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Retention Symposium A Success

CONTACT: Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, June 20, 2001

Hudson Valley Community College recently hosted a Retention Symposium, a daylong conference in which participants examined issues and best practices pertaining to student retention on community college campuses. More than 50 people attended, with representatives hailing from Hudson Valley, Adirondack Community College, Broome Community College, Dutchess Community College, North Country County Community College, Orange County Community College, Schenectady County Community College, Sullivan County Community College and Ulster County Community College.

"We're hoping to foster connections among retention administrators and campus stakeholders," said Kathy Quirk, one of the symposium's organizers and the Associate Dean for Instructional Support Services and Retention at Hudson Valley. "By offering an opportunity to network and exchange ideas, we also hope to encourage broader thinking about student retention efforts."

At the symposium, the groundwork was set for establishing a professional association for retention administrators. Additionally, it was decided to make the symposium an annual event, which will be held at different campuses on a rotating basis.

"Those are both very exciting propositions," Quirk said. "The feedback from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive; this symposium is a much-needed event. Retention can be a perplexing issue, and an association and an annual symposium will both provide great opportunities to figure out what works and what doesn't."

The symposium featured participants from a wide array of backgrounds – faculty members were in attendance, as were people from financial aid offices and counseling and career centers. The symposium was hosted by Hudson Valley's Office of Instructional Support Services and Retention, and the gathering was made possible by a grant from the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation's President's Innovation Fund.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.