This Excellence in Student Training Programs award acknowledges campuses that have demonstrated leadership in student activities by implementing creative educational programs to prepare students as leaders or employees. The value of the college union is recognized by the award through the positive impact on students’ performance, capabilities, and progress toward organizational objectives.

2024 Recipient: Student Staff Development Programme, 
University of Westminister Students’ Union

This bespoke programme included a two-day orientation, a career development week, a week to practice with recruiters and specialists to assist in reflection, an opportunity to become a qualified mental health first aid trained, and an opportunity to receive an accreditation for development through the Institute of Leadership and Management. This program had high satisfaction from participants and supervisors. Participants reported they had a high sense of belonging, that the program improved their future employability, and they learned new skills. The union reported experiencing higher staff retention and cross-trained employees.  

Submission deadline is November 15, 2024. Check back soon for submission form link.

The nomination period is closed. Please check back in 2024 for more details on the next nomination period.

Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name, institution, and contact information of the primary contact for the program.
  2. Title of the program.
  3. A summary, up to two pages, of the program, addressing:
    • Description of the program, including goals and intended outcomes.
    • Description and inclusion of the evaluation methods in place for the program, including brief rationale for choosing stated methods.
    • Evidence that the program meets the criteria identified for this specific award.
  4. And one compiled packet of additional supporting documentation for the program, which could include photos, marketing samples, course materials, budget information, testimonials, etc. No page limit exists, but only the first 15 pages will be considered by the review committee.

The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of these criteria:

  • Demonstrate the use of practices that exemplify outstanding creativity or introduce new approaches beyond what is standard.
  • Be complete and well-designed from a learning standpoint, and its delivery is effective.
  • Achieve its stated intended outcomes.

Due to the wide variety of programs that can be considered, a program does not need to meet every criterion.

All ACUI member institutions are eligible to apply for this award. For collaborative initiatives or partnerships, all institutions must be ACUI members. Eligible programs must:

  • Have taken place since the beginning of the previous academic year.
  • Serve as a model to other campuses for replication.
  • Achieve its stated program outcomes and objectives, with evaluation tools in place.
  • Agree to allow a summary of their accomplishments to be published.

Electronic notification will be sent to confirm submissions have been received. A confidential Campus Awards Committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review materials to make the selection. One recipient will be chosen, unless otherwise noted for the specific award. One physical award will be given to the recipient, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.

  • 2023: Impact Initiative, University of Michigan 
  • 2022: University of Houston’s Scarlet Seals of Excellence
  • 2021: 5 C’s: Carolina Cross-Collaboration Contingency Curriculum – University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • 2020: The Level Up Program: A Student Professional Development Website – University of California–Irvine
  • 2019: Campus Life Behind Closed Doors – University of North Carolina–Wilmington
  • 2018: Student Employment for the Real World – University of Dayton
  • 2017: Department Staff Retreats & Training – University of Akron
  • 2016: Student Programs Training – Appalachian State University
  • 2015: Sykes Student Union – West Chester University
  • 2014: Lane University Center – Frostburg State University
  • 2013: Train Them to Lead, Train Them for Life – Philadelphia University
  • 2012: Work, Laugh, Learn – Temple University
  • 2011: UNLV Rebel Way Training Program – University of Nevada–Las Vegas
  • 2010: Ready, SET, Go! – University of Central Florida
  • 2009: Bowen-Thompson Student Union – Bowling Green State University
  • 2008: Professional Intern Program – University of Arizona