National Symposium on Student Retention 2019

The 15th Annual NSSR will take place Monday, October 28 through Thursday, October 31 at the Astor Crowne Hotel in New Orleans

Download our Interactive Conference Program or search ‘NSSR 2019’ on the Guidebook app for iOS or Android to find details on the NSSR schedule, speakers, maps, and more. Guidebook also provides multiple ways to coordinate and interact with other conference attendees. 

The symposium begins on Monday with pre-conference workshops, followed by the Welcome Reception. Tuesday and Wednesday will feature keynote speakers. Tuesday-Thursday will also include concurrent sessions, facilitated discussions, and a poster session, with the awards breakfast on Thursday.

Attendees will have many opportunities to hear presentations based on peer-reviewed papers, attend workshops providing hands-on opportunities, and network with a diverse group of colleagues from around the country.

Online registration is now closed. Walk-in registration will be available onsite beginning Sunday, October 27th.


Sunday, October 27, 2019
  • 2:00 – 6:00 pm
    Conference Check-in and Registration


Monday, October 28, 2019
  • 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Conference Check-in and Registration
  • 7:15 – 8:00 am
    Morning Refreshments
  • 8:00 – 11:30 am
    Pre-conference Workshops (additional fees required)
  • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
    Lunch on Your Own
  • 1:00 – 4:30 pm
    Pre-conference Workshops (additional fees required)
  • 5:00 – 6:30 pm
    Welcome Reception


Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • 7:00 am – 4:30 pm
    Conference Check-in and Registration
  • 7:15 – 8:15 am
    Morning Refreshments
  • 8:15 – 9:45 am
    Plenary Session – with Dr. Timothy Renick
  • 10:00 – 11:00 am
    Concurrent Sessions
  • 11:00 – 11:45 am
    Exhibitor Visits
  • 11:45 am – 1:15 pm
    Lunch on your own
  • 1:15 – 2:45 pm

    Facilitated Discussions

  • 3:15 – 4:15 pm
    Concurrent Sessions
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm

    Group Outing (additional fees required)


Wednesday, October 30, 2019
  • 7:00 am – 4:45 pm
    Conference Check-in and Registration
  • 7:15 – 8:15 am
    Morning Refreshments
  • 8:15 – 9:45 am
    Plenary Session – with Dr. José Antonio Bowen
  • 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
    Concurrent Sessions
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm
    Lunch on your own
  • 2:00 – 3:30 pm
    Facilitated Discussions
  • 3:30 – 4:45 pm
    Poster Session


Thursday, October 31, 2019
  • 8:15 – 9:30 am
    Best Practices Awards Breakfast
  • 9:30 am – 4:15 pm
    Conference Check-in and Registration
  • 9:45 am – 12:00 pm
    Concurrent Sessions
  • 12:00 – 1:30 pm
    Lunch on your own
  • 1:30 – 3:00 pm
    Facilitated Discussions
  • 3:15 – 4:15 pm
    Concurrent Sessions

Monday Evening Welcome Reception

Please join us for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on Monday evening after the pre-conference workshops. Relax and get to know your colleagues or reconnect with the ones you met in past years. The welcome reception is open to everyone and is included with your conference registration. You are welcome to bring guests, please see the registration page for cost. Cash bar.

Tuesday – Group Outing

Join us for a French Quarter Haunted History Walking Tour in New Orleans, America’s most haunted city. The tour will be led by local historians. 

The tour will begin at 6:00 pm in the Astor Crowne Plaza lobby and will end at 8:00 pm in Jackson Square.  Pre-registration is required. Space is currently full.

