University of Minnesota
Check & Connect Student Engagement Intervention | Institute on Community Integration
Institute on Community Integration CEHD

Photo of mentor with student, representing Check & Connect Student Engagement Intervention.

2017 Student Engagement Conference:
Connection to School, Motivation to Learn

October 12-13, 2017 • McNamara Alumni Center • Minneapolis, MN

photo of interior of McNamara Alumni Center

Engagement strategies • current research • perspectives from experts and practitioners

Check & Connect is hosting its second biennial conference, Student Engagement: Connection to School, Motivation to Learn, to bring together leading experts and practitioners from around the country and overseas to address the topic of student engagement among at-risk youth. This two-day event will consist of both keynotes and concurrent presentations addressing at least one of four topics:

  1. Strategies and components to engage students
  2. Site-level leadership strategies to foster a fully engaged student body
  3. Scaling up and sustaining practices across multiple schools, districts, and states
  4. Current, relevant studies on Check & Connect and other student engagement strategies

Keynote Speakers

Hedy Chang, Ph.D., Attendance Works

Hedy Nai-Lin Chang directs Attendance Works, a national and state level initiative aimed at advancing student success by addressing chronic absence. A skilled presenter, facilitator, researcher and writer, she co-authored the seminal report, Present, Engaged and Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades, as well as numerous other articles about student attendance. Deeply committed to promoting two-generation solutions to achieving a more just and equitable society, Hedy has spent more than two decades working in the fields of family support, family economic success, education and child development. She served as a senior program officer at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and as co-director of California Tomorrow, a nonprofit committed to drawing strength from cultural, linguistic and racial diversity. In February 2013, Hedy was named by the White House as a Champion of Change for her commitment to furthering African American Education.

Amy Reschly, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Amy Reschly is a professor of Educational Psychology and coordinator of the School Psychology Program at the University of Georgia. Her scholarly work focuses on student engagement, dropout prevention, and working with families to promote student success.  She was co-editor of the Handbook of Research on Student Engagement with Dr. Sandra Christenson, and a co-author of the Student Engagement Instrument and its extensions. She worked as a Check & Connect mentor from 1998-2000. 

Conference Registration & Fees

Conference registration opens April 3, 2017.

Pre-Conference Training Option

In addition, Check & Connect will be hosting a 1-day Preparation and Implementation Training on October 11, 2017 (the day prior to the conference) at the McNamara Alumni Center. This 1-day training will only be open to conference registrants. Registration opens April 3, 2017. See more information about Check & Connect Preparation and Implementation Training.

Stay in the Loop!

To receive updates regarding the 2017 Student Engagement Conference: Connection to School, Motivation to Learn, sign up to receive our monthly Check & Connect Implementation Resources Newsletter.

Conference logoCelebrating 25 Years of Student Engagement

Check & Connect's First National Conference

October 7-8, 2015
McNamara Alumni Center
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Thank you for attending our 2015 conference!

View Keynote Presentations | View Models of Implementation Panel | View Presentation Slides | View Photos

Check & Connect celebrated 25 years (1990-2015) by hosting our first national conference to bring together leading experts and practitioners from around the country and overseas to address the topic of student engagement among at-risk youth. This event was geared towards both professionals implementing Check & Connect's evidence-based student engagement intervention model and those interested in learning more about student engagement in general and Check & Connect specifically. Participants came to learn from experts in the field, share lessons learned, and gain tools for implementing Check & Connect with fidelity and sustaining their site's implementation to support at-risk students in reaching their goals and graduating high school.

Here are some of the highlights as reported by our national Check & Connect trainers:

“I really enjoyed having people who I have trained and worked with around the country all together on the University of Minnesota campus!  The connections they were able to make with other Check & Connect practitioners around the country – to learn from and share each other’s experiences – was so beneficial for all, and fun for me to watch! It was delightful to meet new mentors and coordinators as well, and learn other ways Check & Connect is being implemented around the country!” – Jana Hallas

“It was wonderful to see newly certified Check & Connect trainers soaking up information and networking with others. This experience will be valuable to them as trainers. Certified Check & Connect trainers from Florida, Iowa, and Utah joined us at this conference. As we continue to develop our train-the-trainer process, I see the national conference as a great professional development opportunity for even more Check and Connect certified trainers.” – Eileen Klemm

“One of the best experiences I had at the conference was sharing a meal with the Check & Connect teams I have worked with. We were able to gather together 14 people, representing Check & Connect implementations from one coast to another, and share an evening together discussing how Check & Connect is implemented and the successes and challenges we have. What a great and inspiring group!” – Sharon Mulé

Stay tuned for our next Check & Connect conference, tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2017!

      View Twitter posts using hashtag #CC_conf2015

Check & Connect Founders

Research on Check & Connect began in 1990 with five years of funding support from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The principal investigators on this grant were Robert Bruininks (now former University of Minnesota President), Martha Thurlow, and Sandra Christenson, while David Evelo was the school-based project coordinator at Minneapolis Public Schools and Mary Sinclair served as the university-based project coordinator. We will acknowledge this core team of researchers and practitioners during the opening of our conference.

In addition, many professionals from Minneapolis Public Schools were instrumental in obtaining the initial funding. Most importantly, the development of Check & Connect (1990-1995) was a collaborative effort between researchers at the Institute on Community Integration (ICI), University of Minnesota, and school-based professionals in Minneapolis Public Schools.

2015 Conference Endorsers

We'd like to thank the following organizations for endorsing the Check & Connect conference!

Search Institute: Discovering what kids need to succeed.

Florida's State Personnel Development Grant
PACER Center   National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
National Mentoring Partnership   The Arc Minnesota
Attendance Works   Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Minnesota Alliance with Youth  

Ramp-Up to Readiness


For More Information

For more information on the Check & Connect national conference, please contact us.

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