Posted by: Richard Schwier | February 2, 2011

Student retention conference

Give me enough duct tape, and I’ll fix any student retention problem you have at your university.  Okay, so I’m being a wee bit cynical, but I do think that retention shouldn’t be a goal of universities, but rather a natural outcome of doing our jobs well.

Maybe I should attend this conference:

McGraw-Hill Ryerson is coming to Newfoundland and Labrador on May 8, 9 and 10, 2011 to partner with Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic for their 38th National Teaching and Learning Conference.  Additionally, this is the third Canadian First Year Experience conference.

The main theme of this conference will be “student retention”.

Once our students have chosen your institution for their education, what factors influence their success?  What roles do learning and social environments and support mechanisms play? This conference will examine current insights around factors that influence the success of first year students, as well as best practices, and lessons learned.

For more information, to submit a proposal and to register, please visit: www.mcgrawhill.ca/highereducation/events/

To find this conference, select “May” from the drop down menu in the search tool.

Deadline for proposals is February 28th, 2011

We look forward to receiving your proposal and seeing you in Newfoundland!


Responses

  1. Seriously? A conference is going to fix a problem like retention. Yeah right! My view is that it all starts way back at course selection. If a student is guided properly into a course of study which is something they will enjoy and have genuine outcomes from – then the retention problem isn’t really a problem anymore.

  2. Thanks, Jonathon. I agree with you. I know this is a big issue for universities, and I know that good people are worrying about the issue. Like you, I just think the issue isn’t retention at all, but rather, the quality of the experience students receive. In fact, some retention isn’t even desirable. Some students make a good decision for themselves by looking elsewhere for their own futures.

    That being said, I think this might be a very useful conference. In their promotion, they are sensitive to the issues. And McGraw-Hill Ryerson has put on some great conferences in the past.

  3. It’s a big deal at community colleges too, where in some ways it makes even less sense. Ours has begun to focus on “completion”, of courses and degrees. Faculty were essentially told at our orientation that our teaching practices are responsible for achieving this, so we should change. It was implied we needed to focus more on students personally, rather than the integrity of our disciplines. This is especially bizarre since it is impossible to track where students might go when they “leave” us, even more so if they just came for one course or some extra knowledge. As you say, not completing might be better for them and their lives.

  4. I know what you mean, Lisa. I know post-secondary institutions are under financial pressure, but I think we have to be very careful about decisions we make to look after a financial shortfall that might have very dark implications in the future. Note to self: write the piece on “growth” that has been rattling around in my head for a couple of years.

  5. I can’t seem to look at this site from my smartphone!


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