Excellence Award: Fraternity and Sorority Life, Leadership, Student Activities, Student Union, and related

Supporting the Profession Fraternity and Sorority Student Leadership Programs
Application Deadline: October 6, 2023 | Award Type: excellence

This award seeks to highlight innovative initiatives that relate to the programs, policies, procedures, best practices, or services provided by Fraternity and Sorority Life, Leadership, Student Activities, Student Unions, and related units. This may include initiatives provided by other units (e.g., Dean of Students, Diversity Education, etc.); however, it is vital that the initiative nominated is related to the category and addresses a critical need.

The successful nomination will concisely explain the issue, how it relates to the institutional or Student Affairs’/Student Services mission, and population addressed. Documentation and results of assessments should include learning or success outcomes, how the program/service relates to a critical need, and its theoretical foundation. 

Refer to the rubric against which nominations will be evaluated and review the NASPA Excellence Awards Guidelines below to ensure eligibility.


For questions about the Excellence Awards, please email [email protected]

Overview of Excellence Awards

NASPA recognizes the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services, and effective administration. All NASPA members are encouraged to enter recently developed and/or longstanding programs and initiatives for consideration for the NASPA Excellence Awards.

Programs selected for recognition in each category will receive one of three designations: Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The gold recipients from each category will be further judged for the designations of Grand Gold, Grand Silver, and Grand Bronze.

The NASPA Excellence Awards will begin accepting applications on August 23, 2023 and nominations are due by October 6, 2023. Applicants will be notified of the award decision no later than January 19, 2024. Award recipients will be recognized in various ways at the 2024 NASPA Annual Conference in Seattle, WA. 

Excellence Awards Judging Criteria

Entries within each category will be reviewed by a cross-section of experienced NASPA members. Three to five judges will independently review submissions using the following criteria:

  • Success in addressing student needs or responding to critical campus concerns and issues.
  • Relevance to institutional mission and/or applicability to student affairs profession institutionally, regionally, or nationally.
  • Impact on student learning and success demonstrated through transition, retention, or achievement outcomes.
  • Involvement, inclusion, and collaboration with academic affairs and other campus departments in planning and implementation.
  • Use of innovative and creative methods, practices, or activities including the use of social media and emerging learning technologies.
  • Application of available or emerging theoretical models, practical research, and program assessment.

In addition, submissions will also be assessed for the quality of the program description, explanation of concepts, clarity of writing, and connection to the category in which it applies. Please refer to the rubric* which will be used for assessment.

If the submission relates to a program that relies on substantive use of multimedia technology, a link to those materials should be embedded in the award submission. The materials must be accessible to committee members without the need for user identification or password.

*NASPA is dedicated to supporting its diverse members and providing a welcoming environment to all. The NASPA Excellence Awards recognizes exceptional and innovative programs that support and grow the student affairs profession. We recognize that recent state-level legislation targeting diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives may present challenges to these programs. In submitting your nomination for this year’s Excellence Awards, we ask that you follow the rubric to the best of your ability. However, if your program has limitations beyond your control due to this legislation, the portion of the rubric regarding DEI will be omitted when the submissions are reviewed. We encourage you to read NASPA’s statement about Anti-DEI Legislation Response and Resources. Should you have any questions or concerns, please email [email protected].

Excellence Awards Application Requirements

To be considered for a NASPA Excellence Award, nominations must include the following:

  • Correspond to one Excellence Award category
  • Program title
  • Executive summary (up to 500 words)
  • Abstract (3-5 sentence summary of the program)
  • Information around Student and/or Campus Needs; Mission and/or Advancement of Student Affairs; Student Learning and/or Success; Collaboration and Sustainability (up to 500 words per section)
  • Optional supporting documentation (maximum of three)


An award-winning nomination should:

  • Contain adequate factual or descriptive material to enable the Selection Committee to evaluate the program
  • Provide a clear description of the program
  • Clearly state objectives and goals
  • Strongly correspond to the category in which it is applying
  • Show potential for adaptation by other institutions
  • Provide strong data and research to prove the program’s impact
  • Use the allotted space in the nomination form to address each question
  • Ensure the application is free of any typographical or grammatical errors
  • Avoid repetitive answers throughout the application
  • Fall under the scoring of 4 (exemplary) in each section of the rubric

Excellence Awards Application Eligibility

  • Programs must have been in place for at least one year. Data to substantiate program effectiveness must be included with the submission. 

  • Previous winners are ineligible to apply again in that same category. If a program won any award level in previous years in one category, the program must apply in a different category to be considered. 

  • Previous Grand winners are ineligible to win a Grand Award again. If a program that won a Grand Award in the past applies and wins in a new category than previous years, the program will not be considered for a Grand Award again. 

  • A NASPA membership is not required to apply. However, if the program wins and participates in a session at the NASPA Annual Conference, the primary representative for the program must have an active NASPA membership.


Excellence Awards Recognition