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

2022 - 2023 Webinar Series

Will Miller & Rob Berwich of Jacksonville University

A campus with an undergraduate experience rich in the traditional liberal arts, over the past eighteen months, Jacksonville University has worked to supplement a high touch model of advising and student success with new technologies and partners to help ensure maximum potential for students to succeed. While ownership of student success had been disbursed historically, efforts began by creating a student success taskforce, which brought together two dozen institutional leaders that represent key areas considered in holistic student success and charging it with helping to ensure that “only students who we could envision retaining, graduating, and thriving were offered admittance to our campus.” The taskforce continued to maintain the importance of high touch interactions but also quickly saw the need for supplemental tools. As a result, just as COVID caused new challenges for student success, the campus rolled out a defined case management system to enhance communication, a proactive and reactive artificial intelligence-based textbot for regular check-ins and conversations, and a partnership to help our stop out students return and thrive. This was coupled with making student success data more accessible to the campus community. Technology has been integrated to augment the essential interpersonal relationships already on campus.

Kristen Nakamura Wallitsch, James D. Breslin, & Lory L. King of Bellarmine University

Our institutional data was clear: academic advising was poorly understood, its reputation was lacking, and there was no clear impact on student retention. This paper presents the evolution of an advising model at a four-year, private, liberal arts institution from inception to maturity. In the new advising structure, all first-year students and many second-year students were assigned to a professional academic advisor. Students experience a proactive, holistic, and learner-centered approach aligned with the university mission and the strategic goal to create a transformative experience for all students. Once the model was established and ties to retention and persistence were evident in the data and assessment, we continued to advance the model through continual improvement and expanding opportunities. We provided a mandatory training and development program for all professional advisors and extended training opportunities to faculty advisors. Our goal was to create a culture of academic advising that empowers students to take ownership of their educational experiences and persist to graduation. In this paper, we will share our experiences, discuss how we overcame challenges, and share the evidence we used to demonstrate success, which goes beyond satisfaction to illustrating the impact and value of academic advising.

Daphne Holland & Deborah Conner of Coastal Carolina University & Mary Fischer of Western Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University was experiencing increasingly low retention rates for students after their first year. University leadership issued a call to action to address these alarming trends and increase first-year student retention. The Student Success Team, composed of student support practitioners, data analysts, faculty partners, and academic affairs leadership, undertook a data-driven, collaborative approach to identify and address underlying retention barriers. The multifaceted approach ultimately yielded successful results. An academic recovery program was implemented in Fall 2018 for students on academic probation with increasingly positive results over six semesters. Eligible students successfully completing the program in Spring 2020 were retained at 66.0% versus those who did not at 39.7%. This paper provides a roadmap to develop, implement, and assess a successful university-wide academic recovery program for first-year students, including updating an outdated probation policy, creating course curriculum, developing a comprehensive academic recovery program, and creating an academic coaching department to support students reactively and proactively through meaningful intervention. This has also led to investing in predictive analysis tools to further our success.

Tabetha Adkins, Scott Heinerichs, & Lorraine Bernotsky of West Chester University of Pennsylvania

This webinar has been cancelled.

Sarah Kyte, Laura Andrews, Jennifer Ludwig, & Christine Salvesen of University of Arizona

Seemingly neutral academic policies can have major consequences for student success. When institutional research revealed that the existing academic eligibility policy was having an outsized and negative impact on the persistence of first-generation and minoritized first-time students, The University of Arizona decided to introduce a warning semester. We will share how and why we crafted a clearer, more intentional policy featuring a warning semester as an opportunity to connect students with supports and resources to help them thrive in college. Also, by adopting principles of regression discontinuity designs—which are ideally suited to observing the impact of policies featuring a cutoff—we estimated that introducing a warning semester could lift retention among first-time students by as much as two percentage points. Indeed, we observed a one percentage point gain in retention among the first cohort of students under the new policy. In this webinar, we review the institutional and scholarly research motivating a revised academic eligibility policy as well as the multifaceted assessment that drew on institutional, programmatic, and qualitative data to identify how it improved the student experience. You will leave with the tools and strategies to consider connecting the dots needed to consider a similar change at your own institution.

April Fugett, Chris Atkins, Kateryna Schray, & Karen McComas of Marshall University

In 2015, we began an experiment to increase retention for a group of students identified by high school GPA as “middle-ability.” This experiment resulted in a 14% retention gain for that population by Fall 2019 and in the creation and adoption of a risk analytics survey (Marshall University Student Success Forecasting Model [SSFM]) many times more predictive than high school GPA. Just as we started gathering strong evidence around our data-based interventions, COVID-19 changed the student success dialogue. After many conversations, we were able to modify the SSFM risk analytics survey and intervention strategy to create a program that allowed us to analyze risk and begin offering students customized interventions before Orientation. This paper will focus on the student success factors (cognitive, noncognitive, and behavioral) that we assess in our evaluation of incoming students in order to personalize the student experience and develop timely and appropriate success initiatives. In addition, we will focus on a variety of initiatives that utilize the SSFM including orientation (pre-matriculation), first-year seminar, peer mentors, and technology-enhanced centralized advising. Participants will learn about these initiatives and how the crucial, initial focus on experimental design of the SSFM has led to actionable, scalable, measurable, and real-time results.

