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Retention Symposium
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NODA's Retention Symposium is a new educational space for experienced professionals to pursue retention practice knowledge and competency development.

As the higher education paradigm shifts and refocuses, the strategic work of our learning, retention and persistence communities grow in importance. Building and aligning the strategic priorities of our learning communities around persistence and retention has become a necessity for many OTR professionals. Through intentional questions and conversation, we explore the shifting landscape, emerging pressures and strategies for how you can leverage knowledge and practice, and the need to become a voice and champion for the persistence and retention of our students. 

Who Should Attend: This professional development opportunity is designed for established professionals with decision making authority in their unit/division, or for institutional initiatives that impact retention results. 

The symposium focuses on synergy between theory, research, and practice within a campus culture.  Focus areas include:

  • Refining a Philosophy of Student Engagement and Persistence
  • Developing a Knowledge Community
  • Intentionally Sustaining Collaboration to Spur Results
  • Understanding How Campus Structure Affects Results
  • Leading Initiatives From Any Chair at a Table
  • Identifying Strategy: Where to Start and How Connect Data to Action
  • Developing Evidence and Responding to Data
  • Identifying Gaps to Future Development

Symposium participants address intermediate and advanced NODA foundation competencies in the areas of Theoretical Knowledge, Campus Collaborations, Content Development, Organization & Leadership, and Enrollment Management. Focus is be placed in the following areas:

  • Knowledge Development and Synthesis: Exhibit knowledge of research literature; pursue knowledge creation and synthesis; demonstrate awareness of current trends; and find application in orientation, transition, and retention
  • Leadership, Advocacy, and Collaboration: Advocate for program development and representation in institutional planning; create, foster, and sustain collaboration/partnerships; lead partners and stakeholders in the creation of programming
  • Data Collection, Assessment, and Action: Analyze data, interpret trends, and differentiate factors; assess institutional access, barriers, and pathways; apply data and information to create and modify OTR strategies and partnerships
2017 Symposium Facilitators and Planning Committee 


Brett Bruner

Director of Transition and Student Conduct, Fort Hays State University

Chair - 2015 NODA Annual Conference, General Member on the NODA Board of Directors (2010 - 2013)

Holly Williams

Director of Retention & Student Success, Alvin Community College




Kimberlee Moock

Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Former Director of New Student & Family Programs

Ad Hoc Committee on Globalization, Chair of Education Initiatives Committee, Board Member

Missy Wikle

Assistant Vice President for Transition and Retention, Oklahoma State University 

NODA Board Member (2014-2016), Leadership Development Committee (2012-2014) 



Kim Sandlin

Director of Transitions & Orientation, Wichita State University



Jason Mastrogiovanni

Director of First-Year Studies,
University of Tennessee

Chair of Education Initiatives, Databank Committee






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