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

2020 - 2021 Webinar Series

David S. Hood & Danielle Insalaco-Egan of Montclair State University

Montclair State University has identified a retention trend downward for undergraduates over the last three years, with undecided students leaving the institution at higher rates than other populations. Further, Ruffalo Noel-Levitz data has demonstrated students’ dissatisfaction with advising services across the campus. In late 2017 Montclair State determined that a dramatic shift would be required to address these issues, and so launched University College, an academic home for undecided students, and created a decentralized advising model, Advising 2025, for the University. Montclair State developed large-scale advising reforms that are expected to improve retention outcomes, including redesigning all advising services as well as the first-year seminar to ensure that all students have a consistent, high-quality learning experience. In particular, an intentional approach to the transient nature of undecided students was developed as a retention strategy; University College gives them a pathway to success via a network of caring professionals and high-touch programming and supports. The investment in University College places undecided students at the center of Montclair State’s retention efforts, and early data demonstrates that a focus on dedicated, proactive advising and other supports is leading to greater engagement and satisfaction.

Laurie Hazard & Stephanie Carter of Bryant University

In student success literature, attention has been given to individual student characteristics and how behavioral and affective variables mediate college adjustment. Perhaps not as much attention has been given to environmental factors influencing the college transition, such as understanding the student in the context of their family structure. How do students and families manage the dynamic as individuals and as a unit when a student transitions to higher education? Traditional developmental psychology theoretical frameworks, coupled with student development literature and an innovative way of looking at this issue, can inform approaches to understanding and leveraging the impact of families on student success and retention. To do so, institutions must recognize that family support is a critical factor in first-year student success and must develop strategies to help parents understand how to appropriately support their students. Families need to know about the broad areas of first-year adjustment that experts in higher education have identified: intellectual, social, emotional, cultural, academic, and financial adjustment. This webinar provides a framework for institutions to constructively educate families about transition issues during the first year, so parents can support their students from a healthy distance.

Daniel Martinez & Katie Chartier of College of the Desert

College of the Desert instituted a college readiness program that consisted of a review of math and English to help incoming students reduce or eliminate the number of basic skills courses they needed to complete. As the program grew, the college added wrap-around student support services to increase student completion and persistence. Results show that first-time college students in the program performed better or as well as other first time college students who were not in the program on several metrics, including the completion of college-level English in the first year, the number of units completed in both the first-term and the first year, and persistence from the first semester to the second semester through the second year of college. A description of how the program grew and plans are discussed.

Rebekah Reysen & Kyle Ellis of University of Mississippi

A significant number of students struggle to persist in the transition from high school to college each year. According to Tinto’s (1993) Theory of Institutional Departure, academic integration and social integration are critical to student persistence toward degree completion, and the first year of college is most vulnerable to attrition. Existing research has demonstrated that academic success courses positively influence the retention and academic self-efficacy of students on academic probation (Mellor, Brooks, Gray & Jordan, 2015). By piloting student success practices such as peer mentoring (Crisp & Cruz, 2009) in the academic success course, we have aimed to improve students’ academic integration and retention at the University of Mississippi, and we hope to provide new insight about the practical implications of academic success courses on retention through the use of this program. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effectiveness of our EDHE 101 Academic Skills for College peer mentorship program, which was established to increase the retention rates of at-risk freshmen at the University of Mississippi. Our results indicate that this intervention is effective for helping specific populations of probation students persist into their sophomore year.

Catherine Nutter & Kristi Fierro of Texas Tech University

This webinar highlights a proactive alternative admission program for students originally denied admission to our four-year university. The Tech Transfer Acceleration Program (TTAP) is a fall-semester provisional admission program for students who were denied direct admission to Texas Tech University (TTU). TTAP provides students an opportunity to learn the skills – academic and personal – necessary for college success while providing the university with transfer students already steeped in university tradition, knowledge of policy and practice, and engaged with faculty, staff, and students. Provisional admissions programs such as TTAP provide innovative opportunities for universities to increase transfer student enrollment and improve student graduation rates while providing more students the opportunity to graduate with a four-year degree.

Steven A. Mauro of Gannon University

With many academic institutions facing a diminishing applicant pool, efforts focused on retaining existing students have intensified. Using greater than fifty variables in the areas of engagement, academics, and financial status, we have developed a predictive model that drives student intervention efforts. Implementation of the model combined with specific actions derived from the data has greatly improved our ability to develop rapid and specific interventions tailored to each student. These efforts have contributed to an improvement of first-year retention of students at the institution by five percentage points, equivalent to millions of dollars of added revenue. At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to 1) recognize common academic, engagement, and financial student persistence risk factors; 2) understand how different retention indicators can contribute to a predictive model; 3) apply a five component framework to utilize a retention predictive model to student interventions; 4) develop measurable outcomes associated with retention efforts.

Amber R. Smith of University of Indianapolis; Charles Donaldson & Janice Warren of University of Arkansas at Little Rock

A 10 million-dollar collaborative effort between three colleges/universities and two school districts was spawned by a desegregation lawsuit and has resulted in the positive impact of more than 2,000 students in the last four years in an urban city in the South. Through culturally-relevant pedagogy and artistically enriching opportunities specifically designed for African American students, students have seen great success. The goals of the program include improvement in academic achievement and in test scores used in college admission; an increase in high school graduation rates; entry in post-secondary programs without the need for remedial courses; and completion of a baccalaureate degree in four years. Through summer bridge programs that have resulted in 99 percent of participating students bypassing at least one remedial course, and highly engaging ACT preparation programming, the program is seeing phenomenal success to date.

