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March 20-21, 2013, Orlando, Florida


Conference Faculty


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EPI’s Retention 101 workshop provides an exclusive resource-rich environment for groups and individuals from institutions of higher education to work with select experts in their field to design solutions around their institution’s current issues in the areas of college access, success, and preparation for the workforce.

Led by internationally-recognized expert Dr. Watson Scott Swail, developer of the geometric framework for student retention (Swail, 2003), EPI’s Retention 101 provides a living process linking pre- and post- institute participation that will convene members to Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Spa. The environment will allow participants to engage in an intimate environment discovering current resources of knowledge, people, and networks connected to evolving best practices.

Why Attend?

Retention 101 will provide a forum to discuss critical issues in higher education that impact student success, including financial aid, educational quality, and the nexus of college admissions and student success. Participants will hear from some of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in higher education and engage in dialogue to propel their thoughts and strategies about how they can improve persistence and graduation rates at their institution and/or system. If you want to learn more about best practices in student services, recruitment and admissions, financial aid, academic services, data, evaluation, and continuous improvement processes, and institutional leadership, you need to be at EPI's Retention 101.

Who Should Attend?
Retention 101 is designed for decision-makers at all levels of higher education, including public, private, and proprietary sectors. While individuals are encouraged to attend, we have found that institutions that bring a team to the event tend to get more out of the experience. Individuals on the team may include VPs, Deans, Provosts, Chancellors, Presidents, faculty members, and staff. By coming together at EPI’s Retention 101, teams can have quality time to discuss and plan for institutional change geared toward not only higher student graduation rates, but a higher-level of learning and engagement of students, faculty, and staff. Participation in Retention 101 makes it possible that everyone can win at your campus.



WATSON SCOTT SWAIL is President & CEO of the Educational Policy Institute, is recognized internationally for his research on retention of under-represented students in higher education and has published extensively in national journals and publications.
He is considered an expert is the areas of college access, financial aid, and college student retention and persistence. He is well published in these areas, including 2003’s Retaining Minority Students in Higher Education (Jossey-Bass) and his new book, Finding Superman: Debating the Future of Public Education in America, released in June 2012 by Teachers College Press. He is currently working on his next retention book and also another higher education book, The Higher Education Arms Race.
Prior to establishing EPI, Dr. Swail served as the Founding Director of The Pell Institute and Vice President of the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, DC. He previously served as senior policy analyst with SRI International and associate director for policy analysis with the College Board. While with the Board, Dr. Swail co-directed the Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports released in the U.S. each fall. He earned an Ed.D. in Educational Policy at the George Washington University, an M.S. at Old Dominion University, and a B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards for AVID for Higher Education, the National Action Council on Minorities in Engineering (NACME) Research, and Student Resource Services (St. Louis).


PETER DIETSCHE is an Assistant Professor and William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership, University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). An educator and administrator for over 30 years, Dr. Peter Dietsche has established an exceptional reputation by dedicating himself to improving the educational experience for first-year students at two-year institutions. Dr. Dietsche is a passionate advocate of learning-centered environments where students’ needs and demographics are critical components of the programming process, and has proven himself as a popular faculty member in both the college and university environment. His enthusiasm for students and student learning is infectious and one of the reasons that staff members are the backbone of Canada’s colleges and institutes of excellence.


JAY GOFF is vice president for enrollment and retention management at Saint Louis University, where he oversees undergraduate and graduate admission, student financial services, student educational services, TRIO programs, international services, enrollment outreach and territory development and the office of the registrar. With over 20 years experience in university enrollment, strategic planning and communication programs, Goff’s mission-centric approach has achieved record enrollments, retention, diversity and graduation rates. He has focused on building a team oriented and data driven division that stresses service focused student success plans.
Prior to SLU, Goff was the vice provost and dean of enrollment management at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri for over ten years.  His leadership at Missouri S&T has been credited with raising the national academic profile of the student body, increasing enrollment by nearly 60 percent, setting institutional records for diversity and student success rates, in addition to other milestones for the research intensive school. Goff has consulted with over 30 institutions in eight countries and has served as the national coordinator of AACRAO’s strategic enrollment management conference for four-year colleges and universities since 2009. The Missouri AACRAO chapter honored his leadership and contributions to the field with a professional service award in 2008.
Goff has served as the Missouri representative to the ACT testing services Board of Directors since 2004 and was a member of ACT’s national education advisory board.  He is also on the board of directors for the Educational Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington D.C. He earned his master’s degree in communication studies from the University of Kansas and a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Southeast Missouri State University.
CHRIS SHAFFER is the Director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Shawnee State University (SSU) in Portsmouth, Ohio. A homegrown Scioto County resident, Chris provides leadership oversight and support for all planning, assessment, and evaluation activities on campus. His office conducts institutional research to ensure data-driven decision-making, and timely and accurate reporting to external agencies.
Prior to joining SSU, he served in the Governor’s Office of Appalachia working as a program manager and state alternate for the state of Ohio to the Appalachian Regional Commission and previously as operations manager in the Governor's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives working on budget, outreach, and programmatic operations.
Shaffer received his undergraduate degree at the United States Military Academy at West Point and received his MBA at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus. As a former artillery officer, he is also a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.




The workshop begins with registration at 8:30am on Wednesday, March 20 in the St. Johns 33 room at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel & Spa and concludes approximately 5:00pm that day with a reception immediately following. The second day begins at 8:30am and concludes at 12:00noon in time for the EPI Forum on Education & the Economy.
Presentations and dialogue will be clustered around the following topics during the 1.5 day event:



Rosen Shingle Creek is nestled on a 230-acre site along Shingle Creek just off Universal Boulevard, east of the Orange County Convention Center North/South expansion and just 10 minutes away from the Orlando International Airport. THE location is just a short distance to a variety of Orlando's best attractions, restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort offers 1,500 guest rooms and luxurious first-class settings that capture the hotel environment. Capitalizing on Rosen Shingle Creek’s elevation, every single room offers a stunning view of the golf course and the area’s incomparable setting —from the perfectly manicured fairways and greens to the picturesque creek, magnificent cypress trees, and lush natural vegetation.
For our attendees, rooms are available at the discounted rate of $159/night. This rate is on a first come, first served basis and in order to receive the Group rate, reservations must be made no later than February 15, 2013.



With EPI FORUM Registration