2017 Assessment and Persistence Conference

June 15 – June 17, 2017
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida

The 2017 NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference is designed to promote student learning and success by strengthening assessment, improving educational quality, and developing intentional persistence programming.

Register Online


Institutional leadership must create an environment which builds capacity, as well as encourage an organizational culture that includes comprehensive assessment as part of strategic planning.  Similarly, institutional leaders have a unique role to play in providing an environment and education that encourages student persistence, especially for under-served, low-income, adult, part-time, and minority students. 

 The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference has been designed to address these important issues in assessment and persistence, as well as to provide a forum for experienced professionals to advance their skills by discussing assessment and persistence with practitioners and policy-makers.

Attend this conference to:

  • Explore student learning in relation to institutional assessment and persistence practices
  • Build a culture of assessment on campus
  • Advance skills, build knowledge, and gain a depth of understanding in assessment practices
  • Facilitate student engagement and success through intentional persistence programming
  • Improve retention, persistence, and achievement for all students, especially minority, low-income, adult, part-time, and under-served students.
Institutional Team Attendance

NASPA encourages institutional team attendance at this event.  By having a multidisciplinary team, colleges and universities increase the probability of successfully implementing improved assessment and persistence programs when they get back to campus.  The best assessment of student learning and outcomes requires collaboration from both academic and student affairs. The committee encourages campuses to send representatives from the following areas in order to allow for substantive conversations around how to create change on your campus:

  • Vice Presidents for Student Affairs 
  • Student Affairs Educators
  • Provosts
  • Faculty Members
  • Academic Affairs Administrators
  • Educational Researchers
  • Institutional Researchers
  • Testing Officers
  • Assessment Professionals


Presented By


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • AVP or “Number Two”
  • Mid-Level
  • New Professional
  • Senior Level
  • Vice President for Student Affairs


Let others know you are coming!

Use this hashtag to see what others are sharing #APC17

Call for Programs

The conference planning committee is seeking proposals under both the assessment theme and the persistence theme. Presenters for both the assessment and persistence theme will be asked to identify the intended audience for their session; beginner, intermediate and advanced. Additionally, given the strong practical connection between assessment and persistence, the conference planning committee will select programs that demonstrate the integration of assessment and persistence for student learning and success. 

The Call for Programs is closed.

Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

  • Assessment Theme

    The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference has been designed to address emerging issues in assessment, provide the fundamentals to those who are new to the field as well as a forum for experienced assessment professionals to advance their skills by discussing assessment with practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers.  The conference planning committee will select programs that relate to the conference themes and that relate to persistence and retention.

  • Persistence Theme

    The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference has been designed to address current issues in student persistence in higher education and connect the assessment of student learning to persistence and completion.  The conference planning committee will select program proposals from various institutional types from community colleges to small colleges as well as large universities that provide institution-wide, proven interventions that connect student learning to persistence.  The committee also seeks to highlight programs that share persistence strategies for first generation, low-income, minority, adult, part-time, transfer, veteran and other often under-served students.

  • Fundamentals of Assessment

    Effective assessment becomes easier to understand and manage when it is based on a solid foundation of knowledge.  Sessions in this theme provide"primer" sessions that teach basic concepts and provide a foundational understanding of outcomes assessment.  Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

    • What is the philosophical purpose of assessment and common terms used in assessment practice?
    • How does one write institutional, departmental and activity level learning outcomes?         
    • What are the ethical, institutional, and political issues in assessment method implementation, analysis and reporting?
    • How does a student affairs division begin an assessment process?
    • What can be done to engage and train staff in quality assessment implementation?

  • Assessment Methods and Measurements

    Determining the mode or method appropriate for the assessment process depends on many factors: the purpose of the project and the intended use of the results; the relative importance and sensitivity of the learning experience being assessed; and the resources available. Proper implementation of the method chosen to measure an outcome is of vital importance.  The sessions in this learning theme should focus on the following topics:

    How do you create and design institution-specific surveys?

