The Student Success Summit kicks off Foundations of Excellence at the University of New Mexico on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 8 a.m.-noon. UNM is one of several colleges and universities selected by the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate to participate in the yearlong project. At the summit, participants will receive data regarding retention and graduation rates, learn about the Foundations of Excellence process and find out how to become involved.

The Foundations of Excellence project is designed to help campuses evaluate and improve the overall experience of first-year students. The Gardner Institute, based in Brevard, N.C., is a nonprofit higher education research/policy center established in 1999. The institute helps both two- and four-year institutions of higher education enhance new student learning and retention through systematic appraisal and improvement of programs, policies and institutional procedures. Since the project began in 2003, more than 500 two- and four-year colleges and universities have participated either in developing the model or completing the self-study process.

Registration is appreciated but not required. Register at Learning Central. Visit the Office of Student Academic Success for more information and to view a video recording after the summit, or call (505) 277-7763 for questions.

Media contact: Sari Krosinsky (505) 277-1583; email: