The call for presentations is now closed. 


Igniting Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Continuing Education

Continuing Education is an exciting and challenging place to work requiring innovative problem solving, entrepreneurial thinking, nimble teams that respond to industry demand, and strong, diverse partnerships. We want to hear how you are igniting your practice within your Continuing Education unit to improve the careers and lives of people in your community and beyond – ultimately creating a brighter future for everyone.

Like entrepreneurs, continuing education practitioners are always looking for new ideas and better ways to push the boundaries of practical and applied learning and teaching. We are passionate, flexible and resourceful in our mission to deliver high-quality educational opportunities.

We hope you’ll join us in Calgary at CAUCE 2020 to learn from one another and ignite your passion for university continuing education. We will share innovative ideas in the latest research, programming, marketing and more. Through engaging speakers, interactive workshops, and communities of practice, we will inspire each other in serving the needs of adult learners across Canada.


To get your creative juices flowing, we have added some ideas for your consideration to each conference stream described below.

Leadership and program management refers to the academic and administrative oversight of continuing education programs. This may include strategic-level planning and decision making, team leadership, curriculum development and innovation, entrepreneurship, intra-university affairs and collaboration, partnerships and alignment with professional associations/industry, instructor engagement, business development, performance management, and recruitment as well as the day-to-day administrative work that ensures CE programs are running smoothly.

Possible ideas for consideration:

  1. At this point in time, what principles and trends are informing continuing education at your institution? How are you using data to inform your practice?
  2. As a program manager, what new, different, and/or collaborative models are you exploring or using in your work?
  3. Given the diverse backgrounds of instructors in continuing education, what is your process for on-boarding new staff and/or instructors?
  4. How is your continuing education unit organized? How has your organizational chart changed? Are you doing anything innovative in your staffing model or new hires? (e.g., Business Development staff?)
  5. What steps has your unit taken to ensure that staff, instructors and other internal and external partners are engaged in the life of the unit (e.g.: instructor engagement, staff health & wellness programs, etc.)?
  6. Partnerships come in all forms and formats. Are there partnerships that your unit is pursuing with another department at your institution or in the larger community? Please share your successes and lessons learned. 

The online learning and instructional design stream explores topics related to online experiences, best practices and trends including emerging technologies and developments, learning management systems, software, assessments, applications, alternative delivery methodologies and related processes. Sharing both challenges and successes, this stream is relevant to individuals who occupy leadership, educational and technical roles within CE units, including Deans, Directors, Associate Deans/Directors, Managers, Instructional Designers, Educational Technologists and support personnel who work in instructional design and online learning. 

Possible ideas for consideration:

  1. Is it necessary to be on the cutting edge of learning technology and instructional design? If so, what is your unit doing to achieve this goal? If not, what principles and practices do you or your unit use to inform the design and delivery of online and blended learning courses?
  2. Managing the many steps and partners in new course and program development can be daunting. What innovative processes do you recommend for managing new course and program development?
  3. There is literature that suggests upcoming adult learners value blended learning over fully online learning. What are your opinions or experiences on this idea?
  4. What technology developments or innovations are you watching, with the goal of integrating the best and most effective into your practice?
  5. Partnerships in the online space can look very different. What has worked for you and what are your lessons learned?

“Building knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives, worldviews, histories, cultures, and belief systems is essential to enabling and realizing steps towards true reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Educational institutions have a profound responsibility in initiating, securing and sustaining reconciliation.” (Indigenous Strategy, University of Calgary, p.2) 

Over the past decade, there has been growing recognition among educational scholars of the importance of redefining the role and relevance of post-secondary institutions in the 21st century. How institutions relate and respond to a changing social, cultural landscape has not only defined Canadian university mission and vision statements, but has also informed strategic priorities. Indigenous achievement has been of primary institutional focus with the aim of fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and understanding the barriers faced by Indigenous peoples, particularly in relation to post-secondary education attainment. This has resulted in the recognition that investments towards more inclusive, responsive and relevant academic programming are critical. The objectives of this stream are: a) to define the meaning and significance of Indigenization and decolonization as it pertains to post-secondary education; b) to identify common challenges and opportunities related to Indigenous programming; and c) to create and/or centralize educational resources.

