John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Since its launch in 1999, the Gardner Institute (formerly the Policy Center on the First Year of College) has produced publications relevant to the first year of college and has engaged in a number of research projects.

The following publications were developed by staff members of the Gardner Institute from 2002 to the present, with support, respectively, from The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Lumina Foundation.

    • J. Alexander & J. Gardner. (2009 May/June). Beyond retention: A comprehensive approach to the first college year. Published in About Campus. Click to download.

    • B. Barefoot, J. Gardner, M. Cutright, L. Morris, C. Schroeder, M. Siegel, S. Schwartz, & R. Swing (2005). Achieving and Sustaining Institutional Excellence for the First Year of College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Click here to order this book from the publisher at a 15% discount. To receive the discount, enter the code aff15 upon checkout.

    • M. L. Upcraft, J. Gardner, & B. Barefoot (2005). Challenging and Supporting the First-Year Student : A Handbook for Improving the First Year of College; San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Click here to order this book from the publisher at a 15% discount. To receive the discount, enter the code aff15 upon checkout.



    • Cutright, M. (Ed.). (2003). Annotated Bibliography on Assessment of the First College Year. Brevard, NC: Policy Center on the First Year of College.

    • Paulson, K. (2003). A Data Audit and Analysis Toolkit to Support Assessment of the First College Year. Brevard, NC: Policy Center on the First Year of College/National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.


    • R. Swing, (2001 & 2003). Proving and Improving: Strategies for Assessing the First College Year, Vols. 1 and 2. Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. These monographs are available from