In all, 1,000 colleges were nominated with 300 invited to apply for the finals.
Entered as the lead district in the California Community Colleges Success Network (3CSN), LACCD reached the finals in the Planning, Governance and Finance division. Colleges in this group are judged on programs or activities that have been designed and successfully implemented to improve efficiency and effectiveness in community colleges.
“The nomination for this prestigious national award is affirmation of the collective innovation and impact of California Community Colleges,” said Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, LACCD chancellor. “LACCD is honored to provide leadership through the 3CSN, as we work to develop communities of practice and improve the educational outcomes of academically underprepared and under-resourced student populations.”
The Bellwether Awards are sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida and co-sponsored by the National Council of Instructional Administrators, Council for Resource Development, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, League for Innovation and Florida Association of Community Colleges. The Bellwether Awards annually recognize outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future.
“Pathways Unbound” is this year’s theme, emphasizing the diverse solutions community colleges utilize when facing critical issues.
Applications for the awards are competitively reviewed and finalists are selected based on how well the programs addressed the theme, the identified critical issue, and the published criteria set forth by the Community College Futures Assembly which houses the Bellwether Awards at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
“By focusing on ongoing, sustained, and robust professional learning in regional and topical networks, LACCD 3CSN has redefined professional development in California and is serving as a model nationwide,” said Dr. Deborah Harrington of LACCD, director of 3CSN. “Through our programs such as BSILI (Basic Skills Initiative Leadership Institute), we help colleges understand how to implement and scale high impact practices that transform institutional cultures, honor our colleagues’ professional expertise, and make a real difference in the educational lives of our students.”
At the end of January, 2015, finalists will present their model and evidence of program results to the Community College Futures Assembly. The award recipients are invited to become part of the Bellwether College Consortium which promotes effective postsecondary programs for replication at higher education institutions across the nation and actively positions colleges to pursue various funding opportunities. The consortium also provides a platform for its members to collaborate on potential joint ventures while having access to educational thought leaders. Award recipients are also invited to publish their model and results in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice.
About the Los Angeles Community College District
The Los Angeles Community College District, the nation’s largest community college district, serves one-quarter million students a year in more than 36 cities in Los Angeles County at its nine colleges. The District covers nearly 900 square miles and has educated and trained the region’s diverse workforce since 1969.