Concurrent Sessions

Tuesday through Thursday authors of peer-reviewed papers will present on topics important to higher education professionals. A few of these include:

  • First-generation college students
  • Predicting academic success
  • Academic Advising
  • At-risk students
  • Peer mentoring

Facilitated Discussions

Tuesday through Thursday afternoon we will spend time in small groups discussing issues in-depth with colleagues from diverse institutions and positions on campus. Some topics include:

  • Improving student perception of self
  • Best practices for creating annual retention reports
  • Coordinating strategic plans for retention
  • Success programs for at-risk students

Poster Session

Join us Wednesday afternoon to visit with poster presenters about their research and strategies for helping their students succeed. The exhibit hall format offers a great opportunity for networking with your colleagues.


“[NSSR] is one of the most valuable conferences I have attended.”

-Dr. Rex M. Butterfield, Assistant Department Chair, Faculty, Brigham Young University-Idaho

Keynote Speakers

Tuesday Keynote – Dr. Timothy Renick
Dr. Tim Renick

Timothy Renick is Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University.  At Georgia State, he has served as Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Honors Program. Since 2008, he has directed the student success and enrollment efforts of the university, overseeing among the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation and the elimination of all achievement gaps based on students’ race, ethnicity or income level.  Dr. Renick has testified on strategies for helping university students succeed before the United States Senate and has twice been invited to speak at the White House.  His work has been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and CNN and cited by former President Obama. He was named one of 2016’s Most Innovative People in Higher Education by Washington Monthly, was the recipient of the 2015-16 Award for National Leadership in Student Success Innovation, and was awarded the 2018 McGraw Prize in Higher Education. He currently is principal investigator for a $9 million U.S. Department of Education grant to study the impact of predictive-analytics-based advisement on ten-thousand low-income and first-generation students nationally. A summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Renick holds his M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.

Scaling Analytics and Institutional Change to Eliminate Equity Gaps

Abstract: By scaling a series of student-centered and analytics-informed reforms over the past decade, Georgia State University has raised graduation rates by 23 percentage points and closed all achievement gaps based on the students’ race, ethnicity, and income level.  It now awards more bachelor’s degrees to African Americans than any other college or university in the nation.  Through a discussion of innovations ranging from AI-enhanced chatbots and predictive analytics to meta-majors and completion grants, the presentation will cover lessons learned from Georgia State’s transformation and outline several practical and low-cost steps that campuses can take to improve outcomes for underserved students.

Wednesday Keynote – Dr. José Antonio Bowen
Dr. José Bowen

José Antonio Bowen has won teaching awards at Stanford, Georgetown, Miami and Southern Methodist University where he was Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. He was President of Goucher College and has written over 100 scholarly articles, edited the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (2003), is an editor of Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (2011), and has appeared as a musician with Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin, and others. He has written a symphony, music for Hubert Laws and Jerry Garcia, and is the author of Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012) which was the winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education from the American Association of Colleges and Universities). He is also a Founding Board Member of the National Recording Preservation Board for the Library of Congress and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in England. Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar in 2010 and he was given the Ernest L. Boyer Award (for significant contributions to American higher education) from the New American Colleges and Universities in 2018. See his blog at or follow him on Twitter @josebowen.

Nudges, the Learning Economy and a New 3Rs: Redesigning for Student Relationships, Resilience and Reflection 

Technology has created a new learning economy. If we want this new economy to be more inclusive, we will need to prepare students for learning new information on their own. This means more focus on process and less on content and more attention to the student experience everywhere on campus. A convergence of behavioral economics, neuro-science, and cognitive psychology suggest both a new focus (a new educational 3Rs of “Relationships, Resilience and Reflection” as the “what”) and new ways for this to be designed and delivered (the “how”). Our shift from teaching to learning is incomplete unless we recognize that our best way to help students is to design environments and systems everywhere that “nudge” them into better learning behaviors.


