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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!
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.
We'd like to thank the following organizations for endorsing the Check & Connect conference!
For more information on the Check & Connect national conference, please contact us.