Build Your Retention Efforts

The Time is Right to Build Your Retention Activities and Efforts

Your institution may have American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds available for student retention initiatives including CSRDE membership, access to data by gender and race/ethnicity, attendance at the National Symposium on Student Retention, and more. Now is a great time to join our consortium and see the benefits that CSRDE programs bring to institutions nationwide.
 

As a long-time member of the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE), we find great value in participating in their data collections. Using CSRDE reports, we compare our retention and graduation performance to peer institutions. Additional institutional and student characteristics provided in the CSRDE summaries are also important components of our benchmark comparisons.

Bernie Braun, Director of Institutional Research
Louisiana State University

 

Stay Connected with CSRDE

CSRDE offers many ways for your institution to boost its student retention efforts:

  • Detailed student retention reports for comparison with benchmark and different institutional groupings. You might already be aware of the standard retention and graduation rates of institutions in your own interinstitutional comparison group. However, there is much more that can be learned and shared in a broader consortium. Our reports capture institutional and student characteristics, as well as data by gender and race/ethnicity
  • Connections and networking with professional colleagues at similar and different institutions, enabling the sharing of strategies, techniques, tips, policies, and new ideas that have worked or that are being tested and evaluated at other institutions.
  • The National Symposium on Student Retention, an excellent opportunity to learn and stay abreast of what is happening in student progression, student retention, and student success, and a great way to connect with other student success professionals — to make new connections and to renew and affirm existing connections and collaborations.
  • CSRDE webinars about successful practices and ideas that are in use at other institutions. See how your colleagues support students of color as well as those who are underrepresented, low income, first-generation, undecided, on probation, at-risk, and more.
  • The CSRDE Sourcebook, which contains chapters covering a broad range of topics in academic and cocurricular learning and experience while maintaining a core focus on academic and student affairs.
  • Podcast Packages, our new professional development option. Packages include three similarly themed podcast selections, grouped together and discounted to encourage further student retention learning. As an added benefit, members have access to the corresponding papers to these podcasts in our knowledgebase. Special pricing through July 31, 2021: $75 for members; $100 for non-members.

           

          Participating in the CSRDE webinars has become a book club like event for us at the University of Arkansas. We each view the webinar. Then later, we discuss the ideas at other campus student success/retention meetings. We use these ideas to build upon our practice. Thank you for allowing us to participate apart, together.”

          Deborah Korth, Teaching Professor and Director of Student Success, College of Arts and Sciences
          University of Arkansas

           

          Commit to Student Retention Today!

          If you and your institution are committed to learning, to staying abreast of great practices, to sharing the how-to about successes, to identifying pitfalls to avoid, to not having to reinvent the wheel — then membership in CSRDE is for you!

          CSRDE Best Practices in Student Retention Awards 2020

          CSRDE announced our Best Practices in Student Retention Awards for 2020 at NSSR 2020 LIVE on November 10. Congratulations to all of our award winners!

          • Case Willoughby, Joshua Novak, Sharla Anke, Belinda Richardson, and Amy Pignatore of Butler County Community College (PA) won the 2020 Best Practices in Student Retention Award for their paper Crafting a Culture for Student Success. Best Practices Award winners must demonstrate evidence of a system-wide approach to the institution’s retention issues.
          • Georgeanna Robinson and Kaitlin Wilcox of Grinnell College received the 2020 Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award for their paper Involving the Campus in Collecting Actionable Data: An Argument for Long Term Research Planning. This award is given to the paper best demonstrating the importance of institutional research to the field of student retention.
          • Jennifer F. Humber of University of Alabama was presented the 2020 Director’s Award for her paper, In Their Own Words: Student Engagement as Defined by Online Learners. The Director’s Award is given to the paper that best addresses an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success.
          • Brian Barlow, Shelly Dreadfulwater, and Sky Wildcat of Northeastern State University won 2020 Best Poster Award for their poster It Takes a Village to Retain a Student: Community-Based Retention. The award was selected from a panel of judges at the conference.

          CSRDE Best Practices in Student Retention Awards 2019

           

          CSRDE announced our Best Practices in Student Retention Awards for 2019 at the National Symposium on Student Retention in New Orleans on October 31, 2019. Award winners are pictured with CSRDE Director Sandra Whalen.

