OU hosts annual Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference

OU hosts annual Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference
Rip Rapson
Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, addresses the 2017 Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference.

More than 660 higher education professionals from throughout the United States and Canada gathered at the Detroit Renaissance Marriott this week for the 2017 Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference, hosted by Oakland University and sponsored by The Kresge Foundation. 


The event, “Putting It All Together: Campus Strategy for Access, Retention and Completion,” highlighted best practices for retaining and graduating students who enroll in higher education institutions.


Dr. Susan Awbrey, OU senior associate provost and conference founder said, “The conference focuses on the major mission of all higher education institutions – the ability of our students to reach their goals, to succeed academically, in their careers, and as citizens in a democratic society.”


The conference was headlined by national and international keynote speakers: Dr. Vincent Tinto, distinguished university professor emeritus and former chair of the Higher Education Program at Syracuse University; Dr. Todd Zakrajsek, associate director of the Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Dr. Tia Brown McNair, vice president in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, D.C.


Oakland University founded the student success conference five years ago to create a forum for Michigan's universities and community colleges to come together to share strategies and innovations to improve student success and college completion.  Due to its overwhelming success, the conference went regional in 2017.


This year’s conference, which took place February 16 and 17, drew participants from 73 institutions and 15 nonprofit organizations from across 14 states and Canada.

Susan Awbrey

Dr. Susan Awbrey

Todd Zakrajsek

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek

Vincent Tinto

Dr. Vincent Tinto