STEM Institute for Retention

STEM Institute for Improving Student Engagement and Outcomes

May 20 - 22, 2019 | Atlanta, GA



Boost STEM student engagement on your campus for improved retention and success.

Many institutions struggle to attract and retain STEM students, especially from within historically underrepresented demographics. Oftentimes, incoming STEM students enter higher education underprepared to handle the rigor of academic programs, resulting in higher attrition rates. Even minor improvements in the curriculum, student support, and faculty training can have a considerable impact on retention and satisfaction rates.

Join us for this comprehensive conference to learn how to engage STEM students for success through:

  • Tailored student support systems
  • Inclusive teaching and learning experiences
  • Targeted faculty training initiatives
  • Facilities considerations to create inclusive and supportive spaces

This program will combine student support, pedagogy, and rethinking curriculum and spaces in a way that impacts student engagement, retention, and success.

Pre-Conference Workshop

Space Matters: Designing STEM Learning Environments that Foster Inclusion and Student Success

Contemporary pedagogies, curricula, and cultures that promote inclusion and student success in STEM require consideration of the built environments that support them. Learn how to bring key stakeholders and resources together to successfully execute a STEM facilities project.

Who Should Attend

STEM academic administrators will benefit from strategies presented on developing and implementing initiatives that promote student success. This conference will also be valuable for faculty and academic support staff who interact directly with students and who aim to improve student persistence and success.

Academic administrators and support staff are encouraged to attend as teams to benefit from the shared training experience.

Bring your team and save!

Save over 15% when you register three or more colleagues.

“I was so glad to find a STEM retention conference. The focused programming has been very helpful and will really kick-start our planning for an effective recruitment plan.”

- Diana Garza, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, Boise State University


of attendees satisfied

“At the end of the two-day session, I had a list of impactful adjustments I could make to my current initiatives that would immediately improve outcomes with little to no need for extra resource allocation.”

- Dr. Vennie Filippas, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University

“It is so helpful to have time to immediately discuss what excites us and what data and resources we need to prioritize ideas.”

- Liz Wolfinger, Dean, Meredith College

“This is the best higher ed conference I have been to! I appreciated the small groups, informative speakers and above all, the application of the content to each participant's institution and role.”

- Molly Weisshaar, Academic Success Coordinator, Colorado State University


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.
Please note that breakfast and lunch on Monday will only be provided to pre-conference workshop attendees.

Day 1 | May 20, 2019

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Registration for Pre-Conference Attendees



Pre-Conference Workshop: Space Matters: Designing STEM Learning Environments that Foster Inclusion and Student Success

Contemporary pedagogies, curricula, and cultures that promote inclusion and student success in STEM require consideration of the built environments that support them. In this session, you will learn through example the elements that characterize 21st century STEM learning environments and the strategies employed to bring key stakeholders and resources together to successfully execute a STEM facilities project. Both new construction and renovation projects will be considered.



Registration, Welcome and Introductions



Turning Retention Opportunities into Programs

This first session will allow you to start examining current and potential programming options that will serve your retention plan. Our faculty will share examples of new program models to help align current and new efforts.



Proactively Preparing Incoming Students

Underprepared students entering the rigor of post-secondary STEM education pose challenges for faculty, deans, and all student support staff. Waiting on these students to arrive and then trying to accommodate them will deflate both resources and student motivation. We will examine new approaches to secondary intervention and bridge programs to better prepare incoming STEM students.



Working Session and Day 1 Wrap Up

In this final session of the day, you will have an opportunity to consider the ideas you have heard in Day 1 and begin to prioritize your STEM engagement needs.



Networking Reception



Day 2 | May 21, 2019

8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Day 2 Welcome



Inclusive Learning Experiences for Student Success in STEM

The success of all STEM students, particularly those underrepresented in STEM fields, depends on classroom and laboratory experiences that are engaging and inclusive. In this interactive session, you will explore through data, example, and practice the ways in which SCALE-UP and other ‘active learning’ pedagogies promote inclusive and effective learning in STEM classes.



Addressing the Curriculum Bottleneck

One of the biggest challenges in STEM retention is helping students succeed through first and second year bottleneck courses. Explore innovative models for redesigning STEM curriculum to remove the challenging course sequences that cause retention setbacks.



Developing Faculty to Create Engaging Learning Experiences

One of the key factors in engaging students and retaining them to graduation is having professors who make STEM content exciting, relevant, and engaging and who know how to reach diverse learners. You will gain ideas for shifting mindsets as well as professional development considerations.



Breakout Sessions

Option 1: Promoting Student Success through Building Community in STEM
A key element of successful, inclusive STEM programs is a strong sense of STEM community cultivated within and beyond the classroom. In STEM communities, students find support systems and cultivate STEM identities that foster resilience and persistence. Participants will examine models of successful programs including integrated science curricula, living learning communities, and cohort programs to identify opportunities for cultivating STEM communities on their own campuses.

