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Ferris to Host First-Year Success Conference

Retention ConferenceFerris State University is set to host the First-Year Success – Bring and Brag Conference on Friday, Oct. 28 for participants from Michigan colleges and universities to share best practices for freshman retention.

The conference will be hosted at the Rankin Student Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check-in takes place in the Centennial Dining Room, Rankin 252. The non-Ferris attendee registration fee is $49. There is no charge for Ferris employees to attend.

“I think we’ve done some outstanding work in student retention and we want to use this conference as an avenue to share our expertise,” said Shelly VandePanne, First-Year Success Conference Committee chair.

VandePanne hopes that those who attend gain new ideas and practices to bring back to their university or college. Participants are welcome to bring their ideas into discussions and “brag” about tactics that work for student retention.

“Shelly noticed that there was a need for colleagues in Michigan to meet to discuss current trends in first-year programming … in a way that would conserve time and resources,” said William Potter, Ferris associate provost for Retention and Student Success. “To that end, she developed a day-long, drive-in program that will allow student success professionals fromMichigancolleges and universities to gather for a day of sharing and networking.”

VandePanne said that those who attend will partake in roundtable discussions on topics that include student engagement, career planning, academic advising, residential experiences, orientation programs and preventing academic drift.

Keynote speaker Tim Cusack begins his “Moments in Life: The Fun, The Meaningful, The Unexpected” presentation at 12 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room.

“We do so many good things. This conference is a great way to share expertise with others and we expect it will be a really good experience,” VandePanne said. “My goal is to inspire people and motivate them to go out and make a difference in people’s lives.”

The conference agenda consists of: 

8 to 8:30 a.m. 

8:30 a.m. 

Concurrent Sessions I
9 to 10:15 a.m. 

Concurrent Sessions II
10:30 to 11:45 a.m. 

Lunch with Tim Cusack
12 to 1:30 p.m. 

Concurrent Sessions III
1:45 to 3:00 p.m. 

Closing Session
3 to 3:30 p.m.