Susan Adams

Susan Adams is Associate Director of Teaching and Learning at Achieving the Dream, Inc. In this role, Susan manages programs and projects designed to build institutional capacity to support intentional integration, professional development, and engagement of full-time and part-time faculty in fostering inclusive, student-focused college cultures. Susan produces dynamic thought leadership around instructional design and faculty engagement to both accelerate and sustain better student outcomes at ATD institutions nationwide.

Susan comes to ATD from Portland State University where she guided instructional design processes in her role as Senior Instructional Designer, including redesigning courses for online delivery, blended learning course deployments, open education asset creation and pilot projects in adaptive learning courseware. Susan convened and supported Portland State University’s first Online Teaching Course that led to a proposed requirement for all online faculty endorsed by the provost.

Before joining Portland State’s Office of Academic Innovation, Susan supported Yale University’s Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning by consulting with faculty to design their transfer of course content from Sakai Learning Management System (LMS) to the Canvas LMS. Her focus on learning management systems began at Oregon Health and Science University where she spent 8 years managing a fast-paced, high-volume Sakai course management system help desk while also facilitating and advising administrators of the nursing department on how to build a fully online program. It was here that Susan was granted an Innovation in Education award by the Western Institutes of Nursing for her work in applying the quality matters and community of inquiry Frameworks to Improve OHSU’s Online RNBS program.

Susan’s 25 year career in higher education began at Skagit Valley Community College as an International Student Recruiter where she leveraged her outdoor education talents to design a cross cultural adventure program for all incoming students. She quickly moved on to become the Assistant Director of Student Life at Mt. Hood Community College leading student life programs and initiatives in student success.

Susan earned an M.Ed in Student Affairs Administration from the Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University, and a B.A. in English Literature and Women Studies from the University of New Hampshire.

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