Learn how to retain and prepare online students for success.
Online student retention and success have become critical amidst recent declines in online program enrollment across many institutions. Join your colleagues and our expert instructors—from public, private, and community colleges—in San Diego to discuss practical strategies for online student retention. This is the only conference of its kind that will allow you to:
- Take a holistic approach to the issue of online student retention that combines data and decision-making with student support and instructional perspectives,
- Learn from a multiplicity of proven approaches to online student success from different types of institutions, and
- Walk away with a draft of a plan that you and your colleagues can use to increase online student success at your institution.
Examples Rooted in Practice, Not Theory. Leave with a Plan.
To help you apply the concepts that will be learned at this conference to your own context, you will be given plenty of hands-on working time and will take away a plan that you can use to increase online student success at your own institution.
Bring Your Cross-Functional Team
If you want to increase your online students’ academic success and retention rates, learn support strategies, or reinforce what you know, this program is for you. Institutional teams consisting of online program managers, academic advisors, faculty, student services personnel, and retention and enrollment staff will benefit from this conference.
Save over 15% when you register three or more colleagues.
Your registration for the event includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, the networking reception on Monday, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, breakfast on Wednesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.
Day 1 | May 20, 2019
Connecting Data to Programs
12:00 to 6:15 p.m.
This opening hour will set the stage for our understanding of online student retention and the various components we will explore throughout the conference. We will take a look at national data and trends in discuss how these trends are playing out on our campuses.
We’ll begin by focusing on retention data: which specific data points you should be examining, how you can identify patterns in your data to discern persistence and retention challenges, and how you can effectively analyze your data to make informed decisions. What programs or services should be piloted or tested based on what your data is telling you? How can you move from being predictive to prescriptive with your data capabilities? Our instructor will provide numerous examples from his own institution, and we will engage in group discussion around these topics.
This block of working time will center around the baseline retention data collection, tracking, and analysis that you need to be doing with regards to your online student cohorts. You will be given time to work through a series of worksheets at your tables, or in your teams, that will help you take stock of which data points you already have and actively track, which you still need, and will help you identify gaps or challenge areas. Conference instructors will be on hand for individualized coaching and consultation as needed.
Day 2 | May 21, 2019
Enhancing the Learning Experience
8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Creating a purposeful orientation experience that is specifically geared toward online students can go a long way to promote retention on the front end. Our second day together will open with an in-depth case study of one institution’s creative approach to their online student orientation. Best-practice strategies pertaining to orientation format, implementation, topics to include, and delivery will be addressed. You will also be given time to share your current strategies in this area with the group at large.
Course design is a critical component of retention in the online learning space. A quality course should be designed to be straightforward and navigable for students and include ample opportunity for student-to-student interaction. This session will explore the connection between course design and retention as well as provide best practices for designing an effective online course.
This session will feature a focused conversation on best-practice techniques for training programs for online faculty that will answer the questions:
- How can I mitigate faculty resistance to online teaching?
- How are other institutions training faculty to teach effectively online?
- What does the format of those training programs look like, and which aspects of effective online teaching are they most emphasizing?
You will hear a presentation from one institution that has implemented an exemplary faculty training program and will also be given time to identify your own strengths and opportunities for improvement at your institution
Here, at the halfway point of the conference, you will be given a full hour to get together with your teams to work on the portions of your draft plans that have to do with specific online support programs and services. Templates and worksheets will be provided, and conference instructors will be on hand for questions, individualized coaching, and consultation as needed. You will be asked to share what progress you have made with the group at the end of the hour.
Providing adequate mental health support for distance learners is often more challenging than it is for on-campus students. This session will explore national student mental health trends, best practices for training faculty and advisors to identify the signs of online learners experiencing mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression), and how technology and other tools that are available to institutions to help work around state counseling licensure issues.
Day 3 | May 22, 2019
Student Support and The Road Ahead
8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
This session will feature a focused conversation on best-practice techniques for reaching beyond academic advising to support students through their online program journey. The discussion will include a case study that explores the impact and implementation of Arizona State University’s Success Coaching Program and explore how institutions can effectively support online students around non-cognitive factors such as grit, creativity, and time management. You will be given ample time to discuss these topics with the group and to plan for improvement of your own strategies in this area.
This hour will give you the opportunity to complete the third and final portions of your draft plans. The conference instructors will be circulating around the room to provide individual help and guidance as needed.
Moving Forward: Key Takeaways and Conference Wrap-Up
Dr. Kristen Betts
Clinical Professor, Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership and Management, Drexel University
Dr. Betts has over 20 years of experience in higher education serving in key leadership positions within private, public, and for-profit institutions as a Program Director, Senior Director for e-Learning, Director of Online & Blended Learning, and Chief Academic Officer. Her expertise is in higher education, online and blended learning, curriculum and instructional design, strategic planning, and evaluation. Dr. Betts has received distinguished national awards for her work in higher education and online learning including the CITE 2015 Award by Pearson for Excellence in Online Administration.
Executive Director of Learner Services, EdPlus at Arizona State University
Nancy has over 20 years of successful achievement in growing and transforming higher education. She has proven ability in operational leadership and building solutions with a focus on student experience and student retention, beginning with the on-boarding experience through graduation. The Success Coaching Center at Arizona State University Online has been in operation for over two years and since that time has shown positive trends in engagement and student retention as a result. Nancy has presented at various conferences and symposiums throughout her career on all areas student support related with an emphasis on the online learner.
Dr. Eric Klein
Dean of the Honors College at Ashford University
Dr. Klein has held several administrative positions throughout his career in higher education, and has been described as a visionary, inclusive, and collaborative leader. He has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences on the topics of student retention strategies, assessment, academic program review, course design, data and decision-making, and other areas related to teaching and learning. Dr. Klein has also received numerous awards and recognition, including the Alfred Noble Robinson Award at Lehigh University in 2010.
Learn how to retain and prepare online students for success.
Team Discounts Available
- 1-2 registrations: full price
- 3-4 registrations: 15% off each conference registration
- 5-7 registrations: 20% off each conference registration
- 8 + registrations: 25% off each conference registration
Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.
Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.
Questions About the Event?
Program Manager, Academic Impressions