2018 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference

June 14 – June 16, 2018
Baltimore, Maryland

Thank you to those who joined us in Baltimore, MD during the 2018 event. To learn more about the 2019 event, check back here this fall.

The 2018 NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference is designed to promote student learning and success by strengthening assessment, improving educational quality, and developing intentional persistence programming.

Register Online


Institutional leadership must create an environment which builds capacity, as well as encourage an organizational culture that includes comprehensive assessment as part of strategic planning.  Similarly, institutional leaders have a unique role to play in providing an environment and education that encourages student persistence, especially for under-served, low-income, adult, part-time, and minority students. 

The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference has been designed to address these important issues in assessment and persistence, as well as to provide a forum for experienced professionals to advance their skills by discussing assessment and persistence with practitioners and policy-makers.

Attend this conference to:

  • Explore student learning in relation to institutional assessment and persistence practices
  • Build a culture of assessment on campus
  • Advance skills, build knowledge, and gain a depth of understanding in assessment practices
  • Facilitate student engagement and success through intentional persistence programming
  • Improve retention, persistence, and achievement for all students, especially minority, low-income, adult, part-time, and under-served students.
Institutional Team Attendance

NASPA encourages institutional team attendance at this event.  By having a multidisciplinary team, colleges and universities increase the probability of successfully implementing improved assessment and persistence programs when they get back to campus.  The best assessment of student learning and outcomes requires collaboration from both academic and student affairs. The committee encourages campuses to send representatives from the following areas in order to allow for substantive conversations around how to create change on your campus:

  • Vice Presidents for Student Affairs 
  • Student Affairs Educators
  • Provosts
  • Faculty Members
  • Academic Affairs Administrators
  • Educational Researchers
  • Institutional Researchers
  • Testing Officers
  • Assessment Professionals


Presented By


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • AVP or “Number Two”
  • Mid-Level
  • New Professional
  • Senior Level
  • Vice President for Student Affairs


Let others know you are coming!

Use this hashtag to see what others are sharing #APC18
  • Connect & Engage with Fellow Attendees  


    Tweet with #APC18 or follow us @NASPAtweets


    Tag your photos with #APC18

    Call for Programs

    The Call for Programs is now closed. Please check the schedule section of the website for programs.

    Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

    • Assessment

      The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference addresses emerging issues in assessment for new and experienced professionals. Practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers discuss data driven decision making. Transparency, accountability, and improvement are interwoven into the fabric of the conference. The conference planning committee will select innovative programs that relate to the conference themes and address fundamentals, as well as complex concepts.

    • Persistence

      The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference has been designed to address current issues in student persistence in higher education and connect the assessment of student learning to persistence and completion. The conference planning committee will select program proposals from various institutional types from community colleges to small colleges as well as large universities that provide institution-wide, proven interventions that connect student learning to persistence. The committee also seeks to highlight programs that share persistence strategies for first generation, low-income, minority, adult, part-time, transfer, veteran and other often under-served students.

    • Fundamentals of Assessment

      Effective assessment becomes easier to understand and manage when grounded in a solid foundation of knowledge. Sessions in this theme provide an understanding of foundational assessment concepts by exploring topics that align with fundamental assessment skills and knowledge. Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

      • Defining the philosophical purpose of assessment and common terms used in assessment practice;
      • Writing and assessing institutional, departmental, and activity level learning outcomes;
      • Formulating and effectively moving through an assessment cycle;
      • Addressing ethical, institutional, and political issues in assessment method implementation, analysis and reporting;
      • Developing an assessment process within a student affairs division or department; and
      • Engaging and training staff in quality assessment implementation.

    • Assessment Methods and Measurements

      A strong foundation of knowledge grounded in methods and measurements is necessary for effective assessment. Sessions in this theme provide foundational or advanced concepts of methods (e.g. case studies,portfolios, interviews/focus groups, use of national datasets, rubrics, etc.) and data analysis. Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

        • Explaining the use of a specific method that aided in data acquisition that impacted a campus decision;

        • Discussing data analysis techniques, to include how to share results with various audiences; and

        • Sharing best practices for creating successful data analysis collaborations which positively impacting the student experience.

