Retention is the buzzword of higher education. But, retention is not one formula to be applied to a diverse array of students as we know specific populations have different needs, values, and beliefs. Generation Z, the post-Millennial generation, has arrived to campus. So, what has worked to retain Millennials might not work for this new generation of students. As part of Foundations of Retention, this webinar provided an overview of Generation Z and strategies specifically for developing, supporting, and retaining them in college.
Dr. Corey Seemiller has worked in higher education for more than 20 years in both faculty and administrative positions. She has both taught and directed programs related to her areas of expertise, which include leadership, civic engagement, career development, and social justice. Dr. Seemiller serves as an assistant professor in the department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations at Wright State University and previously held roles including Director of Leadership, Learning, and Assessment at OrgSync, Inc., a campus management technology platform and Director of Leadership Programs at the University of Arizona. Dr. Seemiller cofounded the Sonoran Center for Leadership Development in 2008 to offer affordable and accessible leadership development training for individuals and groups in Southern Arizona. She is the author of The Student Leadership Competencies Guidebook to help educators develop intentional curriculum that enhances leadership competency development with students as well as designed evaluation measurements for each competency, an online database that outlines leadership competencies needed by each academically accredited industry, a workbook, online competency self-assessment, and an iOS app. Dr. Seemiller received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Arizona State University, Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona.
Meghan Grace received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from Chapman University. Getting her Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Arizona, she pursued her career in student affairs. She served as a graduate assistant and coordinator for the Leadership Programs at the University of Arizona, where she taught courses in social entrepreneurship, event planning, leadership, and career readiness. Meghan currently serves as the New Member Orientation Director for Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, where she coordinates orientation events and educational programs.
During the webinar Dr. Seemiller and Meghan provided the context behind the study and the beliefs of Generation Z students. They explained in detail who Generation Z are, the differences between Generation Z and millennials, and retention strategies for Generation Z.
Who is Generation Z?
Meghan began by explaining that Generation Z individuals were born 1995 to 2010 and have been connected since birth. She entertained the audience with some fun facts about this new generation. Kevin Bacon has always maintained six degrees of separation in the cinematic universe. Their parents’ car CD player is considered ancient and embarrassing. With GPS, they have never needed directions to get someplace, just an address.
Generation Z Goes to College is based on research from nearly 300 sources. Dr. Seemiller shared the story behind how they conducted their research and what sources were utilized to author the book. She also explained why there was a need to study this new generation.
Dr. Seemiller and Meghan shared insight about various topics from their research in an effort to provide audience members with a detailed overview of Generation Z and strategies for developing, supporting, and retaining them in college. The following list outlines the various topics that were discussed by both presenters during the webinar:
- Information and Connection
- Creative Entrepreneurship
- Disasters and Tragedies
- Equity and Equality
- Budget Cuts
- Religious Service Attendance
- Social and Financial politics
- Interpersonal Styles
- Learning Styles and Preferences
- Learning Environments
- Technology Characteristics
- Social Media Use and Rationale
- Major, Moderate and Minor Concerns
- High, Moderate, and Minimal Engagement
- Role Models
- Millennials and Generation Z
- Retaining Generation Z
- Addressing Homesickness
- Creating Safe and Welcoming Campus Communities
- Supporting Student Wellness and Balance
- Providing Support and Guidance
- Curbing the Cost of College
- Prove the Value of a College Education