    How to use different methods to measure outcomes including:

    • Case studies
    • Reflection sessions
    • Portfolios
    • Interviews/Focus Groups
    • National Datasets / Institutional Research Data
    How to use different data analysis techniques, including:
    • Quantitative
    • Qualitative
    • Content Analysis
    • Rubrics

  • The Role of Data in Institutional Decision Making

    The assessment cycle far too often ends at the point of collection or analysis of data;  the purpose of the process is to make decisions based on data collected. The sessions in this learning theme are advanced concepts that will focus on the following topics:

    • How does data change decisions on policy, procedures and staffing?
    • How does the assessment process change the way faculty and student affairs educators document learning?
    • What are the best and most effective ways to develop, collect, analyze and act upon evidence of student learning?
    • How do faculty and student affairs administrators develop information about the achievement of learning outcomes? How it is communicated to internal and external stakeholders?

  • Institutional Persistence & Retention Initiatives, Financial Aid, & Enrollment Management

    This learning theme highlights institutional efforts to support persistence and student retention initiatives from a variety of institutional types to showcase specific, successful programs.  Session topics may include:

    • How do programs and services improve student retention/persistence? (e.g Orientation, First year and transfer students; Advising and Academic Support programs; Honors programs for high achieving students)
    • What early alert/early intervention programs have proven successful in student persistence?
    • How does strategic enrollment management affect or influence student persistence and completion?
    • How do faculty and student affairs educators provide engaging experiences for all students in order to improve persistence and completion?
    • What are the ethical, political and institutional challenges of managing a culture that encourages an institution-wide focus on persistence?

  • Persistence of Special Student Populations

    This learning theme highlights institutional efforts to support persistence and student retention initiatives for specific and diverse student populations including first generation, low-income, minority, adult, part-time, transfer, veteran and other often under-served students.  Session topics may include:

    • What programs/services have demonstrated improvement in persistence for diverse student populations?
    • What collaborations exist with athletics, Greek life, international students, or other special student populations?
    • How do collaborations between administrative functions support institution-wide persistence and completion efforts? (Examples might include TRIO, NCAA, Student-at-Risk programs and other administrative units.)
    • What programs or services are in place for assisting the completion rate for students with disabilities? 

  • Integrated Assessment, Persistence, and Retention Practices

    Higher education leaders must create an infrastructure that can support an integrated assessment and persistence practices. The session in this theme connect assessment and persistence in a variety of ways:

    • How have assessment efforts improved student learning, persistence and completion?
    • What are the best and most effective ways to develop, collect, analyze and act upon evidence of student learning and persistence?
    • How do educators document learning in the curriculum and co-curriculum?
    • How can assessment data be used to improve student retention and persistence?

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.

Submission Timeline
  • February 3, 2017
    Call for Reviewers Closes
  • March 24, 2017
    Call for Programs Closes
  • March 24, 2017
    Program Notifications Sent
  • March 31, 2017
    Program Confirmation Required
  • April 7, 2017
    Schedule Posted Online

Writing Tips

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.


Please contact NASPA if you have any further questions about submitting a program proposal for the 2017 Assessment and Persistence Conference.

Lucy Fort
Assistant Director of Educational Programs
Phone: 202-719-1171
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The schedule will continue to be updated with any remaining edits. 

Full Schedule

Thu, Jun 15

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Workshops

Building and Sustaining a Culture of Evidence in Today's Higher Education Climate

Improving Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment of Administrative, Educational, and Student Support Units

Program Review Development: A Deep Dive into Three Institutional Perspectives

Re-imagine your Student Success Course
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
First Time Attendee Conference Orientation and Welcome
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Keynote
Amber Garrison Duncan, Ph.D., Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
General Interest Sessions

Assessing Summer Bridge to Develop a Culture of Evidence and Support Student Success

Fact or Fiction: Dispelling Common Assessment Misconceptions

Follow-Up to the Evolving Role of Assessment

One Bad Semester Does Not Define Your College Career

Snapshots vs. Sandboxes: The Case for Peer Reviewed Program Assessment

The Great Dane Welcome Survey: Understanding a New Student’s Experience

Using Assessment in Higher Education for Social Justice

Using Large, Complex Data Sets to Assess the Impact of Residential Curriculum on Persistence using Weighted Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling
4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
General Interest Sessions

Applying NSSE Findings to Improve Student Persistence

Assessing the Impact of the Co-Curricular Experience

Assessment Skill Building: Creating an Effective Assessment Boot Camp

Creating College-Persistent Environments that Nurture Strengths for Students Overcoming Trauma

Elevating Co-curricular Program Quality and Quantity Through Innovative Assessment and Technology Practices

How to get 93% Student Response Rates

Low-income Student Persistence through Gamification

Taking a Direct Route: Using Direct Assessment Measures to Advance Program Development