    • The Role of Data in Institutional Decision Making

      Institutions and their departments rely on relevant and timely data to inform their practices. Sessions in this theme provide foundational to advanced concepts of how data is collected, analyzed, and acted upon. Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

          • Demonstrating how institutional data is communicated to various stakeholders and acted upon;

          • Identifying strategies for data collaboration and integration between academic units and student affairs;

          • Using data from multiple sources to describe learning outcomes achievement; and

          • Collecting and using data in the accreditation process.

    • Institutional Persistence & Retention Initiatives, Financial Aid, & Enrollment Management

      Institutions provide a variety of programs and structures to support persistence and retention. Among these structures, intentional and advanced consideration for typical transition hurdles (e.g. financial aid, enrollment challenges, successful transition to campus etc.) is critically important.Sessions topics in this learning theme may include:

          • Discussion of how university programs (e.g. orientation, academic advising, bridge programs) improve student retention;

          • Examination of the curricular and co-curricular early intervention programs that impact student persistence and completion; and

          • Examination into the importance of strategic and inclusive enrollment management plans that view completion as an institutional priority.

    • Persistence of Special Student Populations

      This learning theme highlights institutional efforts to support persistence and student retention initiatives for specific and diverse student populations including first generation, low-income, minority (e.g. racial, religious, sexual orientation, etc.), adult, part-time, transfer, veteran, disabled, and other underserved students. Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

      • Programs/services that have demonstrated improvement in persistence for diverse student populations;
      • Collaborations that exist at institutions that demonstrate improvement;
      • Partnerships across administrative functions in support of institution-wide persistence and completion efforts (e.g. TRIO, NCAA, Student-at-Risk programs and other administrative units); and
      • Examples of collecting and sharing data on sensitive or protected (e.g. disabled, students seeking counseling, etc.) populations.

    • Integrated Assessment, Persistence, and Retention Practices

      Higher education leaders must create an infrastructure that connects assessment with student persistence, degree completion, and job placement. Sessions in this theme provide examples of how programs, initiatives, and strategies connect assessment to institutional outcomes. Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

      • Demonstration of how student interventions, programming, or services been connected to institutional outcomes;
      • Examination of which data collection and analysis methods are most effective for demonstrating the connection between student affairs programming and institutional outcomes;
      • Consideration of the ways in which co-curricular student experiences connect with institutional outcomes; and
      • Discussion related to student success and learning’s integration across assessment, persistence, and retention practices.

    Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.

    Submission Timeline
    • 2/16/2018
      Call for Programs Closes
    • 03/19/2018
      Program Status Shared
    • 04/6/2018
      Schedule Posted Online

    Writing Tips

    Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.


    Please contact NASPA if you have any further questions about submitting a program proposal for the 2018 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference.

    Tiki Ayiku
    Senior Director of Educational Programs
    Phone: 202-719-1184
    Email: [email protected]


    The schedule will continue to be updated with any remaining edits.

    Full Schedule

    Thu, Jun 14

    9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Pre-Conference Workshops

    Additional registration required to attend.

    An Introduction to Data Analysis in R
    Conducting a Quality Survey Research Project
    Implementing an Assessment Framework to Support Division Planning
    12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    First Time Attendee Conference Orientation and Welcome
    1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    Welcome and Opening Keynote
    2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    General Interest Sessions
    Assessing and Improving LGBTQIA+ Student Persistence, Retention, and Academic Success
    All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in my Residence Hall
    Building and Scaling a Culture of Assessment to Holistically Understand Student Engagement
    Compassionate Enrollment: A Collaborative and Innovative Approach to Retention
    DASH: A New Framework for Division-wide Assessment Implementation
    Mapping Cross-difference Interactions: Revolutionizing Campus Climate Assessment
    Shaping Student Persistence in Campus Housing from Day 1: First Year Retention Strategies for Residential Communities
    Using Campus Card and University Ticketing Data to Assess Student Engagement at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    General Interest Sessions
    Building an Inclusive Assessment Practice
    Case Management and Predictive Analytics: Powerful Persistence Partners
    Creating an Academic/Student Affairs Partnership to Coordinate Student Affairs Divisional Assessment
    Developing and Assessing Competency-based Learning in Student Affairs
    Enhancing Student Affairs Effectiveness Reports: Incorporating Meta-Assessment
    Fighting Racism with Assessment
    Improving Underserved Students’ Experience through Redirected Institutional Will and Collaborative Efforts
    The Intersection of Student Affairs Assessment and Institutional Research: Collaboration for the Future
    5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Reception and Poster Session
    A Multi-institution Collaboration: Sharing STEM Course Grades to Enhance Student Preparation and Success
    Assessing an Online Financial Literacy Module
    Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Quality Survey Instrument
    Examining the Moderating Effect of Perceived School Support on Rape Myth Acceptance and Likelihood of Reporting Sexual Assault
    Learning to Lead: Measuring Effectiveness of Service and Leadership Programs

