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April 24, 2020

Early Registration Deadline

May 29, 2020

Regular Registration Deadline

June 5, 2020

Hotel Reservation Deadline

NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education

Workshop Student Success Career and Workforce Development Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice

The NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education will provide those committed to student success from across the institution with dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking workshops, and engaging networking opportunities using a cross-functional approach to student success. The convergence of four unique conferences will create a space for attendees to share ideas, strategies, and evidence-based research on strategies to dismantle barriers related to student success.

As many of you work to manage COVID-19 responses at your institution, you may also be wondering whether the 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education (SSHE) will continue as scheduled amid to the COVID-19 outbreak. NASPA is monitoring developments closely and assessing the potential impact, if any, on 2020 SSHE events. At this time, the conferences will continue as scheduled and NASPA will provide updates should things change.

Presented By



The 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education brings together four distinct conferences with intersectional outcomes in a unique opportunity for you to learn, network, and engage. As a registered attendee, you have access to programming for any of the four conferences. With a diverse offering of dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking workshops, and engaging networking opportunities, the 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education is your opportunity to take a cross-functional approach to student success.

2019 Proceedings

With over 1,350 attendees from across the nation (and 10 international locations), the Conferences on Student Success and Higher Education engaged its attendees through dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking workshops, and engaging networking opportunities using a cross-functional approach to student success. To view last year's proceedings, check out the 2019 Program Book. 

 Continuing Education

 National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

NASPA has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5120. Programs that do not quality for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NASPA is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Click here for more information on Continuing Education and frequently asked questions.
If you have questions about Continuing Education, please contact Teri Gillmor at tgillmor@naspa.org.

Learn more about the conferences of #SSHE20:

Assessment, Persistence, and Data Analytics Conference

Designed to address critical issues related to campus programming, student success, and outcomes assessment. The conference provides a forum for professionals to advance their knowledge and skills of assessment and data analytics and data's role in student persistence. To learn more about this particular event, click here.

Closing the Achievement Gap Conference

This conference provides an avenue for thought leaders and practitioners to to share ideas, strategies and evidence based research on ways to dismantle barriers related to student success. The Conference will explore the various factors woven into students' experiences which may impact their success and completion. To learn more about the details of this particular event, click here.

First-generation Student Success Conference

This conference will examine a breadth of topics critical to advancing the hollistic outcomes of first-generation students. The confernce program will consider the vast intersectionality of first-generation students, the systemic and institutional barriers to success, and evidence based practices to student support and services. To learn more about this event, click here.

Student Financial Wellness Conference

This conference will address the complexities of college students' financial security and wellness. Participants will learn effective strategies (i.e. emergency aid grants, food pantries, peer education) for helping students improve their fiscal health during college and remain financially stable after graduation. To learn more about this event, click here.

Call for Proposals

The NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education planning committees appreciate the hundreds of presenters who submitted a proposal to present at the event. We are currently in the process of reviewing and selecting proposals. 

With the ongoing changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASPA is closing monitoring the situation. At present, the event is still scheduled to occur and we are hoping to notify presenters about the status of their proposal no later than the second week of April.

Learn more about the #SSHE20 Conferences Themes

Assessment, Persistence, and Data Analytics Themes

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;
  • Using standards, best practices, research based/theoretical framework; 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 impact 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. As well as how institutions have built their infrastructure: capacity, integrate systems, processes.

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.

Retention & Persistence Initiatives for Diverse Populations

This learning theme highlights system-wide efforts to support persistence as well as institutional efforts to support 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 (e.g. Financial Aid, Wellbeing, Curricular Support, etc.);
  • Partnerships across institutions and collaborations within  institutions that demonstrate improvement;
  • Partnerships across administrative functions in support of institution-wide retention 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.

The Integration of Assessment into 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 have 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; and
  • Discussion related to student success and learning integration across assessment, persistence, and retention practices.

Data Analytics in Higher Education

Institutions are exploring the impact of data and analysis on student success.  This theme supports sessions that address where we are and we are going in the field of data analytics.

Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

  • Exploration of data ethics and the impact in the use of data analytics;
  • Creating and sustaining data infrastructure including data structure, ownership, and governance;
  • Building capacity for data analytics and/or training;
  • Using predictive analytics;
  • Creating intentional systemic change and closing the loop; and
  • Sharing best practices for successful data analytics programs, use, or collaborations which positively impact the student experience.
Closing the Achievement Gap Themes

Understand the factors contributing to students’ success.

  • How do higher education professionals create programs that are culturally relevant to students?
  • What interventions are institutions using to retain students?
  • Are there programs that are designed to assist students in re-engaging with the campus if they have had to stop out?
  • What support models offer compelling results for acclimating students to college life (peer mentorship, etc.)?
  • In what ways do professionals measure success of initiatives and communicate those successes to stakeholders?

Identify support systems to dismantle barriers to student completion.

  • What programs are most effective in preparing students for college?  How is success in these programs measured?
  • What strategies are effective in increasing first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented student success in STEM disciplines?
  • In what ways do institutional shifts toward “student-ready” approaches shape the experiences of first-generation college students?
  • What roles do front line staff play in removing barriers to success for students?  What strategies are being successfully used at the systemic and institutional levels?
  • How do mid-level and senior level staff serve as “gatekeepers” to aid students in overcoming barriers to their success.
  • How do administrators partner with faculty and other stakeholders for a collaborative approach to student success.
  • What are examples of programming or support models to help transfer students succeed?
  • What policies or institutional barriers exist to impact student completion.?
  • Identify practices to promote equity in students outcomes, and train campus stakeholders to implement and evaluate them.

Discuss the role technology can play in increasing access and equity towards student completion.

  • How can the development of online engagement  and support strategies be applied to the retention and persistence of students of promise?
  • What are high-impact intervention measures that can create an efficient approach to increase student achievement?
  • How are technologies utilized to measure engagement, learning outcomes, program assessment, and student persistence? How can this data be leveraged to support future initiatives?
  • What resources are institutions providing to help students utilize technology to complete their degrees?

Identify well-being challenges that may affect students degree completion.

  • What health and wellness efforts do campuses offer to help any student with personal care (such as getting adequate sleep, managing stress levels, and financial wellness/food insecurity)?
  • What are best practices student affairs practitioners are implementing for partnerships with faculty/academic affairs or community partners to support the mental health needs of students of promise?
  • What programs and resources do campuses offer to specifically meet the mental health and wellness needs of students of color, queer students, foster youth, non-majority religious students, native students, low ses, students with disabilities students?
First-generation Student Success Themes

Understand the lived experiences and vast intersectionality of first-generation college students across academic years, institutional types, and sectors

  • In what ways do multiple, intersectional identities shape a student’s understanding of their first-generation identity?
  • What do first-generation students identify as the most important supports in their holistic success during college?  What do first-generation students identify as the largest barriers?
  • In what ways can intersectional identities be considered in the placement, development, and implementation of first-generation programs and services to create more inclusive environments and serve more students?

Discuss systemic and institutional barriers first-generation students face in higher education and identify asset-based strategies

  • What are the systemic issues most detrimental to first-generation student success specifically? What asset-based strategies are currently in place to rectify these issues?
  • In what ways do institutional shifts toward “student-ready” approaches shape the experiences of first-generation college students?
  • What roles do campus practitioners and faculty play in removing barriers to success for first-generation students?  What strategies are being successfully used at the systemic and institutional levels?

Identify and utilize strategies for supporting first-generation students and bridging gaps in cultural capital through asset-based programmatic approaches, services, and skill-building

  • What are strategies for identifying and shifting first-generation student support to an asset-based framework?  What is the benefit of making this shift?
  • What programmatic approaches are experiencing success in bridging cultural capital for first-generation students?  In what ways does improved cultural capital lead to improved academic outcomes for first-generation students?
  • What approaches do campus practitioners identify as having the greatest impact on first-generation student experiences and outcomes?
  • How are successful first-generation programs and services being resourced and scaled to meet the needs of a greater population of students?