          • Jordan Ryan, Catherine Nutter, and Patrick Hughes of Texas Tech University won the 2019 Best Practices Award for their paper A Second Chance at Success: Retention Through Provisional Admissions Programs. Best Practices Award winners must demonstrate evidence of a system-wide approach to the institution’s retention issues. The paper details the Tech Transfer Acceleration Program, which Texas Tech has used to improve at-risk student retention and persistence though partnership with community colleges and targeted advising.
          • J.D Jayaraman, Sue Gerber, and Julian Garcia of New Jersey City University received the 2019 Institutional Research Leadership Award for their paper Predicting Minority Student Dropout Using Data Mining Techniques. This award is given to the paper best demonstrating the importance of institutional research to the field of student retention. Using a data mining approach, the paper demonstrates how educational institutions can use machine learning models to better predict and prevent student dropout.
          • Melissa Lang, Bert Ellison, Kelly Grant of Tulane University and John M. Braxton of Vanderbilt University were presented the 2019 Director’s Award for their paper, Data Cartography at Tulane University: Mapping Your Data through a Theoretical Lens. The Director’s Award is given to the paper that best addresses an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success. The paper discusses auditing and organizing the separate data collecting functions of universities and institutions in order to drive more informed decision making.
          • Amy Yearwood of Carnegie Mellon won 2019 Best Poster Award for her poster Utilize the Summer to Reset and Revitalize Your College Experience, which can be viewed above. The award was selected from a panel of judges at the conference.

          CSRDE Best Practices in Student Retention Awards Announced

           

          Salt Lake City, UT – The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma presented four awards during the recent Fourteenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention (NSSR) held in Salt Lake City, UT.

          The 2018 Best Practices Award was given to Murray State University for the paper “Student Engagement and Success: Action and Assessment” by Peggy Whaley, Cindy Clemson, and Jeff Henry. Best Practices Award winners must demonstrate evidence of a system-wide approach to the institution’s retention issues. Murray State University has implemented student success discipline-specific freshmen transitions courses in which academic affairs and student affairs personnel collaborate as partner instructors. Faculty who are assigned to teach their disciplines’ one-credit-hour transitions course are paired with student affairs, library, or graduate student volunteers. Discipline faculty deliver discipline-specific content and the success seminar instructors deliver content on time management, strategic learning, resiliency, managing college life, grit, growth mindset, and successful student behaviors.

          The University of South Carolina won the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award. The paper, “Academic Work Ethic as an Enrollment Management Measure,” was written by Phil Moore and Marla Mamrick. This award is given to the paper best demonstrating the importance of institutional research to the field of student retention. The paper investigates using a measure of academic work ethic derived from admissions test scores and high school GPA to detect students at-risk. The group of students with low academic work ethic is less likely to return each year and is less likely to graduate. Academic work ethic also appears promising when used with existing admissions decision indexes and can lead to higher retention and graduation rates and an increase in enrollment numbers for minority, Pell eligible, and in-state students.

          The Director’s Award, which is given to the paper that best addresses an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success, went to the University of Alabama for “Reading Between the Retention Rates: Examining First Generation Student Transitions in the First Year.” Amy Bickel wrote the paper. It uses qualitative methods to examine participants in the Legacy Scholars program focusing on their transition, growth, and recommendations for institutions of higher education. The themes that emerged describe high levels of pressure, an understood knowledge gap, the importance of social community, threat of financial barriers, and suggestions that can inform our practice in serving this growing population.

          New Jersey City University won the Best Poster Award for “Identifying Challenges and Improving Outcomes for First-Generation and Low-Income Students.” Jimmy Jung and Veronica Garcia created the poster. Conference attendees who volunteered as judges chose the winner on-site.

          The CSRDE hosts the symposium each year as a forum for administrators, faculty and staff from institutions of higher education to share the most current research on student retention and success. NSSR is distinguished from other conferences in that all papers presented at the symposium have gone through a multiple stage review process before presentation, beginning with the submission of abstracts. If selected, the papers are also published in the conference proceedings.

          The Fifteenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention will take place October 28-31, 2019, in New Orleans, LA. The CSRDE begins accepting proposals for consideration in late January. Information will be posted as it becomes available on the CSRDE website (https://csrde.ou.edu).

          The CSRDE has a diverse membership of 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.

          Guadalupe School Book Donations

          We’re excited to share that we are partnering with Guadalupe School in Salt Lake City to provide books to their K-6 charter school. We hope to get enough donations so the school can give one book to each child as a gift in December. If you are attending NSSR 2018, please consider bringing a new, paperback copy of the following books to donate:

          1. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
          2. Matilda by Roald Dahl

          You can drop off your book at the NSSR Registration desk during the conference.

           

          Show Your Business Office the Value of Attending NSSR

          NSSR offers considerable benefits to attendees that will be sure to aid you in your efforts to increase student retention at your colleges and universities. If you are ready to take advantage of our unique sharing of experience and knowledge, the next step may be to convince your business office of the value NSSR will bring to your institution.

          With keynote speeches from field experts, facilitated discussions with colleagues nationwide, and many diverse opportunities for networking, NSSR helps attendees to gain useful skills and make important contacts for the future.

