Encompassing 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is a magnificent cultural complex that includes 15 museums, eight gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Often referred to as the "Smithsonian of the West," it is the largest urban park in North America. Photo Courtesy Joanne DiBona, SanDiego.org
National Symposium on Student Retention
November 4-6, 2013
San Diego, CA
Due to overwhelming response, online registration for the conference is now closed. To be added to the wait list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not be able to accept walk-ins. Please be sure to email email@example.com.
Download the conference schedule as of October 16, 2013.
Download conference information for attendees as of October 24, 2013.
Additional details will be posted here as they are confirmed.
The focus of the National
Symposium on Student Retention is not merely on retaining students
from the first-year through the second year of their academic program.
This conference is interested in sharing current research and strategies
which support student success throughout the entire Student Retention
Lifecycle from enrollment, through year
to year retention, to completing a course of study that leads to
- Highlight emerging research in higher education that can inform retention efforts at four-year and two-year institutions
- Showcase successful, effective programs and strategies and best practices of four-year and two-year institutions
- Promote opportunities for dialogue, networking, and shared understanding with colleagues who are working on issues related to student retention and success
- Identify useful research and resources for supporting student success through the entire retention life cycle, from enrollment through graduation
Who Should Attend
The National Symposium on Student Retention offers attendees a
complete educational experience, with opportunities for collaboration
and networking among leaders and peers working to understand and
improve student success. The symposium focuses on research and evidence-based strategies that impact student retention and completion.
Informative sessions are coupled with a collegial atmosphere to
facilitate networking and interaction among participants. Executives,
administrators, institutional researchers, faculty and staff from
the academic and student support areas will find this symposium
useful and informative.
Peter T. Ewell is Vice President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). A member of the staff since 1981, Dr. Ewell’s work focuses on assessing institutional and higher education system effectiveness and the outcomes of college, and involves both research and direct consulting with institutions and state systems on collecting and using assessment information in planning, evaluation, and budgeting. He has directed many projects on this topic, including initiatives funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the National Institute for Education, the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education, the Lumina Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. In addition, he has consulted with over 375 colleges and universities and twenty-four state systems of higher education on topics related to performance indicators and the assessment of student learning. Dr. Ewell has authored seven books and numerous articles on the topic of improving undergraduate instruction through the assessment of student outcomes. In addition, he has prepared commissioned papers for many state agencies and national organizations. A graduate of Haverford College, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University in 1976 and was on the faculty of the University of Chicago.
Concurrent Sessions and Call for Proposals Process (closed)
CSRDE is particularly interested in papers, panels, tutorials, and posters which address current, evidence-based research that advances knowledge in student retention and success. Proposals are submitted to address audience participants at introductory, intermediate, or advanced levels of experience. While we do have some participants interested in introductory information, many seek the advanced levels of understanding required for executive level positions.
The presentations at the conference investigate many areas, both broad-based and specific. Tracks include: Programs and Initiatives, Beyond the First Year, Special Populations, Data, Technology and Methods, Theoretical Models, Faculty Excellence, Transfers, and Online and Distance Students. For a more comprehensive description of the tracks, please Download and Review the Call for Proposals.
The National Symposium on Student Retention is distinguished from other conferences in that all papers presented at the symposium have gone through a multiple stage review process and have been published in the conference proceedings. Authors submit abstracts on proposed papers, panels, posters, workshops and tutorials. Those abstracts are reviewed for the appropriateness of the topic, the method of information dissemination, and the proposed treatment of the research. If the abstract is accepted, the authors are contacted and invited to submit a paper for peer review. Only those papers which score sufficiently high in this process are accepted for publication and presentation at the conference.
All accepted papers are considered for the annual CSRDE Best Practices Award, Institutional Research Leadership Award, and the Director's Award. In addition, poster submissions will be judged on-site for the Best Poster Award. Over $3,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners' institutions.
For more detailed information on how the papers are submitted and chosen for presentation:
Download the conference schedule as of October 16, 2013.
The National Symposium on Student Retention begins with an optional trip to the San Diego Zoo on Sunday. This event requires separate, pre-reserved tickets for participation. It is our tradition to identify an optional, unique activity for participants to attend that helps them to meet others in a fun and relaxed venue, and we hope you will join us.
(Price includes zoo admission and transportation)
Monday, November 4 is filled with half-day and full-day pre-conference workshops which require separate registration. Participants attending pre-conference workshops will eat lunch on their own at the hotel restaurant or one of the wide variety of nearby eateries. The Welcome Reception will be Monday evening.
Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6 will mark two full days of conference programming, as well as our Best Practices Award Luncheon. During each concurrent session period, the participants will have the choice of one of several presentations being given in different conference meeting rooms within the Catamaran Hotel.
|Sunday, November 3, 2013
|8:30 am - 10:30 am
|11:00 am - 5:30 pm
||San Diego Zoo! - Optional group event,
|6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
|Monday, November 4, 2013
|7:00 am - 4:30 pm
|8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Pre-conference Workshops (Optional. Additional Registration required)
|5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
||Welcome Reception and Poster Preview
|Tuesday, November 5, 2013
|7:00 am - 5:30 pm
|7:15 am - 8:15 am
|8:15 am - 9:30 am
||Morning Plenary Session
|9:45 am - 11:45 am
|11:45 am - 1:15 pm
||Lunch on your own
|1:15 pm - 5:30 pm
|Wedesday, November 6, 2013
|7:00 am - 2:00 pm
|7:30 am - 8:30 am
|8:00 am -
|9:15 am - 12:20 pm
|12:30 pm - 1:55 pm
||Best Practices Luncheon (included w/ registration)
|2:10 pm - 4:00 pm
Monday, November 4, 2013
Lunch will be on your own
Retention for Rookies
Half day: 8:00 am – 11:30 am
Tim Culver, Noel-Levitz, Inc.
You've just been named coordinator of student retention at your institution - now what? Retention for Rookies is intended to give you a solid orientation about the retention field. Learn basic retention concepts. Identify resources that can help you evaluate the current state of affairs at your institution. Discover retention strategies that get results at the groundwork for success and gaining faculty support. A good starter course for those of you who have recently been told that "retention and student success" have been added to your responsibilities.
Understanding and Identifying Metacognitive Skills to Facilitate Student Retention and Academic Success
Half day: 8:00 am – 11:30 am
Katherine Pang, University of Liverpool/Laureate Online
The purpose of this workshop is two-fold. The first half will familiarize participants with a proven model of metacognitive expertise that equips students with the tools necessary to foster and monitor their learning effectiveness. The second half provides participants with an opportunity to engage in an active and applied learning exercise that is founded on constructs of engagement, motivation, and affect that drive deeper processing and higher levels of metacognitive development in students. Since McKeachie (1974) discussion continues on the relationships between specific teaching strategies, learners, and the learning experience. Researchers have shown that learners' knowledge about their own thinking and metacognition impacts not only learning outcomes, but also tends to increase the level of effort they devote toward their learning (Flavell 1992; Hartman, 2001; Brown & Ford, 2002). The construction-deconstruction-connectionist process (CDC) model is built upon the premise that learning is not only a cognitive event; it is also a psychodynamic, social process (Illeris, 2004). In such, the CDC model considers instruction as involving four metacognitive domains: the domains of self, professor, classmates, and learning environment (Pang, 2008). Research conducted by Pang suggests that a pedagogy founded upon active learning instructional strategies facilitates the development of metacognitive ability, improves learner performance, and enhances the learner's overall learning experience.
Helping University Decision Makers: Developing Effective Consulting Skills in the IR Office
Half day: 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Jeffrey Anderson, Saint Leo University
Too often when university leaders want data to inform decisions, what they want and what they need are not the same. The effectiveness of an institutional research office in supporting decision makers and getting data used can be increased through an internal consulting approach. Through this interactive workshop, participants will:
- Catalogue frequently encountered challenges institutional research and assessment professionals face when working with university leaders
- Explore an internal consulting process, phases of effective consulting, and consulting skills needed to improve the impact of institutional research and assessment offices
- Identify and practice key consulting skills in mini-practice sessions
- Examine critical success factors for implementing an internal consulting approach
Retention Pedagogy: Teaching Strategies with Purpose
Half day: 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Jacqueline Carroll, Truckee Meadows Community College
Evan Carroll, University of Washington
College faculty are increasingly facing more diverse and challenging student populations encountering differing learning styles, physical, mental, social, and basic skill challenges, as well as distance and ESL learners. Many instructors who are subject matter experts may not be experts on educational pedagogy and learning theories, and this could negatively impact the educational experience for all members of a learning community. Outcome measures may indicate lower gains in learning, course completion rates, and reduced student satisfaction, impacting the student, the institution, and the instructor. Retention pedagogy provides faculty the practical application of student-centered teaching and learning theories in the classroom without necessarily changing their content. Incorporating retention pedagogy into the classroom helps foster content retention and promotes student success. Participants will receive a copy of "Retention Pedagogy: Teaching Strategies with Purpose" handbook which includes lesson plans and authentic materials used in classrooms. Attendees will participate in a dynamic, hands-on workshop demonstrating how to integrate retention pedagogy into their classrooms and their existing curriculum. Faculty will leave session with tools and strategies they can implement in their classrooms immediately. Although geared to intermediate level, introductory and advanced level educators can also benefit from this workshop.
Benchmarking Retention Data
Full day: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Gerald McLaughlin, DePaul University
Josetta McLaughlin, Roosevelt University
Richard Howard, Consultant
Being accountable for student success can be evaluated using benchmarking, but first one needs to develop a peer group. In this workshop seven steps for the development of successful benchmarking studies will be identified. Those steps will then be applied to a data set containing IPEDS and CSRDE retention data. Participants will follow the steps and will be provided an Excel based peer selection tool to conduct a proximity analysis called the Nearest Neighbor.
