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News Release

Feb. 19, 2021

Hoffmann recognized as outstanding first-year student advocate

Dr. Allison Hoffmann

Dr. Allison Hoffmann

Dr. Allison Hoffmann, the director of academic success and retention at Northwest Missouri State University, was honored Feb. 15 as an Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate at the 40th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience.

Cengage, a U.S.-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, and the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina jointly sponsor the annual awards recognition program.

Beginning in 1990, the awards recognize outstanding first-year student advocates involved in high-impact practices for first-year student success. Two award recipients are selected in each of five categories: two-year colleges; four-year colleges and universities with less than 2,000 students; four-year colleges and universities with 2,000 to 7,000 students; four-year colleges and universities with 7,001 to 15,000 students; and four-year colleges and universities with more than 15,000 students.

Northwest Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman, who nominated Hoffmann for the award, commended her as a highly analytical and data-driven leader who works hard for students and engages with multiple Northwest teams as an expert in best practices to strengthen student performance.

“She remolded the Northwest Student Success Center and created a new approach to student success coaching that assists the first-year student in a new and meaningful way,” Hooyman said. “Her knowledge as a member of the faculty helped her achieve buy-in to the new model, with her persistence in communication of developments in her work being key to the Center’s growth.”

In her role, Hoffmann oversees academic advising and success coaching; academic support, including tutoring and supplemental instruction; orientation; first-year experience; and institutional student success, retention and persistence efforts.

Under her leadership, Northwest created an integrated model for first-year student success, resulting in the three highest retention rates in the institution’s 116-year history. In 2019, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) recognized Northwest with an Excellence and Innovation Award for its focus on student success. Hoffmann also leads Northwest’s efforts in a pilot cohort with AASCU to validate student success strategies.

Prior to the creation of the University’s academic success and retention unit in 2017, Hoffmann served as a senior instructor in the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business, director of University Seminar and provost fellow.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwest and a doctorate of business administration from the University of the Incarnate Word.

With an enrollment of more than 7,200 students, Northwest is a coeducational, primarily residential four-year university that offers a broad range of undergraduate and selected graduate programs on its Maryville campus as well as its Northwest-Kansas City location and through Northwest Online.

While 75.7 percent of Northwest’s 2019 freshman class chose to return to the institution in fall 2020, results of the University’s 2019-20 satisfaction survey show its students are more satisfied with their university experience than national peers, and 82 percent of Northwest students report they would repeat their experience, compared to 75 percent of students surveyed nationally at their respective institutions. Additionally, Northwest’s graduation rate is in the 90th percentile among its peers.

Furthermore, 96 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data. 


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215