Applying Assessment Expertise to Enhance Recruitment and Retention Efforts: A Collaboration Between AER and Enrollment Management
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Reception and Poster Session

Assessing Impact of New Student Transition Program on Persistence and Academic Performance

The Impact of Campus Housing on Student Retention

Using Logistic Regression to Predict Graduate Student Matriculation from Admission Data

Fri, Jun 16

7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Morning Plenary
Moderator: Pamelyn Klepal Shefman, director of assessment and planning, University of Houston
Tim Bono, assistant dean for assessment & analytics, Washington University
William Franklin, vice president for student affairs, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Darby Roberts, director of student life studies, Texas A&M University
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Extended Learning Sessions

All Hands on Deck! Winning in Student Success

Crossing the Finish Line: Retaining and Graduating Your Students

Hot Topics: How to Identify, Avoid, and/or Escape from the Traps Associated with Building a Culture of Evidence in Student Affairs

Implementing Comprehensive Assessment: Examining More Than Just Student Learning

Putting Data to Use for Student Success on Your Campus: Lessons Learned from a National Study on Predictive Analysis of Student Data

Using Assessment to Gain Insight into the First-Year Transition and Address Race-Based Disparities
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Conference Break
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
General Interest Sessions

Assessing Student Learning through Student Employment

Calling All Directors of Division Assessment

Changing Lives while Moving the Needle: Retaining At-Risk students

Not Just Another Training: Building an Innovative and User-Friendly Assessment Curriculum

Storytelling to Close the Assessment Loop and Expand Reporting

Using Learning Analytics in Student Affairs

Utilizing Non-Cognitive Assessment Data to Improve Retention Predictive Models

Words Matter: Communication Strategies for Working with External Stakeholders

Improving Peak Registration Through Formalized Assessment
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon Dialogues

Engage with the Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community!

Leading Assessment Cultures Without a Leader

Student Affairs Assessment a.k.a. Taming the Beast
2:30 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.
Learning Labs

It’s Right in Front of You!

Program Redesign: Structuring a Peer-Assisted Learning Program as a Persistence Initiative for Professional Students

Using CAS Standards on Your Campus
3:05 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Learning Labs

Using Positive Psychology to Respond to the Mental Health Crisis

Professional Competencies and Your Role on Campus
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
General Interest Sessions

Comparing Campus Sexual Assault Climate Surveys: Lessons after Two Waves of Assessment

Driven by Data or Becoming Data Informed: A Case for Organizational Change

Promising Practices in Emergency Resources and Financial Support

Fostering a Culture of Assessment and Continuous Improvement in Student Affairs

From Engaged to Employed: How Mapping the Skills Employers Want can Lead to More Opportunities for Students

How Do You Measure Up? Accountability at the Division Level

Incorporating High-Impact Practices in a Probation Course to Bolster Student Success

The Data are Out There...

The Greek Experience and the Positive Side of the Story: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Largest Greek Community in the Country

Sat, Jun 17

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Closing Plenary
Terrell L. Strayhorn, Professor and Founder/CEO, Do Good Work Educational Consulting LLC
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
General Interest Sessions

Complete to Compete: A Student Affairs/Academic Affairs Partnership for Persistence

Development and Use of Pre/Post Assessments to Help Demonstrate Student Learning

Identifying Student Success Pathways for Out-of-Classroom Engagement

Measuring Student Learning With Rubrics: Effective Creation, Implementation, and an Exemplar

Moving the Dial: Our Journey to Strengthening a Culture of Assessment

One Size Does Not Fit All: Scale, Culture, and Organization Alter How Effectiveness is Measured in Similar Extended Orientation Programs.

Your Role in the Future of Assessment and Persistence
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
General Interest Sessions

Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes…Oh Yeah!

Intentionality of Collaborations within Student Affairs and Academic Affairs for TRiO Programs

Mapping Student Success: Using Focus Groups to Plot Student Support Systems

Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Promoting a Culture of Assessment in Student Affairs

Using a Division-Wide Standard to Drive Student Success

Optimizing Institutional Resources: Opportunities for Identifying At-Risks Students and Increasing Persistence Rates

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

Pre-Conference workshops offered are listed below for the 2017 Assessment and Persistence Conference.  These are available for an additional fee to attend. When registering, please select the pre-con item and you will be asked to specify which one at a later date.