Possible ideas for consideration:

  1. How does your CE department and/or university approach indigenization and decolonization? What are the systemic roadblocks that you have learned from?
  2. Does your unit have an innovative strategy or framework in place to ensure that the strengths of and barriers faced by Indigenous students and/or staff are addressed in the design of your programs?
  3. How can we best respond to the diverse learning needs of adult learners?
  4. Co-creation is a development model of growing importance in adult and professional education. Share the highlights of a CE program where program planning and implementation was grounded in a co-creative model.
  5. How can programs be appropriately designed to meet the needs of Indigenous peoples?
  6. What are CE units doing that is both innovative and entrepreneurial in supporting the language and writing development needs of their learners?
  7. Partnerships have become increasingly important in CE. What types of partnerships do you have in Indigenous Programming? Please speak to all types of partnerships: institutional (internal and external), non-profit organizations, corporate or industry partnerships, and/or associations. Please share your successes and lessons learned.

This stream is aimed at those interested and involved in attracting and retaining students through new and emerging marketing trends and enrolment practices, as well as enhancing the learner experience through enrolment management and student services. We strive to develop leaders in marketing, communications and student services through the exploration of theories and trends and sharing of best practices, strategies and tactics that shape enrolment and meet institutional goals. It also explores applications and software in the categories of CRM systems, enrolment systems, student information systems, finance or enterprise systems, data analytics, artificial intelligence, student response systems and other such technologies. The stream will foster leadership development for individuals seeking to enhance and grow their expertise by learning from industry experts and collaborating with colleagues globally. Professionals at all levels can develop their knowledge and skills and stay relevant in the ever-changing continuing education, marketing, and enrolment management environments. 

Possible ideas for consideration:

  1. How does your unit collect and use student data to boost enrolment or contribute to innovative marketing campaigns? What other data informs the strategic direction of your unit?
  2. Describe an exceptionally successful campaign. In your estimation, what contributed to the campaign’s success? How did you measure your results?
  3. How are you using social media to reach current and prospective students?
  4. Engagement with the community and social accountability are emerging as important metrics. How do you engage with the community and social accountability? If/How does your marketing team support the engagement and/or outreach mandate of your unit? of your university?
  5. When can partnership be a marketing and/or enrolment strategy for a continuing education unit?

This stream is aimed at those institutions who offer programming to students seeking to enhance their English language skills. This can be through credit/non-credit programming or through English language programming. This stream will foster development for staff whose work is to manage marketing, recruitment and/or student retention strategies, partnerships, quality assurance standards and program accreditation within these programs. This stream will provide sharing of best practices and learning opportunities for those who deliver this programming. It also explores staffing and organizational models as well as innovative practices within these units in order to support Canada’s growth population strategies. 

Possible ideas for consideration

  1. What successful marketing, recruitment, or student retention strategies have you implemented? How are you using digital marketing, marketing automation, or other tactics to support your business development activities?
  2. Formal and informal partnerships and agreements: with institutions agencies and companies   Partnerships with employers – are there any and what do they look like?
  3. Quality assurance/standards/program accreditation:
    1. Programming: How do you incorporate the intricacies/challenges of introducing EDI+II into the curriculum for students with very different cultural backgrounds (from the N. American perspective)? How can adult education programs be appropriately designed to meet the needs of international students and/or new Canadians? How do you build cultural competence in learners?
    2. Curriculum/Assessment: What is the policy in your program with regard to curriculum – Literacy, ESL for Work, EAP, General ESL, Intensive, English for citizenship, LINC and CLIC etc. –how is that curriculum delivered and how are learners assessed?
    3. Academic Internationalizing the curriculum.
  4. How do you approach accommodations for your international students? Dormitory, Homestay or encourage independence? Share your best practices.
  5. Students: Mental health and wellness, academic support, academic integrity, university integration, student advocacy:
    1. Progression of learners: Where do they go when they complete their program – what opportunities are there and how are they tracked. Apprenticeship, employment bridging programs, work placement programs
    2. Immigration status (as it relates to funding) and access to programming and access to different types of programming – International students are different to learners with permanent residency and Canadian citizens in terms of programming that they look for
  6. Staffing and Organizational Models: Have you made any changes to your organization recently? What works and doesn’t work? How do you handle the large fluctuations in “busy times”? What innovative practices have you implemented to encourage cross-cultural communication to leverage the strengths of staff members from diverse backgrounds. How does your programming for international students and newcomers support Canada’s population growth strategies?
  7. Funding: What options are there? What options are made available by employers, government, etc. both in Canada and internationally?

