Best Practices in Student Retention Awards Announced

Award Winner-Best Practices

Carla Cortes and Sandra Whalen at the 2013 National Symposium on Student Retention


The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma presented four awards during the recent Ninth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention held in San Diego, CA.

Each year, the CSRDE sponsors the symposium to provide a forum for administrators, faculty, and staff from institutions of higher learning to share the most current research on student retention and success. After a record number of proposals were submitted for this year’s symposium, 58 peer-reviewed papers were selected for presentation in addition to tutorials, panels, workshops and a poster session. More than 450 participants attended the conference from 229 institutions in 43 states plus Puerto Rico and Guam. Universities in Canada and Brazil were also represented.

DePaul University received the 2013 Best Practices Award for the paper “Improving Outcomes through the 4 Ps of Student Retention Framework” by David H. Kalsbeek and Carla M. Cortes. The 4 Ps—profile, progress, process and promise—are part of a strategic approach to retention that includes attention to the profile of the admitted students, ways the university can facilitate their progress toward degree completion, the process of navigating a complex institution and ensuring that all students’ experiences fulfill the promise of the university. Best Practices winners demonstrate evidence of a systematic approach to the institution’s retention issues.

California State University at Fullerton was awarded the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award for the paper “High-Impact Educational Practices as Promoting Student Retention and Success” by Sunny Moon, Edward Sullivan, James Hershey, Sean Walker, Martin Bosangue, Mark Filowitz, Cathy Fernandez, Raman Unnikrishnan and Victor Delgado. This study investigated the effectiveness of high-impact educational practices on student learning outcomes at program and course levels, including supplemental instruction and freshman programs.

The Director’s Award went to “Transfer United: Partnerships to Foster Transfer Student Success,” as the paper that best addressed an issue of current interest and need in the field of student retention and success. This paper, written by Annice Fisher, Cynthia Demetriou and Danny Hall of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discussed encouraging junior transfer student persistence and baccalaureate degree attainment with programming to help them adjust academically and socially to their new institution through strategic partnerships across the entire campus.

The Best Poster Award was given to Drexel University Online for “Retention and Recovery of Fully Online Students at Drexel University,” designed and presented by Valerie Delleville. The winning poster addressed Drexel Online’s approach to supporting graduate and undergraduate online students, as well as inactive students who returned to continue their coursework.

The Tenth Annual National Symposium on Student Retention will be held November 3-5, 2014, in Louisville, KY. The CSRDE begins accepting proposals for consideration in late January. Information will be posted as it becomes available on the CSRDE Web site (

The CSRDE has a diverse membership of almost 440 colleges and universities–two- and four-year, public and private–with the common interest of achieving the highest levels of student success through sharing data, knowledge, and innovation. It is operated by the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis at the University of Oklahoma Outreach.

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