Pre-conference Workshops  Monday, October 28 – Optional, with an additional fee

Morning Workshops  8:00 – 11:30 am

What does it mean to be a “student-ready college”? Student-ready colleges approach student success by examining the intentional institutional efforts designed to support all students. Too often student success conversations focus on how students need to prepare for higher education or perceptions on students’ academic and attitudinal deficiencies. This viewpoint of “the ideal college student” is often ripe with assumptions and biases. These commonly held biases will negatively influence perspective on a student’s ability to be successful in college resulting in system policies, processes, and resources at odds with the students they intend to serve. For that reason, this workshop will address ways to identify and improve upon institutional bias through the use of theory and analytics by shifting the focus from determining if our students are ready for college to building student ready institutions. Participants will examine personal and institutional biases that impede the creation of a student-ready environment through self-reflection exercises and facilitated discussion. Small-group activities will follow to engage participants with data analytics designed to help institutions establish improved awareness of their students’ needs and the scope of the services provided by the institution to serve those students.

  • Learn about a theoretical framework to dissect individual versus structural challenges to bias.
  • Identify bureaucracies and structures within their institutions which support or hinder the creation of a student ready system.
  • Examine how data can be used to identify and address bias.
  • Use descriptive analytics to ask and answer questions about how to establish student ready system.

Fai Howard, Ph.D., University of South Florida – Dr. Fai Howard received her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She joined the University of South Florida in 2017 as the Assistant Dean for Upper Level Initiatives. Her professional experiences and research focus over the last fifteen years includes student centric academic success, higher education policy, bringing theory to practice, faculty and staff development (primarily in holistic academic advising), structural reorganization, and strategic planning. Dr. Howard has conducted and facilitated several presentations, workshops, small group meetings, and speaking engagements discussing how to address or improve the experiences and timely graduation of students pursing post-secondary education.

Melissa Irvin, Ed.D., University of South Florida – Dr. Melissa Irvin earned her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy from Vanderbilt University and currently serves as the Assistant Dean, Advising & Analytics, at the University of South Florida. Her work experience focuses on student success including academic advising; campus-wide completion initiatives; and higher education technologies and analytics. Dr. Irvin has served as a facilitator for events including the Tennessee Board of Regents’ (TBR) Completion Academy, TBR Advising Academy, and Tennessee Technological University’s Diversity Summit. Additionally, she has conducted numerous conference presentations, designed faculty engagement sessions, and successfully implemented multiple student success technologies such as Civitas and EAB.

Great ideas for small- and large-scale persistence and completion initiatives are easy to find, but implementing these programs with scalability, measurability, and financial viability is much more of a challenge. Five years ago, Marshall University embarked upon an experiment to increase retention for a “middle-ability” group of students, and the successful results of this program have inspired the formation of a cross-disciplinary persistence and completion team which is working on a variety of initiatives focused on advising methodologies, an attendance program, peer mentorship programs, and the addition of a risk analysis program. This workshop will focus on how teams can employ experimental design methodologies to their own persistence, completion, and retention programs, and through this lens participants will explore how initiatives can be designed with clear, shared, and analytical criteria for success. We’ll also tackle how to plan for successful programs to grow and sustain – and, just as importantly, how to structure these initiatives to deliver institutional value even if they fail to meet their goals. 

  • Learn about the evolving program methodologies employed in our initiatives and about how our incorporation of experimental design led to actionable, scalable, and measurable results for each individual initiative.
  • Be able to apply our methods and analyses to their own persistence, completion, and/or retention and graduation modeling initiatives and programs.
  • Be able to begin development of, and collaborate on, an actionable and/or measurable project focusing on persistence/completion/progression/retention/ and/or graduation for their own campus.

April Fugett, Ph.D., Marshall University – April Fugett is the current Academic Affairs (AA) Faculty Fellow and Liaison to Institutional Research, as well as the Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Marshall University. She has experience presenting research and analyses to various faculty, staff, and administrative stakeholders. Fugett has been at Marshall since earning her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology in 2008. In addition to her work in AA and CTL, she has taught research methodology and advanced statistics to undergraduates and graduate students. She has several publications and over 70 research and teaching presentations spanning a wide variety of topics.

