John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Foundations of Excellence® Overview

First-Year Focus

Now more than ever in challenging economic times, your campus needs a strategic action plan for the critical beginning college experience. Foundations of Excellence will yield a new vision for enhanced learning and retention of first-year students as well as priorities for resource allocation. Continue Reading…

Transfer Focus

The Gardner Institute is pleased to announce a new Foundations of Excellence self-study and action-planning process that addresses collegiate transfer. This self-study process was developed because of significant demand from present and prospective institutional participants. Continue Reading….

FoE Implement

FoE Implement is a year-long advisory service for institutions that want Gardner Institute staff feedback, counsel, expertise, and support as they implement an action plan derived from a completed FoE self-study process. Continue Reading…

FoE Refresh

FoE Refresh is a variation of the Foundations of Excellence self-study for former FoE participating institutions that want to revise their FoE process and/or final action plan. The outcome is an updated, re-energized self-study that produces a new action plan that fits the institution’s current context. Continue Reading….

Foundational Dimensions

The Foundational Dimensions are nine aspirational principles of excellence, developed in four-year and two-year versions. The Dimensions were developed collaboratively by the Gardner Institute, its design partners from Penn State University’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and Campus Compact, and over 300 four- and two-year institutions. Continue Reading…

Application Process

Enrollment for the 2014-2015 Foundations of Excellence National Cohort opens on September 1. Campuses interested in being selected as a member of the next National Select Cohort must complete a brief on-line application. Continue Reading…

Participating Institutions

Over 400 institutions have participated in the Foundations of Excellence® process since its inception in 2003. The Gardner Institute gratefully acknowledges all of the institutions for their contributions and commitment to first-year and transfer students. Continue Reading…

Support Programs

In addition to the first year and transfer focus programs, the institute offers several special programs geared towards maximizing an institution’s student success rates and retention including the Institute’s newest initiative Gateways to Completion (G2C)™. Current support programs include implementation guidance, refresher courses, and accreditation support. Continue Reading…

Meetings & Summits

Participation as a member of the Foundations of Excellence program includes several, but separate and distinct, annual meetings designed to give campus teams specific information and hands-on experience with all elements of the Foundations process. Continue Reading…

Details & Extras

This section includes additional information regarding the Foundations of Excellence program such as a process walk-through, multimedia, detailed project origins, costs for participation, and terms of use. Continue Reading…