February 16, 2015
Alamo Colleges Nets National Bellwether Award
For the second time in four 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’ Alamo Academies won in the Workforce Development category. The Alamo Colleges is only the second nominee to win the award twice and the first to be nominated twice in one year! The Alamo Colleges received the 2012 Bellwether Award in the Planning, Governance and Finance category and was also a finalist in the Workforce Development category in 2013.
This recognition places the Alamo Colleges in a select group of leading community colleges. The field of Bellwether nominations was very competitive this year, with more than 1,000 programs nominated. From these, 323 were reviewed and ten finalists were selected, including two from the Alamo Colleges, Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) and the Alamo Academies.
"We are elated to receive this national recognition from our peers for our innovative and award-winning Alamo Academies,” said Alamo Colleges’ Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. “The Academies program exemplifies our outstanding ability in the areas of collaboration, innovation and responsiveness to the needs of our community and affirms our partnership with the City of San Antonio and area employers. It also affirms the importance and value that the Alamo Colleges contributes to the aspirations of our residents for a pathway to a great career,” 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 Alamo Academies is an internationally recognized partnership between higher education and industry providing at-risk youth with tuition-free career pathways into critical demand technical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations. The program utilizes contextualized, industry-driven curricula resulting in 95% of graduates entering higher education or high-wage careers in aerospace, manufacturing, information technology, health and heavy equipment.
"In more than 1,200 national community colleges, the Bellwether Award is one of the highest honors an institution can receive. The awards are similar to being selected by your peers for the Oscar® or Emmy® awards,” said Dale F. Campbell, professor and director of the Community College Futures Assembly and Institute of Higher Education. “Leaders of past winning programs have obtained ‘free agency’ status through the demonstrated results their programs have made. Leaders from the winning institution are often recruited by other colleges to replicate the award-winning program. They also receive hundreds of phone calls and visits by other colleges wanting to replicate the success of their program.”
Chancellor To Lead Workforce Initiative
Mayor Ivy Taylor announced this week that the Alamo Colleges, under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Leslie, chancellor, and Dr. Federico Zaragoza, vice chancellor of economic and workforce development, will take the lead in the city and county’s joint workforce development strategic planning efforts.
“In the coming weeks, the City and County will be working with the Alamo Colleges to develop a plan of action, one that will include resource allocations and strategic alignment of existing efforts,” said Taylor. The mayor’s announcement came at the conclusion of a workforce development summit which involved nearly 150 community leaders, hosted by Taylor and County Judge Nelson Wolff.
"Over the past two years, we have developed a number of local efforts, which will now be aligned along focused, strategic initiatives under the leadership of the Alamo Colleges,” said Taylor. “The number of agencies involved and the plans being developed necessitate strategic coordination. We believe the Alamo Colleges offers the best opportunity for this community to continue its growth and remain a beacon of excellence for the state and nation to follow,” she added.
“Collaboration is one of the core values of the Alamo Colleges,” said Leslie. “We look forward to bringing all our resources and expertise in workforce development to bear in order to achieve success in this partnership with the city and county that will benefit local workers, employers and the economy,” he added.
According to Taylor, the Alamo Colleges is well-positioned to move existing efforts forward through its nationally recognized Center for Workforce Excellence. She also noted that she and Wolff have made a commitment to secure new funds and redirect some existing economic development resources to expand the capacity of the center. This will allow it to carry out initiatives ranging from an adult basic literacy plan to “stackable pathways” that allow residents to fulfill the goal of lifelong learning while maintaining high levels of employment.
Alamo Colleges Developing Degrees for Military
Alamo Colleges EWD is working with the Fort Sam Houston Military Education and Training Campus for the Phase III project team, which includes Northwest Vista Pharmacy Technology faculty and San Antonio College Nursing Education and Allied Health faculty. The Alamo Colleges faculty will be collaborating with the METC personnel to develop three accelerated curriculum pathways leading to three existing Associate of Applied Science degrees at the Alamo Colleges. These degrees include the Military to Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic (EMPT), Military to Medical Assisting (MA), and Military to Dental Assisting (DA) programs. Additionally, a new curriculum for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Pharmacology Technology is also being developed that will have an accelerated track for a Military to Pharmacology Technology program.
The Alamo Colleges on Cable TV
We have an increasing number of events and activities district-wide and are taking the opportunity to showcase such events on Time Warner Cable channel 98, Grande Cable channel 21 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99. This section of the Chancellor’s Weekly Report provides a schedule of the programming for our regularly scheduled times of 12 – 2 p.m. on Saturday and 2-4 p.m.on Sunday. Programming varies due to the timing of Board and committee meetings, groundbreaking ceremonies, etc. The programming for the coming weekends is as follows:
Part I of regular board meeting of February 16
Part II of regular board meeting of February 16
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