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News Release

Aug. 19, 2015

AASCU recognizes Northwest for excellence in international education

Northwest Missouri State University will be honored this fall by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) with its Excellence and Innovation Award in International Education.

The awards program, now in its second year, honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in several major areas of campus life and leadership that are mission focused. In addition to international education, the awards honor advances in student success and college completion, regional and economic development, and leadership development and diversity.

“State colleges and universities have remained committed to their missions of student access and success, and regional and economic progress, and continue their dedication to advancing the quality and distinction of their institutions during the most challenging of times,” AASCU President Muriel A. Howard said. “We believe the innovative and collaborative approaches for which these universities are being honored will inspire not only their AASCU colleagues, but all of higher education.”

Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said, “AASCU institutions represent so much of what is good about American higher education. Northwest Missouri State University is proud to be recognized nationally and this award further illustrates our enduring focus on excellence and innovation. With a focus on student success, we offer gratitude to our academic leaders, faculty and staff.”

In a quest to increase first-trimester academic performance, satisfaction, retention and persistence of international students, Northwest’s Office of International Affairs initiated an innovative onboarding process among previously autonomous academic service units, including Academic Advisement, Freshman Seminar, the Department of English and Modern Languages, Student Employment, Career Services and International Affairs.

The initiative aimed to remove operational silos and engage unit-level leaders to redesign work to create a cohesive and choreographed international student onboarding process. It was a no-cost redesign that placed international students’ unique needs above unit-level mastery of work functions.

“I am very pleased AASCU has chosen Northwest for the AASCU International Education Award,” said Dr. Jeffrey Foot, Northwest’s director of international affairs. “This recognition highlights and validates the importance and impact of focused Northwest faculty and staff teams serving the University’s vision by tailoring programming and activities to meet the needs of our nationally and ethnically diverse student population.”

Criteria for the winning entries required evidence of top-level administrative support, connection with an institution’s mission and strategic agenda, evidence the initiative contributed to significant institutional improvements or programming, and evidence the initiative was grounded in research and incorporated best practices.

Selection panels for each award weighed entries that fit both general criteria and specific additional criteria for each category of achievement. Two awards were given in each category. The awards will be presented Oct. 25 at the opening session of AASCU’s Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. For a complete list of award winners, click here.

AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a culture centered on learning and teaching, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.

With an enrollment of more than 6,700 students, Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs on its Maryville campus and at outreach centers in Kansas City and St. Joseph.

Northwest is ranked as the top moderately selective regional university in Missouri on U.S. News and World Report’s list of “2015 Best Colleges” and is one of only four four-year institutions in Missouri to meet all measures of the state’s performance-based funding initiative during the past three years. According to a recently released economic impact study, Northwest generated $617.5 million in added regional income – the equivalent of creating 9,465 new jobs – during 2014.

While the Northwest campus also is designated the Missouri Arboretum, its vibrant and diverse learning community offers more than 150 student organizations, and textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the state, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program. To learn more, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468