UF institute honors 3 U.S. community colleges for notable programs

Posted Feb. 12, 2009


February 12, 2009



Posted Feb. 12, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla.—Cleveland State Community College (of Cleveland, Tenn.), Linn-Benton Community College (of Albany, Ore.) and Rio Hondo Community College (of Whittier, Cal.) have received national recognition for their noteworthy academic or operational programs at the recent 15th annual Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando.

The colleges received the prestigious Bellwether Award, presented each year at the assembly by the University of Florida College of Education’s Institute of Higher Education. The awards recognize outstanding community college programs judged to be at the forefront of innovation throughout the United States and Canada.

The three overall winners were chosen from among the top 10 finalists in each of three categories: instructional programs and services; planning, governance and finance; and work force development. All 30 finalists were invited to present at the 2009 Futures Assembly and selected presentations were published in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice.

Cleveland State Community College won in the instructional programs and services category, which recognizes programs and services that foster or support teaching and learning in the community college. The winning entry, titled New Math: The Impact of Course Redesign on Learning and Scheduling. described a course redesign project the math department undertook involving developmental and college-level math courses. In addition to having positive effects on student learning and engagement, the project has changed the department’s approach to enrollment and scheduling. To learn more about Cleveland State’s academic programs, visit online at www.clscc.cc.tn.us/.

Rio Hondo Community College received the top honor in the planning, governance and finance category, which recognizes programs or activities that improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college. Rio Hondo’s presentation, titled, Providing Ways and Means for Students to go Rio, detailed the college’s implemented program to improve access. Go Rio offers universal access through mass-transit for all students who are registered full-time at Rio Hondo College. Through an agreement with five local transit agencies, fulltime students can obtain a pass that provides full access seven days a week throughout the entire semester. The panelists from Rio Hondo College provided empirical evidence of the success of the program at the Futures Assembly. To learn more about the Go Rio program go to www.riohondo.edu/GoRio/index.htm.

Linn-Benton Community College won in the workforce development category, which recognizes strategic alliances that promote community and economic development. The winning presentation, titled Going the Distance: Taking a Diagnostic Imaging Program to Frontier and Rural Oregon, described how the college’s diagnostic imaging program led a partnership consisting of an array of community colleges, employers, workforce, and educational partners to deliver imaging curriculum and education to Oregon’s rural communities, where the demand for qualified Radiological Technologists has been unmet. Read about this successful workforce program at www.linnbenton.edu/go/di.

The Community College Futures Assembly convenes annually as an independent national policy forum for key opinion leaders to work as a “think tank” in identifying critical issues facing the future of community colleges, and to recognize Bellwether Award finalist colleges as trend-setting institutions. Along with UF, this year’s gathering was co-sponsored by three national community college organizations—the National Council of Instructional Administrators, the Council for Resource Development and the National Council of Continuing Education & Training.

Dr. Dale Campbell, professor in educational administration and policy at the UF College of Education, founded the Community College Futures Assembly and the Bellwether Awards in 1995. Campbell was the director of the Institute of Higher Education at that time, and the institute continues to administer the awards program.

For more information about the Bellwether Awards or Futures Assembly, visit the Community College Futures Assembly Web site at education.ufl.edu/futures.

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MEDIA RELATIONS: Larry Lansford, UF COE News & Communications, llansford@coe.ufl.edu

SOURCE: Phillip A. Morris, Research Assistant, UF Education Administration & Policy, (352) 392-0745; phillipmorris68@gmail.com