Your Role in Student Success

Fostering Student Retention and Persistence

90-120 min keynote presentation, or full-day student success workshop

As colleges and universities enrol more students with academic, mental health and cognitive disabilities, and government emphasizes student persistence and completion as a basis for performance-based funding, attention has turned to maximizing the potential of every student through a wide range of supports and retention initiatives.  Many institutions are participating in student engagement surveys like NSSE or CSSE to gain insight into student retention challenges on their campus. Obviously, some factors are beyond institutional control, but many aspects of advising, academic and personal support, early warning systems, and social and academic integration are within the purview of administration.  Furthermore, faculty have control of some critical levers for student success: engaging, career-oriented, flexible programs; pedagogical accommodation for a range of learning styles; personal connections and mentorship efforts. Canadian society, and its workforce, can no longer afford the old “intellectual darwinism” approach, that expects a sizable attrition rate as a means of ensuring quality graduates. New approaches to teaching and learning, supports, evaluation and credentialing will make it possible to focus on maximizing the potential of all students. Ultimately, an effective approach to student retention demands cross-campus collaboration and coordination, cultural change and commitment.

“Ken is an excellent speaker who can engage a variety of audiences from faculty through to Board members. Ken always includes provocative ideas that challenge existing paradigms and cause audiences to walk away with lots to think about!”

Tracy Edwards, President & CEO, Lakeland College

Ken Steele is Canada’s leading higher education monitor and futurist. He co-founded Academica Group, created the Academica Top Ten, manages Eduvation Inc, co-authored Canada’s first book on enrolment management, and hosts a weekly webcast, Ten with Ken, that reaches thousands of subscribers on a dozen platforms. Ken brings his unique perspective and insight to a broad range of audiences, from faculty and instructors, boards and senior administration, to information technology staff, concerned parents, and Canada’s most powerful corporate CEOs.

In this dynamic, visual and media-rich keynote, Ken synthesizes a vast array of up-to-the-moment research data, trends, news and forecasts to provide an unparalleled “big picture” view of the full range of student retention and success initiatives on college and university campuses, across Canada and around the world. The content of the presentation is being continually updated, and will be customized for your region, institution, audience and objectives for the day. (Ken will schedule a one-hour call with your leadership, and will review your most recent institutional enrolment plan, to help focus the presentation for your needs.)

Ideal Audiences

  • Campus PD
  • SEM Committees
  • Retention Committees
  • Faculty & Instructional Staff
  • Executive Teams
  • Deans & Directors
  • Conference Keynotes
  • Launch for SEM process

Optional Extras

  • You could schedule this as a full-day retreat, a half-day workshop, or a keynote presentation followed by Q&A.
  • You might consider 2 or 3 presentations, possibly for a variety of audiences, drawn from Ken’s hot topics.
  • Optionally, Ken can review more extensive enrolment data and market research specific to your institution, to prepare an in-depth full-day retention workshop.

Related Resources:

Here are some relevant episodes of 10K, for a sense of Ken’s approach and as potential examples to share with participants in advance:


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