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2017 LERN Annual Conference

November 15, 2017 - November 18, 2017

This is the beautifully illuminated Tilikum Crossing, a pedestrian, cyclist and Trimet bridge.
The beautifully illuminated Tilikum Crossing, a pedestrian, cyclist and Trimet bridge.

The 2017 LERN Annual Conference is Nov. 15-18, in Portland, Oregon.

Join LERN in one of North America’s most exciting cities.

What to do now:

New This Year!

The Hilton Portland Downtown is located in the heart of downtown Portland’s business, music, museum, shopping, and restaurant district, in the middle of all the excitement. Light rail stops right outside the hotel.

Check out the Travel Portland Visitor’s Guide and start planning your trip.


November 15, 2017
November 18, 2017


Hilton Portland Downtown
921 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97204 United States
+ Google Map


The Best Experts – In the fields of marketing, staffing, pricing, programming, and more. You won’t find successful practitioners like these anywhere else.

• Always New! Sessions – More than 30 new sessions on the latest issues and trends.

• Brochure Exchange – Get hundreds of new ideas from the brochures and catalogs you take home.

• Consulting Desk – Ask your toughest questions of our LERN experts and consultants.

• Your Professional Network – Renew and expand your network of colleagues in our luncheons, breaks, exhibit area, social events, and receptions.

• Exhibit Area – Visit vendors in our exhibit area and find out the latest in technology solutions.

• Tammy – Tammy Peterson leads our smiling friendly staff to help you with your information needs.


Wednesday, Nov. 15

7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Conference Seminar Registration
(Conference registration begins at 10 a.m.)

8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
FREE* Conference Seminars
(*Free when staying in the LERN hotel room block 3 nights; $195 if staying elsewhere)

**14th Annual Augusoft Lumens® User Summit
Held in conjunction with the LERN Conference, this two-day technology summit provides attendees with in-depth learning on multiple aspects of the Lumens software, previews of Lumens 2018 enhancements, and releases coupled with networking opportunities with peers. Learn more http://augusoft.net

10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Conference registration

3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
LERN Leader Meeting

3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Emerging Leaders Meeting

3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Get to Know Portland
Let our conference director give you a verbal tour of Portland, including all the excitement right outside the hotel, including top attractions, cafes, light rail, music, museums, parks, food carts, and the most tantalizing restaurants. Downtown Portland is an exciting, young, contemporary, and the enjoyable area adjacent to the hotel. Make the most of your stay.

4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Getting the Most from the LERN Conference
Attending LERN’s practical, how-to conference is a different experience than most other conferences. Especially for first-time attendees, we will give you tips on how to make the most of the conference, including benchmarks and terms, generational characteristics, and an introduction to terminology for social media and mobiles.

5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
All Conference Reception
Our welcome to you and to the conference, celebrating LERN as the largest association in lifelong learning programming in the world.

Thursday, Nov. 16

7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Conference registration

7:30 a.m.
Exhibits open

8 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Opening Session

9:50 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

10:20 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

11:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

12:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
*Networking Luncheon and
Certification Awards

1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.

2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

3 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
**President’s Reception

Friday, Nov. 17

7:30 a.m.
Hall of Learning and Exhibits Open

8 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

9:50 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

10:20 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

11:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

12:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
*International Awards Luncheon.

1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.

2 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

3 p.m.
Exhibits Close

3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Briefing for UGotClass Partners.

3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
UGotClass Reception.

Saturday, Nov. 18

8 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

9 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Just for you. Personal and Professional Development Sessions

10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
General Session. All New! NineShift for 2018: New Learning Emerges

11:45 - 3:45 p.m.
**Educational and Social Tours

4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Closing Celebration

Pre-conference Sessions

All pre-conference seminars take place Wednesday, Nov. 15

Youth Programs/ Summer Camps
Presenters: Chuck Ramm, City of Temple, TX; and Erin Fach, director, and programming staff Michael Callahan, Wendy Scott-Koeth, Richard Hinkleman, and Pam Bayus, Orange Community Education & Recreation, Pepper Pike, OH.
8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Free to those staying in the LERN Room Block/ Others $195
Get the latest information on improving your summer camp, kids’ college, child, and youth programming. Summer camps are one of the most profitable activities in community programming today, generating over $3 million a summer for the most successful programs. Find out the current and most advanced strategies from some of the top practitioners in lifelong learning programming. Learn when to mail your brochure, payment plans, topics trends, and more. Take home tips from other successful practitioners on marketing, programming, and running profitable youth programs. Relevant for programmers in any institutional setting.

