February 9, 2016
Alamo Colleges Wins Third Bellwether Award
For the third time in five years, the Alamo Colleges has been chosen by the Community College Futures Assembly (CCFA) to receive the national Bellwether Award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative programs in community college education. This year the Alamo Colleges’ Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program won in the Workforce Development category. The Alamo Colleges received the 2012 Bellwether Award in the Planning, Governance and Finance category, was a finalist in the Workforce Development category in 2013 and 2015, and won in 2015 in the Workforce Development category for the Alamo Academies.
This recognition places the Alamo Colleges in a select group of leading community colleges. In almost two decades, there have been thousands of applicants, but only 53 winners honored with the Bellwether Award. The I-BEST program was one of only 10 finalists selected from the hundreds of applications received for this year’s award.
"We are thrilled to receive this national recognition from our peers for the third time,” said Alamo Colleges’ Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. “The I-BEST program exemplifies our outstanding ability in the areas of collaboration, innovation and responsiveness to the needs of our community and affirms our mission of empowering our diverse communities for success. It also affirms the importance and value that the Alamo Colleges contributes to the aspirations of our residents to gain a marketable skill,” he added.
The Workforce Development category recognizes programs that create public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development. The I-BEST program is a unique initiative that provides students with the basic skills (reading, writing, math and/or English) needed for college success along with technical training that prepares them for a good-paying job in a high-demand career field. Find out more at alamo.edu/ibest.
Alamo University Center Adds New University Partner
Alamo Colleges - Alamo University Center (AUC), home to Texas A&M University San Antonio (TAMUSA) North and students from Wesleyan Baptist University (WBU) and the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), has shown an increase in enrollment from 500 to 631, Fall 2015 to Spring 2015. The number of courses has increased from 31 to 38. Workforce Development programs from Rackspace, I-BEST and the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) are also hosted at the AUC. AUC’s newest partner is Texas Tech University Health Science Center, which recently signed a three year MOU that includes use of our nursing simulation labs. Also under the AUC’s aegis, coordination of Promise Zone Cycle 3 recruitment and orientation sessions begin in March.
Alamo Colleges Leads Peers in Degrees and Certificates Awarded
The Alamo Colleges continues to lead the way in Texas in student completion. Its one-year growth rate in the number of degrees and certificates awarded to students is the highest in the state among its peers,* and its two-year growth rate is more than double that of its peers. In FY2015 the Alamo Colleges awarded 9,778 degrees and certificates, a 37% increase, or growth rate, from FY2014, and a 54% increase over FY2013! This compares to a 12% peer group average one-year growth rate and a 22% peer group average two-year growth rate. In each of the past three years, the Alamo Colleges has set a new “all-time record” for degrees and certificates awarded.
“The Alamo Colleges continues to make considerable progress in achieving its vision of becoming ‘the best in the nation in student success and performance excellence,'” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. This latest achievement reflects the exceptional work of our faculty and staff, and more than 370 dedicated 4DX teams at the colleges and across the district. The Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) has contributed significantly to this accomplishment, and we look forward to achieving our goal of awarding 10,500 degrees and certificates in FY2016,” he added.
The record number of degrees and certificates reflects the Alamo Colleges ongoing efforts to ensure that more students complete their educational goals. These efforts include new programs and initiatives across all the colleges, including the AlamoINSTITUTES, AlamoADVISE, that encourage students to complete their degree or certificate, as they pursue career employment and a baccalaureate degree. Faculty have played a key role in these efforts, developing intervention/improvement strategies to improve student success in courses that have traditionally had low completion rates and/or poor grades earned.
*Austin Community College, Collin College, Dallas County Community College District, El Paso Community College, Houston Community College System, Lone Star College System, San Jacinto College, South Texas College, Tarrant County College
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