Student Affairs

Keeping At-Risk Students Enrolled: The Role of Student Affairs Professionals

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Aaron Hughey
Price: $50.00

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Maintaining healthy enrollments is becoming increasingly important at most colleges and universities. Far too many students who begin college do not persist to attain their degrees. Identifying students as early as possible who are at-risk for dropping out before they achieve their educational goals is becoming more important. Student affairs professionals are uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in making sure at-risk college students receive the support they need to persist to graduation.  

In this interactive webinar, we will explore the characteristics of at-risk students from a variety of different student populations, discuss the challenges they face, and provide evidence-based best practices for retaining these students to graduation. We will also explain the various roles that all members of the campus community can play in identifying at-risk students and responding effectively to their unique needs, with a particular emphasis on those who work in student affairs. We'll examine successful programs and initiatives from across the nation that are currently being used to identify at-risk students and respond effectively and cost-efficiently to their needs. Moreover, we'll demonstrate how these programs and initiatives can be adapted to a variety of higher education environments. Equal emphasis will be placed on helping both institutions as well as individual at-risk students achieve their mutually-complementary objective: graduation and job placement.

Brief Outline:

The webinar will utilize the following outline:

  1. At-Risk College Students: Who They Are
  2. Leadership: The Key to Identifying and Serving At-Risk Students
  3. Conducting the Needs Analysis: A Critical First-Step
  4. Collaboration: The Importance of Partnering with Secondary Schools
  5. Meeting the Evolving Needs of At-Risk College Students
  6. Coordination: Keeping the Campus Community on the Same Page
  7. Demonstrated Success: What the Best Schools Are Doing
  8. Pulling It All Together: Case Studies form the Real World

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will:

  1. Review the general characteristics of at-risk college students, including the specific characteristics of at-risk college students from various sub-populations. 
  2. Investigate the role of student affairs leadership in identifying and responding to the needs of at-risk students.
  3. Learn how to conduct a needs analysis to determine how well their institution is doing at identifying and responding to the needs of at-risk students.
  4. Discuss what can be done before at-risk students arrive on campus, including how to partner with secondary schools to achieve the best possible outcome for these students.
  5. Assess and anticipate evolving at-risk student needs with respect to academic preparation, social integration, mental and emotional health considerations, and financial support.
  6. Examine mechanisms for keeping everyone at the institution on the same page with respect to meeting the needs of at-risk students.
  7. Explore evidence-based best practices in coordinating comprehensive retention initiatives for at-risk students.
  8. Critique real-life examples of effective and ineffective ways of identifying at-risk students and responding to their needs.

Who Should Attend:

This webinar would be of interest to anyone in student affairs, but it would be especially beneficial for those who work in Enrollment Management, Admissions and Recruitment, Retention Services, Academic Advising, Career Services, Federal TRiO Programs, Housing and Residence Life, Judicial Affairs, Financial Aid, and Diversity Programs.


Dr. Aaron W HugheyDr. Aaron W Hughey is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University, where he oversees the graduate degree program in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he spent 10 years in progressive administrative positions, including five years as the Associate Director of University Housing at WKU. He was also head of the department of Counseling and Student Affairs for five years before returning to the faculty full-time in 2008. Dr. Hughey has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 60 refereed publications on a wide range of issues including leadership and student development, standardized testing, diversity, legal issues (including compliance), technology, and educational administration. He regularly presents at national and international conferences and consults extensively with companies and schools. He also provides training and professional development programs on a variety of topics centered on student success; enhancing student retention-to-graduation is one of his specialties. 

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