Published on October 23, 2017 by Philip Poole  
Davis Library

Samford University recently was honored by the Education Advisory Board (EAB) with a 2017 Student Success Collaborative Awards. Five colleges and universities were honored for elevating the student experience through proactive student success management and improved student retention rates by as much as 20 percent.    

EAB is a best practice firm dedicated to helping schools, colleges, and universities fulfill their missions and enable all students to succeed.  

Samford and Elizabeth City (North Carolina) State University received Collaborative Citizenship Awards for successfully engage faculty in student success. At Samford, 90 percent of faculty shared input on their students’ progress, which contributed to an increase of two percentage points in first-year retention. Leaders at ECSU and Samford worked with EAB to share their faculty engagement best practices with their peers in the Student Success Collaborative. 

The award included a $1,500 contribution to Samford's general scholarship fund.

“Student success is a team effort,” said Samford Associate Provost Nancy Biggio.  “By collaborating with other schools and EAB, we are able to learn and share best practices to work with students, faculty, and staff to improve student success.  We are constantly encouraged by colleagues who also care deeply about assisting students in their adjustment to college, persistence through their major and completion of their academic goals.” 

The awards were presented at the Student Success Collaborative’s Annual Summit, CONNECTED, a two-day gathering of more than 500 of the country’s most progressive student success leaders. Biggio and Bridget Rose, director of Samford’s Academic Success Center, represented Samford. 

“Providing a return on education—helping students graduate in less time, at lower cost, and with the best possible post-graduate outcomes—is the top priority at most schools,” said Scott Schirmeier, executive vice president of EAB. "The schools that are making the most progress enable students, faculty, advisors, administrators, career counselors, financial aid officers, and other professionals to work together with data and analytics toward their common goal of student success.” 

Other winners of the 2017 Student Success Collaborative Awards are the University of South Alabama, Return on Education Award; Stacey Bradley, senior associate vice president for student affairs and academic support at the University of South Carolina, Visionary Leadership Award; and Mercy College (New York), Technology Pioneer. 

“The five schools we recognize this year exemplify the promise of a unified approach to student success," Schirmeier continued. “Their impressive results are powered by EAB Campus, our enterprise-level Student Success Management System (SSMS), best practice research, strong campus leadership, and an unrelenting commitment to helping more students reach their potential.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.