Michael Smith, Portland State University A relative newcomer to Portland State University’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning, Michael Smith has over ten years of experience in bringing together diverse campus stakeholders to unpick knotty analytical questions, evaluate initiatives, and promote data-informed decision-making processes. Before coming to Portland, he was the Assistant Director of Marshall University’s IR office, where he worked on projects relating to strategic enrollment management, student success, and data governance. He received his BS in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Warwick in the UK, and his MS in Technology Management from Marshall University.

Sherri Stepp, Ed.D., Marshall University – Sherri Stepp is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of University College. She received a B.A. in Journalism from Marshall, an M.S. in Adult & Technical Education, an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, and completed an Ed.D. in Leadership Studies in December 2016. Sherri has worked on Marshall’s campus for nearly thirty years, serving in positions in financial aid and student affairs before accepting her current position. She serves on several committees across campus and is involved in multiple retention efforts. 

Too often students arrive at college under-prepared. Regardless of the starting point, students need to master content, develop skills, and graduate. Yet, working to improve students’ success can feel as daunting as the first semester feels to first-year students. As the Chronicle of Higher Education noted, “The uncomfortable truth is that helping more students thrive is hard.” When efforts fail to help, students quickly shun the efforts and label the ineffective help as coming from “pushers, snoozers, and blankets.” This workshop equips you with a toolbox of resources that can help you draw students to your services and improve outcomes. You will: use the “I know, I care, I can” framework to create your checklist of critical success factors; practice interpersonal communication skills that can help you gain active support for your student success initiatives; map the “cycle of service” to design student-focused experiences that increase participation and student success; learn about innovative ways to collect and use actionable feedback. Regardless of your role, you can use the strategies and tools from this workshop to improve your success with at-risk students. Additionally, participants will share practices that have helped them transform at-risk students into graduates.

  • Recognize the barriers that students experience in obtaining the help they need.
  • Develop a list of critical success factors to use in evaluating the services they offer.
  • Identify ways to strengthen the sustainability of their efforts in reference to the “I Know; I Care, I Can” framework.
  • Explore how political realities can impede and restrict student success services.
  • Learn to navigate conflict of competing roles (pusher, snoozer, sleeper) and foster collaboration.
  • Learn about two ways to be innovative in collecting and using actionable feedback, and evaluate how you could use them to strengthen your services.
  • Collect ideas from workshop participants about ways to address the challenges that you face in helping students thrive.

Linda Moran, Ed.D., University of Hartford – Dr. Moran is the Director of the Student Study Center at Hillyer College, and Chair of Academic Strategies at University of Hartford. For the past four years, she has won grants to support the development of the Summer Bridge Program that prepares incoming freshmen with student skills. Through the Bridge program she has introduced high-impact practices, such as service learning, to teach leadership practices to at-risk students. Linda has co-authored four books on teams, including Self-Directed Work Teams: The New American Challenge. She also co-edited the book, Beyond Teams: Building the Collaborative Organization.

Jeffrey Anderson, Ph.D., Florida Polytechnic University – Dr. Anderson is the Chief Data Scientist with Enrollment Management at Florida Polytechnic University and Associate Professor with the Jack Welch Management Institute where he teaches the Business Analytics and Capstone course in the MBA program. For several years Jeffrey led student success efforts at a private, not-for-profit university in Florida. During that time he had the opportunity to lead successful efforts of building predictive models of student persistence, evaluating the effects of targeted scholarships on first-to-second year attrition, and implementing early-alert systems and practices.

