An Easy, Cost-Effective Way To Remain Current With Student Success

Twelve presentations are selected from the top rated sessions at our National Symposium on Student Retention each year for live presentation as webinars.

All webinars take place from 1:00 – 2:00 pm Central Time on the designated date, during which time participants may ask questions and provide feedback. An unlimited number of colleagues may attend at one site with a single login credential. CSRDE members and non-members are invited to participate. Each registration includes 30 days of access to the recorded podcast.

Webinar Cost
  • CSRDE members:
    One to six webinars are included with membership, depending on level
  • Add'l webinars for members:
    $129 each
    $79 each for blocks of 3 or more
  • Non-CSRDE members:
    $229 each

2016 - 2017 Webinar Series

Stacie Grisham, Elizabeth Johnson, & Yancy Freeman of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

One of the struggles many advising practitioners and administrators face is the lack of consistency, communication, and unity across various university advising programs. In our efforts to improve academic advising at the institutional level, an Advisors’ Council was created to address these issues. Since its inception, the UTC Advisors’ Council has established uniform expectations for all advisors, developed an advisor training program, and advocated for important policy changes across campus. The Advisors’ Council also launched our first campus-wide advising assessment process, and initial results have shown both strengths and areas for improvement. This presentation will explain the development of our Advisors’ Council, the process and results from our advising assessment efforts, and provide an in-depth overview of current initiatives. Attendees will walk away learning about the opportunities and challenges experienced by our institution. Additionally, participants will leave with the knowledge of how to create an effective campus-wide advising community, how to address anticipated challenges, and ideas of improvements that could be implemented or modified on a variety of campuses.

William A. Hamilton, Daniel E. Duerr, & Jeffrey M. Anderson of Saint Leo University

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) is expanding its support of student success by integrating labor market information about pathways available to baccalaureate degree holders. This aligns with recent scholarship on student persistence, as well as with proposed changes at the Federal reporting level, and allows institutions to apply a market research lens to the study of student success. To understand the most promising avenues for this new area of work, we conducted two separate research studies. The first study explores how students use labor market information related to their academic majors—what we term as career relevant information (or CRI). Additionally, we identify how CRI is communicated to students. Our second study uses a content analysis of department websites from 100 institutions to identify common strategies used to communicate CRI and to find effective communication practices. Based on the findings from these two studies, we developed two tools to present this information to students: infographics for each degree that we offer and a dashboard (still in development) that provides students with a mechanism to make direct comparisons of degree programs. We discuss the development and application of these tools, describe how other institutions could replicate the project, and identify how we will evaluate this initiative.

Jennifer Brown, Nicole Iwasaki, & Melissa Jones of University of Hawai‘i Mānoa

A report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that 46 percent of all students who completed a 4-year degree had previously been enrolled at a 2-year institution (Smith, 2015). As this transfer student population grows, transfer programs are of increasing importance to establish a smooth transfer process on college campuses. This webinar will discuss an existing transfer partnership between community colleges and a four-year institution in the University of Hawai‘i system including: dual admission and dual enrollment opportunities, mandatory advising and planning with a designated transfer advisor, connecting students to their major departments at the university early, and identifying the best time to transfer for a timely graduation. Program assessment data on enrollment and success rate of the program will be included.

Michael Dial, Jane Bouknight, & James Winfield of The University of South Carolina

Student interactions with their academic environment including faculty, peers, and student support professionals has repeatedly been linked to a variety of educational outcomes including retention and persistence (Astin, 1977; Tinto, 1987, 2006, 2012; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). The Student Success Center at the University of South Carolina has developed and piloted a comprehensive retention initiative designed to personally connect students at a large research institution with resources as they navigate the rigor of the University. Success Connect is a multi-tiered program consisting of 1) outreach to engage faculty and the assignment of a Success Consultant to all first-year students, 2) an early alert component that includes students referred by faculty and those in target populations, 3) behavior and skill-based interventions via one-on-one consultations with a Success Consultant and referrals to center and campus resources, and 4) follow-up with students and faculty. Throughout this process, Success Consultants utilize a combination of the “action-oriented” model of intrusive advising (Earl, n.d.) with the theory-to-practice framework of Appreciative Advising (Bloom, Hutson, & He, 2008) to aid students in designing a plan for academic success. This paper describes an approach that can be adapted and implemented by student support professionals at any institution.