The Association for Institutional Research (IPEDS)

Wednesday, June 14th • 09.00 AM – 05.00 PM

The Association for Institutional Research (AIR) and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) are co-hosting a one-day IPEDS Workshop for data providers and users in conjunction with 2017 Assessment and Persistence Conference. Financial support for this workshop is provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). There is no charge for participants to register.

View More Details
IPEDS Data as the Public Face of an Institution

This workshop stresses the importance of accuracy and consistency in data reported to IPEDS. Examples of real IPEDS data used in the public domain are incorporated, enabling participants to understand the role of governmental and non-governmental entities in IPEDS reporting. The workshop includes presentations, discussions, exercises, and demonstrations using IPEDS data tools and resources.

IPEDS Data and Benchmarking: Supporting Decision Making and Institutional Effectiveness

This workshop introduces the fundamentals of benchmarking as a measure of institutional effectiveness. It is designed for individuals with little to no experience in benchmarking studies. Participants use data from the IPEDS Surveys, Data Feedback Reports, and the “Use of Data” section of the NCES website to learn about the types of comparison groups that can be constructed. Exercises demonstrate establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) and identification of variables to refine comparison groups

 Note: Participants are required to bring a MAC or PC laptop with wireless capability and Microsoft Excel.

Registration Details:

This workshop is limited to 45 participants and workshop seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Seat confirmations are delivered via email on a rolling basis approximately 3 business days after an online seat registration is submitted. For additional information and to request a seat, please visit the link below.

Building and Sustaining a Culture of Evidence in Today's Higher Education Climate

Thursday, June 15th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

View More Details

Marguerite Culp, higher education consultant, Maggie Culp Consulting

Led by Dr. Maggie Culp (Building a Culture of Evidence in Student Affairs), this data-based, interactive workshop explores the challenges associated with  building and maintaining a culture of evidence in student affairs.  Participants will assess their knowledge and skill sets, their institution's position on the culture of evidence scale, and the challenges associated with building and sustaining a culture of evidence in today's climate.   Participants also will analyze innovative assessment approaches, identify implementation traps to avoid, and receive multiple assessment tools that they can use when they return to their colleges and universities.

Improving Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment of Administrative Educational and Student Support Units

Thursday, June 15th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

View More Details

Marjorie Dorimé-Williams, director of assessment, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Assessment within administrative, educational, and student support (AES) units has often been guided by mirroring academic departments and providing evidence of student learning. While student learning is central to the mission of postsecondary institutions, the functions of AES units that support the environment for student learning must also be assessed. This workshop will provide tools and information on developing a framework for AES assessment; organizing assessment efforts; and demonstrating alignment between AES assessment and institutional effectiveness.

Program Review Development: A Deep Dive into Three institutional Perspectives

Thursday, June 15th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

View More Details

Tim Kresse, director of student affairs budget and technology, Miami University

Gwen Fears, associate dean of students, Miami University

Pamelyn Shefman, director of assessment and planning for student affairs, University of Houston

Jeremy Tuchmayer, associate director of assessment   research and retention for the Division of Student Affairs, Eastern Carolina University

Have you been charged with starting, re-starting, or reviving a program or departmental review process? Do you want to better understand how program and department reviews can be used to to promote promising practices and engage a campus in a collaborative and meaningful process. Staff members from three different institutions, Eastern Carolina University, Miami University, and University of Houston, will present on their experience in developing, implementing, managing and using successful program reviews within student affairs and to engage their larger university community. After learning about the history of these programs and theoretical and practical underpinnings, including use of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), the presenters will engage with attendees in a working session to develop concrete steps to for implementing or improving their own departmental review process. Presenters will share documents, strategies, lessons learned and work with attendees to develop an outline of a departmental review process for the attendee’s home institution. Attendees should bring any documents they wish to share or discuss with the group for feedback.

Re-imagine your Student Success Course

Thursday, June 15th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

View More Details

Jeffrey Hall, associate dean, Division of General Education, Ashford University

Jaime Kulaga, assistant professor,Ashford University

This workshop will challenge participants to reimagine the student success course and change the way students are taught about learning. Participants will be encouraged to move away from traditional “learning styles” instruction and an emphasis on generic learning strategies, which are pervasive in most college success courses. This session examines three conceptual frameworks underpinning an empowering student success course for new online learners. Application of these concepts in the classroom is provided.


Registration rates are based on your NASPA membership. If you are not a member, please vist the NASPA Membership page for more information. 

