The Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence is committed to working collaboratively to advance its higher education agenda.  CHERE:

  • Collaborates with a range of interested parties including state higher education agencies, diverse campuses, and community-based organizations working to help challenged students get into post-secondary education.

  • Builds on an existing national network of relationships to expand the Center’s work beyond its Connecticut base.

CHERE recognizes the significant and ongoing contributions by organizations and individuals throughout the higher education community aimed at addressing the challenges of student retention, and contributes to much-needed progress in the field, in Connecticut and nationally.

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Since its founding in 2012, the Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence (CHERE), in Hartford, has put on 20 conferences and forums on key issues related to the access to, and success in, higher education for underrepresented, first generation and otherwise challenged students.  At its two conferences in 2017, representatives from 40 campuses, including 18 outside Connecticut in the Northeast, attended, suggesting that the issues addressed, and the “small conference” format, combining expert presentations with focused discussion, and substantive student input, was attractive to many different kinds of campus professionals and to high school staff interested in the transition to college for their recent graduates.

At the same time, CHERE staff began meeting with representatives of Pace University in Pleasantville, New York, and contributing to their first and second conferences on student success – leading to the idea of creating a regional organization to foster broad discussion of shared interests across the Northeast.  At the end of CHERE’s 2017 events, and PACE’s 2017 conference, several professionals from the Northeast expressed interest in being part of a new regional organization – hence the birth of the “Northeast Coalition for College Success,” jointly sponsored by CHERE and Pace.

An initial meeting was held on March 23, 2018 with 20 enthusiastic professionals from 9 colleges, 2 high schools, 1 foundation, and CHERE.  That initial meeting led to a second, at the University of Hartford, just a few months later on June 22.

In addition, CHERE Director David Johnston was joined by Sue Maxam of Pace University's during the university’s second annual Retention Conference at Pace in Pleasantville, NY in June 2018 in a presentation about the new coalition.   Johnston, Maxam, and Alan Kramer of Goodwin College are leading the establishment of the Northeast Consortium for College Success. 

For more information about the Northeast Coalition for College Success, contact David Johnston at 

"A new regional organization sharing common interests."