Serving At-Potential Students with Less-Work and Greater Rigor

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This interactive session is based on experiential and experimental data captured from a in study which 1300, academically successful, men of color participated. The study considered cognitive and non-cognitive factors which contribute to low retention and high failure rates of at-potential students. The results and findings from the study informed researchers with valuable implications that have been used to drive the construction of academic, advising, and student support services to effectively and efficiently serve at-potential students without reducing rigor.

Sponsored By


Dr. Newton Miller has been committed to the education arena since 1992 when converted non-traditionally from the ranks of the engineering field. His research interest lies within educating at-potential populations, focusing on the systemic thinking tied to student achievement, effective school cultures, and facilitating programming and instruction that promotes educational success within non-traditional and marginalized adult populations. Some of Dr. Miller’s contributions to the world of education have been lauded by honors like the Impact Award from the Urban League San Diego County, 2018; Provost Award for Outstanding Faculty, from Ashford University, 2014 and the Excellence in Teaching Award from Swarthmore College, 2012. He is the author of 'Why Some Seeds Don’t Grow' a book that sheds light on high impact principles needed to enhance the educating, mentoring and parenting of urban youth. Dr. Miller believes educators are meant to facilitate the thinking that changes the world; thus his mantra is: Educate … Motivate … Help Them Grow! Fun Fact: Dr. Miller’s dream job was as a Structural Engineer until he stood in front of a classroom of knowledge-hungry, inner-city students. It was at that moment he knew his true purpose and career path was to be an educator. Some of the research, publications and presentations Dr. Miller has contributed to the education arena are: • The 3T’s of Effective Online Instruction • Learning from Men of Color: Creating Culturally Responsive Academic and Student Service Systems • Learning from Men of Color: Factors Leading to the Success of Men of Color in Online Higher Education Programs • A guide to effective learning walks in YouthBuild programs. • The Digital Divide: Does computerized instruction affect math and reading scores of urban high school students. • Intervention Convention: A manual for implementing PLATO as an intervention in failing urban middle schools. • Classroom Techniques: A Professional Development. • Classroom Management in a Socratic Classroom: A Professional Development. • Leading the leader to prepare urban secondary students for a successful transition to post-secondary placements: A Laundry list of necessary components that should dominate the school culture of transitioning high school students and strategies to implement them. • Using classroom walkthroughs as data collection tool to enhance direct instruction and professional development. • Establishing a Model for Back-on-Track through College. How Community Based Organizations can Partner with Community Colleges to Support Postsecondary Success for Previously Disconnected Youth. • Using computer-based learning environments to establish effective individual academic interventions in public school systems as a differentiated instruction option.

Extended Abstract

This presentation revolves around experiential data that considers cognitive and non-cognitive factors which contribute to low retention and high failure rates of at-potential students. We will explain why these phenomena occur and suggest how and what to do to combat these negative trends.

This presentation is important in impacting teaching and learning in higher education as it focuses on two major objectives that are valuable to many institutions.

1. Evaluating factors that contribute to constructing culturally responsive academic and student facing systems that enhance the support of success of at-potential populations.
2. Generating insight on data to provide a unique approach to academic factors such as course design, assignments and assessment, based on strategies and methodologies specific to at-potential populations, particularly men of color successfully navigating their academic programs.

After participating in this experience, learners will be able to:
• Explain the three pillars that drive the thinking of high performing at-potential learners.
• Explain how the survival mindset can block or excel performance of at-potential learners.
• Determine which strategies will be effective in engaging at-potential learners.
• Synthesize immediate actions to begin the process of becoming more intentional in supporting at-potential learners for success.

Participants will explore a study involving 1300 men of color (MOC), successful in their higher education programs. The research used to build this professional development session focuses on men of color (MOC) because traditionally that population has been the lowest performing in all education arena’s (PK–16). These findings expose the strategies and three common pillars indigenous to MOC who are successful in their higher education programs. Additionally, participants will learn implications suggested by the research to support the success of at-potential populations of any demographic, in both online and traditional face-to-face programs.

Participants will complete a self-assessment of their competency on serving at-potential populations in the higher education arena.

There are two major takeaways that participants will gain from this experience.

Takeaway 1: Participants will understand the trends of the strategies at-potential populations implement to be successful in their traditional face to face and online academic programs and compare their own practices to those suggested by the at-potential populations in the study.

Takeaway 2: Participants will evaluate opportunities for systemic changes within their departments to better serve at-potential populations enrolled at their institution based on three common pillars indigenous to that population.

Re-Cap of the contents of this presentation experience:
• Participants will walk away from this keynote experience with three foundational principals that can be applied to inform the design and modification of traditional face-to-face and online teaching and learning models such that they support the success of any at-potential population, without compromising effectiveness for any other demographic subgroup.

• Participants will walk away with both broad indicators of cultural shifts and specific strategies that could be implemented at their institutions to help decrease failure and increase retention rates of at-potential students.