5 Ways To Recognize Your High Achieving Students

When we think about student support, we typically think about extra attention paid to struggling students. While it’s obviously important to spend time helping struggling students succeed, it is equally important to make sure you recognize your high achieving students. By showing them that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed, you can help keep their motivation high to keep showing up. 

Even if it’s small, anything to reward or recognize students’ achievements is going to keep their spirits and performance high. Here are a few ways that schools across the country are rewarding their top performers. 

1. Public Recognition

Having bulletin boards in high traffic areas that display the names of students with perfect attendance is a simple way to publicly recognize top attendees. Whether it’s in the main hallway, the lobby, or the cafeteria, students will feel proud to see their names on the list and will stay motivated to show up to class. Plus, other students will want their names on the list and visible to peers and faculty, so they will strive to attend class more frequently.

2. Award Ceremonies

award ceremony for your high achieving studentsSome schools, like High Desert Medical College, have ceremonies for their high achieving students. Students get recognized in front of their peers and may even receive a certificate for their exemplary records. The public recognition paired with a personal item helps boost their confidence and motivates them to continue their great attendance habits.

Holding ceremonies frequently, say at the end of each mod rather than the end of a program, gives students who miss perfect attendance one mod the optimism and incentive to earn the recognition in the next mod.

3. Nudges

Nudges are an effective way to frequently share words of encouragement. And because they’re sent via texts or emails, they can be more personal, making them a good juxtaposition to big group events like ceremonies. Nudges can be used to deliver a variety of messages, like:

  • “You had perfect attendance this week — great job!”
  • “You’re halfway through your module — almost there! Keep up the good work”
  • “Keep in mind why you chose to pursue your degree as you enter the week! Go kick some butt.”
  • “Two more weeks until you’ve earned your degree! It’s the home stretch!”

Reminding them of why they started their journey and/or of their progress can help students push through the tough times. Even something small to make sure that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed can go a long way. Students face hardships every day so give them something to balance out the occasional struggle and help them stay on track to graduate.

4. Credentials

Giving students credentials that show their perfect attendance is a great way to reward them for their achievement. Students with a “perfect attendance credential” can add it to their resume and Linkedin profile to show potential employers that they’re an accountable, responsible person who will bring those same qualities to the workplace. 

5. Other Incentives

There are many other ways to reward and recognize your high achieving students. For example, at some cosmetology schools, students with perfect attendance are given a free spa day at the school. Other schools grant their students with credit that they can use at the cafeteria or vending machines. How you choose to award students is dependent on the resources available to you school, but the possibilities are endless.

A Culture Of Recognizing Achievement

Actions to recognize your high achieving students will not only positively reinforce their hard work, but it will also motivate the students with less than perfect records to put in that extra effort if they want to earn the same recognition. 

While it’s imperative to support struggling students and give them the extra attention they need to succeed, it’s equally as important to make sure that the students performing well are getting their fair share of positive attention. Having a culture of positive reinforcement can help elevate the performance of every student at your school.

“True motivation comes from achievement, personal development... and recognition.”

- Frederick Herzberg

Join The Conversation

How do you recognize the students doing well at your school? How do you encourage them to keep up the good work? Let us know in the comment section!

Don’t sweat the administrative burden: CourseKey’s attendance platform can show you through admin dashboards which students have perfect (or near-perfect) attendance records, letting you worry about how to recognize their achievement without spending hours compiling a list of high performing students. To learn how it works, request a demo of the CourseKey platform below!

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