The Freshman Success Conference

“If you want to reduce dropouts and increase the number of on-time graduates, focusing your work on ninth grade students is consistently an effective strategy.” ~ Dr. Sandy Addis, Director, National Dropout Prevention Center.

Freshman Success can be a key determinant of on-time graduation. But what do you do to help all of your ninth grade students get off to a successful beginning?

We explore that question this summer at the first Freshman Success Conference, a production of the National Dropout Prevention Center. Presented at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL (June 25-28, 2017), this innovative conference is a unique, targeted event for anyone who is interested in the success of ninth-grade students.

Who should attend? People who work with ninth-grade students, including teachers, administrators, principals, counselors, assistant principals, special education teachers, district leaders who support graduation efforts, graduation coaches. Also, eighth-grade teachers, administrators, and counselors who work to prepare students for the ninth grade. Finally, teachers, administrators, and counselors who work with students beyond the ninth grade and continue their transition and development into their sophomore year and beyond.

What’s the format? This will be a highly-interactive, participant-driven event where we gather together to explore successful strategies in working with ninth grade students with a focus on the development of your action agenda to take back with you to your school. It’ll include whole-group work, breakout sessions, and special interest groups (i.e., teachers, counselors, administrators). We will feature TED-Talk style segments, EdCamp portions, and panel discussions. This event will put you together with experts who have demonstrated exceptional success in working with ninth grade students, as well as colleagues from across the nation who you will learn with at the event, and continue to grow with throughout the coming year.

The Freshman Success Conference will feature four conference strands:

I. Designing Your School For Success
(i.e., Transition from Eighth Grade; Freshman Academy, Scheduling, Summer Transition Programs, Organization of Freshman Experience, Transition to Tenth Grade)

II. Supporting Students In Their Journey to Success
(i.e., Advisory Programs; Counseling; Individualized Support of Student’s Needs; the Administrator’s Role, Professional Development to Support Ninth-Grade Teachers; Support Programs)

III. School Culture That Fosters Success
(i.e., Climate That Builds Success for Ninth Graders; Culture that supports freshmen in the school as a whole and individual classrooms; Leadership; Service; Participation in school wide activities like the arts, athletics, and clubs; Team-Building; Collaboration Between Teachers; Incentives and Motivation)

IV. Instruction That Defines and Guides Academic Success
(i.e., Homework; Instructional Strategies; Rigor; Study Skills; Life Skills; Organizational Skills; Innovative Practices; Grading Strategies; instructional Design)


Conference Details

June 25 - 28, 2017

Rosen Centre Hotel
(407) 996-9840
9840 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819

The hotel discount conference rate is $145 per night plus tax.


Hotel Reservations

Exhibit Information
Conference Fees
Conference Agenda
Featured Speakers
Pre-Conference Workshops
Registration Flyer
Sponsorship Information


Contact Staff

John Gailer - (864) 656-2675


Denise Gianforcaro - (864) 656-3882


John Peters - (864) 656-0253