Serious Email Marketing
Presenter: Susan Hurrell
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost: Free to those staying in the LERN Room Block/ Others $195
Description: Move your email marketing to the next level. Find out how to do it better and get a better ROI. We’ll look at commonly used platforms, dig into A/B testing, explore content marketing and email, and show you how email automation can increase your reader engagement. Learn how to analyze your email response rates, get benchmarks for open- and click-through rates, and learn how to improve your email promotion and responses with tracking and testing. If you are a beginner, no question is too basic and you will gain the fundamentals you need. If you are advanced, you will take away the latest top tips. Your presenter is an email expert and can respond to your toughest questions. Take away valuable strategies and tactics to make your email marketing work harder for you.

Make Big Money with UGotClass
Presenter: Leslie Kowalczyk
Time: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost: Free to those staying in the LERN Room Block/ Others $95
Description: Top Partners with LERN’s UGotClass are generating over 100 registrations a year and making thousands of dollars by getting half of the revenue. With many markets still untapped and UGotClass growing at 20 percent a year, discover the keys to promoting these superior instructor-led courses and certificates in your area. These courses have been named superior to other online providers by your fellow LERN members. Our full refund policy, the satisfaction rate of 96 percent, and refund rate of only 0.005 will prove it to you. Plus UGotClass gives you 50 percent of the revenue, far more than other providers. Find out the five most common mistakes programs make in promoting online courses. Then get the five solutions that will likely cost you no more money, and result in huge increases in income and registrations.
Take home the keys to:
• Selecting what courses and certificates to offer
• How to promote our awesome transfer policy
• Using valuable print brochure space most effectively
• Promote outside of your local area too without any cost
• Designing web pages that sell …and more.

Designing Brochures for Results
Presenter: Paul Franklin
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost: Free to those staying in the LERN Room Block/ Others $195
Description: For most programs, your print brochure or catalog generates 70 percent of your registrations and income, even with online registration. And it represents your image to the vast majority of your audience. Get specific, no-cost ideas to improve your brochure with our most popular seminar led by a print marketing authority. Discover what you are doing right. Then find out areas to enhance your brochure’s effectiveness.
Find out about:
• Front and back covers
• Page design
• Copy
• Prime space
• Boosting registrations
You’ll come away from this seminar with tips and techniques to increase income, save on costs, and increase enrollments. Just one of our tips has increased past participants’ registrations by 5 percent.

Operations & Staffing 
Presenter: Holly Klotz
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost: Free to those staying in the LERN Room Block/ Others $195
Description: Changing your staffing responsibilities can improve productivity and customer service. These nocost strategies result in huge increases in profitability, with no more hours worked, no additional staff needed. Maximize your existing staff time to work smarter, not longer or harder. How you and your staff spend their time is now essential to increasing program income. Discover process and procedure changes to boost profitability. Learn what operations processes are central to profitability. Find out who should, and who should not, have operational tasks. Take home revised job descriptions and a new staffing structure that will make all of your staff more productive. You can start implementing the changes Monday morning to achieve short-term as well as long-term goals.

Developing Your One-Year Market Plan
Presenter: Greg Marsello
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost: Free to those staying in the LERN Room Block/ Others $195
Description: More critical now than ever for your program is to develop or improve a one-year marketing plan. It is a guide that all of your staff follow. The plan must be specific and measurable. It serves as a road map for your organization and for boosting your success.
• Formulas and reports to use
• Benchmarks on what’s possible
• The 3 things missing from most plans
• Measuring your plan’s success and more…
Afterward, you will be able to take immediate actions toward creating or improving your one-year marketing plan. You’ll have the tools to compete, and win, in this tough competitive environment.


Information About Social Events

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

Best of Portland Walking Tour (3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
Fee: $25
Get the inside scoop on the best places for beer, wine, distilled spirits, coffee, and doughnuts while learning about the cities 11 bridges, more than 30 public art pieces and why Portland is known for its livability and sustainability. After this tour, you’ll understand why this city has its own quirky TV show, Portlandia. This tour goes rain or shine so please check the weather and pack accordingly

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Portland Highlights Bus Tour (3:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.)
Fee: $35
Why is Portland such a gem? Maybe because it has the famous Pearl District—home to great shops, restaurants, bars, and galleries! Or maybe it’s the spectacular gardens in Washington Park, high on a hill, with great views of the city and nearby Mt. Hood! Or maybe it’s because people love Voodoo Doughnuts so much they actually get married there with their own Voodoo doll bride and groom doughnuts! Many think it’s because there are so many great food trucks and craft beer bars. Even if you’ve seen it on the award-winning TV show Portlandia, we know you’re going want to see it up-close and personal.

Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

Gen Y Portland Pub Crawl (8 p.m. - )
Fee: $0
Experience the neighborhood nightlife with your fellow conference attendees at some of the city’s popular watering holes. Meet in the hotel lobby at 8 pm. Beverages are on your own. More details provided by your evening hosts who will determine what stops you’ll be making. No cost, but advance registration requested.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls Bus Tour (11:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.)
Fee: $49
Join us as we head east to explore the spectacular 4,000-foot deep Columbia River Gorge. We’ll be stopping at Oregon’s famous 611-foot tall Multnomah Waterfall where you’ll have time to walk up to the Benson Bridge between the upper and lower falls for views and photos. We suggest grabbing a lunch at HopCity Market in the hotel to take with you on the bus.