          Here are some key points that may help to show your business office that the value of attending NSSR greatly outweighs the cost:

           

          – Information that an attendee gains at NSSR can be brought back to the university and shared among colleagues.

          – All attendees receive digital copies of the NSSR Proceedings with all peer-reviewed papers.

          – NSSR is less expensive than many conferences.

          – NSSR presentations have shown that student retention has a direct impact on improving the financial status of colleges and universities.

          – NSSR’s intimate size and focus on networking are designed to promote collaboration and create long-term key contacts.

          CSRDE has created a justification letter template for presentation to supervisors. This document both further explains how your university can benefit from your attendance and includes a worksheet which will help estimate costs.

          Register by September 1st to receive an Early Bird discount!

          Check to see if your school is already a member or consider an individual membership. CSRDE members receive discounts of $150 on attendance.

          Building the Sourcebook

          CSRDE created Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook for Colleges and Universities in 2013. There are so many complex issues involved in post-secondary education, we felt the need to enhance the bridges between its activities, functions and programs. We designed the publication to be dynamic and to incorporate the latest resources for student success.

          Dynamic Content, Dynamic Structure

          The Sourcebook continues to grow and adapt. Flexibility is key to providing an outlet for the expanding body of knowledge within the higher education community. We are opening the process to create a more responsive structure and include more voices.

          Publish

          Authors may now submit manuscripts throughout the year. The Call for Manuscripts includes links to the guidelines and documents needed for the submission process.

          Review

          In the beginning, manuscripts were all first reviewed by the editors. To make the process more fluid, CSRDE is forming a panel of reviewers. Members will provide input for editors and authors to help identify and prepare manuscripts for publication. Each reviewer is asked to commit to a 3 year term on the panel. During this time, they will periodically be contacted to review manuscripts.

          The Consortium is accepting applicants through 5/21/18. We will consider experience, willingness to provide input and area of expertise as factors for appointment.

          Find more details and links to all relevant information in the Call for Reviewers PDF.

          Continuing the Conversation

          The idea for the Sourcebook was first conceived by Gerry McLaughlin, Richard Howard, Josetta McLaughlin and William E. Knight. The four helped the Consortium create the publication and served as editors for its first five years. To date, it includes five parts with 31 chapters written by 70 higher education professionals. See an outline of the material here or check the purchase site for more details.

          Using the new framework, we will continue to enhance bridge-building and cooperation in higher education for many years to come. The current editor of the publication is Julie Noble. Jane Zeff and Anne Edmunds Aguirre are associate editors. As Director of the Consortium, Sandra Whalen continues to oversee the project.

          Find out more, including purchasing information, on the Sourcebook page.

          NSSR17 Evaluations, Free Registration Winner

          Stacie Grisham won the drawing for free registration to NSSR18

          Stacie Grisham won the drawing for free registration to this Fall’s 14th annual Symposium

          We request evaluations each year to help make the National Symposium on Student Retention a more productive experience and added a prize drawing last year. Attendees completed the evaluations electronically, using our NSSR Guidebook app and Qualtrics.

          Last week we used an Excel random selection process to choose the winner from the 2017 Symposium evaluations.

          Stacie Grisham won free registration for our 2018 Symposium in Salt Lake City. She is Director of the Center for Advisement at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. #NSSR18 will take place November 5-8. Stacie’s prize includes payment for the 3 days of concurrent sessions.

          Success!

          We got plenty of feedback and, as always, we listened.

          People keep asking for more time, so we are adding another half day to the conference for a total of three full days of consecutive sessions.

          Professional Development is the top reason our colleagues come to NSSR. From the Monday pre-conference workshops to the last sessions Thursday, attendees can earn up to 3.2 CEUs. They request the certificates during the evaluation process.

          Networking is intrinsic to professional development. We do everything we can to create an environment conducive to communication between colleagues of all branches and levels of higher education.

          Thank you for another transformative professional development and networking experience. NSSR is unmatched.

          -Rory McElwee
          Vice President for Enrollment & Student Success at Rowan University

          It Pays to Ask

          We get constructive criticism, which we appreciate, but we also get enough compliments to make us collectively blush. We know we aren’t supposed to brag, but 99% of our 2017 respondents would recommend NSSR to a colleague.

          This was my first time attending the NSSR conference and I was very impressed. Great opportunities to learn and network with colleagues and the presentations were thought provoking and relevant to my work in student retention. I would highly recommend!

          -Jennifer Plumlee
          Director, Center for Academic Success and Engagement, Marian University

          Our goal is for your investment in the Symposium to reap maximum returns in actionable information, quality and relevance. To that end, we continue to ask for and listen to your suggestions and we set high standards for all our presentations.

