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.


2020 Recipient

The winner of the Excellence in Student Training Programs is University of California–Irvine for The Level Up Program: A Student Professional Development Website. This user-friendly website, created by student developers, uses game theory, scores, and rewards. Two program levels focus on professional and administrative skills, while the next two focus on leadership and transferable skills for future professional settings. Supervisor tracking and administrative dashboards provide quick snapshots of workforce capacities and capabilities segmented by job role and level. Staffing levels and other business decisions are then informed by colorful charts and graphs. This program encourages meaningful interactions between supervisors and student employees through contemporary technology.

The Level Up Program
Past Recipients
  • 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


The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria listed below. Due to the wide variety of projects that can be considered, a project does not need to meet every criterion. The program must:

  • 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.


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.


Applications for this campus award will be collected again in December 2020. 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 two-page summary 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.


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.