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Northwest has been recognized for its Academic Success and Retention Unit with an award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, an organization that shows appreciation to members that exhibit excellence and success in new and innovative ways.

Northwest received the Student Success and College Completion award Oct. 16, which accompanied the celebration of seven other state colleges and universities receiving awards for contributions to student success.

Northwest was honored for several reasons, the first being an increase in retention rates. The University’s retention rate increased from 73% to 78% in 2019, an accomplishment attributed to the student success model drafted by the University.

The Academic Success and Retention Unit recorded a 5% increase in retention, as well as significantly fewer students on academic probation and academic suspension.

Provost Jamie Hooyman, President John Jasinski and Director of Academic Success and Retention Allison Hoffman will travel to a national AASCU conference Oct. 27 to receive the award.

Jasinski spoke about Northwest being chosen for the award at the Oct. 23 Board of Regents meeting. He said the University doesn’t actively seek national awards, but that Northwest’s model for academic success proves to regularly earn them.

“It’s really not about the award, though,” Jasinski said. “It’s really about our students, our partners and our region.”

Jasinski went on to praise the Provost’s Office, noting a display of national awards.

AASCU recognized Northwest’s ability to increase student satisfaction based on 2018-19 academic year data presented from the University Academic Success and Retention unit.

Key focuses of recognition are the pairing of first year students with a professional adviser and success coach as well as a secondary advisor. The AASCU noted in a press release announcing the excellence and innovation awards that by having professional and secondary advisors, students are in a position of great benefit.

According to Northwest’s website, professional advisors specialize in specific academic areas in order to provide holistic support to first year students, including course selection and registration, connections to campus resources and how to gain profession-based experiences.

Through the Student Success Center, students have access to academic support, advisement, coaching and academic recovery options.

Freshman Abigayle Davis said her professional adviser has been a good resource in the process of transitioning to college life.

“He was able to offer academic advice for my classes,” Davis said. “He was also able to offer advice on how to better my grades and create better studying habits.”

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