its member institutions.