Open Forums

EnglishUSA is grateful to the volunteers from its membership who are facilitating Open Forum sessions on Thursday and Friday.  Each of the sessions has its own access link.  You are welcome to move among the sessions; however, please be patient with our facilitators in the waiting rooms!


THURSday, october 7, 5:30 – 6:15pm (ET)

Striving for Balance in Stressful Times

Join your peers in an informal discussion to talk about how you are handling stress in your programs among students and colleagues.  Share resources and strategies for helping keep people positive and motivated at work when things can be overwhelming (i.e. striving for work- life balance, staff development and encouragement on a shoestring budget, etc.) 

Facilitator: Megan Kobzej, Executive Director, New America College

Joint Statement of Principles: potential Impact & actions

The Joint Statement of Principles from the U.S. Departments of State and Education is a welcome endorsement of the many benefits of international education. Come discuss potential impacts and actions from the joint statement and how ELPs may be affected. 

Facilitator: Daryl Bish, Chair, Advocacy & External Relations, EnglishUSA & Associate Director, ELI, University of Florida

Student Voices in Programming and Building Community

Share how our programs include student voices and perspectives in various aspects of our programs.  In addition to sharing how we provide these opportunities, we also can discuss the benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of student involvement.

Facilitator: Dawn McCormick, ELI Director, Senior Lecturer, TESOL Certificate Advisor & Stacy Ranson, Student Services Supervisor, University of Pittsburgh, English Language Institute

Assisting Admissions units in Choosing exams

Admissions offices often rely on the English language programs to assist in making decisions on adopting admissions tests for English proficiency.  With many ELP professionals wearing multiple hats, how can we effectively evaluate the many options of exams on the market, help the admissions teams, and also do our ‘regular’ jobs

Facilitators: Lisa Besso Trinity College London

Hybrid Teaching & Learning: Lessons Learned

Although most programs have returned to F2F teaching, the lessons learned for the programs & courses offered regarding hybrid teaching and learning have been changed forever. Come join this group discussion on what we’ve learned.

Facilitator: Melissa Vervinck, Oakland University

Social Media Advertising in Today’s Competitive Marketplace

The pandemic forced many schools to go online who previously had not offered courses there.  Today, those newcomers are now advertising online as well, making social media advertising more competitive than ever.  Let’s discuss which social platforms fit your school best, how to target & budget, and some new setup issues in 2021, as well as your success stories.

Facilitator: Scott Cross, Higher Education Marketing


Friday, october 8, 2:15 – 3:00pm (ET)

Updates from sacm

English language programs have worked closely with students and advisers from Saudi Arabia for decades. EnglishUSA is honored to welcome back leadership from the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) to provide updates on the support SACM provides their students both academically and financially so that they may concentrate on achieving their academic goals.

Facilitators: Dr. Nashmi Alrasheedi, Director of University Cooperation and Communications & Dr. Hassan Halawani, Director of Scholarships, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission and Director of Global Higher Education Recruitment, ELS Educational Services, Inc.

Getting Involved with EnglishUSA

EnglishUSA is always looking for volunteers to assist with its events the organization with many of its programs and services and to solidify our position as THE voice of English language programs to safeguard the interests of our industry as an integral part of international education. Come learn how to get more involved and gain professional development experience.

Facilitator: Lisa Kraft, President, EnglishUSA and Director of International Special Programs and Director of ELI Academics at Pace University & Caroline Gear, Immediate Past President, EnglishUSA and Executive Director, International Language Institute of Massachusetts.

Digital revolution – How technology affects recruitment

The students that will be applying to language programs in the upcoming years were born in the same years as the first smartphones were launched. In contrast, the way that institutions recruit, teach and engage with students, remains largely unchanged. We cannot keep connecting and engaging with students through the same means as 20 years ago. The future students are already here, but are we prepared?

Facilitator: Sebastian Fernandes, CEO, FPP Media

placement & admission testing in English Language Programs

Come join Associates iTEP Online and Michigan Language Assessment facilitate a general discussion of the significant changes and updates in English language testing that have occurred in the past two years.  Share successes and challenges among your programs regarding testing administration. 

Facilitators: Sherry Mazin, Business Development Manager, iTEP Online & Fernando Fleurquin, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Stakeholder Relations, Michigan Language Assessment

Textbook Choices during COVID and Beyond: A New Normal?

A lot has changed over the last year and a half, especially in our modes of instruction—from predominantly paper-based, in-person courses to e-books and online delivery.  Where are we now?  What types materials can we use in our classrooms, both in-person and online, to ensure that our students are able to meet course objectives?

Facilitator: Joy MacFarland, Marketing Manager, National Geographic Learning

Technology Tools to Enhance teaching and Learning

From apps to LMSs, websites to scheduling tools, we’re all using technology in new and innovative ways these days. Come share with your colleagues the educational and administrative tools your program is using to facilitate teaching and learning. You don’t have to be an expert, just tell us what you know!

Facilitator: Alan Broomhead, EnglishUSA Board & Director of Academic Programs, Showa Boston