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

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Keynote Presentations

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October 7, 2015 (Day 1) Keynote

Celebrating Check & Connect: Research and Practice Highlights Across 25 Years

Sandra L. Christenson, Ph.D., Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota

The 25-year story of Check & Connect is told thru reflections on scientific findings and lessons learned while implementing Check & Connect with students with and without disabilities in urban and suburban elementary and secondary schools.  Also, results from the recent efficacy trials in large urban school districts highlight for whom and under what conditions is Check & Connect most effective.

Download the PDF of Dr. Christenson's presentation slides and view side-by-side with the video recording.

Sandra L. Christenson, Ph.D.

photo of Dr. ChristensonDr. Sandra L. Christenson is the Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership, Professor of Educational Psychology, and faculty member in the School Psychology Program at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on interventions that enhance engagement at school and with learning for marginalized students with and without disabilities. She is particularly interested in the identification of family and school factors that facilitate student engagement and success in school and college and postsecondary readiness. She has been a principal investigator on several federally-funded projects in the areas of dropout prevention and family-school partnerships, including Check & Connect, which is in its 25th year of research. There are now four efficacy trials of Check & Connect occurring in large cities. Most recently, the Check & Connect program has been adapted for use in community college settings. Dr. Christenson publishes extensively; recently she co-edited the Handbook of Research on Student Engagement.


October 8, 2015 (Day 2) Keynote

Ordinary Magic in Action: Promoting Resilience in Children and Youth

Ann S. Masten, Ph.D., Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Ann Masten highlights lessons learned from five decades of research on resilience in children and youth and its implications for practice and policy designed to promote success among young people overcoming challenges. Check & Connect discussed as an example of translational resilience science and ordinary magic in action. 

Download the PDF of Dr. Masten's presentation slides and view side-by-side with the video recording.


Ann Masten, Ph.D.

Ann S. Masten, Ph.D., LP, is a Regents Professor and Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on understanding processes that promote competence and prevent problems in human development, with a focus on adaptive processes and resilience in the context of high cumulative risk, adversity, and trauma. She directs the Project Competence research on risk and resilience, including studies with normative populations and high-risk children and youth exposed to homelessness, war, natural disasters, migration, and other adversities. She is Past-President of the Society for Research in Child Development and currently serves on the Board of Children, Youth and Families for the U. S. National Academies, where she also co-chairs the international Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally. In 2014, she received the Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the American Psychological Association. 

Her book, Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development, was published in 2014 by Guilford Press.

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