Suggested events you can book on your own:
Please visit the LERN website prior to booking any public tour to see if there are discounts available to LERN attendees.

General walking tours plus specialty walking tours

Sightseeing boat cruise

Bike rentals and tours including city, beer, and food specific tours

Bike rental and tours including Columbia River Gorge

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

Willamette Valley wine tours

Portland beer tours (options for walking, pedaling and bus tours)

Location Information


UPDATE: The LERN room block at the Hilton Portland Downtown is full as of Oct. 2. 

A room block for the LERN Annual Conference has been reserved at the Hotel Rose, 50 SW Morrison Street. 

Hotel Rose is a seven-minute walk to the Hilton Portland Downtown and it has a complimentary 10-person shuttle which will take people anywhere within a three-mile radius. Advance reservations are required for the shuttle.

The room rate is $169 single or double. Additional guests are $20 each. The cutoff date for reservations is Nov. 6.

To book a room in the LERN block, call 866.866.7977 or use this link.

Other amenities include:

  • SurfPineapple High –Band Width wi-fi
  • Bicycles for cruising
  • In-room coffee and unlimited bottled water
  • Afternoon delights in the lobby, local coffee, and signature pineapple cupcakes
  • StreamPineapple (StreamPineapple allows you to stream from your mobile device using apps like Netflix wirelessly to the television)

About Portland

Just step outside the hotel and you are in the middle of all the excitement of one of the nation’s foremost 21st century cities. From the fabulous food carts to Powell’s bookstore, walk the dynamic downtown to museums, restaurants, theaters, and more.

Take the Light Rail to Washington Park or across the no-cars Tilikum Bridge. Taste some of the best Pinot Noirs, coffees, craft beers, locally distilled spirits, and exotic donuts in the country.

The daytime average temperature is 53 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Celsius) with the overnight temperature averaging 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius).

Hilton Portland Downtown
The newly renovated Hilton Portland Downtown is in the heart of downtown, just a block from Pioneer Square and Light Rail lines.

Hilton Portland Downtown
921 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 226-1611
LERN Block Reservation Website

The room rate is $185 single or double, excluding taxes and fees.

Special benefits only available when you make a reservation under the “LERN” group room block:
1. $100 registration fee discount
2. Complimentary guest room internet
3. FREE all-day Wednesday seminars

To make reservations, call the hotel directly at (800) 445-8667 or use this link.

A small number of upgraded rooms are available across the street at the hotel’s sister property. Contact LERN directly for more details.

Reservations must be made by Monday, Oct. 23, but it is very likely that the room block will sell out well in advance of this date. Please be sure to confirm your departure date prior to checking into the hotel.

Checking out prior to your expected departure date will result in an additional $50 hotel fee.

A portion of the room rate is used to offset conference expenses.

LERN does not use a housing bureau or third-party agency for hotel accommodations or any other travel arrangements. Any claims by any company stating otherwise are not true.

Please be sure you are booking directly through the Hilton Portland Downtown. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at (800) 678-5376 or info@lern.org.

Registration Information

There Are Six Easy Ways To Register

Register Online

Register by Mail:

Send your registration information to:

LERN Conference Registration
P.O. Box 9
River Falls, WI 54022

Register by Email:

Send your registration information to info@lern.org.

Register by FAX:

Complete the registration form and fax it, toll-free, 24 hours a day to (888) 234-8633.

Register by Phone:

Have your registration form ready and call Tammy at (800) 678-5376. The phones are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT) Monday-Friday.


A purchase order will reserve your place, with payment due at or before the conference. Please fax your registration and PO to us at (888) 234-8633 and we will email you an invoice. 

LERN International Awards

LERN is now accepting nominations for our annual International Awards competition.

Submissions must be postmarked by Oct. 6, 2017.

Click here for complete details on how to submit nominations for the LERN International Awards.




Augusoft®, Inc., develops and maintains Lumens® - the first SaaS cloud-based enrollment management system. Complementing traditional academic systems, Lumens is designed for continuing, community, corporate education, and workforce development programs in the U.S. and Canada. Visit augusoft.net to see Lumens in action.


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The Learning Resources Network (LERN) and the University of South Dakota are pleased to offer a Master of Arts in Educational Administration, with an emphasis in Adult and Higher Education. This degree is awarded by the University of South Dakota.

The combination of USD curriculum and LERN institutes and courses allows working professionals to gain extensive knowledge in the area of adult and higher education, as well as to obtain practical tools that are applicable and beneficial to their organization.
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