Discuss and implement approaches for creating an engaged campus community that identifies, supports, and celebrates first-generation college students

  • How can a campus audit of policies and procedures uncover opportunities for improving how first-generation students navigate campus?
  • What are strategies for encouraging senior leadership to commit to first-generation student success as an institutional priority?  What successes are campuses finding with the identification of a point person and committee to lead first-generation efforts?
  • What are approaches to faculty development that improves classroom experiences and pedagogy specific to first-generation student needs?
  • How are institutions building a campus climate that celebrates the successes of first-generation students and their contributions to the campus community?

Recognize and engage with scholarly literature and current research critical to understanding and advancing first-generation student outcomes

  • How can current literature and research offer a foundation of evidence for supporting institutional requests for expanded resources or services or for program development?
  • What are useful approaches to identifying important findings specific to first-generation students when research often focuses on intersectionality?
  • What innovative new approaches to combating systemic and institutional barriers are present in current and emerging literature?  What new programmatic approaches are featured?
  • How might practitioners and scholars advance first-generation research on their own campuses or as priorities in their own research agenda? 

Consider evaluation, assessment, and data strategies for understanding and improving institutional and programmatic first-generation initiatives

  •  What approaches are institutions using to identify first-generation students, collect data, track across the academic career, securely share information, and utilize raw data and findings to improve experiences?
  • What evaluation and assessment measures and tactics are being successfully employed with first-generation programs? How is this data used to scale support and secure additional resources?
  • What approaches are successful in building strong relationships with Institutional Research to access critical academic and persistence data on first-generation students?
  • What innovative approaches are being used to evaluate the non-cognitive factors of first-generation students? 
Student Financial Wellness Themes

Understand the various factors that can impact students’ financial wellness

  • What are the various aspects that contribute to collegiate financial wellness (e.g. debt, student loans, budget management)?
  • How does financial wellness intersect with other areas of a student’s holistic identity?
  • In what ways do students’ values drive their financial decisions?

Identify various programmatic approaches for addressing students’ complex financial issues such as food insecurity, housing insecurity, economic crisis, transportation, child/family care, and financial management

  • How can a higher education institution address a breadth of student financial issues?
  • What are strategies to help students forecast financial crises and develop plans to proactively address those?
  • How can students be better prepared and educated to successfully plan and navigate major life transitions (e.g. living as an independent minor/foster-care to college, college to the workforce)?
  • What process or policy adjustments could be made in order to result in improved retention for all, but specifically for low-income students?

Articulate methods for integrating financial support across functional units, including student affairs, financial aid, and academic affairs

  • How can departments collaborate across campus and community to identify support both on and off campus?
  • What are resources (a) for students seeking financial support across units and (b) for departments to develop lasting relationships with other units?
  • In what ways can off-campus resources be integrated into on-campus support mechanisms/processes?
  • How can institutions facilitate discussion about institution-wide contributors to financial distress of students, such as account holds from past-due balances, cost of textbooks, increasing tuition, or other institutionally-driven fees and/or the timing of payment deadlines?

Identify solutions for increasing students’ awareness and use of financial wellness programming

  • What are innovative strategies to engage ever-increasing student usage of campus-based financial wellness support resources and programs?
  • In what ways can peer-to-peer engagement and coaching positively impact student financial wellness?
  • With what initiatives (i.e. orientation) can financial wellness topics be integrated to provide overall student understanding and success?
  • How can various technological platforms (e.g. social media, online courses, educational apps or gamification) be utilized to increase awareness and use of financial wellness programming and/or to reach target groups of students?
  • What online education methods have been used, and how have institutions successfully encouraged use of these resources?

