Outreach’s CSRDE Wins Regional Award
By Kendall Burchard for Reaching Out Online
March 30, 2015
The University of Oklahoma’s Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE), a program of OU Outreach, has grown from humble beginnings 21 years ago into an award-winning department this year. CSRDE was recently awarded the Exceptional Program Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE), Great Plains Region, for its work on the National Symposium on Student Retention.
“Watching the symposium grow has been so exciting,” said Sandra Whalen, CSRDE’s director who has been with the program since 2000. “The symposium really is the premiere event for presenting and learning about the most current research on student retention and graduation at four-year and two-year institutions.” When the symposium was first held in 2005, about 200 attendees participated. Now, over 500 people attend annually, and in 2013 registration was forced to close weeks before the symposium began due to the high number of registrants.
CSRDE has earned the respect of leaders in the retention field. “It’s been exciting to see how a ‘big name’ person in retention research now responds to an invitation to speak at our event and how honored he or she is to have been asked to present. It’s a reminder that we really are doing something important,” Whalen said.
ACHE’s Exceptional Program Award honors conferences and credit and noncredit programs for their originality, innovation, long-term success and adaptability. Award winners must promote programs that can be adapted by other institutions, stay within budget and entice attendees with diverse and original topics, materials and programming.
Whalen believes that the symposium’s varying locations, outings, proposals and people set it aside from other symposia. The symposium is typically hosted in a mid-sized city, and special outings are coordinated to engage attendees with an experience exclusive to the area, like visiting Churchill Downs when the symposium was in Louisville, Kentucky in 2014.
The quality of the presentations keeps attendees engaged and thoughtful while at the symposium. Presentations are derived from submitted research proposals. Each January, the call for research proposal abstracts begins and proposals are submitted to CSRDE from across the country. The symposium organizers read each proposal and, should the proposal be accepted, the applicant is then asked to write a ten-page paper about his or her topic. Papers are then reviewed by peers in higher education and the finalized papers are included in the Proceedings of the symposium. The paper authors then have the opportunity to present their work at the event.
Whalen believes the inclusive nature of the symposium also sets it aside from other conferences.
“You may be an institutional researcher, and you’re sitting at a table with a president of a college or university. We have presidents, vice presidents, provosts, directors and faculty all coming together in one place, which is a unique thing,” said Whalen. “Most conferences are so specialized to job-specific topics, but ours is totally focused on what can we do to help students succeed on their campuses.” First-year programs, bridge programs, data-driven decision making, orientation programs and developmental education programs have all been popular topics in the past.
“We’re an award-winning event now. The recognition makes us feel that our work is worth it, and we love the work that we do for the symposium,” Whalen said. “It validates everything we are doing.”
Whalen points out that she does not do everything alone. She calls her small staff “incredible,” insisting that the work of Brittnee Morton, Miaomiao Rimmer and Jennifer Robertson make the symposium all that it is. In addition, Whalen also credits several Outreach departments as vital contributors, citing Conference Pros, Registration and Records, IT, Duplicating and Printing Services and E-Team for CSRDE’s continued success. Whalen says that it takes all of Outreach’s efforts to continue to uphold the symposium’s high standards.
“The main thing we hope for is that participants have something valuable to take back to their campuses,” she said. If their recent award is any indication, they have done just that.
The 2015 National Symposium on Student Retention will be held in November in Orlando, Florida. Updates may be found on the Symposium page at http://csrde.ou.edu/web/symposium/index.html. To find out more about the Association for Continuing Higher Education, Great Plains Region, go to http://acheinc.org/Great-Plains. Learn more about CSRDE at http://csrde.ou.edu/web/index.html.
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CSRDE Included in Postsecondary Data Clearinghouse
The Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData) recently launched their website as a clearinghouse for information on postsecondary data initiatives and research.
The CSRDE was invited to be one of 16 voluntary data initiatives highlighted in the Mapping the Data Landscape section of the site. The Consortium’s fact sheet was used with those of other organizations to help create Data Snapshots of the states and territories represented, measures included, and methods used for data collection and distribution. In addition to the voluntary initiatives, national data collections are also featured, as well as reports and other resources. The report, Mapping the Postsecondary Domain: Problems and Possibilities, discusses the data measures vital to understanding student success and explores future possible solutions.
PostsecData is an initiative created by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and funded through a grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that advocates for high-quality postsecondary data.
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Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook for Colleges and Universities represents the next step in the CSRDE’s efforts to enhance the bridges institutions can build between activities, functions, and programs which optimize student success.
Created as a dynamic document, this electronic book provides an outlet for the ever expanding body of knowledge within the higher education community of practice working to improve student success at our institutions. The Sourcebook represents the cumulative work of a great many people and was originally published as a soft-cover book for the attendees of the 2013 National Symposium on Student Retention. It is available now to the general public as an electronic book.
Our hope is that the Sourcebook will be a starting place for comprehensive discussion of current issues and practices on college and university campuses.
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Best Practices in Student Retention Awards Announced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Whalen, (405) 325-2158
Louisville, KY - The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma presented four awards during the recent Tenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention held in Louisville, KY.
The CSRDE hosts the symposium in order to provide a forum for administrators, faculty and staff from institutions of higher learning to share the most current research on student retention and success. The symposium has grown annually, and a record number of proposals were submitted. Almost 100 presentations were given this year, including 64 peer reviewed papers, as well as tutorials, panels, workshops and a poster session. More than 500 participants attended the conference from 258 institutions in 45 states plus the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as Canada, Columbia, and Lebanon.