Creating a Comprehensive Early Alert Program: Design, Implementation, Intervention and Assessment
Full day: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Loralyn Taylor, Paul Smith's College
Virginia McAleese, Paul Smith's College
Promoting student success is a top priority at many college and universities, but where do you begin? Designing a successful, comprehensive Early Alert Program (EAP) requires a leadership team that understands the information needs of many diverse offices and is capable of gaining the buy-in and support of numerous campus stakeholders. In this workshop, you will learn the principles of designing, implementing and assessing the success of your EAP, including:
- How to identify the right student for the right intervention at the right time using a blend of both proactive and reactive strategies
- How to utilize best practices in change management theory to generate buy-in, reduce resistance to change, increase motivation and anchor the new program in your institutional culture
- How to measure what matters, when it matters both for program assessment and for generating short term wins to reduce resistance and increase stakeholder motivation.
During this workshop, you will begin developing a plan for designing, implementing and assessing your EAP and student intervention strategies. We will focus on bridging the gap between best practice theory and boots-on-the-ground action and is suitable for institutional teams. The workshop will be most helpful for practitioners with more than entry level experience.
First-Time Freshmen and Transfer Students: Examining Your Student Success Data and Programming to Maximize Impact
Full day: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Charlene Stinard, University of Central Florida
Bernadette Jungblut, West Virginia University
Elizabeth Dooley, West Virginia University
Kristi Wood-Turner, West Virginia University
This workshop first focuses on the transition to college of first-time freshmen (FTF) and transfer students. Facilitators describe strategies designed to promote first-year student learning, development, engagement, and persistence. The facilitators and participants then examine multiple examples of 'beyond the first year' student success programming designed to promote degree completion.
Throughout the workshop, participants use a series of worksheets to conduct a self-audit of their student success programming. The audit examines:
- What retention, progression, and graduation data do you have?
- Which student success data might you be missing?
- Which student success programs do you already have in place and how well are they working?
- What additional programs, services, and/or courses might you need?
- How can service learning and civic engagement be used to promote student persistence and degree completion?
- What policies and organizational structures can best promote student success at your institution?
Throughout the audit, facilitators describe real-world examples (both successful and not-so-successful); suggest additional data, programs, services, courses, policies, and organizational structures to enhance student success; and discuss multiple methods for assessing the impact of these initiatives. Participants will leave this workshop well on their way to completing a thorough self-audit of their institutions' student success data and programs.
Optional Group Event -
San Diego Zoo
Sunday, November 3, 11:00 am - 5:30 pm
Get on our chartered bus and spend the afternoon socializing with colleagues in a tropical oasis as you visit amazing habitats for more than 4,000 animals representing over 800 species from around the world. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.
Conference Registration Fees
Online registration is closed due to overwhelming response and space capacity at the conference hotel. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waitlist.
Cancellation/Refund Policy: Prepaid registrants who find they are unable to attend may send a delegate in their place without penalty. Refunds (less a 20% processing charge per registration) will be made on any prepaid registration for which we receive an advance written cancellation by October 1, 2013.
No Show: Those who pre-registered and do not attend the conference without written notification of cancellation will be charged the full conference fee.
Please note that the conference bags will include a Participant List of all conference attendees.
Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa- San Diego, CA
The rooms and suites at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa are now completely booked. Group blocks at our three overflow hotels are also booked.
Information about additional hotels may be found here.
San Diego’s diverse local culture and vibrant cultural offerings make it a great city to visit. Balboa Park is a magnificent cultural complex that includes 15 museums, eight gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Often referred to as the "Smithsonian of the West," Balboa Park is the largest urban park in North America. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Laguna Mountains to the east, and Mexico to the south, the diverse neighborhoods of San Diego offer endless opportunities for exploration and activities. San Diego's miles and miles of publicly owned open space and preserves provide outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. Mission Bay Park is a 4,600-acre aquatic playground surrounded by 27 miles of meandering shoreline, with a variety of waterways, inlets and islets to explore. Mission Bay is also home to SeaWorld.
A pdf file with instructions and pricing for shuttles and taxis from the airport may be found here.
A map of local restaurants, museums and attractions and trolley routes may be found here.
Exhibitor and Sponsor Information
- Do you want to build relationships and network with executive decision-makers from a wide variety of institutions?
- Do you want to gain broader exposure for your new products and services?
- Do you want to position your company as a market leader?
If your answer is yes, then you should attend the 9th annual National Symposium on Student Retention as an exhibitor. We are now accepting applications for exhibitors and sponsors for
this year's symposium. There are a number of options for participating
in this year's program and interacting with participants. If you are interested in being an exhibitor, download the pdf documents below for more information on this exciting opportunity. Our exhibitors also have the option to sponsor events at the symposium.
Download List of 2013 Exhibitors (pdf)
Download Exhibitor Rules and Regulations (pdf)
Download Shipping Instructions (pdf)
Download Exhibitor and Sponsor Application (pdf)
have any questions, contact Brittnee Morton at email@example.com.
New to our annual symposium? Check out some of our previous symposiums.
- NSSR 2012, New Orleans, LA
- NSSR 2011, Charleston, SC
- NSSR 2010, Mobile, AL
- NSSR 2009, Buffalo, NY
- NSSR 2008, Little Rock, AR
Here's a list of outstanding speakers from previous National Symposium of Student Retention events.