student success

Apply for the 2018 Retention Excellence Awards and showcase your student success accomplishments

Janene Panfil

Senior Vice President for Retention Solutions

February 9, 2018

The Retention Excellence Awards are now accepting nominations until March 16, 2018.
Learn more and apply.

We know from our work in student satisfaction and motivation what is important to students throughout their academic lifecycle and the specific requests for support first-year students make.  Have you localized these and other data to improve student life, learning and outcomes on your campus?  Please share your program and your journey with others on the same path by applying for the 2018 Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award.  Winning programs will be showcased at the Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference, in a national webinar, on our website, and used as a resource by colleges and universities across the nation to enhance their own efforts.

According to our most recent research on student satisfaction, the top areas of importance for undergraduate students across institution types are:

  • Instructional effectiveness
  • Academic Advising
  • Safety and Security
  • Student Centeredness
  • Registration Effectiveness

Our annual report on freshman motivations shows specific requests for support from first-year students across institution types:

Survey item National percentages
I would like to receive instruction in the most effective ways to take college exams. 78.4%
I would like help selecting an educational plan that will prepare me to get a good job. 70.2%
I would like to talk to someone about getting a scholarship. 67.2%
I would like to find out more about the clubs and social organizations at my college. 66.8%
I would like to talk with someone about qualifications needed for certain occupations. 66.3%
I would like to receive some help in improving my study habits. 61.4%
I would like to attend an informal gathering where I can meet some new friends. 59.2%
I would like to talk with someone about the salaries and future outlook for various occupations. 57.1%
I would like to talk with someone about the advantages and disadvantages of various occupations. 51.1%
I would like to talk to someone about getting a part-time job during the regular school year. 50.7%

Has your campus been able to address these student needs and interest in ways that improve student and institutional success? It is clear students value effective faculty and quality instruction, and that they want to bring strong study habits and exam skills into the classroom. Students also desire advising and information on majors, outcomes by major, type of employment, and salaries.

If your campus has experienced progress in student success, retention and graduation rates, and career outcomes, I invite you to submit an application for the 2018 Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award.

Share your success story by applying for the Retention Excellence Awards

I hope you’ve taken advantage of the data and research we make available to support your efforts (see sampling of reports and resources below).  We invite you to contribute to this body of information by nominating an effective retention program for the 2018 Lee Noel and Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Awards. Over the years, more than 170 colleges and universities have been honored with Retention Excellence Awards, as you can read in this compendium. If you’re looking for new ideas to develop guided pathways, identify at-risk students and successful practices, or to create a comprehensive retention plan, take a moment to explore the retention programs that past winners have shared.

Apply for the Retention Excellence Awards here.

Applications are now being accepted and you will find the criteria for the awards online.  The application is brief and is similar to submitting a proposal to present at a conference. Up to three winners will be recognized. The honor includes a free conference registration to the Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference being held in Orlando, July 24-26, 2018. Winners are featured in a national webinar hosted by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, and will serve as a judge in selecting the 2018 winners.

Please take a minute and review the resources we make available to support your efforts.  I encourage you to review the application and consider applying. The process is easy, and the rewards for your campus are many!

Questions? Please contact me directly by email or call me at 800.876.1117.

Retention papers and resources from Ruffalo Noel Levitz (a sampling)

Additional papers and reports along with the Retention Excellence Awards
Click to see all our papers on student retention

Ruffalo Noel Levitz publishes papers and reports on student retention throughout each year. Here are some of our recent publications.

About the Author

Janene Panfil serves Ruffalo Noel Levitz as senior vice president for retention solutions, offering more than 25 years of hands-on leadership and experience in student retention and assessment. She provides vision and direction for the...

Read more about Janene's experience and expertise

Reach Janene by e-mail at

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Student Success