As colleges/universities returned to “normal” in the fall of 2021, many were aware that there would be a higher than normal “melt” with incoming freshmen due to the impact of virtual learning, grade inflation, test-optional admissions, and the world-shaking traumas. Freshmen and their families expressed a desire to return to in-person classes, campus events, athletic events and more. Yet nobody, including the students, were prepared for what institutions found as grades were posted at the conclusion of fall 2021.

If the 2021 freshmen cohort has taught us anything, it is that the game has changed. The clock is ticking; in three years, all undergrads will require the same level of support, communication, structure, and flexibility needed by the 2021 freshman class.

Join Adam Smith and Heather Lou for this third webinar in their year-long series on the theme Sharing Community through Conversations, Curricula, and Care. This conversational webinar will bring together higher education leaders and student success experts for an honest conversation around the unique nature of the fall 2021 cohort. The dialogue will focus on what it means for campuses to be “student ready,” which is in opposition to the long-held focus on developing college-ready students.

Register at:

Can’t attend? Register now, and you’ll be emailed a recording of the webinar, after the live session ends, to view at your convenience!

About Adam A. Smith:

Adam A. Smith is a first-generation college graduate who has dedicated his almost three-decade career to ensuring college access and success for all Americans. He currently works at the University of Kentucky as Executive Director of University Academic Advising and has a vibrant public speaking and educational consulting firm, Adam A. Smith & Associates. Smith has led coalitions and innovations that have had a dramatic impact on student success at Metropolitan State University (MN), the University of Alabama, the University of Akron City of Rockford (IL), and Rock Valley College.

About Heather C. Lou:

heather c. lou (she/her/hers) is an angry gemini earth dragon, multiracial, asian, queer, cisgender, disabled, survivor/surviving, anxious, and depressed womxn of color artist and educator based in st. paul, minnesota, which is the hxstorical occupied land of the Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples. find out more about hclou at: or

Reflections on 2021 College Freshmen: What We’ve Learned, How They’re Different, How We Support

March 31, 2022 @ 3:00 pm-March 31, 2022 @ 4:00 pm