Developing a Comprehensive Retention Plan 

Minneapolis, MN | October 21, 2024 8:00 am CT - October 22, 2024 5:00 pm CT

Registrant Access Only

This training will not be available asynchronously.

Developing a Comprehensive Retention Plan 

Minneapolis, MN | October 21, 2024 8:00 am CT - October 22, 2024 5:00 pm CT

Take a strategic look at your student success efforts and develop a retention plan that connects your data, institutional mission, and available resources.


Join us for this longstanding, must-attend conference to develop a campus-wide retention plan that ties your mission, data, and programming together in a unified approach. Our expert speakers will share their latest insights as we continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic and changing student demographics. Whether you have a retention plan already in place or are just getting started, during this conference you will outline and build an improved retention plan under the guidance of our experts.  

You will leave the conference with the ability to approach retention holistically by:  

  • Beginning before students arrive on campus.  
  • Tying your retention data, programming, and goals together. 
  • Auditing your existing programs and determining what is working and what can be improved. 
  • Prioritizing which retention programs to cut and which to keep. 

Who should attend?

This event is designed for higher education professionals and committees charged with improving retention or student success. This may include enrollment managers, student and academic affairs leaders, and assessment coordinators or committee members. The conference will provide valuable content for leadership and frontline staff alike.


Attend with your team for a discount!

For best results, we encourage you to bring a diverse team working on retention from your institution.

Register 3 or more people and save!

  • Members: $1,667 per registration (3 or more)
  • Non-members: $1,833 per registration (3 or more)

Team discount automatically applied to the cart.


DAY ONE: Monday, October 21, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. CT (Local time in Minneapolis, MN)
Registration and Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Welcome and Introductions
8:30 – 9:15 a.m.



Setting the Stage for Retention: Defining a Comprehensive Approach
9:15 – 10:30 a.m.
The opening session will help you to understand the core components of a comprehensive approach to retention planning: data, programming, assessment, and buy-in. You will identify the steps our expert speakers took on their own campuses to embrace a comprehensive approach to retention. You’ll also glean helpful insights on how national trends like the devaluation of higher education and the demographic cliff have impacted student retention overall.



Morning Break
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.



Start at the Beginning: The Role of Admissions in the Comprehensive Plan
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Now that the demographic cliff is here, addressing retention before students arrive is more crucial than ever. You therefore need to understand the profile of the entering class before you create the programming. During this session, you will be able to define and apply the admissions application data that is crucial for retention programming on your specific campus, including demographics, academic preparation, financial aid eligibility, and other indicators of student success. We invite institutions to bring their own applications for admission to evaluate key retention factors during this session.



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



Data, Programming, and Goal Setting
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Professionals charged with improving retention rates know that data is important; however, they often need guidance to understand patterns, tie data to programming goals, and set realistic goals for improvement. During this section of the conference, you will be able to analyze your own data, interpret how it fits with your institutional priorities, and consider how you can start the planning process and involve other stakeholders.



Afternoon Break
2:15 – 2:30 p.m.



Turning Data into Programs
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Now that you understand your retention patterns, current programs, and goals for improvement, you must begin to select programming options that will serve your comprehensive student retention plan. After our speakers share examples of new programs they’ve implemented based on their data analysis, you will begin to design customized retention programs that meet your own unique institutional retention goals.



Working Session: Synthesizing Day One
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
During this hour, you will have time to work with your teams to analyze what you have learned during day one of the conference and begin planning for day two. Our speakers will spend time with each institution or attendee to help direct your efforts.



Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
4:45 – 5:45 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 whom you may not have connected with yet.



DAY TWO: Tuesday, October 22, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CT (Local time in Minneapolis, MN)
Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Opening Remarks
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.



Working Session: Self-Audit of Programs
9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Our speakers will visit with each institution and attendee to help you understand which retention efforts or programs you already have in place, which are working effectively, and which need improvement. After this session, you will be able to develop a retention road map for your institution that identifies retention priorities based on enrollment goals, student data, attrition factors, and institutional resources.



Morning Break
10:45 – 11:00 a.m.



Resource, Outsource, and Budgetary Considerations
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Not all institutions have the resources needed to impact specific retention rates. This hour will feature a discussion of no-cost and low-cost strategies that you can use to assist with assessment and programming efforts. You will be able to identify at least two no-cost or low-cost strategies for your own programming efforts while making a case for how those strategies will improve your campus’s return on investment.



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



Working Session: Crafting Your Retention Plan
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
During this session, you will work with your teams to craft an initial comprehensive retention plan. You will then receive guided feedback from our speakers on the feasibility of your planning models. For those attending alone, you will work with others to develop interventions to common retention challenges identified earlier in the conference.



Afternoon Break
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.



Knowing How and When to Eliminate Programs
2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
Successful retention programming requires constant monitoring of outcomes while making ongoing decisions about programs and resources. You will be able to analyze your current programs and understand how staff, campus culture, control of programs, and consequences of decisions all play a role when it is time to revise and update retention efforts and programs.



Setting the Stage for Retention and Deciding Your First Action Steps
4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
During this session, you will revisit the goals and considerations you identified at the beginning of the conference and articulate your biggest needs and quickest wins in terms of retention. Based on the collective information and resources gained from this conference, you will be ready to identify key action steps for your institution.



Final Q&A and Conference Wrap-Up
4:45 – 5:00 p.m.



Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

1300 Nicollet Mall

Minneapolis, MN 55403

A discounted room rate of $209/night is available if you use this link to book your room.



“In higher education today, student engagement and retention is everybody’s business. This Academic Impressions learning experience helps institutions to refine a retention-focused philosophy and develop strategies to influence outcomes leading to increased student retention.”

– Gill Hunter, Interim Dean of College of Education and Applied Human Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University


“The “Developing a Comprehensive Retention Plan” conference helps participants to create worthwhile, actionable retention goals and concrete plans to meet those goals. The conference is hosted in an intimate setting where participants can receive immediate feedback from experts in the field.”

– Joely Sellers, Associate Director of Advisement & Retention, The University of Southern Mississippi


“The Academic Impressions “Developing a Comprehensive Retention Plan” was a tremendous opportunity to workshop and learn the latest trends and insights from higher education professionals on retention programming. The conference was worthwhile from start to finish.”

– Rachelle Munchinsky, Manager, Student Experience and Planning, University of Northern British Columbia