Call for Proposals

Our Call for Proposals has closed. Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal!

2018 HEDS Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) invites proposals for its 2018 annual conference. The HEDS Annual Conference will be held June 17-20, 2018, in Spokane, Washington, at the DoubleTree by Hilton City Center.

HEDS is a consortium of 142 private colleges and universities committed to sharing data, knowledge, and expertise to advance undergraduate liberal arts education, inclusive excellence, and student success at member institutions. The HEDS Annual Conference brings together people from small colleges and universities in an informal setting to present on and discuss how assessment, institutional research, and institutional effectiveness can improve student learning and student success.

We welcome participants from all colleges and universities regardless of whether your institution belongs to HEDS.


Submit a Proposal

We welcome proposals from people at all points in their careers who are engaged in institutional research, assessment, or faculty development, or are following other pathways to use data to improve their institution’s effectiveness. Presentation topics at previous conferences have included:

  • New approaches to assessing student learning
  • Case studies of successfully using evidence to improve student learning in courses, departments or programs, general education, extra- or co-curricular activities, athletics, or any other area of student life during college
  • Case studies of successful collaborative efforts across departments, offices, or other units to use evidence to improve your institution’s effectiveness
  • Using evidence to support campus decision making
  • New approaches to gathering, analyzing, managing, or presenting data
  • Case studies of successful approaches to accreditation or other accountability requirements
  • Other successful approaches for using evidence to improve any aspect of institutional effectiveness

Given the financial challenges that many institutions currently face, we are also interested in proposals that showcase innovative approaches to holding costs down while maintaining educational effectiveness at small institutions.


Presentations from the 2017 HEDS Annual Conference included:

  • First-Generation, Continuing Generation…. All Generations: Improving Support for Endurance and Success
  • Institutional Researchers as Trainers, Coaches, and Educators
  • Staging Data: Transforming Data into a Theatrical Performance
  • How to Measure the Impact of Study Abroad Programs on Student Performance: Propensity Score vs Case Control Matching
  • Factors that Contribute to the Development of Writing Skills
  • Data Informed Decision Cultures
  • From Dispassionate Data Fount to Advocating in the Trenches: Equity, Inclusion, and IR

Learn more about previous conferences here.


Presentation Formats

When submitting a proposal, please select one of the following presentation formats:

  • Presentation (approximately 45 minutes) – A presentation on a single topic by one or more individuals. Please allow 10 to 15 minutes for Q&A with the audience.
  • Panel discussion (approximately 45–60 minutes) – Panel discussions consist of shorter presentations representing the different perspectives of each panel member, followed by open discussion and Q&A with the audience.
  • Roundtable Discussion (60 minutes) – Interactive, hour-long conversation on a current topic or issue relevant to small colleges and universities. The discussion leader (presenter) will: start with brief opening remarks on why they were interested in the topic and their experience with it on their own campus; help keep the conversation going, as needed, with prepared questions; encourage participation from all participants; do a short wrap-up at the end with highlights from the conversation; and take notes during the discussion that can be shared with all conference participants.

Please note that we may ask you to adjust your presentation time or combine your presentation with others on a similar topic to create a combined session.


How to Submit a Proposal

Please submit proposals for the conference by filling out the proposal submission form here. If you have questions, please contact Kelly McDorman at

You will be asked for the following information in the form:

  1. Title of presentation, panel, or roundtable discussion.
  2. Type of presentation – presentation, panel discussion, or roundtable discussion.
  3. Name, title, institution, and email address of each presenter or panel member. Please include information for everyone who will make a substantial intellectual contribution to the presentation, even if they can’t attend the conference, so we may give them credit in the program.
  4. Short abstract (no more than 250 words) describing the content of the presentation, panel, or roundtable discussion. For a roundtable discussion, include three to five questions that you will use to guide the discussion. We will use these abstracts in the conference program, and we will post the program on the HEDS website.
  5. Learning outcomes – Briefly describe at least two things that conference participants will learn.


For full consideration, proposals must be received by April 13, 2018.