John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education


JNGI 2017 Student Retention Symposium

April 10-11, 2017, Hyatt Place, Charleston, SC

Are you resolved to address and explore the persistent student success challenges needed to retain your students, improve institutional viability, and, in the process, advance equity concerns? Then register today to build your foundation for an institutional strategy to do so. Join the conversation at #JNGISRS.


During the John N. Gardner Institute’s 2017 Student Retention Symposium, faculty, staff and administrators from around the nation will gather in an intimate setting to learn, share insights and discuss challenges, opportunities and approaches to the increasing importance of improving higher education retention and graduation rates, decreasing loss of tuition revenue from students that either drop out or transfer to another school, and advance social justice by addressing inequitable student success outcomes.

The JNGI 2017 Student Retention Symposium is a two-day event that focuses on a range of strategies to enhance student success throughout the college experience. The event is designed for individuals and teams of academic affairs, student affairs, administrators and faculty. Institutional team time will be provided for your particular retention issues.

Attendees Will:

  • Explore the complex nature of the student retention challenge
  • Focus on an institution-wide approach
  • Work to design specific strategies for retention & student success – especially for historically underserved populations
  • Discover retention challenges
  • Uncover strategies for retaining at-risk sub-populations

Space is Limited/ Teams are HIGHLY encouraged



Dr. Betsy Barefoot, Senior Scholar, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Chris Benson, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Director, Graduate Studies in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA), Madonna University

Dr. Jennifer Bloom, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Higher Education Leadership Master’s Degree Program, Florida Atlantic University

Josh Caulkins, Assistant Director, Faculty Development, University of Rhode Island

Vikki Cooper, Associate Professor, Director of Developmental Curriculum and Instruction, Grand Rapids Community College

Paige Eagan, Dean, Math and Sciences, Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Kim Fournier, Assistant Professor, Exercise Science, University of Rhode Island

Susan Gabriel, Director, Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) & Associate Professor of English, Community College of Baltimore County

John Gardner,  President, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Dr. Jean Henscheid, Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Co-Coordinator in Adult, Organizational Learning and Leadership, University of Idaho

Dr. Nancy KingSanders, Associate Vice President for Student Success, Texas A&M University, Kingsville

Dr. Drew Koch, Executive Vice President, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Dr. Lisa Marsalek, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Defiance College

Dr. Nicole McDonald, Strategy Officer, Lumina Foundation for Education

Martine Rife, Operation 100% Project Manager, Lansing Community College

Kyrsten Rue, Cooperative Education Officer & Guided Pathways Co-Lead, Henry Ford College

Dr. Jenny Schanker, Director of Research and Institutional Practice, Michigan Center for Student Success, Michigan Community College Association

Dr. Sara Stein Koch, Institute Fellow, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Beverly Tinsley-Stanbrough, Dean of College Readiness, Oakland Community College

Dr. Kathryn Tucker, Assistant Professor of English Rhetoric and Composition, Writing Center Director, Nevada State College



April 10, 2017

8:00 am  – Pick up materials (full breakfast provided by hotel)
8:30 – 9:00 am  – Welcome, Opening
9:00 – 10:00 am – Plenary Address from Nicole McDonald, Lumina Foundation for Education
10:00 – 10:15 am- Coffee Break
10:15 am – 12:15 pm  – Concurrent Workshops (Pick one)
#1 Why and How Learning Communities Retain Students, Jean Henscheid
#2 First Year Seminars, Betsy Barefoot, John N. Gardner Institute
12:15 – 1:15 pm – Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 pm – Panel on Implementing a Retention Plan, Chris Benson, Madonna University, Nancy King Sanders, Texas A&M Kingsville, Lisa Marsalek, Defiance College, Martine Rife, Lansing Community College
2:15 – 2:30 – Afternoon Break
2:30 – 4:30 pm – Concurrent Workshops (Pick one)
#1 Peer Assisted Academic Support, Kathryn Tucker, Nevada State College
#2 Co-Requisite Enrollment – Susan Gabriel, Community College of Baltimore County
4:30 – 5:30 pm – Group Session with other Institutions by Institutional Types
5:30 – 6:15 pm – Optional Session:  “What Matters Most:  Perspectives from the Gardner Institute Founders:  Betsy Barefoot and John Gardner
6:15 – 7:15 pm – Reception

April 11, 2017

Full Breakfast Provided by Hotel
8:15 – 9:15 am – Plenary Address from Drew Koch
9:15 – 11:30 – Concurrent Workshops (Pick one)
#1 Gateway Course Transformation – Josh Caulkins and Kim Fournier, University of Rhode Island
#2 Pathways – Jenny Schanker, Michigan Community College Association, Kyrsten Rue, Henry Ford College, Paige Eagan, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Martine Rife, Lansing Community College, Vicki Cooper, Grand Rapids Community College, Beverly Stanbrough, Oakland Community College
10:15 – 10:30 am – Coffee Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Plenary Address from Jennifer Bloom, Florida Atlantic University
12:30 – 1:30 pm – Lunch and Group Session with Institutional Team
1:30 – 2:00 pm – Report Out

Planning Details & Registration

Who Should Attend: Faculty and Staff involved in strategic Student Retention planning efforts at your institution – Institutional teams are STRONGLY encouraged

Where: Hyatt Place, 560 King Street, Charleston, SC  29403

Fee: Institutions NOT taking part in JNGI’s Retention Performance Management (RPM) process pay $625 for each participant of institutional teams of 2 or more (use group registration) or $675 for individual registrations. Registrants from institutions currently participating the RPM process pay $325 for institutional teams of 2 or more (use group registration) or $375 for individual participants. RPM institutions should enter RPM in the discount code box to take advantage of this discounted symposium fee.

Register today!

Room rates: Reserve your hotel room today or call 1-800-993-4751. 

Refund Policy: Cancellations on or March 10th or before, will have the registration fee refunded minus a $50 administrative fee. A written request for refunds is required. Absolutely no refunds will be issued after March 10th. We cannot accept refund requests resulting from cancelled flights and/or “acts of God.”