Washington, D.C.—The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) today announced this year’s Excellence and Innovation Award winners. This awards program, now in its second year, honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in several major areas of campus life and leadership that are mission focused.

Advances in student success and college completion, regional and economic development, leadership development and diversity, and international education will be honored with these awards.

“State colleges and universities have remained committed to their missions of student access and success, and regional and economic progress, and continue their dedication to advancing the quality and distinction of their institutions during the most challenging of times,” said AASCU President Muriel A. Howard.  “We believe the innovative and collaborative approaches for which these universities are being honored will inspire not only their AASCU colleagues, but all of higher education.”

Selection panels for each award weighed entries that fit both general criteria and specific additional criteria for each category of achievement; two awards were given in each category. The awards will be presented October 25 at the opening session of AASCU’s Annual Meeting (October 25-27) in Austin, Texas.

The winners are:

  • Student Success and College Completion Awards: Cleveland State University (Ohio) and Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, Ky.). [Read more here.]


  • Regional and Economic Development Awards: Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Washington State University Vancouver. [Read more here.]


  • Leadership Development and Diversity Award: California State University, Long Beach [Read more here] and the University of West Georgia (Carrollton, Ga.).

Engage West! is a family of programs designed to help the University of West Georgia (UWG) become a “best place to work” by creating a culture of high achievement and evidence-based leadership. Anchored in the new strategic plan and guided by core values—with student success as the primary goal—it includes an annual engagement survey, a peer-to-peer recognition program, cascaded unit strategic plans with individual goals tied to the university plan, and taskforces on sustainability and diversity/inclusion. The success of Engage West! is rooted in UWG’s Leadership Development Institutes, quarterly training days, and assigned activities that link session learning to day-to-day functions.

  • International Education Awards: California State University, Fresno and Northwest Missouri State University (Maryville, Mo.). [Read more here.]


Criteria for the winning entries in the awards competition required evidence of top-level administrative support, connection with an institution’s mission and strategic agenda, evidence the initiative contributed to significant institutional improvements or programming, and evidence the initiative was grounded in research and incorporated best practices.


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Join us in celebrating the University of West Georgia for being awarded the AASCU Award for Leadership Development and Diversity Award.




Special thanks to the University of West Georgia for providing this news release from AASCU (Washington, DC, August 19, 2015) to share with What’s Right readers.

AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a culture centered on learning and teaching, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.

The University of West Georgia is the land of opportunity for more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students in 86 fields of study. The university is known for its innovative approach to scholarly achievement, creative expression, and service to humanity. It was recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges and one of America’s Best Value Colleges. Founded in Carrollton, Ga., in 1906, UWG also offers classes at its Newnan and Douglasville centers and online. For more information, please visit westga.edu. To learn more about the University’s award-winning Engage West! program contact Maggie Worth at mworth@westga.edu.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student retention and success, service excellence, employee engagement, service excellence, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Filed under: Higher Education, Service Excellence Tagged: #EmployeeEngagement, #HigherEd, AASCU, Diversity, Engage West!, GoWest!, higher education, Leadership, Leadership development, Marrero, University, University of West Georgia, UWG

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