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Affordability and Persistence in Wisconsin Public Higher Education

A Research, Policy, and Practice Conference
July 17-18, 2012
Hosted by: Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Director
Sponsored by: University of Wisconsin System Administration

Program (pdf) | See the Twitter conference feed

Conference Summary - coming soon

Conference photos

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the state of Wisconsin faces significant challenges in its efforts to grow a college-educated workforce.  College ambitions are strong and yet for many families rising costs make reaching those goals feel impossible.  How are students managing to make ends meet while pursuing college degrees? Who is crossing the finish line—and who is not?  How can we help more talented youth reach their educational potential?

Join us for a focused discussion grounded in the latest research on Wisconsin undergraduates. We invite college administrators, faculty, students, and staff to interact with researchers, policymakers, advocates and philanthropists and share perspectives on these important, complex issues.

July 17, 2012
UW-Fox Valley | Room 1229
1478 Midway Road, Menasha, WI

Conference presentation passwords are available on request by emailing Alison Bowman at

1:00pm  Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Sara Goldrick-Rab, UW-Madison

1:15pm Envisioning Success: What an Affordable College Education Means to Wisconsin (Panel discussion)
Thomas Pleger, Campus Executive Officer & Dean, UW-Baraboo
Kenneth Urban, Vice President of Teaching, Learning & Student Success, Nicolet Area Technical College
Maha Baalbaki and Wendell Venerable, UW-Madison

2:15pm Afternoon break, refreshments served

2:30pm When America Goes to College: Implications for Broad Access Institutions
Regina Deil-Amen, Associate Professor, University of Arizona (download presentation)
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Associate Professor, UW-Madison (download presentation)

3:45pm   Managing to Make It: A Closer Look at Students’ College Choices

Hannah Miller, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison (download presentation)
Kaja Rebane, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison (download presentation)
Drew Anderson, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison (download presentation)
Xueli Wang, Assistant Professor, UW-Madison (download presentation)
Charles Clark, Campus Executive Officer & Dean, UW-Manitowoc
Morna Foy, Wisconsin Technical College System

5:30pm  Reception at Radisson Paper Valley, 333 W. College Avenue, Empire Room

July 18, 2012
Fox Valley Technical College | Room A170
1825 N. Bluemound Drive, Appleton, WI

7:30am  Continental breakfast served


Causal Impacts of the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars Program
On academic outcomes: Sara Goldrick-Rab, Associate Professor, UW-Madison
On educational expectations: Katharine Broton, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison
On student engagement: Lauren Schudde, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison
Presentations are available by request

10:00am    Morning break, refreshments served
10:15am    Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Affordability and Persistence
Donna Powless, Professor, College of Menominee Nation
Ashleigh Edgerson, Undergraduate Student, UW-Oshkosh

12:00pm   Luncheon Keynotes

Judith Scott-Clayton, Assistant Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University (paper | download presentation)
Thomas Mortenson, Editor & Publisher, Postsecondary Education Opportunity (download presentation)
Martin Rudd, Campus Executive Officer & Dean, UW-Fox Valley


A. Measuring Success – C190A
John Stevenson, Associate Director, UW-Madison Survey Center: "Measuring Student Success: New Research on Incentives and Approaches" (download presentation)
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Associate Professor, UW-Madison: "Learning College: Studies on the Academic and Social Challenges First-Year Students Face" (download presentation)

B. Learning College – C190B
Aaronson Chew, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison: "The Impact of Financial Management Skills for Low-Income Students" (download presentation)
Jesus Renteria, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison: "Transition to Adulthood and College Experiences Among Undergraduates from Low-Income Backgrounds" (download presentation)
Marci Glaus, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison: "Becoming Aware: How Undergraduates' Perceptions of Readiness Change Over Time" (download presentation)

C. Understanding Student Choices – C190C
Ryan Adserias, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison: "Class Consciousness Among Two-Year College Men" (download presentation)
Amanda Gaulke, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison: "Stop-outs in Wisconsin Higher Education" (download presentation)
Suzanne Sublette, Lecturer, Gateway Technical College: "Understanding College Choice Regret Among Low- Income Two Year College Students" (download presentation)

3:15pm Afternoon break, refreshments served


Innovating for Greater Success
Robert Kelchen, Doctoral Student, UW-Madison (download presentation)
Amy Kerwin, Chief Educational Opportunities Officer, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation (download presentation)
Khori Whittaker, Director of Program Development, InsideTrack (download presentation)
Jennifer Cox Bell, Regional Director, National College Advising Corps (download presentation)
Greg Lampe, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UW Colleges

Conference presentation passwords are available on request by emailing Alison Bowman at

WSLS Conference

UW SystemSponsored by: University of Wisconsin System Administration

2011 Conference Summary, Press, Videos, Powerpoints and Photos