Last week we ventured to Penn State University for our first-ever Symplicity Student Success Summit. We were joined by Kutztown University, Edinboro University, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and many other schools to discuss best practices, successful outreach and current challenges. We even live streamed the event and had over 50 viewers.
Our VP of Sales and Marketing, Patrick Devlin, started day one with a welcome address outlining the purpose of the event, problems we are trying to solve and personal experiences. As a Penn State alum, Patrick was eager to hear from all of our speakers and what PSU does to retain, engage and prepare students for success. “In my career I’ve worked for a dozen different companies, that’s not unusual. That’s the kind of thing we need to prepare students for.”
Patrick was followed by Penn State’s very own Senior Director of Career Services, Bob Orndorff, who moderated an exciting discussion of best practice on how to engage today’s college students. We passed around the mic and shared techniques that helped get student to take advantage of their on-campus resources. East Stroundsburg University revealed that they send students letters in red envelopes which contain small prizes with stickers on them that read “Do not open until you visit career services”. This intrigued students and the outcome was huge. Kutztown University shared that food is a great way to increase student turnout, but they are tired of pizza, wings however, were a big hit!
One of PASSHE’s many representatives, Dr. Sue Mukherjee, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Educational Intelligence at Chancellor's Office gave a speech about leveraging employer relationships and providing long-term support to retain more residents. “No one will be doing this work by themselves, we all have partners, we all have relationships.”
Patrick Devlin took the stage again to give the final presentation of the day about breaking down silos between critical student success divisions with technology. “It’s not about more jobs – it’s about more relevant, in-region opportunities and smarter recommendations.”
We concluded the day with a networking reception at a local Penn State hot spot, The Nittany Lion Inn.
After opening day two with a networking breakfast, Dr. Victoria Sanders, Assistant Vice Chancellor/PASSHE Title IX Coordinator and Dr. Daniel Engstrom, Associate Provost/Associate Vice President, Office of Academic Success, California University of PA gave an informational speech about PASSHE’s student success network and how they are focused on developing a safe, supportive environment for students to institute change and positively impact campus culture.
The final discussion of our symposium was given by Monica A. Clem, Executive Director of Career Development and Experiential Learning from Edinboro University and Jenelle Henry, Assistant Director, Academic & Career Planning of Kutztown University. “Lack of academic and career goals make it very very challenging for students who are already facing numerous barriers to persist”, stated Monica.
After another opportunity for networking during lunch, the group dispersed into breakout sessions where they learned how to use our software and were given the opportunity to ask questions.
We would like to thank everyone who attended and helped make this event so successful. If you missed the event, don’t be too bummed, you can watch all of the presentations here!
You can also download all the presentation materials below. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!