Kari Gary of Utah Valley University

Universities across the nation are faced with the challenge of retaining students to graduation. Administrators also face challenges adopting technology to support student retention and effectively using data to evaluate programs to drive change aimed at increasing retention. Data and technology alone are not sufficient to manage organizational change. Rather, data are meant to inform student retention strategies and technology to support the execution of said strategies. Informed leadership and clearly defined strategies remain essential to propel and implement programs to meet student needs, particularly underprivileged populations who are at risk for attrition. This study evaluated two programs, common to universities across the country, for their effect on student retention or persistence. The programs studied were academic advising and high impact courses targeted to students in their first year at the University. The results from academic advising showed significant positive movement in retention across many sub-groups of students, particularly populations most at-risk for attrition. Results from high impact courses were mixed showing statistically significant lifts in persistence for a few groups, but the majority of groups returned non-significant findings. This paper also documents the challenges and successes Utah Valley University experienced while sharing data and fostering adoption of new technologies in support of student success.

Catherine Nutter of Texas Tech University

How does being undeclared or exploratory relate to persistence and time-to-graduation? The answer is, it seems to help. In a data review at a large research university in the southwest, two-year retention analysis suggests that students who begin college as undeclared in an exploration program before declaring a major are retained at a rate equal to or higher than the general declared student population.

Grant J. Mathews of Lane Community College; Rita Ferriter, Susan Godwin, Jennifer Lee-Good, & Michael Morsches of Moraine Valley Community College

Like most developmental reading programs, the Developmental Education reading faculty members at Moraine Valley Community College have worked long and hard to develop transitional skills for students who place into reading/study skills courses. Seven years ago, the reading faculty members decided to review the grade patterns and distributions of their students to improve instruction. That initial analysis was eye-opening when faculty members discovered that there was a severe compression of passing grades—most of the successful students received grades of C, with only 4% receiving grades of A. The program decided to work on decompressing these successful grades without challenging the threshold between C and D students. The subsequent results were dramatic as faculty members shifted the distribution of passing grades and raised the overall course success rates by more than 45%. The developmental reading program has now changed focus to individual grade patterns and the actual meaning of the grades faculty members give. What happens to the students who earn A’s, B’s, and C’s when they move on and are at the next level? This paper will outline the faculty members’ general grade analysis as well as their individual explorations of the grades they give and the future success those grades can predict.

Dawn Coder, John Carter, & Richard Akers of Pennsylvania State University

Online learning in higher education continues to grow due to the flexibility it offers learners. Adult learners choose online learning at a rate much higher than residential learning. Adult learners in the online environment tend to be retained at a lower rate. To counteract lower retention rates, understanding student needs through targeted student satisfaction surveys is necessary. The academic advising department at The Pennsylvania State University, World Campus examined student data from a recent student satisfaction survey to understand adult learners’ needs. Several proactive projects were implemented to address the identified needs with a result of increasing student satisfaction and retention. A discussion of the results and a summary view of the projects implemented are discussed.

Desmond Stephens, Maurice Edington, Lewis Johnson, Carl Moore, Serena Roberts, & Codjo Akpovo of Florida A&M University

Two issues that impact the retention and progression of first-year students entering STEM programs are mathematics placement and their ability to cope with the increased rigor and workload of the college curriculum. In this webinar, we will discuss Florida A&M University’s Preparing STEM Scholars for Success (PS3) summer program and provide strategies for engaging incoming first-year students, improving their mathematics placement using ALEKS modules, and helping them develop an appreciation for the rigors and pace of college courses.

Audrey Meador, Vinitha Subburaj, Pamela Lockwood Cooke, & Anitha Subburaj of West Texas A&M University

Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) is a model of instruction and learning that has been in use for many years to combat low success rates in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses and other fields in higher education. Although research conveying the efficacy of this model of instruction remains mixed, this webinar will provide the details of the successful efforts of one College of Engineering (COE) at a four-year university to implement PLTL as an aid in increasing STEM achievement. More specifically, and in response to decreasing enrollment of first-time, full-time freshmen, the COE targeted a population of community college transfer students (CCTS), who were provided with additional academic, social, and financial supports, with this PLTL model. Through the students’ shared experience, the presentation will convey information regarding STEM degree success attainments and challenges faced by CCTS participating in the PLTL initiative. Information regarding implications, considerations, and extension of implementation will be provided and correspond to engagement and retention efforts directed at STEM students from the community college population.


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.