Monday, March 2, 2020 

Workshop Session C: 2:45 - 3:45 pm


Turning the Utah Pledge into Action: A Holistic Approach to Improving Retention

Room: TBD

Amy Bergerson, Associate Dean - Office of Undergraduate Studies and Director - Office of Student Success and Empowerment, University of Utah
Rachel Hayes-Harb, Director - Office of Undergraduate Research and Capstone Programs, University of Utah
Marissa Diener, Director - LEAP Learning Communities, University of Utah
Beth Howard, Director - Academic Advising Center, University of Utah

In 2011, the University of Utah was called upon to focus on student success in ways it had not before. Since then, we have produced significant improvements in retention and completion rates, moving from 86% to 90% retention and from 55% to 70% 6-year graduation rate. These advancements have been produced by campus-wide attention to student success. We bundle our best practices for retention and completion in what we call the Utah Pledge, which begins with the powerful experience of a first-year learning community, builds on support from advisors, Student Success Advocates and peer mentors, is guided by a plan to finish developed in first- and second-year milestone advising, and includes deeply engaged learning (High Impact Practices, or HIPS) that transform students’ understandings about themselves and their position in the world. We work to graduate students who have an impact. The Utah Pledge, which states, “We pledge to help you graduate with the support of learning communities, mentors and advisors, a plan to finish, and deeply engaged learning experiences,” represents our strategic approach to retention and completion, an approach based on best practices, which has, importantly, delivered results. In this panel we will share the specific strategies utilized by four programs that exemplify our university’s campus-wide coordinated efforts.


Leadership Institutional Cultural Change

Room: TBA

Monica Brockmeyer, Associate Provost for Student Success, Wayne State University
Patricia Sobecky, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs,The University of Alabama

Description will be posted soon! 


Graduation Help Desks: A System-wide Approach to Success

Room: TBA

Cassandre Alvarado, Executive Director - Student Success, The University of Texas at Austin
Kathy Uitylugt, Director - Graduation Help Desk, The University of Texas at Austin
Soyla Santos, Associate Director - Graduation Help Desk, The University of Texas at Austin

Graduation Help Desks enhance student success by providing advocacy and problem-solving to complex administrative barriers that delay timely graduation. This presentation will share highlights of an advocacy-based model for promoting student success that has been implemented throughout the University of Texas System.



Room: TBA

Jason Dorsette, Director - Advancing Academic Equity for Student Success, Oregon State University
Johnny Peters, Assistant Director - Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life, Oregon State University
Terrance Harris, Assistant Director - Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, Oregon State University
Dorian Smith, Coordinator - Black Student Access and Success Initiative, Oregon State University

The presentation will include: a brief panel style introduction of the presenters, an analysis guided by implementing an intersectional approach that draws upon Black feminist scholarship on intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1989), inclusive speech (hooks, 1994), epistemology (Magolda Baxter, 1987; 1992 ), phenomenology (Husserl, 1970), and intellectual and ethical development (Perry, 1970). Participants enter into the space and will get a detailed description of what led to the creation of the presentation. Then, in order to involve the audience in more engaging activities, we will break the audience into groups based on a number system. Once they are broken into their groups, we will provide them with case studies shared from the surveys and existing resources. Through guided questions, these case studies will ask participants to think about how they, within their functional areas, craft the experience of Black males on their campuses. Following this group exercise, we will gain an understanding of potential initiatives utilizing a pair-and share method amongst the case study groups. This will be followed by a Q & A discussion via and conclude with an assessment of the learning outcomes shared in the introduction. Participants in this workshop will walk away with an additional set of perspectives to make their institutions more inclusive and supportive for Black male students.


Incremental Impact: Using Existing Resources to Improve Student Success

Room: TBD

Carrie Zelna, Associate Vice Chancellor, NC State University

We all want to know that our work has an impact on student success. Many believe that the way to demonstrate impact is through the measurement of retention and graduation rates for the students that use their services or programs. While we know our work impacts individual success, it is not often that we are able to see the impact in valid measures of retention or graduation. That does not mean that the unit has no impact on those numbers, it is just difficult to demonstrate the relationship. This issue, along with mountains of unused data, resulted in the creation of the Retention Foundation Assessment (RFA) program. The purpose of RFA is to systematically identify, measure, and improve the underlying variables that impact student success. By identifying appropriate constructs and using primarily existing data and student led focus groups, units across the division are able to make incremental alterations to their existing work. The AVC for Academic Success and the Office of Assessment work together with faculty and staff in the division to determine the constructs, define them, identify appropriate data, and share it in small unit-level sessions that include a problem solving component with unit staff. This session will describe how we accomplish our goals with no new resources and will engage the audience as they brainstorm ways to meet similar goals on their campus.



Digital Dissonance - Learning to Embrace Change and Enhance the Student Experience

Room: TBD

Eric Stoller, Vice President of Digital Strategy, GeckoEngage

It's time to challenge conventional thinking on the future of higher education in terms of digital transformation and organizational change. At institutions that 'get' digital, there's a holistic approach to digital engagement that spans the entire organization. For institutions without intentional and authentic digital leadership, the student experience is scattered and lacks direction. This runs counter to the expectations of students and 'digital champions.' In this featured presentation, Eric Stoller will share best practice examples of digital engagement and provide an organizational push for ongoing digital transformation as it relates to teaching, learning, and student success.