    Fri, Jun 15

    7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
    Continental Breakfast
    8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
    Morning Plenary
    9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    Extended Learning Sessions

    These two-hour sessions allow for a deeper dive into assessment and persistence topics

    Benchmarking Strategies for Any Campus
    Build Effective Student Success Programming by Mapping the Student Experience
    Exploring First-generation Student Success: Findings from a National Landscape Analysis of Four-year Institutions
    From Modeling to Action: Using Data to Collaborate for Success
    Institutions' Use of Data and Analytics for Student Success: Results of a National Landscape Analysis
    The Factors that Make or Break Successful Assessment Implementation for Leadership
    Using Metrics to Motivate Assessment
    11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
    Conference Break
    1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
    General Interest Sessions
    Assessment Town Hall Discussion
    Data and Tchotchkes: Streamlining Data Collection and Analysis
    Gathering Data on Student Engagement and Improving Student Success with an Achievements App
    How to Identify and Avoid Culture of Evidence Traps: The Sequel
    Leveraging Residential Learning Programs to Improve Persistence of Under-represented Minority (URM) Students
    LiFT Scholars Program: Supporting the Next Generation of Technology Leaders
    The Relationship Status Between Professional Development, Assessment, and Professional Competencies
    Using CAS to Inform Accreditation Processes
    2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
    Afternoon Dialogues

    Participants are invited to take part in aftenoon roundtable-like discussions around pressing topics in assessment and persistence.

    Addressing Challenges: Graduate Diversity Initiatives at a Predominately White Institution
    Expanding the Student Success Narrative through Holistic Data Integration
    Making a Circle: Divisional Leaders’ Use of Data to Close the Assessment Loop
    Second Call for All Directors of Division Assessment
    2:30 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.
    Learning Labs 1

    These #SASpeaks type sessions are designed to pack a lot of information into a 25 minute sessions.

    Are my Surveys Inclusive? Strategies to hear all Voices
    Catalyzing Student Success through Robust Partnerships and Evaluation
    3:10 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
    Learning Labs 2

    These #SASpeaks type sessions are designed to pack a lot of information into a 25 minute sessions.

    Conversational Data: Focus Groups for Formative and Summative Assessment in Student Affairs
    To use or not to use: Should you be Using Assessment Dashboards?
    4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
    General Interest Sessions
    Assessment Strategies for Measuring Student Resilience
    Beginning from Scratch: Creating a Student Affairs Assessment Office
    Despicable Me: Encouraging Persistence through Collaborative Student Engagement
    Exploring the Impact of First-Year Residential Experiences on Students' Sense of Belonging
    Measuring Student Success by Assessing Out-of-classroom Engagement
    The VALUE of Institutional Assessment for Co-Curricular Learning
    Trade-offs in a Comprehensive and Comparable Model of Involvement and Persistence
    Unexpected Assessment Results? Strategies for Handling the “Oh-No” Moment

    Sat, Jun 16

    7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    Continental Breakfast
    8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
    Closing Plenary
    9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
    General Interest Sessions
    Accounting for the ‘I’: Practical Strategies for Incorporating Students’ Precollege Characteristics and Attitudes in Assessment
    Assessing Inclusiveness and Engagement with Cultural Diversity to Increase Success for All
    Equitable Assessment Practices in Student Affairs
    Inferential Statistics: Choosing the Right Statistical Analysis for Your Assessment Project
    Nurturing Committement and Transparency in a Compliance Driven Assessment Culture
    Promoting Success and Persistence for First-Generation Students
    Using Persistence Data in Student Affairs: A Panel Discussion
    11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    General Interest Sessions
    Culture Eats Strategy: Rethinking Program Review to Align with Divisional Needs and Expectations
    Designing and Implementing an Assessment Framework Across Student Services
    Developing a Welcome Survey: Our Efforts to Research the First-year Student Experience
    Institutional Research: Your New Best Friends
    Surveys for Social Justice?: Aligning our Assessment Practices with our Beliefs


    Registration rates are based on your NASPA membership. If you are not a member, please vist the NASPA Membership page for more information. 

