The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education has selected Friends University as one of only 12 four-year institutions nationwide to participate in its Foundations of Excellence Program beginning fall 2013. Headquartered in Brevard, N.C., the institute is led by John N. Gardner and Betsy O. Barefoot, who collectively have nearly 50 years of experience with educational policy and institutional reform. Gardner and Barefoot will be on the Friends University campus Oct. 3-4 to launch the program.
The institute is a national leader in efforts to improve undergraduate learning and retention at institutional, regional and national levels. It assists institutions in creating campus-wide collaborative policies, processes and programs that enhance the experience of first-year and transfer students. These enhancements help ensure students’ success in their academic and co-curricular pursuits.
The institute guides colleges and universities through a process of self-evaluation and program exploration that ultimately leads to the creation of a strategic plan to welcome and orient students to the university community. It helps provide the tools and support students need to initially adjust to college life and to succeed throughout their college career.
Institutions that have participated in the institute’s initiatives include Marquette University (Wisconsin), Berea College (Kentucky), Ball State University (Indiana), Franklin Pierce University (New Hampshire), University of Houston (Texas) and, locally, Wichita State University.