This stream will include, but is not limited to, recipients of CAUCE’s research grants.

Possible ideas for consideration:

  1. Research in the adult education and continuing education sectors tends to be qualitative in nature. Share the highlights of a qualitative study which has made an impact in your unit.
  2. Partnership and diverse skills are integral to scholarship in continuing education. Explore this idea through a case study approach.
  3. How has research conducted by your department had a positive impact on a specific community of stakeholders?
  4. How can research findings in continuing education be meaningfully shared with other departments in your institution? Partnering organizations? Community members?
  5. University continuing education units are increasingly defined by ‘bottom line thinking’ with little time or place for scholarship. However, when scholarship is diminished, what distinguishes the university continuing education unit from other program providers?
  6. How do you and/or your team use data and research to inform your continuing education practice?

How to submit

If your proposal is accepted, you must register for the conference and pay corresponding fees by April 1, 2020, to confirm your presentation(s). You are also responsible for your own travel and accommodation expenses.

Continuing education leaders, administrative personnel and practitioners from across Canada will gather at the University of Calgary for three days of networking, idea exchange and social activities.

Keynote speakers, presenters, panelists, and conference participants will engage in discussions around emerging trends in continuing education, the power of building strong and diverse partnerships, and engagement within communities to ensure individual and collective opportunity.

We welcome submissions that provide engaging opportunities for learning and knowledge exchange. Please focus on the “how” not just “what” so that actual experiences and lessons learned can be shared. What can you provide the audience to take away (e.g., a model, a template, steps, principles, etc.)?

Proposals may include individual or small-group presentations, panel discussions or workshops. All sessions should share your responsive and innovative practices within the Communities of Practice and related to the conference theme “Igniting Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Continuing Education” and focus on at least one of the five streams (noted below). Sessions vary in length from 30 minutes to 60 minutes or you may choose a 10 minute ‘enlightening talk’.

You will be asked to indicate your presentation preference and rationale. 

  • Individual or small-group presentations (30, 45 or 60 minutes)
  • Enlightening Talk (10 minutes – see details below)
    • 10-minute presentation followed by a 3-minute Q&A
    • One presenter per “talk” (no groups)
    • 20 slides (cover page, 19 content slides)
    • Slides will auto-advance every 30 seconds
    • PowerPoint template will be provided and must be used for this presentation type
    • Each concurrent session will consist of four unique talks
  • Panel discussions (60 minutes)
  • Interactive workshops (60 minutes)

All proposals must be submitted online using ProposalSpace.

Please note: We will request that your presentation is made available (PDF) to conference attendees by publishing it on the conference app following your presentation.

Selection criteria

  • Relevance to the conference theme and chosen stream;
  • Relevance and appeal to the intended conference audience and CAUCE constituents;
  • Clarity of the proposal (what will you be presenting and how);
  • The degree to which presentation is based on responsive and innovative practices;
  • Newness and uniqueness of the topic and information;
  • The degree to which presentation is engaging and participatory;
  • The takeaways for the audience; what will you provide them to add to their own practice (models, templates, etc.).