The College of Saint Elizabeth was named the 2019 recipient of the Lee Noel-Randi Levitz Retention Excellence Award (REA) presented by RNL®, leading provider of higher education enrollment management, student success and fundraising solutions.
The award recognizes CSE for its achievements in supporting student success and completion through FASTRAK, a literacy-intensive summer bridge program. Focused learning, peer mentorship and personal guidance from faculty and staff are the pillars of the program, which is now in its fourth year.
Comparable to an educational boot camp, FASTRAK begins prior to formal orientation and aims to better prepare freshmen for the rigors of college. With the highly structured programming continuing throughout the first year, student persistence and retention has grown year-over-year, especially among student populations that are more vulnerable to attrition.
“Attending college is a significant transition for many students and the more support they can receive before courses and assignments become too overwhelming, the more likely they are to succeed,” explains Dr. Monique Guillory, vice president for academic affairs.
FASTRAK has no cost to the student and results in four elective credits upon completion. Participants who show promise for academic success are chosen from the pool of accepted students. This year, CSE welcomed more than 50 freshmen FASTRAK students, which is the largest class since the program began.
CSE was one of just three colleges and universities honored at the RNL 2019 national conference held in Nashville, Tenn.
“These institutions show that innovation, data-informed strategies, and determination can produce tremendous success for campuses and their constituents,” said Sarah Coen, senior vice president at RNL who oversees the firm’s consulting services. “By honoring them, we are not only recognizing their hard work and ingenuity, but also providing models that can help other institutions achieve ongoing success.”
CSE is listed by U.S. News & World Report as among the country’s “Best Ethnic Diversity” colleges, one of the top overall “Regional Universities in the North” and “Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs“. The College also is ranked third among private schools in New Jersey on Money magazine’s “Best Colleges in 2018” list and in the top 100 nationwide for adult student programs and outcomes by Washington Monthly.
Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth