Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is an 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  strives to advance higher education’s larger goal of achieving equity and social justice.

An outgrowth of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, which began operations in 1999, the Institute was incorporated in 2007 as a nonprofit organization. Since 1999, the Center and Institute have provided hundreds of colleges and universities tools and processes designed to enhance institutional approaches to the first year.

Colleges and universities participating in the Institute’s various projects and activities include public and private, two-year and four-year institutions, as well as minority-serving, tribal, and single-gender campuses. The Institute’s past projects have included the development of regional consortia to support first-year initiatives, collaboration with research universities and other organizations to create a variety of assessment tools and instruments, sponsorship of a national campaign to recognize “Institutions of Excellence” in the first college year, national surveys of first-year policies and practices, and authorship of several major books and articles on topics related to the first year and other student transitions.


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