Penn State Continuing Education Wins Inaugural “UPCEA Excellence in Advancing Student Success Award” Sponsored by InsideTrack

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Penn State’s “Transitions: College and Career Prep” program recognized for its contribution to the success of working adults entering higher education.

Increasing degree attainment among working adults is critical to our nation’s future. This is why InsideTrack, an organization that works with universities to improve student and institutional success partnered with the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education to recognize best practices in the advancement of post-traditional student outcomes.

InsideTrack is pleased to announce the Transitions: College and Career Prep program at Penn State Continuing Education ( as the inaugural winner of the UPCEA Excellence in Advancing Student Success Award sponsored by InsideTrack.

“Part of our mission to improve outcomes in higher education involves recognizing institutions and programs dedicated to advancing student success,” said Dave Jarrat, vice president of marketing at InsideTrack. “It’s clear that Penn State Continuing Education is committed to supporting working adults in reaching their potential through the transformative power of lifelong learning.”

UPCEA CEO Bob Hansen sees the Advancing Student Succcess Award as an important dimension of the association’s mission. “At the end of the day, we are all about adult student success. It’s altogether appropriate to recognize excellence in this critical area.”

The Transitions program supports working adults preparing to enroll in postsecondary education in developing their time management, research, writing, computer and other critical skills. “The program is designed to empower individuals with the skills and confidence they need to succeed as an adult student,” said Betsy Esposito, academic support resource coordinator at Penn State World Campus, who leads the program. “We’re honored to receive this award and would like to thank UPCEA and InsideTrack for their recognition and support.”

The award, which includes a $2500 prize, recognizes an institution that has implemented a successful strategic initiative, project, or service that has resulted in significantly advancing the success of adult and/or post-traditional student audiences. Potential recipients are nominated by their peers and evaluated by UPCEA based on the following criteria:

  •     The nomination must include: 1) a description of the initiative identifying the institutional unit; 2) a statement explaining the goal of the initiative and how objectives were met; and 3) a summary of the initiative’s evaluations.
  •     The nominated unit must exhibit a contribution to furthering best practices of adult learner student success.
  •     The nominated unit must demonstrate the initiative was successful in advancing student achievement through innovative, creative, and sustainable measures.
  •     Evidence of student success should include quantitative, as well as qualitative measures, if available, such as the impact upon retention and persistence, student engagement or connection to the university, increasing student opportunities, or program completion.
  •     Development of the initiative, project, or service should be as recent as possible while still allowing for evidence of sustainability and success of reaching target goal(s).
  •     The nominated institution must be a UPCEA member.

Additional information about the award is available on the UPCEA website at:

About InsideTrack
InsideTrack works with colleges and universities to improve student and institutional success. Our one-on-one student coaching, process expertise, analytics and technology have been proven to increase graduation rates by an average of 15 percent and enhance the student experience. Since 2001, we’ve partnered with a broad range of universities to drive continuous improvement, including Penn State University, University of Dayton, Arizona State University, and Columbia University. For additional information, please visit:

UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves more than 395 institutions, including most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. The association serves its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA builds greater awareness of the vital link between adult learners and public policy issues. For more information, please visit:

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