Previous CHERE Conferences

CHERE has convened 18 day-long conferences and 5 half-day forums on many campuses across Connecticut on a variety of topics all related to student retention to graduation. (See below.) And CHERE’s conferences have attracted more than 1400 conference registrants from many public and private colleges and universities in Connecticut, New England and New York State.



April 26, 2019 at Naugatuck Valley Community College:: “So, I Got Into College, Now What? Guided Pathways,” Embedded Support, and More”


December 6, 2018 at Gateway Community College: “Unlocking the Secret Society: Supporting Success for Men and Others”

September 20, 2018 at Connecticut Historical Society: “Women in College: Building Leadership, Boosting Retention” – co-sponsored by the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation

June 22, 2018 at University of Hartford: “Being Diverse Isn’t Enough! Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Action! - Keynote address by a student and responses by a student panel and professional panel. 4 workshops.

September 20, 2018 at Connecticut Historical Society: “Women in College: Building Leadership, Boosting Retention” – co-sponsored by the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation

MEMBERS OF THE Student panel AT CHERE’s 12/6/18 conference.

MEMBERS OF THE Student panel AT CHERE’s 12/6/18 conference.

December 6, 2018 at Gateway Community College: “Unlocking the Secret Society: Supporting Success for Men and Others”


January 13, 2017: “Issues Dialogue ” at Goodwin College - With participants in the 10/5/16 conference, a focused discussion of “Building Partnerships for Recruiting, Retention & Resourcing College Programs for Underrepresented, First Generation, and Adult Education Students,” as prep for the 4/13/17 conference.

April 13, 2017: Embedded Support: How It Helps, Why It Works: April 13, 2017, at Eastern Connecticut State University. Highlighting a key and growing trend in boosting retention of challenged students. Representatives of 40 campuses, including 18 from out-of-state, heard presentations on 6 programs, a student panel, and 4 program workshops.

September 29, 2017 at Albertus Magnus College, New Haven: “Embedded Support to Seamless Counseling to Graduation.” Building on subjects from past CHERE conferences. Keynote address and workshop by Prof. Peter Arthur, University of British Columbia at Okanagan, “Metacognition, Grit and Growth Mindset as keys to retention.”


November 9, 2017 at Hartford Public Library: “Hartford as a College Town,” modeled on Hartford’s new energy re. higher education with UConn moving downtown and its impact on all major sectors of the community.


January 29, 2016: “Issues Dialogue Number One” at Goodwin College - With participants from 11/13/15 and resulting discussion of “college readiness assessment – featuring first generation programs at several schools.

March 11 2016: “Issues Dialogue Number Two” at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Conn. - With participants from 11/13/15 and resulting discussion of “campus engagement,” and its impact on retention, and how engagement differs from 4-year, residential schools and community colleges.

April 29, 2016: Saving Higher Education: Finding Solutions that Work” held at Goodwin College - Keynote speaker, George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association for State Colleges and Universities (AACSU). , Part 2 of a 2-part conference, following part 1 on 11/13/15. Plus a student panel and 4 workshops, including one just for students.

October 5, 2016: Adult Education - The New Adult Education: Key to Overdue Opportunity and a Dynamic Workforce? at Middlesex Community College. Four state-of-the-art programs presenting, plus a diverse “adult learner” student panel discussing promising and best practices in adult education as a growing trend.


Feb. 26, 2015: Afternoon Forum on “Big Issues in Higher Education,” Held at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving – focused discussion of retention, first gen students, student debt, summer melt, and more.

April 23, 2015: Future of Community Colleges, held at at Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT - Guest Expert: Dr. Elisabeth Barnett, Senior Researcher, Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, plus a student panel of community college students from 4 schools.

November 13, 2015: Can Non-Traditional Students Save Higher Education and Vice Versa? held at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Conn. - Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Smith, Director, University Leadership Network, University of Texas-Austin, Part one of a two-part conference. Attendees completed an “issues grid” for the April 29 conference (see below). Keynote presentation, extensive discussion and 4 workshops looked at how best to help first gen students.


Feb. 26, 2014: Afternoon Forum on “Immigrants and Higher Education” - Guest Experts: Carolina and Camilla Bortolleto, Founders and Directors, Connecticut Students for a Dream, held at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Focus on undocumented students in Connecticut.

April 17, 2014 – Student Debt and Financial Aid: What (if anything) Can We Do? at Southern Connecticut State University - Guest Expert: Sandra Baum, Research Professor of Education Policy at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute,

May 14, 2014: Seamless Counseling – Held at U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT - Program Directors from Higher Edge in New London, CT, College Visions in Providence, RI, Higher Heights in New Haven, CT, Bridgeport Public Education Fund in Bridgeport, CT, and Career Beginnings in Hartford, CT

Leslie Tapia-Bernal Intro.jpg

Sept. 26, 2014 – Bridge Programs: From Here to There” – Held at Western Connecticut State University - Program Directors from Western Connecticut State University, University of Saint Joseph, Manchester Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Queens, New York, and Intensive College Transition Program, Meriden.

Nov. 21, 2014: Career and Tech Ed. Programs – Held at Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport. Program Directors from 3 state-of-the-art manufacturing technology programs: Asnuntuck Community College, Housatonic Community College, and the New England Institute of Technology, Providence, plus a panel of older students from the 2 Connecticut programs.


September 27, 2013: First Year Experience – What Works and Why? Guest Expert: Betsy Barefoot, Vice President, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, held at Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport. Full-day facilitation of FYE principles, programs and research.

October 30, 2013: The Summer Melt -- held at Univ. of Saint Joseph, West Hartford - Guest Expert: Lindsay Page, Assistant Professor of Education, Learning Research & Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, plus a panel of students who had “melted” at 3 colleges before returning.


September 28, 2012 – Retention to Postsecondary Graduation --Guest Expert: Jennifer Keup, Executive Director, National Center for First Year Experience, held at Goodwin College.