Option 2: Rethinking 2-year/4-year Partnerships
Both 2-year and 4-year institutions benefit when they have strong support systems in place for transferring students. By closely partnering with nearby institutions, STEM programs are able to develop tightly aligned articulation agreements as well as provide social/emotional support for transferring students. In this discussion, you will have a chance to explore how to build a STEM partnership between 2-year and 4-year institutions, mutually benefiting enrollment and completion rates.



Wrap Up



Day 3 | May 22, 2019

8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Models for Recruiting Underrepresented Groups

One of the key factors in getting students to enroll in STEM programs is making certain that they can see themselves being academically and socially successful in these fields. This includes having faculty and peer-mentors from diverse backgrounds so that students feel connected to the program. In this hour, you will hear several models of how institutions have impacted recruiting and enrollment for underrepresented groups in STEM fields.



Evaluating Programmatic Success

This final conference session will focus on strategies for using data to help you evaluate the success of your current STEM retention programs in order to make decisions about which programs to scale up, make adjustments to, downsize, or cut altogether.



Conference Wrap Up, Questions, Evaluations

May 20 - 22, 2019
Atlanta, GA

Conference Hotel Information:

Atlanta Marriott Northwest at Galleria
200 Interstate North Parkway, SE
Atlanta, GA 30339

Room Rate: $170
Room Block Dates: nights of May 19, 20 and 21, 2019.
Rate Available Until: April 26, 2019.
Reserve Your Room: Call 770.952.7900 to make your reservations and indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate. Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.



Melissa Dagley

Executive Director, Center for Initiatives in STEM, University of Central Florida

Dr. Melissa Dagley serves as PI of the NSF-funded STEP 1b program “Convincing Outstanding-Math-Potential Admits to Succeed in STEM (COMPASS),” and Director for the formerly NSF-funded “EXCEL:UCF-STEP Pathways to STEM: From Promise to Prominence.” She is a Co-PI for the Girls EXCELling in Math and Science (GEMS) and WISE@UCF industry funded women’s mentoring initiatives.

Read Melissa's full bio here.


Steven P. Girardot

Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Girardot has extensive background in student transition, retention, and success. Steven’s experience includes serving as the founding director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Academic Success and co-chairing Georgia Tech’s Complete College Georgia Steering Committee. He also served as the Director of the Office of Success Programs; Assistant Director for TA and Graduate Student Programs at Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL); and Program Coordinator at Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC).

Read Steven's full bio here.


Nathan Klingbeil

Professor, Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Wright State University

Dr. Nathan Klingbeil is the lead investigator for Wright State’s National Model for Engineering Mathematics education, which has been supported by over $5.0M in grants from the National Science Foundation. He held the university title of Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching from 2005-2008, and served as the college’s Director of Student Retention and Success from 2007-2009. He has received numerous awards for his work in engineering and STEM education, and was named the 2005 Ohio Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Read Nathan's full bio here.


Erin Pitts

Success Coach, Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, Front Range Community College

Erin has worked for access and success in higher education for 12 years. She currently serves as the Success Coach for Bridges to Baccalaureate (B2B) at Front Range Community College (FRCC) in Fort Collins, CO. B2B is designed to recruit and retain more diverse students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, with a focus on transfer from FRCC to Colorado State University (CSU) and involvement in undergraduate research.

Read Erin's full bio here.


Jill Sible

Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education, Virginia Tech

In her current role, Jill introduced her campus to the SCALE-UP concept and spearheaded the design and construction of SCALE-UP classrooms and adoption of the associated pedagogy at Virginia Tech. She has led over $9M in sponsored research projects including $5M in STEM education grants. Jill is currently the lead investigator for projects funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, all of which focus on increasing success, retention, and diversity among undergraduate programs in STEM.

Read Jill's full bio here.

Joyce Weinsheimer photo-sq

Joyce Eaton Weinsheimer, Ed.D.

Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Georgia Institute of Technology

With more than 30 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Joyce Weinsheimer has held multiple campus roles (tenured faculty, department chair, learning center administrator, teaching and learning center co-founder and director, and international teaching and learning consultant/workshop facilitator). She has been invited to speak in over 130 presentations for conferences and faculty development workshops. Joyce specializes in working with administrators, instructional staff, and support units to maximize student learning.

Read Joyce's full bio here.

Pre-Conference Workshop Only

$395 through May 3$495

Learn through example the elements that characterize 21st century STEM learning environments and the strategies employed to bring key stakeholders and resources together to successfully execute a STEM facilities project.

Main Conference

$1,495 through May 3$1,595

Boost STEM student engagement on your campus for improved retention and success.



Can't Attend? Buy the Conference Binder

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?

Elizabeth Hubbell
Senior Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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