Peter R. Jones of Temple University

Retention based risk-need-responsivity principles enhance the strategic focus of institutional policies and practices. They help identify who receives attention (highest risk), what interventions to employ (matched to need) and when the interventions should be implemented. Temple University is moving from a mostly passive-reactive model of student support to more proactive interventions utilizing risk-needs-responsivity principles to improve student retention. Risk models are empirically derived using institution specific data. Models are developed for different stages of an undergraduate career and are revised annually. The specific predictors vary by type of student and stage of academic career. The variety of risk factors support the belief that risk-needs based interventions should not be generic, one size fits all approaches. They should respond to the specific risk profile of students and the different demands of their school/college. Appropriate and adequate institutional resources are essential to successful intervention – particularly academic advising, student support programs and financial aid. This paper describes the theoretical, quantitative and practical development of Temple’s risk based retention program and discusses current plans for continued enhancement. Though retention data lag interventions by a few years the early evidence at Temple is positive – with improvements in both retention and graduation rates.

Lynn Briggs of Eastern Washington University

This presentation emerges from a long-term mixed-methods study of the effects of a mental skills training curriculum on English composition students. Our focus here is on how two aspects of the qualitative data—analysis of students’ reflective essays and interview data—demonstrate the potential for the use of mental skills training as a curricular model for introductory writing courses. Our data indicates that the mental skills curriculum made students aware of how they adjust their mindset to find success, how they could enact specific strategies to facilitate this adjustment, how they view the benefits of such an adjustment as effective beyond the composition classroom, and how they could use a growth mindset to view failure as a learning tool. Finally, the results of this study will be contextualized within the fields of student success and Rhetoric and Composition, and a new model for a general, university-wide orientation for student success and retention will be offered.

Nathan Miller of Columbia College of Missouri

Student retention is an important systemic, institutional, and student concern, and dialogue on the topic has gained prominence in the postsecondary education discourse (Miller, 2014). In response, colleges and universities are working to improve student success through programs housed in multiple organizational divisions such as Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Enrollment Management. In order to develop a campus-wide and longitudinal student success plan, administrative functions must be in place to accommodate the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs across institutional silos. Cross-institutional coordination of these activities will aid in the creation of persistence and completion initiatives that provide support throughout the student lifecycle. This report outlines administrative functions that will serve as catalysts for these types of student persistence and completion programs. Four administrative areas are discussed: analytics and data management, administrative procedures and policies, academic policies and environment, and access to and expansion of student services. Examples of cross-institutional activities in these areas are included, and results on program design, implementation, and evaluation are addressed.

Agnes I. Caldwell & Bridgette Winslow of Adrian College

Two years of declining retention rates at Adrian College resulted in a comprehensive study of attrition. The analysis showed five areas of concern: late depositors, at-risk incoming students, male athletes in basketball and football, out-of-state students, and African American males. An intentional re-structuring of programs and initiatives resulted in significantly higher retention rates in many of these areas of concern including: the at-risk program (56-96%), football retention (33% to 78%), basketball retention (36% to 95%) during fall 2014. This session will share program improvements based on organization and culture theory applied to academic and non-academic programming with a checklist to guide future cross-division planning.

