NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education

The 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education is going virtual! The conference will take place via remote platform from June 29 - July 1, 2020, with pre-conference workshops held on June 28, 2020.

Registration is Open!

About the First-generation Student Success Conference

The NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education convenes the student success-focused community to engage in important professional development, exchange innovative ideas, and network with peers. Through an exciting new virtual platform, you will engage with content from the Assessment, Persistence, and Data Analytics Conference, Closing the Achievement Gap Conference, First-generation Student Success Conference, and Student Financial Wellness Conference without the need to travel.

In addition to a robust selection of educational programming, the virtual conference will offer multiple dynamic keynotes, thought-provoking pre-conference workshops, virtual exhibit hall offerings, and real-time active engagement.

The NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education is your opportunity to take a cross-functional approach to student success when it has never been more important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virtual Benefits

The NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education will offer an innovative way to engage remotely through:

Multiple days of content curated and facilitated by subject-matter experts from all four conference tracks;
An intuitive online conference platform offering 50+ live educational sessions, connections to presenters and attendees, and access to resources;
Thoughtful presentations from featured speakers to strengthen your knowledge base;
Opportunities to engage and network with other attendees; and
A virtual exhibit hall for real-time engagement with sponsors & exhibitors.

First-gen Forward Workshop

The Virtual First-gen Forward Workshop will take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020, from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET and has a separate registration process from the Virtual SSHE registration. This free workshop serves as a dedicated kick-off event for the 2020-21 First-gen Forward cohort as well as continued professional development for the 2019-20 First-gen Forward Cohort.

Register is CLOSED

Registration will close by COB on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

All First-gen Forward institutions received an email detailing the workshop and registration steps. Please reach out via email [email protected] with any questions or concerns.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops require additional registration. The option to register will be provided when completing your conference registration. Each pre-conference workshop is $50. All pre-conference workshops will be offered on Sunday, June 28, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.


Some additional pre-conference workshop opportunities are coming soon!

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

    Description: 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
  • Partnering with Parents and Families of First-generation College Students


    Building a sense of community and belonging is incredibly important for first-generation college students. A key factor to this foundation of support is engaging parents and families of first-generation students; institutions can harness this support by viewing parents and families of first-generation students as partners in their students’ success. Drawing from their experiences at mid-size and large, public, four-year institutions, the presenters will first discuss the challenges of engaging the parents of first-generation students. They will then offer a suggested timeline to consider when developing content for communication and engagement. Finally, the presenters will provide examples of partnering opportunities and events, strengthening connections to the institution and levels of support.


    • Amy Baldwin, Director and Senior Lecturer of Writing, Literacy, and Academic Success in Student Transitions, University of Central Arkansas
    • Daphne Rankin, Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • First-generation Graduate and Professional Students: We’ve identified them, now how do we support them?

    Description: This pre-conference session will focus on supporting first-generation graduate and professional students and their unique position which requires catered support services and institutional investment. The presenters will share how historic models of socialization toward advanced degrees are in need of significant revision to support first-generation scholars. We will also share effective strategies to establish or expand support resources and services for first-generation graduate students. The workshop will provide individuals with the opportunity for discussion and exploration on how to implement these resources and services on their campus.


    • Maria Erb, Co-Director, Diversity & Student Success, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • Matthew Newlin, Project Director, rootED, College Advising Corps
    • Alece Alderson, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Life, University of California, San Francisco
    • Rashné Jehangir, Associate Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Minnesota
  • Building Capacity and a Foundation for those New to Student Success Work

    Description: The field of student success is rapidly growing and involves more people. The field of student affairs is often called upon to become the student success experts, and our field has been indicating this trend for a while. This pre-conference workshop will serve as a resource for those new to the student success and retention work as we build capacity and skill in successfully navigating this professional space.


    • Brett Bruner, Dean of Student Engagement, Arkansas Tech University
    • Kimberlie Moock, Doctoral Candidate, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    • Jason Mastrogiovanni, Executive Director of Student Success, Texas A&M University
  • From Conception to Implementation: How to Lead an Effective Student Success Committee

    Description: An early step in reorienting the focus of an institution toward student success efforts is the creation of a committee or working group. Despite varying institutional nuances and priorities, these committees are expected to drive institutional change related to student success efforts. Participants in this collaborative workshop will leave with a step-by-step guide for how to develop, lead and sustain effective committees, including who to assemble, setting priorities, strategic planning and effective methods for assessment.


    • Sarah Beth Bailey, Assistant Dean for New Students and Director of Student Success, New York University
    • John Burdick, Associate Director of Student Success, New York University
    • Emily Schlam, Senior Director of Student Success, New York University
  • Building an Institutional Culture of Caring: Holistic Approaches to Emergency Aid


    As institutions consider how to successfully administer emergency aid to Title IV and non-Title IV students and support these students around their very precarious basic needs security, participating in this half-day workshop will allow you to explore specific strategies and actions institutions can take to achieve a more holistic, cost-effective, ED compliant, and student-centric approach to supporting students' needs. National experts will join leading administrators to help participants craft responses that begin with a fundamental shift in institutional culture.


