Why here, and why now?
Indianapolis is at the heart of the Crossroads of America. As America’s 11th largest city, Indy is regularly referred to as one of the most livable great cities. The Circle City, as it’s locally known, plays host to major cultural and sporting events throughout the year, as well as numerous conventions and meetings. What has resulted is a very walkable and accessible downtown area that has been described as having a feeling of home. Geographically, Indianapolis is very easy to get to by air, train, or car, with an international airport just minutes from downtown, a train depot two blocks from the venue, and less than a twelve hour drive for 80% of the United States population.
Late March in Indianapolis is quite beautiful as spring takes hold. The Westin Indianapolis, the venue for the conference, is just a short walk from White River State Park, which contains, among other things, walking paths, the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, the Eitlejorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Indiana State Museum. Ample shopping is available just minutes from the venue, as are countless restaurants prepared to satisfy the most discerning palate.
The proposed timing of LAK14 is extraordinarily purposeful. The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (JNGI), will be hosting their 2nd annual Conference on Gateway Course Excellence March 23-25. The focus of this conference is to improve the success rates of students in courses that launch students on majors or programs of study. A specific area of interest for JNGI and the conference is on the use of data and analytics to enhance student performance and instructor feedback. Through bringing the two groups together, we can allow for researchers, theorists, and practitioners to attend both conferences, if desired, all within the span of one week. Information on this year’s conference can be found at www.jngi.org/gateway.