Is inequity a defining factor in the retention rate at your institution?

With Equity in Retention Academy, you can revolutionize the way student success is defined by your institution. At the Gardner Institute, our work is rooted in equity and social justice and driven by a commitment to an anti-racist, anti-poverty lens. The Equity in Retention Academy,  can provide your institution with the knowledge and skills necessary to execute a research-backed and equitable student retention planning process with the goal of reducing inequity and student success.
Change the course of student success at your institution with an evidence-based, equity-focused student retention plan and pave the way to a culturally shifted and inclusive institution. Equity in Retention Academy provides you with the necessary guidance to make it a reality.
Discover the difference the Equity in Retention Academy can make to the success of your institution.

Who Should Participate

  • 2 and 4-year institutions, both public and private will benefit from participation.
  • Institutions of any size that have a strong commitment to improving retention with a strong social justice focus.
  • Institutions that are interested in creating systems that are anti-racist and anti-poverty and pro-student success.

How You’ll Benefit

  • Understand how inequities on and off campus play a role in student success, allowing institutions to better understand which practices benefit certain student groups.
  • Maximize student success by utilizing an action-oriented Retention Framework designed by industry experts. 
  • Identify internal resources, address barriers, and suggest needed practices that are in alignment with the Retention Framework.
  • Use data that is provided in easy-to-read visualizations that have been specifically constructed for the Equity in Retention Academy. The visualizations can powerfully highlight inequitable differences and guide institutional teams toward action.

Recognize and address retention through an equity lens

Begin work towards understanding and closing equity gaps at your institution.

Key Features

Acquire a theoretical and practical background concerning equitable retention, student success . Enhanced understanding of unjust design in higher education. Initiate an equity-focused analysis of institutional retention and completion evidence that addresses all areas of the institution and  students.

Employ a retention framework to identify solutions linked to your equity analysis

  • Identify internal resources, address barriers, and suggest needed practices that are in alignment with the Retention Framework.
  • Complete an equity analysis of your retention/completion patterns 
  • Draft a planning process based on an Equity in Retention Framework

Identify internal resources, address barriers, and suggest needed practices that are in alignment with the Retention Framework.Use your institution’s publicly available Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) data to help institutional teams see disaggregated outcomes for your students.

Institutional teams receive data visualizations that allow them to compare their own outcomes to those of their identified institutional peers as well as to examples from institutions that have a similar enrollment profile.

Peer comparison cohort so they can speedily explore themselves in relation to their peer institutions inequity and student success 

Our team is dedicated to supporting institutions in developing and implementing plans that work in their unique context. We provide guidance on establishing your team, offer feedback throughout the plan-to-plan process, and support implementation to promote sustained and equitable student retention. 

An experienced and dedicated Gardner Institute team of facilitators will guide and lead the Academy. 

Applications for the Fall 2024 Cohort due by September 30, 2024


Identify Mission/ Principles

Draft an Equity in Student Success Mission statement for your institution.

Understand Root Causes and Promising Practices

Understand what shapes inequities in student outcomes and equity in student success

Analyze Evidence

Find and understand the quantitive and qualitative evidence that shape your campus climate and impact equity in evidence.

Create a Plan to Plan

Identify the people, principles, and evidence needed to plan for equity in student success at your institution.


Fees are based on undergraduate enrollment as determined by College Navigator. Fees are assessed per institution, not per individual

Undergraduate Enrollment:

  • Up to 2,000 undergraduates          $5,800
  • 2,001- 5,000 undergraduates         $7,100    
  •  5,001-10,000 undergraduates       $9,000
  • 10,001-15,000 undergraduates      $11,100
  • 15,000 +undergraduates                $13,200

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications are currently being accepted for Spring 2024 cohort. You can apply at this link.

Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis; subject to approval. Early registration is recommended. Applications for the Spring 2024 Cohort should be completed by March 4, 2024.  

Institutional teams of at least three peopleInclusive Representation that can include

• Academic Affairs

• Student Affairs

• Enrollment Management

• Institutional Research

• Financial Aid Services

• Student Success

• Faculty

• Advisors

• Students

Your Institution has the option to create a team or utilize an existing team or committee. The individuals will vary by institution, a successful team is one most likely to design and create an equity-focused retention process at your institution.

The synchronous meetings last 90 minutes.

  • March 21 1- 2.30 p.m. Eastern
  • March 28 1-2.30 p.m. Eastern
  • April 4 1- 2;30 p.m. Eastern
  • April 11 1- 2.30 p.m. Eastern
  • April 181- 2.30 p.m. Eastern

Depending on the size of your team and how the work is divided we estimate approximately 3 -5 hours per person per week for the 5-week Academy.

You will receive an application confirmation email within 1 week of applying. An agreement will be sent to the person completing the application. Once the agreement has been signed you will receive further information from the Academy facilitators. Please contact

The academy is divided into the following four core content modules and an introductory overview:

Module 0:     Start Here – Introduction

Module 1      Developing an Antiracist and Equitable Retention Mission

Module 2:     Causes of Attrition/Inequities in Retention

Module 3:     Analyzing Your Retention/Attrition Evidence through an Anti-racist/Anti-poverty Lens

Module 4:    Connecting Evidence to Interventions: Creating Your Equitable Retention Planning Process

Module 5:    Developing/Presenting Your Equitable Institutional Planning Process   

Access eye-opening data

This process will help your team work through data. You will be able to to compare your student retention with other similar institutions and discover inequitable patterns at your institution.

colleges and universities have participated in the academy
students served


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