    • Matthew Cohen, Managing Director, Cohen Strategy Group LLC
    • Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founding Director, Hope Center for College Community and Justice Temple University
    • David Helene, CEO, Edquity
    • Charlotte Gavell, College Success and Housing Stability Coordinator, United Way of King County
  • Concern Gathering: Fraternity and Sorority Life

    Description: Ever find yourself holding back from engaging in conversation regarding a potentially controversial issue on your campus, or even amongst those closest to you? With research data indicating a nation evermore divided by political differences, it’s no wonder why. To assist higher education stakeholders in having conversations across differences, NASPA, in partnership with the Kettering Foundation, is developing campus-based resources for dialogue and deliberation within and outside of the curriculum. Following the release of our first issue guide, Free Speech and the Inclusive Campus, we will be focusing our second issue guide on fraternity and sorority life. The specific issue for deliberation is drawn from the input of our community, which helps us to identify and frame the topic. Whether or not you work in fraternity and sorority life, or even have fraternities and sororities affiliated with your institution, your voice is needed. Join us during the 2020 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education by participating in our Concern Gathering session. All perspectives are welcomed and encouraged and no experience is necessary to participate. This pre-conference workshop opportunity is offered at no additional cost.


    • Diana Ali, Associate Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, NASPA
    • Heather Black, Dean of Students, Chatham University
    • Kara Lindaman, Professor, Political Science & Public Administration, Winona State University
    • Erin Payseur, Project Manager for Community Engagement, University of Mississippi Main Campus


    This is a free workshop and can be added to your cart through the registration.

  • Deliberative Dialogue Forum: Free Speech & the Inclusive Campus Issue Guide

    Description: This session offers the opportunity for attendees to participate in democratic deliberation, an approach to engaging in conversation where participants may have passionately different viewpoints or perspectives, using NASPA’s newly launched issue guide, Free Speech and the Inclusive Campus. This pre-conference workshop opportunity is offered at no additional cost.


    • Diana Ali, Associate Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, NASPA


    This is a free workshop and can be added to your cart through the registration.


All information below is evolving and subject to change. 

View the Full Schedule

Saturday, June 27
First-gen Forward Workshop
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Sunday, June 28
Pre-conference Workshops
This event is reserved for First-gen Forward Institutions both 2019-20 and 2020-21 cohorts.
Please contact [email protected] with questions.
Pre-conference workshops require additional registration. The option to register will be provided when completing your conference registration. All pre-conference workshops are being offered on Sunday, June 28, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. Each pre-conference workshop is $50.
Monday, June 29
Day One
Tuesday, June 30
Day Two
Wednesday, July 1
Day Three
Conference programming will begin at 11:00 a.m. ET / 10:00 a.m.CT / 9:00 a.m. MT / 8:00 a.m. PT
All times below are Eastern.
10am-6pm: Technical Help Desk Open
10am-11am: Exhibit Hall + Bookstore Open
11am-12:30pm: Featured Speaker Session
12:45pm-1:45pm: Education Session Block #1
12:30pm-2:00pm: Exhibit Hall + Bookstore Open
2:00pm-3:00pm: Education Session Block #2
3:00pm-4:30pm: Exhibit Hall + Bookstore Open
3:15pm-4:15pm: Education Session Block #3
4:30pm-5:30pm: Education Session Block #4
5:30pm-6:30pm: Networking Event
10am-6pm: Technical Help Desk Open
10am-11am: Exhibit Hall + Bookstore Open
11am-12:00pm: Education Session Block #1
12:15pm-1:15pm: Featured Speaker Session + Education Session Block #2
1:15pm-2:00pm: Exhibit Hall + Bookstore Open, Flash Programs, Engagement Sessions, BREAK
2:15pm-3:15pm: Education Session Block #3
3:30pm-4:30pm: Featured Speaker Session + Education Session Block #4
4:45pm-5:45pm: Networking Event
10am-6pm: Technical Help Desk Open 10am-11am: Exhibit Hall + Bookstore Open
Education Session Block #1
12:15pm-1:15pm: Featured Speaker Session
Education Session Block #2
Education Session Block #3
Networking Event


Registration for the 2020 NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education is OPEN.


One registration grants access to all conference speakers, sessions, and features!

Online registration cut-off date: June 24, 2020.

Email [email protected] to register.

If you were registered for the canceled conference in Baltimore, you should have received an email. If you have additional questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions guide or email [email protected].

Conference Pricing

NASPA Member
Non-NASPA Member
NASPA Undergraduate or Graduate Student Member
Pre-Conference Fees

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation/refund deadline less a $50.00 administrative fee is June 19, 2020. This program may be canceled or postponed dueto 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 outside entities. Refunds will not be processed after June 19, 2020 for any reason.

Please note that transferred virtual conference registrations are non-refundable.

Individual NASPA memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable

Please allow 30 business days for processing. To inquire about the status of a refund after 10 business days, please send an email to [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration Issues/Questions:

Please contact the NASPA Main Office at (202) 265-7500, ext. 1183 or [email protected].

Specific Program Questions/General Information:

Please contact NASPA at [email protected].

First-gen Forward Workshop

For questions related to the First-gen Forward Workshop, please contact [email protected].

Please visit this list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the cancellation of the place-based conference.

2021 Event

Join us in the Mile High City in 2021!

2021 SSHE Venue


We look forward to joining you in person for the 2021 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education in beautilful Denver, Colorado!

Mark your calendar for June 25 - 28, 2021, and check back regularly for more information!