Culturally Responsive Customer Service: A Holistic Approach to Student Retention



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Explore ways to combine service excellence strategies and cultural sensitivity into a holistic framework that supports student retention. 


Service excellence requires an ethic of care and cultural sensitivity that recognizes students’ strengths and unique backgrounds to allow you to meet them where they are. Combining these two approaches into a culturally responsive customer service initiative allows an institution to provide holistic support throughout students’ academic journey, which in turn has a direct impact on retention, persistence, and overall student success.

Leading this training are our subject matter experts, Dr. Jessica Lauritsen from Hennepin Technical College and Ivan Lui from The Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth (BBA), who are experienced in successfully implementing a culturally responsive customer service initiative to increase student completion and persistence. Here, they will share their learnings and practical tips for how you can get started with:

  • Understanding initial research on your institution's student persistence and completion.
  • Assessing the readiness of your institution and its leadership capacity for such an initiative.
  • Using a "serving students” lens to reframe the conversation around intercultural development and cultural competency.
  • Building a sustainable service excellence and retention initiative.

Get Certified in Customer Service Skills for Higher Education Professionals

Interested in learning more about how customer service and service excellence can improve student experience and retention efforts? Join us November 16-18 for our virtual conference designed for higher education frontline customer service professionals and those who supervise them. Gain the knowledge and skills you need to provide high-quality customer service in the higher education environment.

Who Should Attend

This virtual training is designed for higher education professionals seeking best practices for aligning customer service initiatives to student retention and success efforts. The training will especially benefit you if you are:

  1. Tasked with leading a customer service or service excellence initiative at your institution.
  2. A campus leader looking to lead culture change and implement a customer service or service excellence program on your campus.
  3. A DEI leader interested in how retention and/or service excellence initiatives can be tied to your work.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


October 27, 2022

12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET


Hennepin Technical College: A Case Study

We will begin by sharing the story of how this initiative came to be at Hennepin Technical College. Our speakers will share what their research revealed about student persistence and completion, as well as what it also revealed about entrenched faculty and staff beliefs of students’ academic preparedness. They will walk you through how they used a consultative approach to determine the readiness and capacity of Hennepin’s leadership for such an initiative.



Considerations for Your Institution

During the second part of this program, our speakers will guide you through potential considerations and factors impacting your institution’s readiness to implement such an initiative. Using small-group activities and large-group discussions, you will identify potential barriers and opportunities, as well as the actions you need to take to implement your own culturally responsive customer service initiative.


Portrait of Jessica Lauritsen

Jessica Lauritsen

Vice President of Student Affairs, Hennepin Technical College

Dr. Jessica Lauritsen is the Vice President of Student Affairs at Hennepin Technical College, where she has worked for over ten years. Jessica holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Minnesota State University Mankato and holds a Master’s Degree in Education: Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St. Thomas. Jessica is committed to equity work. She believes in students and values engaging them in meaningful ways which is evident through the implementation of multiple sustainable programs at the institutions where she has worked.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

headshot of ivan lui

Ivan Lui

Data & Quality Coordinator, Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth

Ivan is the Data and Quality Coordinator for The Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating safe communities and career pathways for young people in the Twin Cities area. A native Californian, he moved to Minnesota years ago to work as an engineer. Since then, he has switched gears and earned a Master's degree in Social Work, and during the past five years, he's worked for a non-profit using agricultural business to promote economic development in developing countries.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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