          The variety of topics, institutions, and levels is outstanding and so helpful. I always take away such great ideas from this conference to implement in my area at my institution.

          -Wendy Bolton McMillian
          Associate Registrar, University of Alabama

          See you in Salt Lake City!

          CSRDE Best Practices in Student Retention Awards Announced

          Destin, FL – The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma presented four awards during the recent Thirteenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention (NSSR) held in Destin, FL.

          Best Practices Award

          The 2017 Best Practices Award was given to Rowan University for the paper “The Affordability Task Force: Making Campus Change Happen Through Data and Advocacy” by Rory McElwee, Sean Hendricks, Penny McPherson-Myers and Alison Novak. Best Practices Award winners must demonstrate evidence of a system-wide approach to the institution’s retention issues. Rowan faculty, staff and students make up the task force. They began with studies on related programs, as well as their students’ experiences. That data became the basis for effective advocacy and methods for boosting affordability. Aspects of the program include a food pantry and resource center, financial literacy programs and strategies to raise awareness about available resources.

          Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award

          The University of Oklahoma won the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award. The paper, “Retention and Recruitment: Using a Predictive Analytic Model to Build and Implement a Strategic Graduation and Retention Action Plan,” was written by Sherry Cox, Jeremiah McKinley and Glenn Hansen. This award is given to the paper best demonstrating the importance of institutional research to the field of student retention. The Office of Business Analytics worked with the College of Education to build a predictive model. Based on historical data, it identifies strong candidates for Teacher Certification programs. It also predicts the likelihood of graduation and program completion from the College of Education. Academic advisors and administrators use the model to develop and carry out action plans to assist at-risk students.

          Director’s Award

          The Director’s Award, which is given to the paper that best addresses an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success, went to Grinnell College for “Understanding Student Motivations to Inform Practice: Adopting a Multi-Methods Approach to Complex Questions.” Georgeanna Robinson, Kaitlin Wilcox and Randy Stiles wrote the paper. It documents efforts to combine quantitative data with interviews and other qualitative methods. Faculty and staff are using the results for a more holistic approach to student success, informing practice, program development and decision making.

          Best Poster Award

          The University of South Carolina won the Best Poster Award for “The Stars in the Constellation: Results From the 2017 National Survey of the First-Year Experience.” Dallin Young and Jennifer Keup created the poster. Conference attendees who volunteered as judges chose the winner on-site.

          More About CSRDE and NSSR18

          The CSRDE hosts the symposium each year as a forum for administrators, faculty and staff from institutions of higher education to share the most current research on student retention and success. NSSR is distinguished from other conferences in that all papers presented at the symposium have gone through a multiple stage review process before presentation, beginning with the submission of abstracts. If selected, the papers are also published in the conference proceedings.

          The Fourteenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention will take place November 5-8, 2018, in Salt Lake City, UT. The CSRDE begins accepting proposals for consideration in late January. Information will be posted as it becomes available on the Call for Proposals page.

          The CSRDE has a diverse membership of about 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.

          CSRDE Announces Call for Proposals for NSSR 2017

          Norman, OK – The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma is now accepting proposals for its 2017 National Symposium on Student Retention (NSSR), to be held November 6-9, 2017 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida.

          CSRDE is seeking proposals on programs and research that can help institutions of higher education address critical issues affecting student retention and success. Topics may include evidence-based research or case studies on innovative programs targeting general or specific populations, interdisciplinary best practices, and ideas for improving success through technology.

          The Symposium is committed to offering a complete educational experience on post-secondary retention and graduation to a diverse audience. It promotes the integration of innovations in student success across entire institutions by encouraging networking and collaboration. All papers presented at NSSR go through a multiple stage review process and are published in the conference proceedings.
          Researchers, administrators, practitioners and academics interested in presenting at the event should submit an abstract by March 20. Authors of accepted submissions will be invited to write a paper for peer review no later than May 22. Papers that score sufficiently high in the review process are accepted for presentation at the symposium.

          In addition to all papers being published in conference proceedings, they are also considered for the following prizes: Best Practices in Student Retention Award ($2,000); Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award ($1,000); and the Director’s Award ($750). Poster submissions are judged on-site for the Best Poster Award ($500). All published papers are archived online in the CSRDE Knowledgebase.

          The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange has a diverse membership of about 400 colleges and universities and is coordinated by the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis (C-IDEA) at the University of Oklahoma Outreach. As well as compiling four annual retention reports for the members of the consortium, C-IDEA is the program evaluator for the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

          The complete Call for Proposals may be downloaded from the CSRDE web site (csrde.ou.edu) where more detailed information on the symposium and other consortium activities is available.