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 from the registrant’s institution may attend. CSRDE members and non-members are invited to participate. Each registration includes 5 weeks of access to the recorded podcast.

"We have found the CSRDE webinars to be an essential value-added component of our membership. The menu of award-winning presentations by colleagues who have “walked the walk” makes this option a convenient, efficient, and economical way to maintain both currency and contacts in our field. This webinar platform provides easy scheduling along with - yet another featured bonus! - options to share within our organizations. The level of coordination and support of these programs from the CSRDE staff/team is always amazing, always professional."
John Rollins, Director, Academic Performance Studies
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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

2021 - 2022 Webinar Series

Leslie N. Martinez of University of the Incarnate Word

A mixed methods research study reveals the perceptions that not only student affairs educators have of the services available to and for underrepresented college students, but also the perceptions of underrepresented undergraduate students themselves on the student services available. This study identifies the role of student services at a private, religiously affiliated, Hispanic serving institution in South Texas and how those services are utilized. Students described their lived experiences with campus student services detailing events that help or hinder their enrollment. In addition, a sample of social science students completed a pilot study providing detail on their usage of institutional student services. The findings reveal both strengths and areas of improvement, including opportunities for advancement for accessibility and communication, how mentoring and advising matter, and implications for training and awareness. Insights gained from these students provide beneficial ways to positively influence retention practices in higher education for this specific demographic and to connect the sense of belonging to retention practices in institutional student services. 

Jennifer F. Humber of University of Alabama

The concept of student engagement has adopted many definitions and descriptions over time. Student engagement is often linked to various measures of academic achievement, including retention, student satisfaction, and institutional success. Further research to determine student engagement as it relates to online students is now more necessary as online enrollments continue to increase. To understand how student engagement applies in online education, it is important to gain additional insight as to how online students define student engagement on an individual level. In this qualitative case study, online learners were interviewed to gain their perceptions of engagement in an online course required for certain majors at a large public institution. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, their perceptions were used to determine how this specific group of online students define student engagement in an online learning environment. The study also revealed various types of activities that were perceived to be most engaging to students enrolled in the course. The results of this study provide administrators and faculty the ability to better understand student perceptions so that they can be considered when developing resources to enhance instructional design and communication with online learners.

James R. Stefanelli of Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Wedged between undergraduate and doctoral students exists the oft-understudied population of master’s students. The dearth in master’s-specific research is astounding considering master’s degrees represent the fastest growing degree credential. Why is there such a lack of information about master’s students from a national perspective in comparison to other degree-seeking students? Perhaps it is because assessment, like IPEDS, and prestige, like US News rankings, are not tied to it. In simple terms, there is no carrot to incentivize it and no stick to mandate it. Nevertheless, the absence of research has far-reaching implications and manifests predominantly in three ways; little is known about the rates in which master's students graduate, time to degree, and the attributes associated with graduation. Thus, administrators are unable to assess any retention-effort efficacy and analogous graduation rates. This paper provides university administrators with a comparative benchmark and the attribute-based context to improve master’s student completion rates thus effectuating positive gains in retention and returns on investment for all those involved; individual students, specific student subpopulations, institutions, and society. This is the first-ever, multi-university study employing a predictive model to analyze master’s degree completion, and the most comprehensive in terms of program breadth.

Case Willoughby, Joshua Novak, & Sharla Anke of Butler County Community College

Research, strategy, and multi-level leadership across an institution are necessary to make meaningful advances in student success. The adage “culture eats strategy for breakfast” underscores that brilliant plans fail without changing hearts, minds, and processes. Butler County Community College engaged faculty and staff in a process that increased graduation rates by 15 percentage points. This presentation will situate transformational student success initiatives in three bodies of research—organizational culture, organizational change, and improvement science—in a case study showing real results. Actions taken by academic and student affairs guided by a theoretical approach were key. Participants will leave with concrete strategies to bring to their home institutions.

Sara Kelly & Devon Smith of SUNY Brockport

This webinar will discuss effective strategies to shift engagement and the culture around student success interventions. Through a case study of one medium sized, public institution’s efforts to improve first-year retention and overall persistence rates, this webinar will outline organizational structure and development strategies, as well as sustainable partnership efforts in the Academic Success Center, Residential Life, Career Services, and student services areas like Financial Aid and Student Accounts. Included will be examples of successful programs, shifts in organizational culture, and data sets to help illustrate the campus’s efforts to break down departmental and divisional barriers.

Addalena Virtus of Galen College of Nursing & Sarah Howell of Frederick Community College

This study examines the impact of a pilot academic probation program at a public university located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The Charting Your Success program (CYS) serves students who would have been academically dismissed from the university and have 32 or fewer earned institutional credits. The CYS program allows students another opportunity to attend the university. The CYS program has three main requirements: students must earn a semester GPA of a 2.0, meet with their CYS coach 12 times during the semester, and complete 5 extra help activities. Since the start of the program during the fall 2017 semester, 312 students have participated. As of the fall 2019 semester, 107 students from the CYS program are still enrolled at the university, 27 students were eligible to return but left, 26 students withdrew from the university, 150 students were dismissed and 2 have graduated. The success of the program has sparked institutional change with the dismissal policy being edited and the pilot program becoming permanent.

Georgeanna Robinson & Kaitlin Wilcox of Grinnell College

In the frequently siloed work of higher education professionals, cross-campus collaboration between multiple departments can feel like a Sisyphean task. However, although our work is typically organized into a departmental structure, students do not necessarily experience college as siloed and departmentalized. To them, staff and faculty from around the institution all represent the college, to a greater or lesser extent. Given this lived experience, therefore, it makes sense to enlist faculty and staff from around the institution in the vital work of assessment for the purposes of student retention and success. Unfortunately, such collaboration is rare and can be challenging even to contemplate. This session presents a new model developed and tested at Grinnell College to involve colleagues from around the institution in assessment work for understanding barriers to student success. It will focus on a recent effort from the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research, where staff rallied together representatives from 13 offices on campus in preparation for implementing Schreiner’s Thriving Quotient. The 61% response rate from students that are clearly representative of the overall student body, as well as excitement about the initiative and ongoing discussion of the findings demonstrate the success of this new model.

Dan Gianoutsos, Anne White, & Nicole Stella of University of Nevada, Las Vegas

While higher education literature has frequently addressed undeclared students and math remediation students, research examining a subpopulation—Major Pathways students—is scarce. Major Pathways students are undergraduate students who initially selected their major when applying to the institution and while they were accepted to the institution, they were not admitted into the academic college (e.g., Sciences, Engineering, and Business) of their desired major primarily due to their math test scores. Considered “at-risk” students (Educational Advisory Board, 2020), administrators at a large, diverse, southwestern research university implemented a multifaceted programmatic approach to improve the retention rates of the Major Pathways students. These efforts include a strategic new student orientation process, marketing/outreach, proactive academic advising, and a specific first-year seminar. Since implementing the program, the university has seen the fall-to-spring retention rates increase from its baseline 84.5% (2016-2017) to 88.5% (2017-2018) to 89.6% (2018-2019) to 89.7% (2019-2020). In addition, the fall-to-fall retention rate for Major Pathways students has also increased 12.9 percentage points from 64.5% (2016-2017) to 77.4% (2018-2019). The purpose of this paper is to examine the retention plan and how these programs improved the success measures of the institution’s Major Pathways students.

Jennifer L. Rowsam of Southern Arkansas University

In this webinar, we will explore how institutional policies, such as those related to registration, can have an impact on student persistence. Southern Arkansas University examined its registration procedures and discovered that 64% of students in Fall 2015 whose schedules were removed for non-payment re-registered for the term. A presidential task force made recommendations to registration procedures. In Spring 2016, the university piloted an extended deadline to make payment before the schedule was removed, included a reinstatement policy if the schedule was removed to guarantee that the student would receive the same schedule, and initiated multiple contacts with students about making payment. Under the old policy, more than 415 students were deregistered in Fall 2015. Under the new policy, the number of students deregistered fell to 62 in Spring 2016 and has ranged from 62-149 students each term. When compared to the old policy (Fall 2015: 64.10%), more students who would have been removed for non-payment also enrolled for the term under the new policy (ranging from 87.50%-94.37%). The university also saw a freshman one-year retention rate increase of over four percentage points between the Fall 2014 cohort and Fall 2018 cohort. These data point to the new policies impacting retention and persistence rates.

Mark Leany & Jason Terry of Utah Valley University

The IPEDS Outcome Measure has changed the completion playing field. As a result, Utah Valley University (UVU) is now more accountable for the completion rates of transfer students, part-time students, and students seeking any degree. This has required the university to redesign completion calculations and predictions to more accurately reflect its student body. This model will be dissected to create a colorful and explanatory visualization with yearly steps of available data that look seven years in advance. This paper will showcase data visualizations and prediction models used to calculate and predict the institution’s Outcome Measure Goal, as well as a detailed explanation for how they were created. In addition, this paper will also discuss programs, initiatives, and strategies that have been implemented to help the institution reach its targeted Outcome Measure goal. The ultimate goal of predictive analytics is to change the future. Through these efforts inspired by the Outcome Measure changes, UVU will have the data, strategies, and initiatives to do so.

Dawn Coder & Jodi Harris of Pennsylvania State University

Penn State World Campus is The Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) online campus. Three years ago, World Campus leadership realized the importance of intentionally focusing on student retention and success. Data showed a significant number of students were not retained from year one to year two, with less than half of incoming students earning a degree at Penn State. Through its three-year strategic planning process, leadership identified goals and objectives for improving retention. This project management-based approach to strategic planning has gone through two phases. The first phase was based on a structure that allowed staff to submit ideas through a charter to be considered for implementation. The second phase was initiated to build upon lessons learned in Phase 1 and create a forward-looking roadmap to guide the implementation of retention projects. This paper will tell the story of how we have been deliberate in our journey to improve retention. Data, early projects, methods, and processes for developing a roadmap will be presented.

Roy Chan of Lee University

This study explores what effect a statewide financial aid policy has on the academic outcomes of college promise program recipients at two 4-year public research universities, Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI). Using secondary administrative data from the Indiana University’s University Institutional Research and Reporting (UIRR) office, representing 7,842 low-income students who enrolled shortly before the policy was implemented, this study employs a quasi-experimental, difference-in-differences (DiD) approach to examine the heterogeneous treatment effects of a credit momentum policy that was supported by the Complete College America (CCA) 15 to Finish initiative on the academic progression and completion of Indiana Twenty-First Century Scholarship (TFCS) recipients at IUB and IUPUI, compared to non-TFCS Pell recipients from the Fall 2011 cohorts through the Fall 2014 cohorts. Results suggest that the 15 to Finish initiative (30-credit hour annual completion policy) showed a modest significant effect on cumulative credits and grades, but had no effect on degree completion status (Year 4 Graduation Status, Year 6 Graduation Status) at IUB (primarily residential, more selective, flagship research university). The policy had no significant interaction effect on the TFCS recipients enrolled at IUPUI (primarily nonresidential, moderately selective research university). The findings of this research suggest that credit momentum policies, which was related to a broader, national 15 to Finish initiative did not produce its intended effect, nor did it have any adverse consequences for low-income, first-generation students. Implications for future research and policymaking are discussed.


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 to two weeks 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. Registrants will have five weeks in which to access and review the podcast and share the link with other colleagues at your institution.