Attain to Retain Conference

Inspiring Students

A conference aiming to help narrow the achievement gap by assisting students and youth professionals to enhance their skills and increase student success.

Educational attainment is especially challenging for the racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically underserved at-risk populations.  High school graduates from lower-income families and those from racial and ethnic minority groups are far less likely to enroll in college than other students. According to a study by the College Board, as of 2015, 82 percent of high school graduates from the highest income level (above $100,010) enrolled immediately in college, compared with 62 percent of those from the middle income levels ($37,000 to $60,300) and 58 percent of those from the lowest income levels (below $20,582). Respectively, the postsecondary enrollment rates in 2015 among black, Hispanic, and white high school graduates between ages 18 to 24 years old were 34 percent, 35 percent, and 42 percent.

This same College Board study reveals that in 2015 the percentage of individuals’ ages 25 to 29 who had obtained at least an associate degree ranged from 26 percent for Hispanics to 31 percent for blacks and 54 percent for whites. According to the U. S. Census Bureau 2015 survey, we observe that of individuals ages 25 and older with at least a Bachelor’s degree, 16 percent are Hispanics, 23 percent are blacks, and 37 percent are whites. So we can see that college completion rates and attainment patterns differ considerably across demographic groups.

The Attain to Retain Conference aims to help under-represented high school and college students narrow these gaps by assisting students to understand the challenges they face and the critical need to overcome those challenges if they are to succeed in college and beyond. Students will hear from distinguished professionals during sessions that will provide them with the tools to develop their skills and help them become successful in college.  This year, the conference topics be delivered focus on leadership development, student success strategies, experiencial learning opportunities, how to improve communication skills and much more!

 The conference, which takes place on Saturday, February 13th, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., will be held virtually, and is free and open to all students from the following institutions:

  • Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee County High Schools
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida SouthWestern State College
  • Hodges University
  • Keiser University
  • Rasmussen College


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For more information, contact the Office of Community Outreach at 239-590-1258 or