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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

John N. Gardner Institutional Excellence for Students in Transition Award

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition presents the annual John N. Gardner Institutional Excellence for Students in Transition Award to institutions that have designed and implemented outstanding collaborative initiatives to enhance significant transitions during the undergraduate experience.

Submit a nomination

Nomination Deadline: June 28, 2024


Award recipients will have demonstrated the effectiveness of the initiative in supporting student success, learning, and development at a variety of transition points beyond the first college year and in responding to unique institutional needs.

What Your Institution Will Receive

  • Complimentary registration to the National Conference on Students in Transition, to include all conference sessions
  • Recognition at the National Conference on Students in Transition, including the presentation of a plaque 
  • Recognition in a national higher education media outlet; in the National Resource Center's online newsletter (E-Source for College Transitions); and on the Center's web page, listservs (i.e., SOPH List, SYE List, TYE List, and GRAD), and social media channels

How to Nominate Your Program

Nomination packets should clearly demonstrate partnerships and/or collaboration across functional areas and an institutional commitment to helping students successfully navigate one or more transitions beyond the first college year (e.g., sophomore year, transfer, senior year). Nomination materials should include the following:

  • nominator information;
  • targeted student transition;
  • institutional need for the aforementioned student transition;
  • components of the student-in-transition initiative, including how these efforts address institutional need;
  • campus units involved and their respective roles and responsibilities with the student-in-transition initiative;
  • evidence of impact resulting from ongoing assessment and/or evaluation of the initiative; and
  • a letter of endorsement from the nominator.

How We Select The Recipients

Nomination packets will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • evidence of a focus on student transition(s) beyond the first college year;
  • clear articulation of the institutional need for the student-in-transition initiative(s);
  • appropriateness of the initiative to meeting the identified institutional need with respect to specific transition experience(s) targeted;
  • demonstrated evidence of collaboration, including shared goals and values, communications systems, organizational structures, resource sharing, or staff relationships, across multiple campus units; and
  • demonstrated evidence of ongoing assessment and evaluation of the initiative, along with discussion of relevant results.

The selection committee (not to include any representatives from the National Resource Center) will include a national panel composed of members and former members of the National Advisory Board of the National Resource Center and other leaders in American higher education who are champions for students in transition. Up to three award recipients will be selected annually based on the highest overall scores.

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