Encoura® Eduventures® Research Announces 2024 Innovation Award Winners

June 14, 2024

Award Winners Honored at Eduventures Summit Include Indiana University Online, Harvard Division of Continuing Education, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Northern Illinois University

CHICAGO, June 13, 2024 – Encoura, an educational data science and research organization, tonight announced the winners of the annual Innovation Awards Program at Eduventures Summit 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. The Innovation Awards Program was created to recognize and showcase the achievements of individuals and organizations that share Encoura's vision for innovating to improve outcomes in higher education. This year, Eduventures received a record number of submissions that showcased forward-thinking and transformative initiatives. To enable the judges to recognize an even greater number of exceptional efforts, the program continued its expansion to include a special recognition category for a second year.

Selected by a jury of higher education leaders and advisors, Encoura and its Eduventures Research division celebrated the award winners at a ceremony and reception that took place during the annual Eduventures Summit. Innovation Award winners and Recognition of Achievement honorees were announced by Todd Bouillon, Encoura's Chief Marketing Officer.

The 2024 Innovation Award winners include:

  • Indiana University Online
  • Harvard Division of Continuing Education
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Northern Illinois University

2024 Recognition of Achievement honorees include:

  • Adelphi University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Suffolk University Sawyer Business School
  • Bellevue University

One of this year’s winners, Northern Illinois University (NIU), was chosen for its success in championing access. The university’s Vice President of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications, Sol Jensen, elaborated about the school’s Rockford Promise program sharing, “Rockford Promise scholars exhibit better reenrollment rates and academic performance than the university average, with an impressive 85% first-year retention rate and higher GPAs. Moreover, the program contributes to diversity, with a substantial proportion of first-generation students, Pell Grant recipients, and individuals of color. Participants laud the initiative for its financial assistance and comprehensive student support services, including mentorship programs and academic advising.” 

About the Innovation Awards Program

Now in its eighth year, the Eduventures Innovation Awards Program honors organizations and teams that are shaping the future of higher education. Entries are submitted in 3 categories and are designed to identify higher education institutions that have demonstrated significant innovation when developing and implementing programs that impact these areas:

  • Enrollment: A new enrollment management strategy in a fast-changing environment
  • Student Experience: A new approach to teaching and learning or student support
  • Outcomes: A new effort to define and report student outcomes

Judges select winners from written applications and, if needed, conduct follow-up interviews. Entries are scored on value to the institution, innovation, and relevance to the mission of the school and are announced in conjunction with the annual Eduventures Summit.

“After successive years of challenges for higher education, it is important to recognize institutions who are still looking beyond their own operations to transform lives and communities,” said Cara Quackenbush, Encoura's Executive Vice President of Research. “We are delighted to honor colleges and universities who are creating important, innovative programs that promote student success, equity, and a stronger future for education.”