2018 NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference

June 14 – June 16, 2018
Baltimore, Maryland

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

Call for Programs

The conference planning committee is seeking proposals under both the assessment theme and the persistence theme. Presenters for both the assessment and persistence theme will be asked to identify the intended audience for their session; beginner, intermediate and advanced. Additionally, given the strong practical connection between assessment and persistence, the conference planning committee will select programs that demonstrate the integration of assessment and persistence for student learning and success. 

Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

  • Assessment

    The NASPA Assessment & Persistence Conference has been designed to address emerging issues in assessment, provide the fundamentals to those who are new to the field as well as a forum for experienced assessment professionals to advance their skills by discussing assessment with practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers.  The conference planning committee will select programs that relate to the conference themes and that relate to persistence and retention.

  • 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 it is based on a solid foundation of knowledge.  Sessions in this theme provide"primer" sessions that teach basic concepts and provide a foundational understanding of outcomes assessment.  Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

    • What is the philosophical purpose of assessment and common terms used in assessment practice?
    • How does one write institutional, departmental and activity level learning outcomes?         
    • What are the ethical, institutional, and political issues in assessment method implementation, analysis and reporting?
    • How does a student affairs division begin an assessment process?
    • What can be done to engage and train staff in quality assessment implementation?

  • Assessment Methods and Measurements

    How to use different methods to measure outcomes including:

    • Case studies
    • Reflection sessions
    • Portfolios
    • Interviews/Focus Groups
    • National Datasets / Institutional Research Data
    How to use different data analysis techniques, including:
    • Quantitative
    • Qualitative
    • Content Analysis
    • Rubrics

  • The Role of Data in Institutional Decision Making

    The assessment cycle far too often ends at the point of collection or analysis of data;  the purpose of the process is to make decisions based on data collected. The sessions in this learning theme are advanced concepts that will focus on the following topics:

    • How does data change decisions on policy, procedures and staffing?
    • How does the assessment process change the way faculty and student affairs educators document learning?
    • What are the best and most effective ways to develop, collect, analyze and act upon evidence of student learning?
    • How do faculty and student affairs administrators develop information about the achievement of learning outcomes? How it is communicated to internal and external stakeholders?

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

    This learning theme highlights institutional efforts to support persistence and student retention initiatives from a variety of institutional types to showcase specific, successful programs.  Session topics may include:

    • How do programs and services improve student retention/persistence? (e.g Orientation, First year and transfer students; Advising and Academic Support programs; Honors programs for high achieving students)
    • What early alert/early intervention programs have proven successful in student persistence?
    • How does strategic enrollment management affect or influence student persistence and completion?
    • How do faculty and student affairs educators provide engaging experiences for all students in order to improve persistence and completion?
    • What are the ethical, political and institutional challenges of managing a culture that encourages an institution-wide focus on persistence?

  • 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, adult, part-time, transfer, veteran and other often under-served students.  Session topics may include:

    • What programs/services have demonstrated improvement in persistence for diverse student populations?
    • What collaborations exist with athletics, Greek life, international students, or other special student populations?
    • How do collaborations between administrative functions support institution-wide persistence and completion efforts? (Examples might include TRIO, NCAA, Student-at-Risk programs and other administrative units.)
    • What programs or services are in place for assisting the completion rate for students with disabilities? 

  • Integrated Assessment, Persistence, and Retention Practices

    Higher education leaders must create an infrastructure that can support an integrated assessment and persistence practices. The session in this theme connect assessment and persistence in a variety of ways:

    • How have assessment efforts improved student learning, persistence and completion?
    • What are the best and most effective ways to develop, collect, analyze and act upon evidence of student learning and persistence?
    • How do educators document learning in the curriculum and co-curriculum?
    • How can assessment data be used to improve student retention and persistence?

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

Submit Your
Proposal Online

Submit Proposal
Submission Timeline
  • 01/19/2018
    Call for Programs Closes
  • 03/12/2018
    Program Status Shared
  • 03/30/2018
    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.

Thu, Jun 14

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Workshops
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
4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
General Interest Sessions
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Reception and Poster Session

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
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Conference Break
1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
General Interest Sessions
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon Dialogues
2:30 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.
Learning Labs
3:05 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Learning Labs
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
General Interest Sessions

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
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
General Interest Sessions


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 TBD, 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]spa.org


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].


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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