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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Women in Online Higher Education Leadership Roles: A Workshop on Professional Development and Strategies for Success

Liz Ciabocchi (St. John's University, USA)
Renee M. Cicchino (Seton Hall University, USA)
Shanta Goswami Varma (University of Houston - Clear Lake & CDL-Empire State College, USA)
Mary Bold (University of Washington – Bothell, USA)
Session Information
October 14, 2015 - 8:30am
Leadership, Values and Society
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Pre-Conference Workshop
Oceanic 2
Session Duration: 
3 Hours
Pre-Conference Workshop Session 3

There is a fee for this Pre-Conference Workshop: $195 Early Bird / $225 Full Price / $250 Onsite Price

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Please join us for an interactive workshop on professional development and strategies for success for women leaders in online higher education.

Extended Abstract

As the public and private roles of women evolve in all parts of the world, women are taking up leadership responsibilities at new levels and in new fields. The path to leadership roles is a result of women aspiring to senior positions; acquiring new skills; possessing keen problem-solving abilities, and capably managing multiple roles both at home and in the workplace. The challenge for women leaders is not to simply establish a presence in the so-called "man's world"---it is to overcome the challenges that prevent them from gaining recognition for their leadership skills and abilities and creating a successful niche in a professional environment.

Although a number of women are rising to senior positions in the field of online higher education, there is a wide range of internal and external forces to which they must attend to ensure their continued success. This workshop will explore the forces driving change and the leadership challenges and opportunities for women in this field. In particular, the workshop facilitators will discuss professional development programs and customized online learning leadership programs that assist women leaders in aligning their skills with their aspirations. A brief analysis and discussion of data collected in collaboration with OLC and the IELOL (OLC/Penn State Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning) regarding the experiences of female participants will be included. Additionally, interactive workshop activities including roundtable discussions and role-playing will be featured.

Workshop Format

- Brief overview of higher education landscape and research on women leaders
- Roundtable discussions with current female leaders in online higher education re: strategies for overcoming specific challenges
- Role-playing exercise on leadership scenarios
- Question-and-answer with workshop facilitators and panel of male and female online higher education leaders

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the current higher education landscape for women who occupy (or aspire to) leadership roles in this field.
- Identify the unique capabilities of women leaders, as well as specific challenges and opportunities facing them in the higher education field.
- Identify and access professional development and mentoring opportunities for women leaders in online higher education.
- Create a network of like-minded colleagues (male and female) in online higher education leadership for additional professional development and support.

Lead Presenter
Liz CiabocchiElizabeth (Liz) Ciabocchi currently serves as Vice Provost for Digital Learning at St. John’s University. From 2002-2014, Liz served in the Office of Academic Affairs at Long Island University, most recently as Associate Vice President for Online Learning (2013-2014). She also served as Academic Dean, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York Campus (2001-2002), and as a faculty member and administrator at the New York College for Health Professions in Syosset, N.Y. (1993-2001). Liz holds an Ed.D. in Higher & Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a D.C. from New York Chiropractic College, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Scranton. She also holds an Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Teaching Certificate (Administrative Track) and completed the OLC Institute for Engaged Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) in 2010.
Renee CicchinoRenee M. Cicchino serves as the Senior Instructional Designer with the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center, Seton Hall University. Renee manages special projects and initiatives for Seton Hall’s Teaching, Learning and Technology Center. However, her primary role is to support faculty in the development of online and hybrid courses. She is a Quality Matters Master Reviewer and Institutional Representative and is a graduate of the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning through Penn State and the Sloan Consortium. Renee also earned a Certificate in Online Teaching through the Sloan Consortium.

Renee stays current with online and hybrid course trends by serving as a Mentor in the Online Teaching Certificate Program (Sloan-C), serves on several external online and hybrid course review committees for Quality Matters, and recently served on the 2013 Advisory Board for the Teaching Professor Teaching with Technology Conference (Magna Communications). She has been teaching online and face to face courses in communication for more than 15 years and is currently teaching scuba diving through the College of Education at Seton Hall University.
Shanta Goswami VarmaDr. Shanta Goswami Varma has over 20 years of experience in National and International Higher education in academic administration. Areas of expertise include online teaching and learning; program development and implementation; marketing and outreach; faculty development (online learning); regulatory and accreditation requirements; curriculum and instruction; partnership building; recruitment and retention. Her research interests include e-learning; social media; faculty development; cultural disparity, perseverance and success in workplace. www.uhcl.edu/onlineprograms

Mary Bold (University of Washington – Bothell, USA)