23Feb 2016

We have the pleasure of attending NACADA’s Region 7 conference. Missouri Southern State University, a Pharos client since 2009, will be presenting on the 7-Year Evolution of Lion Alert at MSSU. We’re proud to have them as partners and excited for others to hear about their success in supporting students and building collaboration across campus.


2016 NACADA Region 7 Conference

ALLIES for Advising: Learning, Leading, Integrating & Educating Students
February 29 – March 2, 2016
Hilton Garden Inn
Manhattan, KS

Will you be in attendance? Let us know and we’ll look forward to meeting up with you!

20Jan 2016

We’re excited to be at ABHE’s annual meeting in Orlando. Matt Boisvert and Rachel Phillips-Buck will be facilitating a pre-conference workshop for Academic Professionals on Building a Culture of Student Success & Retention. We’re looking forward to great discussions and collaboration!

ABHE Annual Meeting

Source: ABHE 2016

2016 ABHE Annual Meeting

Seeking Biblical Clarity in an Age of Sexual Confusion
February 9-12, 2016
Pre-Convention Workshop – Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The Wyndham Orlando Resort
Orlando, FL

Will you be in attendance? Let us know and we’ll look forward to meeting up with you!

19Jan 2016

Data is a tool. Student Engagement is the work. Can I get an Amen?

Can we just start saying this over and over as our mantra:

Data is a tool.

Student Engagement is the work.

I was talking to a friend recently who works in the world of higher ed data.  He is a master of providing data to help schools identify which students are likely to struggle.

I asked him what support and intervention is provided for the identified at-risk students. He looked surprised and said,  “Oh, you know!” as he wiggled his fingers dismissively. I frowned and he continued, “but once they do all the whatever (here the finger wiggle again), we can capture the retention of those students.”

He went on, but I stopped listening because I was really unhappy about his finger wiggle! Did he just “yada, yada, yada” all the weighty work I know student engagement and support entails?! Continue reading

06Jan 2016

We’re kicking off our conference season by attending CCCU’s Presidents Conference in Washington, DC. Our President, Matt Boisvert, will be in attendance and hopes you’ll stop by our table to find out how Relational Retention empowers your plan! He’ll have presidential references and CCCU-specific best practices available.

CCCU 2016 Presidents Conference

2016 Presidents Conference
January 27 – 29, 2016
Capital Hilton
Washington, DC

Will you be in attendance? Let us know and we’ll look forward to meeting up with you!

15Dec 2015

I love the rhythm of the academic life. We are finishing the season of work and entering the season of rest.

Andy Crouch recently said, We are made for work and rest, not for toil and leisure.

What a great reminder.

Friends, we have worked hard!  And…we get do good, important and meaningful work.

Matthew Litchfield added this to the conversation: “Sabbathless life ends up w/neither true work nor true rest, but w/frantic & ineffective activity punctuated by couch-potato lethargy.

I intend to rest this season. I hope you will too.

Enjoy your winter rest.
03Dec 2015

For the last few weeks we have been talking about how to determine whether the students you are serving are Red-flag students or At-risk students.

Here are the five principles I use to guide me as I engage students and honor their autonomy:

1 Win them over

First, students have to believe that you are on their team and want them to be successful. In this relationship, students must know that you will be a reliable, responsive, empathetic, and trustworthy partner. Continue reading

02Dec 2015

We’re excited to join Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at their annual meeting in Houston, Texas. This year’s theme is “New Energy for Higher Education”. Matt Boisvert, Michael Lewis, and Rachel Phillips-Buck will be exhibiting and hope you’ll stop by!



New Energy for Higher Education
December 5-8, 2015
George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, TX

Will you be in attendance? Let us know and we’ll look forward to seeing you!

17Nov 2015

We were recently working with an institution and every time Matt and I talked about Early Alert as a positive resource for At-risk students, we were met with resistance. My insistence that there was no shame in being managed in an Early Alert program was met with looks of disbelief. Finally, after three days of working to reframe Early Alert, someone in the room said…

Students will never think that being identified as a Red-flag student is positive!

This was an epiphany. Wait. What? I am not talking about Red-flag students! Every time I said “At-risk students,” our clients were thinking “Red-flag students”. I am here to tell you, these are NOT the same thing! Continue reading

10Nov 2015

I bet you have some Dust Bunny Data at your campus. Don’t act like you don’t know what we are talking about. Dust Bunny Data is data that just sits around, unused, and collects dust. It took a lot of effort (and budget) to gather it, and the intention was that it would be a powerful tool to understand your students and inform your practices. But…no one ever looks at it.

That’s a problem. Continue reading