Describe strategies for assessing the influence of financial wellness education on students’ persistence, degree completion and lifelong financial wellness

  • What are the primary components and methodologies of a successful assessment plan for a collegiate financial wellness program?
  • How can alumni be incorporated into financial wellness initiatives on or off campus?
  • Do current research and assessment practices in the field of financial wellness demonstrate short- or long-term positive outcomes for students? For example, how does one’s ability to manage financial stress relate to academic success? How can administrators support academic success for students?
  • What should research and assessment look like in this area? What do the surveys and methods already look like and what have we learned? Essentially, how do we know that our financial wellness practices are working?
  • What impact does financial wellness have on life after college? Does it affect one’s decision making when it comes to significant life choices, such as purchasing a car or home, deciding when to get married or start a family, making choices about which career to pursue or how to save for retirement, etc.?


June 28
June 29
June 30
July 1

Full-day Pre-conference Sessions & First-gen Forward Workshop ONLY
Please note: additional registration required to participate in this day’s programming except for the film screenings

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration Desk Open

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Full-day Pre-conference Workshops

6:00 PM - 7:30 AM

Film Screenings (Optional)

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration Desk Open

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Half-day Pre-conference Workshops

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch (On your Own)

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

First Time Attendee Session

12:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Conference Exhibit Hours

1:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Conference Welcome and Opening Panel

3:20 PM - 4:20 PM

Breakout Sessions 1

4:40 PM - 5:40 PM

Breakout Sessions 2 & Scholarly Paper Presentations

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Breakout Sessions 3

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM

Opening Reception & Poster Presentations

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Registration Desk Open

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Conference Exhibit Hours

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Breakout Sessions 4 & SFWC Plenary

9:50 AM - 10:50 AM

Breakout Sessions 5 & FGSS Plenary

11:10 AM - 12:10 PM

Breakout Sessions 6 & CTAG Plenary

12:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Conference & Engagement Break (Lunch on Own)

Opportunities may include: Lunch Break; Wellness Activities; Division/Group Meetings; Book Signings; Topical Conversation Groups

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM

Learning Lab Sessions

3:05 PM - 4:05 PM

Breakout Sessions 6 & FGSS Plenary

4:25 PM - 5:25 PM

Breakout Sessions 8 & Scholarly Paper Presentations

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Dinner and Dialogues (Optional)

8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Film Screening (Optional)

7:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Registration Desk Open

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Closing Speaker

10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Breakout Sessions 9

11:35 AM - 12:35 PM

Breakout Sessions 10

Register Online for NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education

The convergence of four unique events creates a space for attendees to share ideas, strategies, and evidence-based research.

Register Online

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

The planning committees for the 2020 NASPA Student Success in Higher Education Conferences are working to select pre-conference sessions that will enrich and enhance your attendee experience. Pre-conference workshops will take two formats (full-day and half-day) and require participants to pre-register for a fee. Pre-conference sessions are designed as highly specialized opportunities to discuss a specific topic or program 

Please check back often as pre-conference workshop information will be uploaded once finalized.


Full-day Pre-Conference Sessions:

First-gen Forward Workshop

The First-gen Forward Workshop is a dedicated professional development opportunity for the 2020-21 First-gen Forward Cohort, and optional to the 2019-20 First-gen Forward Cohort. To register for the First-gen Forward Workshop, please contact Deana Waintraub Stafford (First-genForward@naspa.org) to receive your unique registration code. While registering for the Workshop, we welcome you to also register for one of the four co-located events as part of the 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education.

Using CAS Standards to Create and Assess Programs and Services that Lead to Student Success

Strengthening the capacity of college and university departments to facilitate student success has never been more important. CAS Standards can be used to develop, implement, and assess programs and services that are documented as leading to student success outcomes. In this session, participants will explore the diverse ways to use the CAS Standards and the CAS cross-functional frameworks to enhance program and service delivery. Participants will leave with a plan for implementing CAS self-assessment and program review practices in ways that make sense for the diverse functional areas and institutional types in which we work.


