On June 1, the 21st Century Scholars Program received notice that they had won an Outstanding Advising Award Certificate of Merit by NACADA and will receive this honor at the NACADA Annual International Conference in October This is the first time the program applied for the award.
Established in 1983, the NACADA Global Awards Program for Academic Advising honors individuals and institutions significantly impacting academic advising. NACADA is a representative and advocate of academic advising in higher education.
“I am proud of this team and the roles we played in garnering this award,” Vincent Isom, director of the 21st Century Scholars Program, said. “This award means so much because the program has come so far since its inception.”
Isom recalls how the program began with a half-time secretary, half-time advisor, half-time special projects coordinator has since grown into an award-winning program focusing on student retention and graduation with a full-time staff that includes an administrative assistant, three academic advisors, director, special project coordinator, and additional staff in the form of AmeriCorps member and graduate assistants.
Jen Berry, lead academic advisor, has been with the program since 2013 and stated this acknowledgment speaks for the totality of the program and the growth it has had over the past eight years.
“When Vince came several things began to evolve. He nurtured and advocated for the program by hiring additional advisors, intentionally working with students on academic probation, and making sure scholars had the resources needed to grow, while at IUB” Berry said.“
According to the NACADA website, in addition to the program description, suitability for dissemination, and adherence to program guidelines, an outstanding program must include evidence of the following qualities:
- Innovative Quality — Represents new approaches to effective academic advising. If a program has been implemented elsewhere but is new to an institution, it is eligible.
- Creativity — Demonstrates creative use of resources (human, fiscal, and physical) in the delivery of academic advising services.
- Currency — Addresses current problems and issues in academic advising.
- Institutional Commitment — Demonstrating commitment to advising throughout the institution.
- Impact — Providing definitive evidence of positive student and/or institutional outcomes.
- Transferability — Applicable to a wide variety of institutions.
According to both Isom and Berry, receiving this recognition is due to the incredible work of the advisors and staff members involved with the 21st Century Scholars Program, who provide students with the support they need to do their best work.
“Each team member is specialized and puts forth their full effort while providing their twist on how to make the program better,” Isom said. “Setting goals for their roles and their devotion to our students continues to drive this program to be the best it can be. For example, lead academic advisor Berry provides training to other campus advisors to strengthen communication and increase awareness of processes/requirements necessary to maintain their state scholarships.”
Additionally, Isom highlights the support received from various partners, career centers, and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs for their belief in the program, allowing it to continue to grow and meet the needs of the students.
Moving into a new semester, Berry hopes students will see the 21st Century Scholars Program as a home away from home where they can always find any needed direction and support. For more information on the award, please visit the NACADA website.