John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education


The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations, educators, and other entities to increase institutional responsibility for improving outcomes associated with teaching, learning, retention, and completion. Through its efforts the Institute will strive to advance higher education’s larger goal of achieving equity and social justice.


The Institute will help higher education and related organizations to individually and/or collectively define or redefine excellence in undergraduate education and will assist with the application of these definitions to practice and/or policy. These actions will support efforts to facilitate innovation in colleges, universities, and the broader systems of which they are a part. The ensuing dynamic educational opportunities will transform the institutions, the people they serve, the places in which they live and work, and the broader societies and economies of which they are a part.


The Institute will undertake a wide range of educational activities that will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Continuing to provide campuses with the externally guided, voluntary, comprehensive self-study processes, such as Foundations of Excellence® First Year and Transfer; Gateways to Completion®; and Retention Performance Management®;
  • Leading a major national advocacy initiative to focus on faculty roles in teaching and revising gateway, high-failure-rate courses. The effort will provide faculty development opportunities focusing both on evidence-based pedagogies, (Teaching and Learning Academy) and the use of learner analytics to improve teaching and learning (Analytics in Pedagogy and Curriculum);
  • Collaborating with the National Academic Advising Association in a new process to advance excellence in academic advising;
  • Developing a new process to accelerate the adoption or enhance the effectiveness of “high-impact practices”;
  • Conducting evaluations, surveys, educational training, research, and advisory services for postsecondary institutions, government agencies, foundations, and other appropriate entities that aspire to improve undergraduate student learning, success, retention, and degree completion;
  • Sustaining previous and current partnerships, and developing new partnerships with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations, educators, and other entities that share a common interest in pursuing excellence in undergraduate education;
  • Providing unique meetings, retreats, professional development activities, networks, and other opportunities for the support and professional advancement of postsecondary educators who share a common interest in achieving excellence in undergraduate education;
  • Providing information and research to educational institutions through electronic, print, and other means of dissemination;
  • Providing pro bono services and information for postsecondary educators and institutions as the Institute may deem appropriate; and
  • Initiating other service activities to improve undergraduate education that are consistent with the Institute’s mission, resources, capabilities, interests, and tax-exempt non-profit status.


The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer. Admission to, employment by, and promotion within the Institute shall be on the basis of merit, and there shall be no discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, or any characteristic protected by law.