EducationDynamics' Peter Tomassi to Speak at NODAC 2008

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Industry expert to reveal new retention strategies based on the latest research into student habits, Web trends and communication preferences.

Recent studies and surveys reveal just how much technology is changing the way students communicate and point to ways colleges and universities should retool retention efforts to address the changes. To speak to this trend and how institutions can capitalize, EducationDynamics' Peter Tomassi and University of Alabama's (UA) Dr. Jennifer Jones have been named co-presenters at the National Orientation Directors Association Conference (NODAC) in Boston, October 31 - November 3, 2008.

In a presentation titled: Giving Students What They Want (To Get The Results You Want), Mr. Tomassi and Dr. Jones will offer NODAC 2008 attendees insight into the best way to reach students where they hang out―on the Web. More and more students are interfacing online, presenting post-secondary institutions with new ways to communicate with students. In fact, recent data shows that:

  • 97 percent of adult students say they're very dependent on technology;
  • College students spend an average of 22 hours per week online;
  • 80 percent of students use the Internet for homework and research; and
  • More than half of U.S. teens use social networking sites.

Mr. Tomassi and Dr. Jones will share strategies for incorporating such information into retention efforts for on-campus and online degree programs. In addition, attendees will learn how to create their own Student Retention 2.0 blueprints using available data, incorporating metrics and specific action plans designed to deliver successful outcomes for degree-seeking students. Data outcomes and student habits key to devising a successful retention plan will be addressed, including:

  • Students and the online culture, including the value of social networks in retention;
  • Online study and research habits;
  • Online learning characteristics, challenges and initiatives; and
  • Characteristics of successful students.

Attendees will also learn how to gather and analyze the student retention data available to them and to create a retention plan, checklist and system of audits to ensure peak program performance.

As senior vice president of product development for EducationDynamics' Enrollment & Retention Services Division, Mr. Tomassi has deep roots in both consumer and scholarly media. Earlier in his career, he led the global development of interactive media products at the Reader's Digest Association, working with such partners as Microsoft, AOL and Apple. Mr. Tomassi is also the founder of the Journal of Politics and Society, a national policy research publication published by Columbia University.

Dr. Jones, currently an assistant professor of higher education administration at the University of Alabama, spent three years at UA as the director of retention where she examined data related to student retention, and developed and implemented appropriate student support programs. She managed insideua, a successful online retention program designed to engage first-year students in an online community and connect them with the resources they need to successfully transition to college.

NODAC 2008 is the annual convention of the National Orientation Directors Association, a 40-year-old membership group that provides education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transfer and retention. To learn more about the convention or to register, visit http://www.nodac2008.org.

About EducationDynamics
EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is the leading marketing and information services company dedicated to helping higher education institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.

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