Office of Student Success

North Foundation Hall Rm 157
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4480
Fax: (248) 370-4485
studentsuccess@oakland.edu

Student Success Conference

Past Conferences

Established in 2013, the Michigan Student Success Conference was created to bring together like-minded educators to address the importance of retention in higher education. The turnout was overwhelmingly positive, leading just three years later to the conference stretching beyond southeast Michigan to the entire Great Lakes region. Now, the Great Lakes Student Success Conference supports and is supported by universities throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Ontario and beyond.

2018 Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference

Closing the Gap

Closing the gap between college access and college completion for all students is the number one priority of higher education for this decade. Post-secondary institutions are facing significant challenges to achieving this goal. Colleges are enrolling a larger and more diverse population that is less prepared. The diversity of our student populations has increased with underrepresented minorities, first generation students, students with disabilities, and immigrant students seeking college degrees at higher rates but completing with less success.  

Many of these students come from backgrounds that make college more challenging on many levels and completion is less successful. The demand for college education to compete in current and future labor markets has spread to all segments of our society while public budgetary support for higher education has declined.  

This conference brought together experts and practitioners who focused on how we can close the gap and provide all students with the opportunity for social mobility through education.

2017 Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference

Successful college completion is essential to the future of the students we serve and to the society they inhabit. As demographics in the Midwest change and high school graduates decline, retaining and graduating the students who enroll in higher education institutions has become more and more important for both students and institutions. It is imperative that we share best practices and innovative strategies for access, retention and completion.

For the four years prior to the 2017 conference, Oakland University hosted and The Kresge Foundation sponsored an annual statewide student success conference with keynotes by major practitioners in the field and a forum for discussion and sharing of best practices. In 2017, the conference went regional and featured major keynote speakers such as Vincent Tinto as well as workshops by award winning universities and community colleges that have demonstrated success in student persistence and completion. 

2016 Michigan Student Success Conference

Collaborating for Student Success

2015 Michigan Student Success Conference

Future Student, Future Priorities: Overcoming the Odds

Over the next decade, college enrollment growth is expected to slow from three to one percent. National projections show that the numbers of high school graduates will continue to decline until 2020. Only by expanding access to a more diverse student population will institutions be able to keep pace. Higher education institutions need to focus on how to make this future generation of transfer students, first generation and underrepresented students successful. Such changes require that institutions of higher education reconsider their approach to preparing students for the future and their varied needs. There is an urgent call to action. Student success has been a salient topic at institutions of higher education for decades. How success is measured by various stake holders will have lasting impact on the face of higher education. More importantly,  the work done in this realm is essential to the students served and the broader social contexts of today’s society. This conference pulled together faculty, student affairs personnel and administrators to explore and examine research and best practices supporting student success in classroom, curriculum, and the campus community.

This year's conference featured a keynote presentation by Freeman Hrabowski, one of Time magazine’s top ten university presidents, and a pre-conference workshop by one of 2014’s most popular presenters, Paul Hernandez. In addition, the conference featured a variety of panel and individual presentations that focused on research, programs, and services shown to improve student completion rates. The goal of the conference was to share best practices that explore the university as a community and how working towards common goals can foster student retention.

2014 Michigan Student Success Conference

High-Impact Practices: Creating a Culture of Completion

2013 Michigan Student Success Conference

Completing College: What it Takes, What's at Stake?