HEDS Annual Conference

Registration is now open! Schedule details coming soon.

2021 HEDS Annual Conference

Please join us October 13-15 at the Clayton Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, for an in-person 2021 HEDS Annual Conference! The conference will begin with a reception on the evening of Wednesday, October 13, followed by sessions most of the day on Thursday and Friday.

We will share, discuss, and explore our work in a relaxed, friendly, and candid atmosphere. The conference will highlight interactive sessions and workshops sessions developed by the HEDS staff which focus on skills development and problem solving. We will also be offering many casual networking opportunities. These relaxed events help make meeting new colleagues and learning new ideas effortless and natural.

We are very excited to be able to offer this in-person opportunity to meet and engage with our colleagues once again. We welcome and encourage attendees from all colleges and universities and anyone who is working with evidence to improve student learning, inclusive excellence, and student success. Join us to reflect with others on the work you’ve done or to gain insights for work you plan to do. Learn new ideas, new techniques, new language. Problem-solve and help mentor others. You will leave feeling inspired and refreshed!

As we are developing our sessions we welcome any ideas or suggestions you may have. If there is something you would like to experience at the HEDS Annual Conference please send an email to Kelly McDorman. Registration is now open, we will be posting more information about the schedule soon.

To learn more about our conference and what past participants say about it, click on the questions below.

People in offices across your campus rely on evidence to support the educational impact of your institution. That is why we welcome and encourage attendance at our conference from anyone, from any department, program, or office, who is working with evidence to improve student learning, inclusive excellence, or student success.

In the past we’ve had participants from institutional research and effectiveness, assessment offices and committees, student affairs, academic affairs, diversity and Title IX offices, teaching and learning centers, as well as faculty, librarians, and even students.

“Meeting people in similar roles at other institutions and discussing common challenges was beneficial.”

“I appreciate the variety of topics from different but related areas, because it helps with the transfer of ideas.”

“Being able to meet folks at other institutions and learn about their offices was beneficial.”

The HEDS Annual Conference is a national conference that is typically the size of a regional. Not too big, or too small. Attendance at our conference before COVID-19 usually hovered around 100 people. It’s normally big enough to have a diverse group of people and lots of ideas, but small enough that it’s possible to get to know people and for everyone to have a chance to talk.

I really appreciate the size of the conference in terms of allowing participants to interact with one another.”

“I liked that the conference was smaller and more intimate than many others. I felt I could make connections and grow my network.”

“I enjoyed the quality of information and small size. It provided an excellent place to develop relationships and meaningful interactions.”

We design the HEDS Annual Conference around the idea that the best way to help someone make a difference at their institution is to connect them with others who are tackling the same tough issues. We strive to create real connections among attendees, in a casual, relaxed atmosphere that allows meaningful conversations to happen naturally.

“This conference’s vibe is by far the best of all conferences I’ve been involved with. The HEDS conference is truly collaborative. The welcoming environment at this conference enhances professional development.”

How do we help create those connections?

Opportunities for both guided and informal discussion.
In addition to the guided sessions, we create times in the schedule for informal conversations. We include several meals in the registration fee, host dinner groups, dessert discussion sessions, and have extended coffee breaks throughout the day, giving attendees time to continue conversations about what they are learning one-on-one. These activities encourage authentic and valuable learning and working relationships to form.

“The sessions were great and the meals provide valuable time to encourage interactions and build relationships.”

An environment of trust.
We encourage everyone at our conference to be open and honest about their work. At the HEDS Annual Conference, you meet real people, hear about real issues, learn what really worked, and what really didn’t.

“I really appreciated the willingness of people to have real conversations about challenges and successes in their offices. It wasn’t about collecting accolades. This conference was about hard work and striving to improve.”

You will gain new ideas, new perspectives, new techniques, new language, new connections, and a new network to bounce ideas off of. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to tackle the important work ahead of you.

“I learned so much from hearing how other colleagues tackle issues on campus. I always come open to new ideas, and I walk away with new skills and ideas to take back and try out.”

“I leave the HEDS conferences feeling inspired and encouraged – I learned a lot and had a great time.”

“The conference topics have inspired me to be a better director, and really reevaluate myself and my office—identifying strengths and weaknesses. I have come back with many great ideas thanks to networking with colleagues and HEDS staff.”

NO! All are welcome and encouraged to attend. We are happy to welcome people from any college or university, whether or not their institution belongs to HEDS.

HEDS is a community of colleges and universities committed to sharing data, knowledge, and expertise to advance undergraduate liberal arts education, inclusive excellence, and student success.

HEDS welcomes all colleges and universities—privates and publics, both 2-year and 4-year—to join us in advancing these outcomes for our students. Please visit our About HEDS page to learn more about our mission and how we enact it.

COVID-19 Information

We plan to hold the conference face-to-face but we will closely monitor all the official requirements and recommendations for public health safety and will let you know of any changes.