Conference Overview

The Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) and the Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC) invites you to join us for the virtual 2021 Transforming Institutions Conference. This conference will bring together researchers, faculty, STEM education centers, Centers for Teaching and Learning, change agents, administrators, and policymakers to focus on transforming undergraduate education. This conference will address critical questions related to institutional change in higher education and foster connections between researchers and change agents across fields. We intend to provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussion and collaboration as we work together to bring about institutional change and to define the future of this work.

View the full program » Presenter Guidelines »

The Transforming Institutions Conference's diversity of presentations is designed to address important topics in institutional change and transformation by:

  • bringing together researchers, change agents, administrators, and policymakers to focus on transforming undergraduate education;
  • inviting and incorporating diverse participation, drawing from a wide range of disciplines;
  • creating a space where people can see how their work interacts and overlaps across disciplines;
  • encouraging discussion in order to identify key questions regarding change in higher education;
  • featuring both early and mature projects, which may focus on outcomes as well as processes and contexts of change;
  • creating an opportunity for team formation and development, encouraging team builders to consider levels of power and buy-in as needed for change;
  • providing space for discussion, engagement, and network development.


The Transforming Institutions 2021 Virtual Conference will bring together these themes into a robust and immersive program. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with the conference themes and other change agents through a variety of sessions and formats. All are invited to submit abstracts to the contributed program of presentations and poster presentations. The full conference program is now available.

View the full program »


We ask participants to attend the entire conference and to participate fully in the sessions and events. We encourage all participants to create a welcoming and encouraging work environment that honors all levels of experience with institutional change.

Expectations for Participants in ASCN Activities: In order to provide a productive and safe work environment and foster the free exchange of ideas, discrimination and harassment are prohibited in any ASCN activity. This commitment applies to all participants in all settings and locations in which ASCN committee meetings, workshops, and conferences are conducted where employees, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, and/or guests are present. ASCN requires its meeting participants to conduct themselves professionally and treat other participants with respect. Failure to comply will result in participants being asked to leave the activity, whether virtual or in-person.


The Transforming Institutions 2021 Virtual Conference will begin at 12:00pm and end at 5:00 pm on June 9th, 10th, and 11th. All times are in Eastern Standard Time. Key dates:

  • Presentation submission deadline: March 8, 2021
  • Proposal review period: March 8, 2021 to March 15, 2021
  • Notification of proposal status: March 22, 2021
  • Registration opens in April
  • Early registration deadline: May 15, 2021
  • Registration subsidy request deadline: May 15, 2021
  • Poster submission deadline: May 15, 2021
  • Standard registration deadline: June 7, 2021

Registration and Abstract Submission

We welcome participation by all who are interested in transforming undergraduate education, including researchers, center directors and staff, change agents, administrators, and policymakers focused on institutional change. All participants are invited to submit an abstract to be considered for inclusion in the program.

Registration Fees*

Before May 15: $135
After May 15: $150

*Cancellation policy: Registration cancellations must be made in writing to Bradlee Cotton ( No refunds will be given after the cancellation deadline of June 1, 2021.

Registration Subsidies

Limited funding is available to support participation in the Transforming Institutions 2021 Virtual Conference. Registration subsidies will be awarded based on financial need and potential impact on participation in the conference. If you are interested in a subsidy, please email with your name (as stated in your registration), email used for registration, and subsidy amount requested by May 15th. You must register by the early registration deadline in order to be considered for a subsidy. We will contact only those individuals who will not receive a subsidy.


The 2021 Transforming Institutions Virtual Conference will take place online via Zoom. Detailed information about how to connect and participate in the online events is forthcoming.

NSF Logo This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.s 1726315 & 1524832. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.