Department Student Success & Retention Awards

The Department Student Success and Retention Awards recognize exceptional activities that involve broad, collaborative participation within academic departments or schools to support student success and improve retention at the undergraduate level. The awards celebrate innovation or the adaption of best practices to local circumstances and provide a vehicle for sharing them with others.

Recognition is accorded at the college level and university level. $1,000 will be awarded to a department or school within each college. $10,000 will be awarded to a single department or school from among the pool of college winners. Winners will be announced at the Faculty Excellence Award Ceremony. The awards will be deposited in foundation accounts of the winning departments or schools to be used at their discretion within the bounds of normal regulations.

Activities to be considered by selection committees

The range of activities to be considered by the selection committees is broad can and focus on one or several degree or certificate programs or the unit’s courses in the core curriculum. They may include the following, but the list is not meant to be exhaustive:

Use of active or experiential learning pedagogies
Curriculum redesign with the aim of retaining and graduating students
Reward structures (such as protocols for the evaluation of teaching) that encourage practices that support student success and retention
Engagement with students in co-curricular activities or other activities outside the classroom Alignment of curriculum and co-curricular activities with career pathways
Use of data to inform and assess change
Special support services, such as peer mentoring or tutoring programs
Support targeting special populations
Advising practices
Process improvement
Early alert mechanisms
Innovative class scheduling

Criteria for selection

In judging submissions, selection committees will consider the alignment of practices with the undergraduate student profile of UA-Little Rock, the impact of particular activities, the range of activities, the transferability of the practices to other departments or schools, and the degree of involvement of faculty and staff across the department or school.


All departments or schools are eligible to submit applications.

The selection committees will be the same as those that select the Faculty Excellence Award
winners-college committees for the college-level awards and the UA Little Board of Visitors for the university-level award.

Each college selection committee will select a winner and a runner-up. The University Board of Visitors will select the university winner from among the college winners. The $1,000 college­level award of the college from which the university-level award is selected will go to the runner-up in that college.


Administration of the award process

Administrative support for the award process shall be the responsibility of the Office of the

Preparation of nomination packets

Department chairs or school directors are responsible for the preparation of application packets containing information as specified below under  “Content and Format of Applications.” Format rules (page limitation, font size, and spacing) are enforced.

Submission of applications and timeline

One copy of each application for the college-level awards shall be submitted to the college selection committee no later February 17.

One copy of each college-level winner’s application shall be forwarded to the Provost no later than March 2. The identification of each college-level runner-up shall also be forwarded to the Provost by March 2.

Selection committee action

College-level selection committees shall meet as necessary in order to complete the selection of the award winner and runner-up.

  • Committee procedures shall be determined by the respective colleges/schools.
  • The committee shall review such materials as are submitted in the application.
  • The proceedings of the committees shall be confidential.
  • The committee shall prepare for each college-level winner a one-page letter of support to be included in the application.

The Provost shall forward sets of nomination packets to members of the external selection committee.

  • The members of the selection committee shall advise the Provost of the committee’s selections by a date designated by the Provost.
  • The proceedings of the committee shall be confidential.
  • The announcement of University-level winners shall be made at the Faculty Excellence Award Ceremony.

Content and format of applications

The Student Success and Retention Awards aim to recognize Schools and Departments at UA Little Rock that have made significant contributions to improving the success and retention of our undergraduate students.

The application document should include the following elements and be in the following format:

  • Cover page
    • Name of Department or School
    • Name of College
    • Name of Department Chair or School Director, with signature and date
  • A brief, narrative overview that provides a general framework for the activities described below
  • An account of the following information for each activity included:
    • Identification of the problem related to retention and student success that the activity is meant to address, including a brief account of how the problem was identified
    • A description of the activity, including a brief account of the scope of involvement across the department or school
    • A brief account of the outcomes of the activity and how it was evaluated or future plans for evaluation

Use margins no narrower than 1 inch on all sides and 12 Time Roman font; the application must not exceed five, single-spaced pages excluding the cover page.

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