Noël Bezette-Flores of San Diego State University; Patricia Ugwu, Kumuda Fernando, Tamara Baker, Stacy Welcome & Phillip Nicotera of Houston Community College

Rescheduled from February 17, 2021. Houston Community College (HCC) is an open-admission, public institution of higher education offering a high quality, affordable education for academic advancement, workforce training, career development, and lifelong learning to prepare individuals in our diverse communities for life and work in a global and technological society. As one of the largest community colleges in the nation, HCC has served the Greater Houston area for over four decades. To provide every student an opportunity to succeed, HCC offers several intervention programs including Early Alert, Case Managed Advising, and Guided Pathways. This presentation will share information about how the integration of Early Alert and Case Managed Advising resulted in significant alert closures and student engagement with advisors following the implementation of new informal but appreciative and intentional proactive communication with assigned students. Participants receive a sample communication email and Early Alert bookmark that they can adapt as necessary. For the 2016 and 2017 year, implementation data show an increase in Early Alert closure rate from 720 in 2015 to 1121 in 2018, an alert closure rate of 64%. These same data show academic issues as the reason for most alerts and revealed fourteen courses that generated most alerts.

Joshua P. Sills of Texas Tech University

Retention efforts continue to evolve across the country. One of the new approaches being employed is life coaching. Academic Life Coaching by licensed Academic Life Coaches is a new addition to some university systems. Best practices have yet to be established within the life coaching community under the context of the university system. By using predictive modeling approaches using data from intake surveys that target key psychosocial factors, life coaches can build their coaching practices on empirically validated foundations. This means interventionists can target stakeholders with statistics-driven student-centric support which aligns with the principles of life coaching. Having students self-assess on former empirically-validated psychosocial factors that predict GPA outcomes, retention-by-semester, or graduation rates allows life coaches to confidently gain insight into a stakeholder’s current situation and thus help them improve their likelihood of graduating. Thus, coaches are equipped to better meet needs and offer targeted services that address the stakeholder’s self-expressed (or even unrecognized or subconscious) concerns. Within our preliminary findings, students self-reported increased levels of confidence in the areas that interventionists targeted with their coaching.

Melissa Lang & Kelly Grant of Tulane University

Those of us who work in higher education know this to be true: student information lives in silos. Various databases and systems exist all over campus, and campus partners are often unable or skeptical about sharing up-to-date information. What if, instead of linking disparate datasets and pieces together, those datasets were strategically linked to established and empirically supported theoretical concepts? What if a roadmap existed that would help university personnel link theoretical constructs to data that can therefore drive an informed decision-making process? At Tulane University, the Office of Retention and Student Success has taken on the process of “auditing” and organizing its data in an attempt to understand and use it more strategically. Rather than collecting data points and lumping them into large datasets, we are methodically collecting all available data points, organizing data by type, topic, source, and timing, and anchoring each data point to theoretically based empirically supported concepts related to student retention.

Kate Loughlin & Michael F. Mascolo of Merrimack College

First-year students often face a multitude of personal and academic challenges that affect their overall success in college. To promote the development of academic resilience among first-year students, it is necessary to focus on cultivating both cognitive and non-cognitive skills, including those related to a student's developing sense of self. Because identity develops within a sociocultural context, understanding the conditions that contribute to such self-development cannot occur by merely focusing on isolated individuals. Instead, it is essential to examine how student identities evolve within the various collegiate milieus. Grounded in a first-year, cohort-based learning community for academically underprepared students, the study presented focuses on creating conditions that matter (Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh & Whitt, 2010; Tinto, 2017) in order to promote a student's sense of self and belonging. Participant observation and focus groups were utilized to investigate the experience of the selected undergraduate students. Informed by the shared experiences of current and former students of the program, findings suggest that participation in a first-year learning community built on high expectations and emotional sensitivity; intensive academic support and incremental success lead to genuine transformations that sustain long after the formal interventions and support have ceased.

J.D Jayaraman, Sue Gerber, & Julian Garcia of New Jersey City University

Student retention is a major challenge at American universities with the average six-year graduation rate hovering around 59%. Among minority students the graduation rate drops to 46% for Blacks and 55% for Hispanics. Thus, improving student retention, in particular, minority student retention, is of paramount importance. This paper describes a data mining approach to predicting minority native and transfer student dropout using a dataset from a four-year minority and Hispanic serving institution in the northeastern United States. The results show that standard data mining models can predict minority transfer student dropout with a high degree of accuracy of 97% and minority native student dropout with an accuracy of 81%. The features that were most important in predicting minority transfer student dropout were SAT scores and college cumulative GPA, while high school GPA and college cumulative GPA were the top predictors for minority native student dropout. This study demonstrates that educational institutions can use cost effective off-the-shelf standard data mining/machine learning models to achieve a high degree of accuracy in predicting minority student dropout. The high prediction accuracy helps in reliably identifying at-risk minority students and providing them with necessary interventions to support their academic success.


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.