The following is a Tentative Agenda. See below for a sampling of opportunities.

All times are in Central Time and most events will be held at the College of Education building, 1310 S. 6th Street, Champaign, IL 61820

This agenda serves as a facilitator to accomplishing the gathering’s mission.  It includes a combination of informal and formal learning, progression, networking, and social opportunities.

  • Thursday Focus: Individual progress; peer, faculty, and campus and community connections
  • Friday Focus: Combination of formal and informal programming; peer, faculty, and campus connections
  • Saturday Focus: Peer and alumni-led formal and informal programming; peer and campus connections

You can find the Education Building (Building 160) on the Campus Maps weblink, along with other useful maps of campus.

Individual Planning Suggestions

The following options are available mostly between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM and require students to schedule their own appointments and/or register.

Advising and Career Development

  • Individual or Group Advising Sessions with your faculty advisor, co-advisor, the Online Program Advisor, or the Assistant Director of Online Programs
  • Meet with your examiners or doctoral committee members
  • Meet with other faculty members
  • Informal discussions with peers and LDL advisor in the O’Leary Lounge

Research and Writing


Day 1 High Level Agenda – Small Group Options

The majority of these options involve you coordinating you own agenda, but we have scheduled some optional formal opportunities.

On-Campus Options: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (see next section)

  • Data Working Session – Bring your data or data analysis plan
  • Writing Retreat
  • Poster Exhibit Hall (open house style without presenters)
  • Visit by the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Chrystalla Mouza (may be Thursday or Friday depending on her schedule; see the PDF agenda for specific details)
  • Open Lounge
  • Siebel Center for Design Tour or Working Sessions
  • Optional Explore Local Community (see C-U Local Area)
  • Optional Dinner with Peers
  • Optional: Attend a local event, such as an Illini Women’s Volleyball game (free with a current student ID) or performance at the Krannert Center (varies by year)
Sign Up Instructions for Individual Sessions
Brianna Davis-Academic progress and degree audits
-Program policies and procedures
-Course registration and course options
-Questions about plan of study and program requirements
-Student support and resources available to online students
Travis GiffinThis appointment is reserved for students in online programs at the College of Education. This appointment can be used to gain guidance about career services, job search support, resume feedback, LinkedIn review, job interview prep, and anything else you may wish to discuss related to your career.
Dr. Cope or Dr. Kalantzis-Discuss your tentative dissertation topic
-Discuss your research methodology
-Other, as needed
Contact Kara Francis
Dr. Kara Francis-Anything related to your degree program
-Anything related to the Exam-Dissertation Sequence
Drop-In appointments only between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. CT
O’Leary Learning Center
Other Faculty Advisor and/or Committee MembersContact them directly
Day 2 High Level Agenda (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Department Head Q&A (see the PDF agenda for specific details)
  • Poster Exhibit Hall (open house style without presenters)
  • Graduation Ceremony and Hooding, varies by year pending candidates
  • Optional Dinner with Peers
  • Optional: Attend a local event, such as an Illini Women’s Volleyball game (free with a current student ID) or performance at the Krannert Center (options vary by year)
Day 3 High Level Agenda (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
  • Final Day Kick-Off
  • Student Lightning Talks
  • In-Person Peer Reviews
  • Bill’s Famous Campus Tour
  • Group Photos
  • Poster Exhibit Hall (open house style without presenters)
  • Structured Networking
  • Optional: Attend a local event, such as an Illini Women’s Volleyball game (free with a current student ID) or performance at the Krannert Center (varies by year)
Day 3 Concentration-Specific Dinner (4:00 to 7:00 p.m.)

Address and details will be provided to those who register. Family members are invited!

Recap of Previous LDL Connects

This gathering involved both structured and unstructured programming, allowing for flexibility on when to arrive and how attendees used their time. We encouraged students and alumni to build an agenda for themselves on Thursday based on what they needed. We also encouraged collaboration with peers in establishing their schedule.

The agenda was fluid based on those who registered and ultimately those who attended. The following are examples from previous years

  • Keynote presentation from the College of Education Dean, Dr. Chrystalla Mouza
  • Doctoral hooding ceremony
  • Student poster presentations
  • Faculty remarks
  • Q&A by the EPOL Department Head, Dr. Yoon Pak
  • Presentations by visiting partners from Japan
  • Writer’s Workshop: Maintaining Momentum
  • Career development sessions
  • Graduate College Workshop: Values-based decision-making
  • Tour of the Siebel Center for Design
  • Advising sessions
  • Writing retreat
  • Campus tours
  • Open Lounge, individual and collaborative working sessions
  • Networking opportunities
  • EPOL department potluck
  • Social opportunities (Illini volleyball game and concluding dinner)

and… the most amazing weather two years in a row!