General Information

The Committee on Transfer and Articulation (COTA) Conference is a one day in-person learning opportunity to address the changing issues presented in higher education with respect to student transfer, credit vs. non-credit, articulation agreements, and fostering institutional policy to vigorously support transfer student degree attainment. The aim of the conference is to aid participants and their institutions to navigate new territory, to identify institutional infrastructure impediments, and to offer insight into inclusionary practices for transfer students, with a particular focus on adult learners. The conference is designed with a goal of guiding institutions to think broadly and generously so that students do not have credits that are stranded. As a participant, you will gain practical and research-based strategies, build connections, and we encourage individuals from all functional areas at community colleges, universities, and other organizations to attend.

Our in-person format will offer opportunities for learning across the state, to engage scholars at the forefront of their fields, and to boldly consider new ways to remove barriers that learners face in higher education. Our conference will offer synchronous participation in workshops, featured speaker sessions, and trend topics, in addition to an Ask the Expert Q & A session with our keynote speaker.

2023 Theme

The theme for the 2023 COTA Conference is Standing Tall for Transfer Students. The sessions proposed should align with the central theme.

Opportunities for Engagement

Featured Speaker Sessions: 45 Minute Speech followed by 15 Minute Q&A

Workshop Sessions: 90 Minutes

Trend Talks: 20 Minute Speech followed by 10 Minute Q&A

Non-Exclusive Sample Topics of Interest

Accreditation: Moving Away from Regional

Adult Learners

Advising Transfer Students

Articulation Agreements

Assessing Prior International Education

Change Management

Collaborative Decision Making

Communications and Marketing Plans

Credential Fraud

Credit for Prior Learning

Data Systems Management

Diversity and Inclusion

Emerging Technologies

Enrollment Technology

Holistic and Systemic Thinking

Institutional Research Strategies

Inter-Collegiate Relationships

Interpretation of Institutional and External Data

Interstate Passport

Leadership and Management Strategies

Military Credits

Recordkeeping and Data Stewardship

Reporting Progress Toward Enrollment Goals

Social Media Utilization

Stackable Credentials

Strategic Staffing and Organization

Student Displacement

Student Journey Mapping

Test Optional Movement

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Transfer Patterns and Institutional Supports

Transfer Recruitment and Admissions

Upgrading Credit Mobility Infrastructure

Application Deadline

November 1: Call for Proposals Opens

December 10: Call for Proposals Closes

December 20: Notice emailed to Presenters

January 5: Session Date and Time emailed to Presenters

February 24: In-Person Conference

Submission Deadline

All proposals are due no later than December 10, 2022. Proposals received after that date will only be considered as needed.

Submissions should be sent to

Proposal Recommendations

  1. Focus the speaker biographical information to include experience relative to the topic of the presentation. Reviewers are interested in Presenter qualifications relevant to the specific topic, not a general CV.
  2. Identify ONE topic area for the program committee to be able to balance the conference.
  3. Draft an abstract that is clear and concise. Add a description of the presentation. Be aware that the abstract will be made available to conference attendees to help them select their schedule for the event.
  4. Submit a program description that is clear, well organized, and grammatically correct. It is helpful to include a statement on how the topic is important to transfer student resources or practices in higher education.

Proposal Expectations

MDHEWD accepts proposals with the following set of expectations:

  • All presenters shall demonstrate expertise on proposed content
  • Topics are forward-thinking, bold, and challenging
  • Presentations shall be given in a visually engaging format
  • Presenters are required to provide handout materials on session content for accessibility and post-conference display.
  • All materials and presentations must be available in ADA accessible formats. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat all provide an Accessibility Checker feature, which verifies your content against a set of rules that identify possible barriers for people with disabilities. All handouts and slides must PASS the Accessibility Checker. 

Evaluation and Selection

MDHEWD will evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with conference themes and constructs
  • Clarity and relevance of topic
  • Content appropriate for length of session
  • Innovative approaches offered
  • Accuracy and completeness of all required information
  • Accessibility for conference participants
  • Viable takeaways for session participants: goal setting opportunities or directives