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Retention Excellence Awards

Celebrating commitment to student success and college completion

The Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Awards program was established to honor the retention achievements of regionally accredited postsecondary institutions throughout North America. Established in 1989, there have been over 170 institutions recognized to date.

Download the Retention Excellence Award Winners to see award-winning best practices in student retentionCompendium of Retention Excellence Awards Winners, 1989-2017
This document contains case studies of more than 170 campus retention programs that have been honored with a Retention Excellence Award.

Purpose of the Retention Excellence Awards

The purpose of the Awards program is to identify and recognize the most successful student success and retention programs in use from a variety of institutions serving a diverse range of students, and to share those programs nationally. These award-winning programs serve as models of retention excellence and offer other institutional leaders opportunities to emulate these programs on their own campuses. 

In 2018, three award winners will be recognized: 

Applications are reviewed by a national selection committee. Meet our judges. Awards will be given to recognize integrated and successful retention outcomes. The areas listed below, which cover a wide array of academic and student service units and targeted populations, suggest the broad range of areas for which institutions might apply:

• Minority student retention
• Adult and returning learner retention
• Commuter student success
• Academic advising
• Career services
• Orientation/first-year programs
• Second-year programs
• Student assessment
• Career development
• Academic support services
• Residence life/student activities and leadership
• Student information and tracking systems
• Early-alert programs
• Faculty/instructional development
• Staff/management development
• Institutionwide retention efforts
• Online learning programs

Application process

Applications must be received by March 16. Winners will be announced at the 2018 National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Retention

Selection criteria

Program and institutional nominees are judged on several criteria:

  • Clarity of purpose
  • Identifiable and measurable institutional outcomes
  • Originality and creativity in program conception and implementation
  • Use of resources
  • Adaptability for use at other institutions

Questions about the Retention Excellence Awards?

Please email Janene Panfil of Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

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