John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

What FoE® First Year Participants Receive

A Comprehensive Package of Services and Products

Twelve months of intensive advisory support by a team of highly experienced professionals led by John N. Gardner of the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. This advisory support team consists of core staff members in addition to knowledgeable experts drawn from former Foundations of Excellence (FoE) participating institutions. These services are tailored to the unique needs of each campus and include:

  • support from a primary Institute Advisor, a senior team member who will provide both solicited and unsolicited assistance throughout the project.
  • regular telephone, e-mail, and web-based video communication from the Institute advisor and others on the Institute team.
  • comprehensive written feedback on eleven distinct steps in the self-study process.
  • technical support for the FoE technology platform, FoEtec® .
  • assistance with FoE surveys: administering, understanding their applications, and interpreting data.
  • periodic national cohort conference calls/webinars that will enable your team to interact with Institute staff members and colleagues at other FoE participating campuses

Foundational Dimensions®. The Foundational Dimensions are nine principles underpinning first-year excellence designed as both aspirational and measurement standards for the first year. These nine Dimensions, in both four-year and two-year versions, are the central intellectual assumptions of this work.

Performance Indicators. Each Foundational Dimension is accompanied by a set of performance indicators (P.I.’s) that break down the broad constructs into measurable components.

Current Practices Inventory. This inventory is both a process and template for conducting a comprehensive, institution-wide inventory of all policies, practices, and programs, both curricular and extracurricular, affecting transfer students. Information collected on the Current Practices Inventory serves as a factual knowledge basis for the ensuing assessment activities.

Action Plan for improving the transfer student experience. Foundations of Excellence includes a process and template for producing the ultimate outcome of the process, the action plan.

FoEtec® – an advanced technology platform. FoEtec is available to all participants and serves as a sophisticated, but user-friendly, electronic platform for recording data, internal and external communication, as well as reporting findings. Participating campuses will have a two-year license to use the FoEtec electronic platform.

Foundations of Excellence Faculty/Staff and Student Surveys . As part of participation in the Foundations of Excellence process, campuses will participate in surveys of faculty/staff and first-year and transfer students. The interactive on-line analysis tools allow groups to analyze and discuss survey results as team. Final results are an important source of evidence for the self-study process.

Foundations of Excellence Launch Meeting . The Gardner Institute sponsors a required two-day summer meeting to prepare each campus to derive maximum benefit from the Foundations of Excellence process. Three complimentary registrations include most meals and all materials. In addition to the three representatives, additional participants may attend for a fee of $350.

Foundations of Excellence Summit Meeting. The Gardner Institute sponsors a required two-day, summer meeting designed to give FoE institutions the opportunity to share their year-long experience and its outcomes. The Summit provides an opportunity for FoE participants to network with each other and the Gardner Institute staff. Registration for two participants are included in the comprehensive fee, and additional participants may attend for an additional per-person fee of $250. We strongly recommend that each campus be represented by at least two, but preferably three or more, members of the FoE task force.

Feedback from Gardner Institute staff on all reporting items.   As part of the Foundations of Excellence process, participating campuses submit, to the Institute, the Current Practices Inventory and reports on the Foundational Dimensions. In turn, the campus will receive written feedback from Institute Advisors on each of these reports.

National recognition. While recognizing individual campuses’ privacy with respect to specific findings, participating campuses will receive national publicity for their involvement in Foundations of Excellence.

Optional Foundations of Excellence Process Enhancements and Support 
(for additional costs)

Note: It is the intent and design of the Foundations of Excellence process that it be successful and influential without the additional services described below. But Gardner Institute staff recognize that some campuses may wish to select from a menu of additional forms of support and service, and these are offered in that spirit and recognition.

Campus visit(s): Members of the Gardner Institute advisory support team are available to make site visits to participating FoE campuses. During site visits a number of services may be provided based on the unique needs of the campus. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct work with campus leaders, FoE task force members, and students.
  • Presentations to the campus community during the self-study process (e.g., campus launch, mid-point, or at the conclusion of the study).
  • Information and advice on various first-year or transfer initiatives.
  • Interaction with media representatives.

Campus visits may be made by:

  • The campus’s primary Gardner Institute Advisor
  • Any of the other Gardner Institute advisory support team members

Click here for complete biographical information on these individuals.

Additional participant attendance at Launch Meeting. 
Launch Meeting additional participant costs (above the three complimentary representatives) include a registration fee of $350 per person and costs for travel and accommodations.

For additional information about these optional project enhancements, contact John N. Gardner, President.