John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Support and Other Retention Services

The Institute offers a variety of services to support postsecondary institutions in their pursuit of undergraduate excellence and retention that include the following:

Customized Student Success Events

These could be structured either as an off site small group retreat at a distance removed from your campus, such as in the Institute’s beautiful region of western North Carolina, or a location nearer your campus or actually on your campus. Given travel costs the more distant retreat structure would need to be for a smaller group probably for key leaders. An on campus event could include a much larger group of stakeholders given the total absence of travel costs other than for the event facilitators from the Gardner Institute.

It could focus on any period of the undergraduate experience … (more)

Program Reviews

Institute personnel will review individual initiatives, programs, courses, student success challenges and offer counsel in multiple fashions: written, telephonic, videoconference, and/or campus visits.

Visits to Institutions

Institute personnel are available to visit individual institutions for the purpose of consultation, presentation, workshop facilitation, planning and evaluation, and guided conversations with key groups such as senior leaders, faculty, student affairs professionals, trustees, etc.

Higher Education System Initiatives

The Institute and its personnel have extensive experience with initiatives that involve multiple institutions, both two-year and four-year that are jointly engaged in common student success initiatives:

  • in city or county community college districts (e.g., City Colleges of Chicago; Lone Star College in Houston; the Alamo Community College District in San Antonio)
  • in city public higher education systems comprised of both two and four-year institutions (e.g., City University  of New York)
  • in state systems for community/technical colleges (e.g., Kentucky Community Technical College System)
  • in state public university systems (e.g., University of Wisconsin Colleges)
  • in metropolitan areas bringing together two and four-year institutions in collaborative ventures (e.g., El Paso, Tx, Moorhead, MN, and Bakersfield, CA)
  • in state-based private institution consortia (e.g., North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities)
  • in state based public two and four-year institutional partner project (eight campuses) funded by Kresge Foundation (Michigan)
  • state-wide public university system-the University System of Georgia (ten campuses)

Advisory Support Topics

The Institute’s advisory support is tailored to the unique needs of particular institutions and clients. The following is a list of some of the most common topics for which we provide assistance. This is not an exhaustive list:

  • Retention/attrition/completion agenda
  • Accreditation Support
  • Student Success
  • Analytics
  • Learning Communities
  • First-year seminar processes to initiate, refine, strengthen, evaluate
  • Academic/faculty/student affairs partnerships
  • Securing faculty buy-in for student success initiatives
  • Transfer—improving rates of transfer and subsequent transfer student success
  • Sophomore student focused initiatives
  • Senior year experience initiatives
  • Gateway course improvement efforts
  • Two-year/four-year college collaboration efforts
  • Strategic planning
  • Assessment
  • Quality initiatives for regional accreditors
  • Professional development for student success personnel and initiatives
  • Professional development for senior campus leaders

Visits to the Institute

Visits to the Institute’s headquarters in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountain town of Brevard, NC, are welcomed. This is an excellent setting for undistracted, relaxing, and highly focused conversation on student success challenges. Either the entire Institute staff or selected individual members are available for advisory support for our visitors. Fees, if such are appropriate, would be determined by the number of Institute personnel involved, length of the visit, amount of advance preparation and review of materials, and desired follow-up.