The 2014 Best Practices Award was given to William Paterson University for the paper “Rethinking and Accelerating Developmental Courses: A New Approach to Retention” by Linda Refsland. Best Practices Award winners must demonstrate evidence of a system-wide approach to the institution’s retention issues. William Paterson’s developmental model includes comprehensive assessment, small group and supplemental instruction, tutoring support and online programming that prepares students to test out of any initial developmental placements. Entering its fourth year, the program has served more than 1,100 students, all at no cost to the participants, and the majority of them are on track to graduate in four years.
Montana State University was awarded the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award for the paper “Academic Performance, Engagement and Extrinsic Rewards” by Carina Beck, Tonya Lauriski-Karriker, Erin McCormick and Jacob Jenks. This study investigated the development of the campus engagement incentive program, ChampChange. The authors did extensive analyses to determine student involvement in curricular and co-curricular services, events and activities as well as whether academic performance and semester GPA were related to student engagement.
The Director’s Award went to “Working with Probationary Students: Successful Pedagogical Strategies and Techniques,” as the paper that best addressed an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success. This paper, written by Gina Beyer, James Lewis, Ken Miller and Ginny Saiki of Arizona State University, discussed the university’s requirement for all probationary students to pass a one-credit course designed to improve their academic trajectory and improve retention rates. Arizona State has reported extremely positive data.
The Best Poster Award was given to Delaware Valley College for “Mandatory Supplemental Instruction in Fundamentals of Algebra: A Program to Promote Student Success in Developmental Mathematics,” designed and presented by James Yard. The winning poster addressed the establishment of a mandatory supplemental instruction program in algebra, which shows considerable promise as an effective tool for improving outcomes in developmental mathematics.
The Eleventh Annual National Symposium on Student Retention will be held November 2-4, 2015, in Orlando, FL. The CSRDE begins accepting proposals for consideration in late January. Information will be posted as it becomes available on the CSRDE Web site (http://csrde.ou.edu/web/symposium/index.html)
The CSRDE has a diverse membership of more than 400 colleges and universities--two- and four-year, public and private--with the common interest of achieving the highest levels of student success through sharing data, knowledge and innovation. It is operated by the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis at the University of Oklahoma Outreach.
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Sandra Whalen Named Director
We are pleased to announce that Sandra Whalen has been named Director of the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis (C-IDEA) and the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) as of August 1, 2014.
Whalen has been an integral part of the CSRDE since 2000, serving as Managerial Associate, Program Manager, Assistant Director, and Interim Director. Having led C-IDEA and the Consortium since July of 2012, she was officially appointed Director by James Pappas, Ph.D., Vice President for University Outreach and Dean of the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
During her 14 year tenure, Whalen has helped the CSRDE transition from its original goal of providing retention and graduation data through our data exchange to offering additional resources for student success, and membership has spread across the U.S. and Canada. She was instrumental in creating the National Symposium on Student Retention, which is celebrating its 10th year in Louisville in November. In addition, she hosts the CSRDE monthly webinar series focused on college student success. The CSRDE recently published an electronic book, “Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook for Colleges and Universities” under Whalen’s leadership.
Whalen is the Evaluator for the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, and recently served on an expert panel for the National Center for Education Statistics.
She and her husband Logan, Professor of French at the University of Oklahoma, completed a four-year term serving as Faculty-in-Residence at OU, and she is completing her Master’s in Education degree in Adult and Higher Education.
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Best Practices in Student Retention Awards Announced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Whalen, (405) 325-2158
San Diego, CA - The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma presented four awards during the recent Ninth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention held in San Diego, CA.
Each year, the CSRDE sponsors the symposium to provide a forum for administrators, faculty and staff from institutions of higher learning to share the most current research on student retention and success. After a record number of proposals were submitted for this year's symposium, 58 peer reviewed papers were selected for presentation in addition to tutorials, panels, workshops and a poster session. More than 450 participants attended the conference from 229 institutions in 43 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam. Universities in Canada and Brazil were also represented.
DePaul University received the 2013 Best Practices Award for the paper
Improving Outcomes through the 4 Ps of Student Retention Framework by David H. Kalsbeek and Carla M. Cortes. The 4 Ps - profile, progress, process and promise - are part of a strategic approach to retention that includes attention to the profile of the admitted students, ways the university can facilitate their progress toward degree completion, the process of navigating a complex institution and ensuring that all students' experiences fulfill the promise of the university. Best Practices winners demonstrate evidence of a systematic approach to the institution's retention issues.
California State University at Fullerton was awarded the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award for the paper
High-Impact Educational Practices as Promoting Student Retention and Success by Sunny Moon, Edward Sullivan, James Hershey, Sean Walker, Martin Bosangue, Mark Filowitz, Cathy Fernandez, Raman Unnikrishnan and Victor Delgado. This study investigated the effectiveness of high-impact educational practices on student learning outcomes at program and course levels, including supplemental instruction and freshman programs.
The Director's Award went to
Transfer United: Partnerships to Foster Transfer Student Success, as the paper that best addressed an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success. This paper, written by Annice Fisher, Cynthia Demetriou and Danny Hall of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discussed encouraging junior transfer student persistence and baccalaureate degree attainment with programming to help them adjust academically and socially to their new institution through strategic partnerships across the entire campus.
The Best Poster Award was given to Drexel University Online for
Retention and Recovery of Fully Online Students at Drexel University, designed and presented by Valerie Delleville. The winning poster addressed Drexel Online's approach to supporting graduate and undergraduate online students, as well as inactive students who returned to continue their coursework.
The Tenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention will be held November 3-5, 2014, in Louisville, KY. The CSRDE begins accepting proposals for consideration in late January. Information will be posted as it becomes available on the CSRDE Website: http//csrde.ou.edu.html.
The CSRDE has a diverse membership of almost 440 colleges and universities--two and four-year, public and private--with the common interest of achieving the highest levels of student success through sharing data, knowledge and innovation. It is operated by the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis at the University of Oklahoma Outreach.
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