This session will demonstrate the University of South Florida’s proven method of identifying students in need of higher level care using operational data & intelligent apps to support institutional student success efforts. From the perspective of an office on the front lines of student success, we will discuss the challenges of working with student data across multiple platforms that ultimately led to the development of a centralized reporting platform in Power BI that successfully integrates predictive analytics, early warning signals, and risk measurement tools for discovering at-risk students early and monitoring their progress towards important academic milestones often. This example of a practice-first development approach, where the technology is designed in direct and on-going collaboration with student success professionals, provides USF student success leadership and staff a solution that fits uniquely within their existing workflow and a scalable approach to testing and enhancing its risk stratification model. Presenters will engage the audience with specific risk stratification examples that could be applied to any institution. Further, workshop participants will have the opportunity to collaborate on the design elements of their own intelligent apps suite, informed by USF’s approach, and brainstorm together specific examples of other possible early warning indicators.

  • Understand the benefits of integrating operational data into a singular platform for risk-stratification.
  • Identify the various sources of data that could be integrated into a singular platform to support student success decisions.
  • Experience a demonstration of one possible tool and its applications for student success improvements.
  • Discuss how shifting the focus from big data analytics to operational data analytics identifying specific student outcomes affects overall student metrics.

Leslie Tod, University of South Florida – Leslie Tod, M.A. has over 30 years of experience in higher education in instructor, advising, and administrative roles. She initiated the work of the Office of Academic Advocacy at the University of South Florida in 2013, which has contributed to the institution’s improvements in performance based metrics via predictive analytics applications and development of case management model.

Kim Williams, University of South Florida – Kim Williams is the advocate for policy and analytics in the Office of Academic Advocacy. She has worked in higher education for over 30 years and has extensive experience in academic advising, graduation certification, academic regulations and university policy. Ms. Williams has presented at many conferences including NACADA Region 3 2018, NACADA International 2018, FYE 2018, NASPA 2018 and 2018 NSSR. She has also conducted facilitated discussions as part of advisor training events at the University of South Florida.

Michelle Bombaugh, Ph.D., University of South FloridaDr. Michelle Bombaugh has worked in higher education since 2003. She has held positions in admissions, academic advising, and is currently the Assistant Director for Academic Advocacy at USF. She has presented on case management, first-year persistence, and predictive analytics at various conferences including the National Conference on Students in Transition, Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience, National Symposium on Student Retention, NACADA, and NASPA.

Steve Johnson, University of South FloridaSteve Johnson is a User Applications Specialist in Undergraduate Studies at the University of South Florida. He is a Certified Data Scientist with over eight years of experience designing and implementing data-driven decision making frameworks within education settings from PreK to HigherEd; advising educators across the country on enhancing at-risk student identification practices and steering student outcomes. His roles and expertise include: software development programmer, product/project manager, assessment designer, professional development program author, and student success implementation coach.


Afternoon Workshops  1:00 – 4:30 pm

Retention of college students beyond the first year is strongly linked to their experiences and success in introductory courses. The BIOS boot camp program gives incoming college students tools and strategies to succeed. BIOS combines content lectures and examinations for a particular course or curriculum, as well as exposing students to the expectations of college. Begun in 2005 as the Biology Intensive Orientation for Students to target incoming biology majors at Louisiana State University (LSU), the BIOS Model has been expanded and adapted for many curricula and student populations. Currently, 3,664 LSU students have participated, and over 25 institutions have modeled a pre-freshman academic orientation after this program. LSU’s BIOS program has consistently increased the success of students in introductory courses, their retention to the second year of college, and four-year graduation rates. In addition to overall gains, this program has led to specific gains for underrepresented groups – ethnic, socio-economic and first-generation college. Participants in this workshop will review the BIOS model and the five elements of success that underpin this program, followed by a step-by-step guide to building a successful Boot Camp for their campuses. Discussions will include important campus stakeholders, support groups, and available campus resources.


BIOS Workshop participants will learn the following:

  • Why incoming students need BIOS
  • Which parts of the BIOS Model are flexible and which are not
  • How to set up a Boot Camp on my campus

Sheri Wischusen, PhD., Louisiana State University – Sheri is currently the Director of Undergraduate Research at LSU. She works to connect undergraduate science majors with research faculty. Her research interests include the development and assessment of precollege and undergraduate programs aimed at the success and retention of science students in their majors and at the university. Her specific long-term initiatives include the nationally recognized BIOS Boot Camp program for incoming freshmen and 24 years of mentoring undergraduates in research opportunities.

