John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Foundational Dimensions® Overview

The Foundational Dimensions are nine aspirational principles of excellence for the first-year and transfer experience, 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. Below you’ll find the Foundational Dimensions for both First-Year Focus and Transfer Focus programs specifically tailored for two- and four-year institutions.


First-Year Focus

Four-year Foundational Dimensions

Four-year Foundational Dimensions (Spanish Version)

Two-year Foundational Dimensions


Transfer Focus

Four-year Foundational Dimensions

Two-year Foundational Dimensions