MAP-Works earns recognition for training program

MAP-Works logoNIU’s MAP-Works, a first-year success program for new freshmen and transfer students, has been recognized by EBI MAP-Works with a 2014 Excellence Award.

Last month’s honor marked the third consecutive year NIU earned praise for its innovation in student retention systems and program assessments for higher education.

The accolades for NIU and seven other institutions came during a ceremony that took place at the Grand Hall Ballroom of the historic Crowne Plaza Union Station in Indianapolis in conjunction with EBI MAP-Works’ seventh annual user conference.

“MAP-Works has had a significant impact on retention and student success at NIU,” says Randi Napientek, assistant director of the NIU Office of Student Academic Success.

“Through increased knowledge about our students’ strengths and challenges, the almost 450 faculty and staff who work with MAP-Works have been able to be proactive in bringing resources, support and programing to our students. We have seen a 16 percent improvement in retention for freshmen students who participate in at least one MAP-Works Survey compared to those who do not.”

“What I found most useful from MAP-Works was its ability to help me focus on how to best manage my time and keep myself organized,” adds Michael DeVito, sophomore business student. “The assessment gave me a better view on how to tackle everyday school and life challenges that come from the transition into college life.”

NIU’s application detailed its “MAP-Works Training: How to Inspire and Innovate Your Campus (and others)” initiative.

NIU’s Randi Napientek is congratulated by Mahendran Jawaharlal (center) and Sean Sullivan of EBI MAP-Works.

NIU’s Randi Napientek is congratulated by Mahendran Jawaharlal (center) and Sean Sullivan of EBI MAP-Works.

“The establishment of a concrete and comprehensive training program for faculty and staff users is essential to a successful MAP-Works implementation. Northern Illinois University worked hard to implement a training program that reflects best practices including, but not limited to, engaging users throughout the year, using training to generate campus buy-in, and empowering campus partners to utilize MAP-Works in a variety of functional areas,” the judges’ description reads.

“The team at NIU was recognized for using multiple training experiences to generate buy-in, underscoring the importance of continued training with comprehensive training materials to optimize the MAP-Works experience for users.”

MAP-Works Excellence Awards were created to recognize institutions that exemplify the EBI MAP-Works mission of contributing to continuous improvement in student success and retention. Stories of the award recipients illustrate the many ways in which MAP-Works, a member of the Macmillan New Ventures portfolio of education technology solutions, is able to support each student’s successful transition to college and the optimization of their college experience.

Other schools earning recognition were Indiana State University, MCPHS University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of San Diego, Iowa State University, University of Northern Colorado and University of Iowa.

For more information on MAP-Works, call (815) 753-5721 or email osas@niu.edu.

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