    Register Online

    Registration Fee

    08/14/2017 to 04/06/2018
    04/07/2018 to 05/18/2018
    05/19/2018 to 06/14/2018

    Pre-Conference Workshop Fee

    08/14/2017 to 04/06/2018
    04/07/2018 to 05/18/2018
    05/19/2018 to 06/14/2018


    Tonya Murphy
    Membership Services Coordinator
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: 202-265-7500 x1183


    View Registration Policies

    Cancellation:  The cancellation deadline to receive a refund is April 6, 2018, less a $50.00 administrative fee.  No refunds will be given after the deadline for any reason.  All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing and sent to [email protected]. This program may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, fees will be refunded; however, NASPA will not be responsible for additional costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, and/or travel agencies. NASPA is not responsible for weather or travel related problems and will not reimburse registration fees for these issues. 

    Group Registration Discount: NASPA offers a discount for members registering in groups of two or more individuals from a single institution. To apply for this discount send a request in writing to [email protected] prior to applying payment to registration orders. Please include all registrants’ full names, the institution name, and the title of the event. The membership department will follow up for any additional information required and provide a personalized discount code each member of your group can use when processing payment.

    Purchase Orders: NASPA does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment. For registrants requiring an invoice to have a check payment processed, please use the Bill Me payment method to complete your registration. The resulting invoice can be found and downloaded under the My NASPA section of the website (must be logged-in), by selecting the View Invoices link from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, email a request to Membership to have a PDF of your invoice sent to you. Bill Me registrations are considered complete and will hold your place in an event, however the balance due must be settled prior to attending.

    Click here to view NASPA’s complete Payment Policies and Procedures.

    Additional Questions? Please contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail to [email protected]


    • Dr. Tia Brown McNair

      Dr. Tia Brown McNair

      Vice President of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Student Success
      Association of American Colleges and Universities

      Speaker Bio

    • Stephanie Marken

      Stephanie Marken

      Chief Methodologist

      Speaker Bio

    • Dr. Stephanie Gordon

      Dr. Stephanie Gordon

      Vice President for Professional Development

      Speaker Bio

    • Dr. Amelia Parnell

      Dr. Amelia Parnell

      Vice President for Research and Policy

      Speaker Bio


    If you would like to exhibit at or sponsor the 2018 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference please fill out the exhibitor application form and e-fax back all pages to 202-204-8443 or scan and e-mail to [email protected] by May 1, 2018. Questions? Contact Kristie Jerde by phone at 218-280-7578 or via email at [email protected].org.

    Gold Level
    • Oohlala
    • Skyfactor
    Silver Level
    • Campuslab


    Hilton Baltimore

    Hilton Baltimore
    Baltimore, Maryland

    All conference activities will take place at the Hilton Baltimore.

    NASPA has arranged special room rates for conference attendees at the Hilton Baltimore starting at $199/night (not including 15.5% state and local taxes). The cut-off date to receive the conference room rate is Thursday, May 24, 2018. Rooms in the conference block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.


    Hotel Room Rate/Night
    Hilton Baltimore
    401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
    $199 - Single/Double
    • Travel

      Baltimore is serviced by Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI). The hotel is approximately 10 miles from the airport.

    • Transportation

      For more information regarding shuttle providers to and from BWI, please visit the Transportation section of the BWI website.

      The taxi stands are located just outside of the baggage claim area on the lower level. For more information regarding taxi cab service, please visit the Transportation page of the BWI website. Taxi fare from BWI to the Hilton Baltimore is approximately $25 one-way.

      Rental Cars
      For more information on available rental car companies and contact information, please visit the Transportation page of the BWI website.

    • Weather

      Temperatures in Baltimore in June are around 83 degrees F during the day and 67 degrees F in the evening. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.

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