retention Sessions

Want a downloadable & printable version of the schedule? Click to Download

Presented By

Karen M. Naylon, Assistant Dean of Academic Services

High Point University in High Point, NC

Summary

This session will focus on strategies employed and lessons learned from one liberal arts university where a holistic approach to retention came to the forefront. As our external environment changed, our internal approach to retention became even more important and creative.

Presenter Bio

Karen Naylon serves as the Assistant Dean of Academic Services. Throughout her career, she has served in a variety of positions including Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Department Chair of Information Systems at HPU before moving into an administration roles of Director of Academic Advising, Director of Retention, Co-Chair of the Executive Retention Committee and Chair of the University Advising Committee. She has supported students of High Point University for over twenty years in these various roles.

Presented By

Dr. Tina Vasconcellos, Vice President of Student Services

College of Alameda in Oakland, CA

Summary

The CoA CARES Call Center: A small college leverages technology to enhance student equity, retention and success. Data informed decision making to implement proactive outreach and interventions to reduce equity gaps through a high touch service model.

Presented By

Dr. Jim Black, President and CEO

SEM Works in Greensboro, NC

Summary

Students and research suggest that financial pressures represent the number one reason individuals discontinue college enrollment. Yet few institutions have a comprehensive strategy for addressing financial attrition causation. This session will explore the environmental factors that have contributed to the financial struggles students face paying for college and living while they earn their degrees. Most importantly, practices for overcoming these financial barriers will be presented. Some of these practices require paradigm shifts in thinking, while others are simple to implement. Come and discover the art of the possible.

Presenter Bio

The president and CEO of SEM Works, Dr. Jim Black, is an internationally recognized expert in enrollment management as well as in change management. Dr. Black has published five books and numerous articles and book chapters and has consulted with companies such as Microsoft, Blackboard, and the SAS Institute. Higher education consulting clients have included over 500 two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions.

Presented By

Nichole Buckner, Director of Financial Aid

Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, NC

Why you should attend

This session will address the importance of why financial aid and financial literacy are vital to retention efforts

Summary

This session will talk about the correlation between early financial aid decisions and retention. We will also address the importance of financial literacy in retention and how to use financial aid leveraging in helping students retain at your institution.

Presenter Bio

Nichole Buckner, Director of Financial Aid at Mars Hill University has worked in Financial Aid for 14 years and has been the Director for 8 years. She has worked on several committees pertaining to both admissions efforts and retention efforts. Nichole enjoys advocating for her students and enjoys their successes throughout their college career.

Presented By

Dr. Ndala M. G. Booker, Director for the Center for Academic Achievement

AdventHealth University in Orlando, FL

Summary

Students’ decisions to stay in school and graduate are related to several academic and non-academic factors. When students are encouraged to think critically about their process and goals, some of the reasons for withdrawal are eliminated, thereby creating a pathway for persistence. The purpose of this session is to offer a two-part initiative, that supports the idea that fostering critical thinking at the beginning and throughout the first year of the student journey, aids in retention and greatly enhances the student experience. The presenter will share examples of a few critical thinking activities, and will offer data to further demonstrate the success of this type of initiative for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Presented By

Dr. Richard J. Dittus, Instructor of Mathematics and Faculty Mentor

Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL

Summary

In order to increase their financial viability and stability, many small colleges and universities must improve their enrollment management practices by increasing student retention and graduation rates. Student interaction with faculty and peer mentors is a strong predictor of retention, persistence, engagement, and academic success. Small colleges and universities should consider ways to encourage student interaction with their professors and peer mentors.
During this session, participants will receive practical guidelines for implementing a successful Learning Community that can support first-year and transfer students in their college transition. Discussion will include the benefits of implementing a Learning Community as well as the challenges faced in leading a Learning Community within an online learning environment during COVID-19.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Richard J. Dittus currently serves as a mathematics instructor and faculty mentor at Ave Maria University in southwest Florida. During his 16 years at Ave Maria, Dr. Dittus led in the development of Ave Maria’s first Admissions department as well as a Student Success Program. During 2015-2017, Dr. Dittus served as the Director of the Sophomore Success Program and mentored more than 80 sophomores per year while utilizing StrengthsQuest to guide these students in considering how their talents could be utilized in confirming their academic direction while exploring career opportunities.

Presented By

Brandon Stokes, Director of Retention and Student Success & Dr. Matthew Poslusny, Senior Vice President and Provost,

Meredith College in Raleigh, NC

Why you should attend

Learn more about Meredith College's retention journey and revelations regarding student enrollment tracking and prediction.

Summary

Does your campus know how to perform a retention audit? In this session, we will discuss several important factors to consider that contribute to an institution’s retention and graduation rates and walk you through one way to review your campus’s retention strengths and weaknesses. We’ll also briefly mention some successful strategies we have implemented at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC to bring retention rates from the low 70s to the mid 80s and graduation rates from the upper 40s to mid 60s. Participants will have opportunities to share successes they have seen or implemented at their own institutions.

Presenter Bio

Brandon Stokes is the director of retention and student success at Meredith College (since 2014) and is a consultant for Dutcher LLC (since 2019). He regularly presents at national conferences on topics designed to support retention professionals, particularly at small colleges and universities, and ranging from academic policies to data organization to retention prediction. In 2018, he earned the credential of SAS Certified Data Scientist.