William Wischusen, PhD., Louisiana State University – William is the Ron and Dr. Mary Neal Geaux Teach Distinguished Professor and an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. He has earned many awards for his teaching including the LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, the LSU BP Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, The LSU President’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, The University College Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the LSU Torchbearer Award for Leadership in IT Advancement. Most recently he has focused on programs related to improving the success and retention of first-years students and faculty professional development programs.

Placement in first-year math courses is a perennial concern for colleges and universities. Aside from issues of accuracy, there are the costs and challenges of utilizing various assessment procedures that may involve many campus offices: admissions, recruitment, advising, and math departments. A noble desire to reduce D/F/W rates in first-year math classes at the University of Oklahoma led us to address lessons learned from unsuccessful past efforts and rethink math assessment. Namely, we used in-house competencies to create our own math placement tool that not only more accurately predicts  D/F/W rates, but also significantly decreases costs and makes the onboarding process easier. Over two years, our team created the Math Offers Model (M.O.M.), secured buy-in from academic leaders, and completed the process of shifting to the model. This workshop will help you identify steps and resources needed to implement a similar tool at your institution. Focus will be on data analysis (assessing current classes and placement tools; learning processes for creating a predictive model; identifying colleagues with statistical competency) and implementation (identifying needs and hurdles faced in developing administrative buy-in; determining IT considerations). We will share our experiences and help guide you in your own journey.

  • Learn about the University of Oklahoma’s Math Offers Model for first-year math course placement
  • Determine your assessment needs by reviewing current courses and math placement tools in place at your institution
  • Discover the process of creating a predictive model that provides greater accuracy in placement, reduces D/F/W rates, substantially reduces assessment costs, and improves onboarding procedures
  • Understand potential concerns administrators and students may have with making changes to your current processes
  • Identify steps and resources needed to implement a similar process at your institution

George Bogaski, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma – George Bogaski is an analyst focusing on systems analysis in higher education. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He uses a data centric approach to address issues of student and organizational success at the University of Oklahoma. Among the areas of work are enrollment management, predicting and managing course demand by students, predicting and on boarding new freshmen classes, degree specific evaluations, and various ad hoc studies and programs that impact student retention and student success. He also assists other institutions seeking to replicate OU’s efforts.

Robert Terry, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma – Robert Terry is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. He received his Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989. His current research involves the development and application of modern statistical techniques (e.g. predictive analytics, latent variable modeling, causal analysis) to problems in social sciences, health, and education. He also serves on various technical advisory committees involving issues in high-stakes testing. He teaches graduate courses in statistics and psychometrics and undergraduate courses in skeptical thinking and statistical decision-making.

Nicole Campbell, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma – Nicole Campbell is dean of University College and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Oklahoma. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. Before moving into administration, Dr. Campbell served as the first introductory psychology large-class teaching specialist. After teaching hundreds of students, the majority of them freshmen, she joined University College – the freshman college – as associate dean in 2009 and became dean in 2012. Dr. Campbell is passionate about student retention and success and values collaborating with students and colleagues to elucidate and facilitate that success.

Are you a new director of retention who could use some guidance on how to organize (and maximize) your cohort data? Or, maybe you are an experienced retention director who feels like you are drowning in dashboards, spreadsheets, surveys, emails, early alerts, and everything else that comes with directing a retention program. After years of experimenting with retention software programs, Meredith College has finally found a simple system of retention data organization that works for us – and it all fits on one spreadsheet. Participants will first learn how to organize their data within a single Google Sheet in a way that is conducive both for day-to-day operations and long-term projects. Then, you will learn the many benefits of such organization, including better case management, building interactive reports, utilizing predictive analytics, responding to data requests, projecting graduation rates, and – best of all – organizing your CSRDE survey data. Participants will walk away with a framework for staying organized using Google Sheets, experience with creating interactive dashboards with Google Data Studio, and exposure to predictive analytics using SAS Enterprise Miner. Come learn how to maximize your ROI and make your data work for YOU!


Participants will:

  • learn how to store up to ten years’ worth of cohort data on a single Google Sheet in a work-friendly way,
  • understand the value in organizing the data into functional groupings for easy filtering, case management, and data analyses,
  • create a simple interactive report using this Sheet of cohort data with Google Data Studio,
  • and have brief exposure to predictive analytics using SAS Enterprise Miner (this organizational method also works well for SPSS).

Brandon Stokes, Meredith College – Brandon Stokes has been directing retention and student success efforts at Meredith College since 2014. During that time, he has developed a system of organization that helps make his day-to-day work much easier and more efficient. In addition to his primary role, Brandon has several years of experience as a First-Year Experience instructor and presented at the 2018 National Symposium on Student Retention in Salt Lake City, UT. He is also a SAS Certified Data Scientist.

As college costs rise and student debt increases, the pressure to improve student success outcomes is ever present. The data is clear, a growing number of college-going students do not have the financial means, right support structures, or sustainable plans to complete their college degree. Institutional leaders are responding with innovative approaches to managing their organizations across the entire student life cycle—from recruitment to graduation to careers—and are experimenting with new ways to intentionally design for student success with methodologies like design thinking. In this workshop, executive leaders from Berklee College of Music will engage senior leaders in an interactive workshop that will advance their knowledge of how experience design can be used in practice to drive student-centered innovation, organizational change, and student success outcomes. A new Student Enrollment and Engagement (SEE) Framework used to drive student success at the organizational level will be introduced. Concepts apply to any institutional type. Case studies on student onboarding, an advising system redesign, continuing student aid scholarship program, and initiative to support African American student success will be used to explore with participants how the SEE Framework principles can be applied in practice to drive student engagement and retention.

  • Identify new trends in organizational design focused on the student life cycle management.
  • Experience design methodology and how it can be a tool for innovation in student success work at the organization, department, and program level.
  • Discover a new Student Enrollment Engagement (SEE) Framework and how key concepts might be applied in various institutional settings to student success work.
  • Analyze institutional case studies for how principles from a design-based SEE Framework can be applied to lead organizational change, staff development, and innovation in key student success areas including onboarding, advising, and financial aid.
  • Explore lessons learned on how key concepts could be applied to foster leadership innovation opportunities on one’s home campuses.

Betsy Newman, Ed.D., Berklee College of Music – Dr. Betsy Newman is the Senior Vice President for Student Enrollment and Engagement at Berklee College of Music leading the divisions of enrollment marketing and management; student affairs, diversity, and inclusion; student advising and success; and career strategy and services. She brings to her leadership at Berklee, and to other institutions prior including Babson College, deep expertise and research in student-centered organizational design. As an advocate for student success, Dr. Newman has led innovative change at the executive level through a reimagination of how functions, programs, services, and supports can be organized to better serve students and their pathways to success at every stage of their journey from prospective students to alumni.

Lori Johnson, Berklee College of Music – Lori Johnson is the Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Advising and Success at Berklee College of Music. She is responsible for the collaborative development and design of innovative and comprehensive approaches to student advising and success programs, services, and systems. Ms. Johnson provides leadership and direction to academic advising, international student services, study abroad, disability services, success programs, the registrar, and tutoring. Prior to joining Berklee, she was the Associate Provost for Student Enrichment at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. In that role Ms. Johnson led a large team who provided experiential learning opportunities, personal development, and academic support for more than 6,000 students.

Review highlights from the 2018 Symposium on our Past Symposia page. Materials include the full conference program, award winners, and links to videos and hand-outs from the keynote addresses.