Whitney Scott of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Academic Connections in Education (ACE) is a Noel-Levitz award winning program that supports students returning to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) after academic suspension or with an approved academic suspension appeal. The program focuses on guiding students in creating positive and lasting connections with faculty, staff, and resources at UNCG. The program provides students a safe and collaborative environment to explore the emotions of being suspended, define their personal success, and create goals for a successful future. Data shows retention rates (after one year) increased 10% (and continues to rise) for students when they participated in the program their first semester after returning from suspension. This paper will provide information about student demographics, retention rates, and programmatic practices that have helped make ACE a successful program for retaining students after academic suspension.

Lyssa L. Thaden of Eastern Washington University & Jacqueline Carroll of Truckee Meadows Community College

A recent report by Higher One and EverFi, which documented results of a survey of almost 44,000 students nationwide (over 90% freshmen), found students feel particularly underprepared when it comes to managing their finances. In fact, only 58% of the respondents felt prepared to manage their money – versus 73% of them who felt prepared to keep up with coursework (Higher One & EverFi, 2015). With finances remaining one of the top reasons students provide for dropping out of school, and student loan debt continuing to mount, financial preparedness needs to become – or remain – an institutional student success objective. Students themselves believe this to be the case with 65% of survey respondents indicating it would be somewhat or very appealing to have their alma mater provide financial literacy (Melior Group & American Student Assistance, 2011). This paper reviews the importance of financial literacy and overall student success, and documents changes in knowledge, confidence and behavior with the utilization of one online program. A discussion of how schools can approach this issue – in both integrative and substantive ways – provides suggestions for direction and success.

Nicole T. Carr of University of South Alabama

Since the 2010 academic year, we have focused on improving student success and persistence. Our goal is a year one retention rate of 80% and a six year graduation rate of 50%. Over three cohorts (2011-2013) we improved institutional retention by six percent (from 65% to 71%). With little attention to completion, our graduation rate was generally in the mid-upper 30s. However, beginning with the 2011 cohort, we have seen small annual increases in persistence for four years, and anticipate upward trending six-year graduation rates. Initiative development, implementation, and assessment, coupled with policy adjustments, resulted in normative changes at our institution and appear to be shifting culture. Our multipronged approach makes it difficult to tease out the specific contribution of any one change; however it also enables us to quickly make improvements in many areas related to student academic success. In this presentation, I will describe our course of action and present data related to specific elements, discuss items that appear to be “game changers,” and share what appear to be key elements in the change process and how to capitalize on those for quick wins in the student success arena.

Cathy Alexander, Maria Kohnke, & Angela Naginey of California Lutheran University

How do you overcome the challenges/roadblocks of “fully” implementing a comprehensive set of initiatives to increase the retention and graduation rates of students?  Beginning in fall 2007, California Lutheran University did just that with surprising results, a more connected freshman class, and higher retention and graduation rates for both freshmen and transfer populations. The end result is a nine percent increase in the graduation rate of first-time freshmen and a three percent increase in second year retention or graduation for transfer students. The University employed many strategies to address the needs of our students to increase student success; without a major increase in funding. Previously, the University had implemented many of the recommended strategies for retaining first-year students in the first year. This paper delineates the strategies involved, implementation processes, and the data used to inform decision-making and assessment outcomes.


CSRDE institutional members sign up for webinars using their membership registration forms. The number of webinars depends on the level of membership. If your institution is a CSRDE member and you would like to participate in a webinar, email csrde@ou.edu and we will put you in contact with the CSRDE representative on your campus. If you are an individual member, your membership includes one webinar. If neither you nor your institution are CSRDE members, you may use this form to register for a webinar.

If you are interested in purchasing podcasts from previous years’ presentations, please review the information using the dropdown box above for each year.

Accessing the Webinar

For each webinar, CSRDE will send the following emails:

  1. One week before webinar – Confirmation of your registration plus instructions to test your computer for compatibility. You may test your system now.
  2. One day before webinar – Login information and instructions for accessing the webinar
  3. Within two days after the webinar – Details for how to access the podcast site and supplemental materials. Registrants will have 30 days in which to access and review the podcast, schedule a group showing or coordinate with colleagues at your institution to allow them to view the podcast.