Conference on Applied Learning in Higher EducationFeb. 23, 2024–Missouri Western will host the 16th annual Conference on Applied Learning in Higher Education (CAHLE) on March 7-8, 2024. 

The Griffon Office of Applied Learning (GOAL) holds this national conference to highlight the current trends in applied learning, activities in which students use course content, models, theories and skills in real-world or hands-on settings to support career readiness. 

Dr. Michael Ducey, director of the Griffon Office of Applied Learning, said applied learning is valuable for a number of reasons.

“For students, it takes the book learning and puts it into practice,” Dr. Ducey said.

The theme for this year’s conference is barriers to engagement in applied learning and strategies to overcome them. Dr. Ducey hopes that educators will learn how to recognize what barriers exist for student engagement and what strategies educators can use to help reduce or eliminate those barriers.

“It is valuable for [faculty] to connect with one another and talk about our approaches to engaging students in applied learning,” Dr. Ducey said.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Matt Wolfgram, Associate Researcher and Principal Investigator at the University of Wisconsin, Center for Education Research. Dr. Wolfram’s research employs ethnography, participatory action research and other qualitative research methods to study factors that impact the educational experiences of minority college students. 

On March 7, attendees can browse poster sessions featuring researchers from universities in Missouri and Oklahoma. March 8 will feature oral presentations by researchers from six different universities.

The conference will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Fulkerson Center, and will continue until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8. The conference cost is $75 for non-MWSU attendees. MWSU faculty and staff should contact the GOAL office for a discount code. CALHE is free for MWSU students. For registration and lodging information, visit the CALHE web page at There is no deadline for registration.

News release written by Patty Lashbrook, sophomore convergent journalism and public relations major.

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit