A Transformative Approach to Student Success Initiatives

This event has ended.

A Transformative Approach to Student Success Initiatives

This event has ended.

Boost your creativity and innovation in student success.


Strategic plans drive the institutional vision and should set the agenda and goals for student success. But institutions often find that a new strategic plan gets left on the shelf after its completion, instead. Academic and student success leaders at the institution do not always know how to move those goals forward and are hindered by a fear of failure and a lack of creativity. And all too often, faculty and staff working directly with students do not understand how their roles contribute to the overarching student success goals of their institutions.

Join us for this workshop to help you refine your student success goals. Our expert facilitators will help you to brainstorm what you do well, what you need to improve, and what’s not going well with respect to student success. You will then have the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the country on developing innovative solutions to the challenges you face. You will leave the workshop with some concrete steps to help you move forward big ideas on your campus. You will also learn a new process for workshopping problems and solutions to take back to your teams.

Who should attend?

Academic and student success leaders who are responsible for meeting retention, persistence, and student success goals will benefit most from this workshop. This includes deans, associate deans, assistant deans, and directors of departments. To get the most out of your experience, we recommend bringing a team from your institution that includes a mix of academic and student success leaders.


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Tuesday, breakfast on Wednesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

DAY ONE: Tuesday, July 25, 2023

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET (local time in Indianapolis, IN)


Registration and Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.



Opening Comments and Introductions
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.



Barriers to Innovation in Student Success
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Many institutions struggle to meet their retention and persistence goals for a number of different reasons. Changing demographics in the student population, COVID-19, and student disengagement are all difficult to navigate. However, higher education leaders are often paralyzed by a fear of failure and an employee base who are not empowered to make decisions or think creatively. In this session, our speakers will discuss common barriers to big ideas in student success, and how you can start to overcome them.



Morning Break
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.



An Introduction to the Design Thinking Process
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
In this session, our speakers will walk you through the basics of design thinking—an iterative process for coming up with creative solutions to problems. You will see why and how you can use the process on your own campus and gain some resources for taking this back to your team.



Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.



Managing the Big Challenges
1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
During this session, our facilitators will help you focus on the big challenges you are facing with respect to your student success goals. We will discuss what is going well at your institutions, what isn’t going well, and where there is potential for improvement or growth. You will hear from other institutions on their challenges and begin to group them into shared clusters.



Afternoon Break
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.



Shared Challenges and Their Difficulty and Importance
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Now that you have a sense of the big challenges to student success, you will spend time as a group distilling the themes that arose in the previous session. Our facilitators will help you to refine and clarify those themes. Then, we will discuss how important and how difficult each theme is to solve in order to identify areas to focus on for the next day.



Day One Q&A
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.



Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch up with attendees and speakers with whom you may not have connected yet.


DAY TWO: Wednesday, July 26, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET (local time in Indianapolis, IN)


Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.



Workshopping Solutions
9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
During this session, our facilitators will lead you in a round robin exercise to workshop solutions to the themes identified from day one. You will work in groups to brainstorm solutions to one of the challenges, and then provide feedback on the brainstorming by other groups. All attendees will leave with crowdsourced solutions to the challenges identified from day one, as well as with questions and critiques of those proposed solutions.



Morning Break
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.



Where to Go from Here
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
In this final session, you will have the opportunity to spend time with those from your institution and reflect on what your next steps at your institution should be.



Conference Wrap-Up and Final Q&A
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Save on In-Person Conference Registrations

Attend any three in-person conferences for $5,000 for Members ($5,500 for Non-Members) – or $1,667 dollars per registration for Members ($1,833 for Non-Members) – with a Conference 3-Pack. There’s no one way to use your 3-Pack!

  • Send 3 people to the same conference
  • Send 3 individuals to different conferences
  • Experience 3 different conferences yourself

Learn More


The Westin Indianapolis

Image of the The Westin IndianapolisAddress: 241 W. Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone #: 1-800-937-8461
Room rate: $179.00




Ask for the Academic Impressions Room Block

Room block dates: nights of July 24-25
Room block cutoff date: July 5, 2023
Please use this link to book your room.


Can’t attend the conference? Buy the binder.