Register Online

Registration Fee

12/05/2016 to 04/14/2017
04/15/2017 to 05/19/2017
05/20/2017 to 06/15/2017

Pre-Conference Workshop Fee

12/05/2016 to 04/14/2017
04/15/2017 to 05/19/2017
05/20/2017 to 06/15/2017


Tonya Murphy
Membership Services Coordinator
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: 202-265-7500 x1183


View Registration Policies

Cancellation:  The cancellation deadline to receive a refund is April 14, 2017, less a $50.00 administrative fee.  No refunds will be given after the deadline for any reason.  All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing and sent to refund@naspa.org. This program may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, fees will be refunded; however, NASPA will not be responsible for additional costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, and/or travel agencies. NASPA is not responsible for weather or travel related problems and will not reimburse registration fees for these issues. 

Group Registration Discount: NASPA offers a discount for members registering in groups of two or more individuals from a single institution. To apply for this discount send a request in writing to events@naspa.org prior to applying payment to registration orders. Please include all registrants’ full names, the institution name, and the title of the event. The membership department will follow up for any additional information required and provide a personalized discount code each member of your group can use when processing payment.

Purchase Orders: NASPA does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment. For registrants requiring an invoice to have a check payment processed, please use the Bill Me payment method to complete your registration. The resulting invoice can be found and downloaded under the My NASPA section of the website (must be logged-in), by selecting the View Invoices link from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, email a request to Membership to have a PDF of your invoice sent to you. Bill Me registrations are considered complete and will hold your place in an event, however the balance due must be settled prior to attending.

Click here to view NASPA’s complete Payment Policies and Procedures.

Additional Questions? Please contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail to events@naspa.org


  • Tim Bono

    Tim Bono

    Assistant Dean for Assessment & Analytics
    Washington University

    Speaker Bio

  • Amber Garrison Duncan

    Amber Garrison Duncan

    Strategy Director
    Lumina Foundation

    Speaker Bio

  • William Franklin

    William Franklin

    Vice President of Student Affairs
    California State University, Dominguez Hills

    Speaker Bio

  • Darby Roberts

    Darby Roberts

    Director of Student Life Studies
    Texas A&M University

    Speaker Bio

  • Pamelyn Klepal Shefman

    Pamelyn Klepal Shefman

    Director of Assessment & Planning
    University of Houston

    Speaker Bio

  • Terrell L. Strayhorn

    Terrell L. Strayhorn

    Professor and Founder/CEO
    Do Good Work Educational Consulting LLC

    Speaker Bio


If you would like to exhibit at or sponsor the 2017 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference please fill out the exhibitor application form and e-fax back all 3 pages to 202-204-8443 or e-mail to fcomparato@naspa.org by May 19, 2017. Questions? Contact Fred Comparato by phone at 202-903-0657 or via email at fcomparato@naspa.org.

Gold Level
  • Skyfactor
Silver Level
  • Campus Labs
  • OOHLALA Mobile


Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Orlando, Florida

All conference activities will take place at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

The NASPA room block at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress has closed, but the NASPA office has put a few rooms on hold at the conference rate of $189 + 12.5% tax. To claim these rooms at the discounted rate, please contact Jill Gately at jgately@naspa.org or call 202-719-1167.  These rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The room rate includes in-room fee and the daily resort fee is waived for those in the conference hotel.  The resort fee includes:

  • Access to the health club
  • 9-hole Pitch and Putt course
  • Golf driving range, racquet club access
  • Basketball and volleyball courts
  • Rock climbing wall and all water sports including non-motorized boats
  • Complimentary shuttle to Disney, Sea World and Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure

Hotel Room Rate/Night
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
1 Grand Cypress Blvd., Orlando, FL 32836
$189 + 12.5% Double
  • Travel

    Orlando is serviced by Orlando International Airport (MCO). The hotel is approximately 18 miles from the airport.

  • Transportation

    For more information on airport shuttles, please visit the Ground Transportation page. A shared ride shuttle to the Hyatt is approximately $23 one way.

    Taxi service is available from each terminal (arrival level) curbside. A taxi fare from MCO to the Hyatt is approximately $25 one way.

    Rental Cars
    For more information on rental cars, including available companies and contact information, please visit the Rental Car section of the MCO website.

  • Weather

    Temperatures in Orlando in June are around 90 degrees Farenheit during the day, and around 71 degrees Farenheit at night. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.

up Back to Top

Get in Touch with NASPA