Excellence Award: Civic Learning, Democratic Engagement, Service-Learning and related

Civic Engagement Supporting the Profession Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
Application Deadline: October 23, 2020 | Award Type: excellence

This award area includes promoting the education of students for engaged citizenship through democratic participation in their communities, respect and appreciation of diversity, applied learning, and social responsibility.  These programs are meant to improve institutional culture, policy, and practice in order to advance an institution’s educational opportunities to prepare students for active citizenship and active participation in our nation's democracy.

Questions to ask: What connections can be made from your institutional history to de­mocracy, civic engagement, or your community? What specific skills and values do you hope to provide to your stu­dents and your graduates? How does your work improve and strengthen your community? What areas could be enhanced by civic learning, democratic engagement and service-learning work?

From FIVE THINGS Student Affairs Professionals Can Do to Institutionalize Civic Engagement

Laura E. Sponsler and Matthew Hartley    https://www.naspa.org{filedir_3}5THINGS-AUG2013_WEB.pdf 


Overview of Excellence Awards

NASPA recognizes the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services, and effective administration. All NASPA members are encouraged to enter recently developed and/or longstanding programs and initiatives for consideration for the NASPA Excellence Awards.

Programs selected for recognition in each category will receive one of three designations: Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The gold recipients from each category will be further judged for the designations of Grand Gold, Grand Silver, and Grand Bronze.

Applications will open late summer of 2020 and will be due October 2020. There is no specific time by which your submission must be made on October 2020. Gold Award recipients will be recognized at the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference in Kansas City, MO. 

If the submission relates to a program that relies on substantive use of multimedia technology, a link to those materials should be embedded in the award submission. The materials must be accessible to committee members without the need for user identification or password.

To access a video that overviews the submission process, please utilize this link.

Excellence Awards Judging Criteria

Entries within each category will be reviewed by a cross-section of experienced NASPA members. Three to five judges will independently review submissions using the following criteria:

  • Impact on student learning and success demonstrated through transition, retention, or achievement outcomes
  • Relevance to institutional mission and/or applicability to student affairs profession institutionally, regionally, or nationally
  • Success in addressing student needs or responding to critical campus concerns and issues
  • Involvement, inclusion, and collaboration with academic affairs and other campus departments in planning and implementation
  • Use of innovative and creative methods, practices, or activities including the use of social media and emerging learning technologies
  • Application of available or emerging theoretical models, practical research, and program assessment

In addition, submissions will also be assessed for the quality of the program description, explanation of concepts, and clarity of writing. Please see this link for the rubric which will be used for assessment.

Excellence Awards Recognition

Gold Award recipients will:

  • Be placed in consideration for the NASPA Grand Gold Medal, NASPA Grand Silver Medal and NASPA Grand Bronze Medal designating the top three programs or initiatives.
  • Receive NASPA Excellence Awards Certificates of Gold.
  • Be prominently displayed at the NASPA Annual Conference.
  • Be invited to participate in a poster session recognizing all Gold Award recipients during the NASPA Annual Conference.
  • Be showcased in a collection of Gold Award recipients on the NASPA Excellence Awards web resource center.
  • Receive letters of commendation sent by NASPA to the institution's president, chief student affairs officer, and selected local media to announce the achievement.

Silver and Bronze Award recipients will:

  • Receive NASPA Excellence Awards Certificates of Silver or Bronze.
  • Be included in a collection of selected entries on the NASPA Excellence Awards web resource center.
  • Receive letters of commendation from NASPA to the institution's president and chief student affairs officer.

Grand Medal recipients:

The Gold Award recipient in each category will be further considered for the highest awards for program excellence -- the NASPA Grand Gold Medal, the NASPA Grand Silver Medal and the NASPA Grand Bronze Medal. The recipients of these three grand awards will be recognized during the NASPA Annual Awards Luncheon.


Excellence Awards Application Requirements

To be considered for a NASPA Excellence Award, you must submit the following information:

  • Correspond to one Excellence Award category
  • Program title
  • Executive summary (500 words or less)
  • Information around Student Learning and/or Success, Mission and/or Advancement of Student Affairs, Student and/or campus needs, Collaboration and Sustainability, Originality and creativity, and Application of Research, Theory, and Assessment
  • Letters of support (maximum of three)