Melissa Brown, Director of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives, The University of Tennessee
Daniel A. Bureau, Associate Vice President for Student Academic Success, The University of Memphis
Gavin Henning, Professor of Higher Education and Program Director, Master of Higher Education and Doctorate of Education Programs, New England College
Nicole Long, Executive Director, Planning and Strategy, University of Delaware

Keynote Speakers & Panelists

Opening Session Panelists


Registration as a member is based on individual membership status. If you are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as an individual member at the $75 rate. This gives you the conference registration and a year of membership for less than the non-member registration fee. If your institution is NOT a member, then you will need to join at the associate affiliate rate of $242 and then you can pay the individual member rate for conference registration. Visit the membership section of the NASPA website to learn about membership types.

Registration Fees
Early Registration
before 04/24/2020

Regular Registration
04/24/2020 to 05/29/2020

Late Registration
after 5/29/2020
NASPA Member
$475 $525 $600
$675 $725 $800
NASPA Student Member
$175 $225 $300
Pre-conference Workshop Fees

Early Registration
before 04/24/2020

Regular Registration
04/24/2020 to 05/29/2020
Late Registration
after 5/29/2020
Full-day Pre-conference Fees
$125 $145 $150
Half-day Pre-conference Fees
$75 $95 


*Please note, all pre-conference workshops require additional registration

Click Here to Reserve Your Spot


This conference converges four events into one. Please select the conference which is most applicable to you, though you are welcome to attend sessions and presentations selected by any of the conference committees.

Seeking professional development funding? Review the NASPA Foundation Professional Development Scholarship!



General Event Questions:

Jake Frasier
Associate Director, Professional Development

Registration Questions:

Tonya Murphy
Assistant Director, Constituent Services
202-265-7500 ext 1180

First-gen Forward Workshop Questions:

Deana Waintraub Stafford
Assistant Director, Center for First-generation Student Success



Refunds will be given for cancellations, received in writing by April 24, 2020, less a $50.00 processing fee. In addition, a processing fee of $50.00 per registration will be charged for credit cards declined.

For a comprehensive listing of NASPA registration policies, please visit this page.


Sponsors and Exhibitors

If you would like to sponsor or exhibit at the 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education please fill out the exhibitor application form below and e-fax back all pages to 202-204-8443 or scan and e-mail to kjerde@naspa.org by May 15, 2020.

Become a Sponsor/Exhibitor



Film Screenings

Last year, conference attendees had the opportunity to view the Unlikely Film. This year, the conference will include two film screenings!

Soon, we will share the schedule.

Personal Statement

Personal Statements is a feature-length documentary that follows Karoline, Christine and Enoch through their senior year and into college. They work tirelessly as peer college counselors to realize better futures for themselves and their peers.

The Pushouts

A then-and-now story of unusual intimacy and depth, THE PUSHOUTS trades narratives of tragedy and victimization for true stories of grit and resilience, highlighting the vast potential of young people to thrive when given access to meaningful opportunities and connections to adults who care.


All conference activities will take place at the Hilton Baltimore.

NASPA has arranged special room rates for conference attendees at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront starting at $189/night (not including 15.5% state and local taxes). The cut-off date to receive the conference room rate is Friday, June 5, 2020. Rooms in the conference block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.

Reserving a room within our block by using the hotel's dedicated meeting website or toll-free telephone number not only benefits you; it also helps to support the conference. When you book within our conference block, you help NASPA keep meeting costs as low as possible and enable us to provide some of the important features meeting attendees have come to enjoy, such as networking receptions, exhibit area coffee breaks, and off-site transportation.

Reserve Your Room Today


Hotel booking information:

Hotel Room Rate / Night
Hilton Baltimore
401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
$189.00 - Single/Double
$209.00 - Triple
$229.00 - Quad

About Baltimore

We are thrilled to bring the 2020 Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education to the bustling city of Baltimore. We hope you will take some time to experience the great things the city has to offer. Visit this website for more information on all that Baltimore has to offer during your visit.

Show Your Badge Program

Baltimore is bursting with restaurants and attractions all around town. Our "Show Your Badge" provides attendees with special offers at restaurants, attractions, museums and shops. Just show your badge at the participating establishments to receive a special promotion or discount. For more information on the "Show Your Badge" program, please visit this website.


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.