The Center for Higher Eduction Retention Excellence (CHERE) seeks to understand and improve policies and practices that lead to higher college retention, from high school graduation, to college entrance, first-year success, and to graduation and employment, for challenged and underrepresented students.

Created in 2013, CHERE is a program of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education (HCHE), expanding HCHE's focus and programming beyond its tradition of access work, through a complementary focus on success in higher education.


  • To provide professionals from higher education, secondary education, community organizations, and others, a neutral forum for discussing important subjects in higher education via small, affordable interactive conferences.
  • To conduct applied research – ideally through college-age and/or graduate interns – on key subjects, and to publish the results.
  • To advocate, both directly and via social media, issues and ideas regarding higher education to elected officials, state and federal government officials, post-secondary and secondary professionals, community-based professionals, and students.

Organizing Principles

  • A critical economic development challenge faces our nation: the high failure rate of high school graduates entering post-secondary education.
  • We cannot afford up to half of community college students and a third of state university students not surviving their freshman year, not moving on to graduation, and not entering the workforce at their potential.
  • Nor can we allow a significant number of high school graduates who are accepted into some type of higher education, but do not enroll.

Learn more about CHERE

Previous CHERE Conferences


  • September - Retention to Post Secondary Graduation
  • September - The First Year Experience: What Works and Why?


  • October - The Summer Melt


  • February - Immigrants and Higher Education
  • April - Student Debt and Financial Aid: What Can We Do?
  • May - Seamless Counseling
  • September - Bridge Programs: From Here to There
  • November - Career and Technical Education Programs


  • February - Big Issues in Higher Education
  • April - The Future of Community Colleges
  • November - Can Non-Traditional Save Higher Education and Vice Versa?
  • Follow up: January 29th, 2016 and March 11th, 2016


  • April - Saving Higher Education: Finding Solutions that Work