Valparaiso University has named Andrea Welch executive director for retention and student success. In this role, she will collaborate with administrators, students, faculty, staff and families to establish, coordinate and implement retention and student success initiatives at the university. As executive director, Welch will oversee institutional retention, programs, initiatives and support services, which includes the management of four retention-based committees. She will develop, coordinate, facilitate and evaluate the University’s retention efforts and take the reins on broader issues of persistence and completion, playing a critical role in the University’s overall goals for student success.

Welch has 14 years of higher education experience. From 2006–2015, she held various positions within student affairs and academic affairs at Indiana University South Bend, culminating in her role as the director of advising for the School of Education. During her tenure at Indiana University South Bend, she gained academic experience in curriculum development, program accreditation processes and faculty training. For the past two years, she served as associate vice chancellor for student affairs at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, where she was again responsible for enrollment management and retention. 

Welch has mentored and served many underrepresented student populations. She is also a frequent guest lecturer and has presented at national conferences including the Association for the Study of Higher Education, NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the National Symposium on Student Retention.

Welch holds a bachelor of science in interpersonal communication from Ohio University – Zanesville, Ohio, a master of education in college student personnel from Ohio University and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Indiana State University.

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