Message from the President
Since 1985, Palo Alto College has sought to inspire, empower, and educate our community for leadership and success. Thirty years later, our commitment to keeping students first has been reaffirmed. It is my pleasure to once again notify our campus community that Palo Alto College has been selected for a site visit as part of our submission for the 2016 National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award!
As many of you recall, we began our Baldrige journey several years ago in preparation for our SACSCOC 5th Year Report in 2017 and 10-year reaccreditation in 2022. In 2015, we involved approximately 40 faculty, staff, and students to assess and chronicle what we do. That self-study was submitted to the Quality Texas Foundation. Months later, we hosted a site visit team and then received notification that we were one of three organizations statewide to earn the Texas Award for Performance Excellence.
As a state awardee, we were eligible to apply for the National Baldrige Award in April 2016, which included our revised Strategic Plan. Of the 34 total applicants, Palo Alto College was one of the 15 organizations selected for a site visit and the only organization in education selected this year! The designation for a site visit alone is worthy of applause and praise. Congratulations, team!
What is Baldrige?
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is a national public-private partnership run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Baldrige Program educates organizations in performance excellence management and administers the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership.
The Baldrige Program’s main focus areas are to help organizations achieve best-in-class levels of performance; identify and recognize role-model organizations; identify and share best management practices, principles, and strategies.
Why did we apply?
Palo Alto College pursued the journey to Baldrige in 2009 as an effort to maintain our organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement. To receive the Baldrige Award, an organization must have a role-model organizational system that ensures continuous improvement, demonstrates effective services, and provides a way of engaging and responding to stakeholders.
Our Quality Journey
In order to be eligible to apply for the Baldrige Award, organizations must earn the award at their respective state level. Palo Alto College submitted an application for the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) – led by the Quality Texas Foundation – in October 2014 and hosted a site visit from TAPE examiners in January 2015. In March 2015, the Quality Texas Foundation named Palo Alto College one of three organizations in the state to receive the 2015 TAPE.
As a state awardee, Palo Alto College was eligible to submit its application for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in April 2016. Demonstrating the relevance and value of the Baldrige Excellence Framework to organizations of multiple sizes and sectors, the 2016 Baldrige Award applicants included 21 health care organizations, four education organizations, four nonprofit organizations, three small businesses, and two service businesses, representing every major region of the United States.
Of the 34 total applicants, only 15 organizations were selected for a site visit. Palo Alto College was one of the 15 organizations selected and the only organization in education selected for a site visit in Fall 2016.
As part of the visit, the examiner team will conduct interviews with faculty and staff to learn more about what we do at Palo Alto College. We’ll be hosting a “Celebrate and Share PAC Excellence” Breakfast weekly in September and monthly beginning in October to give an overview of a few key initiatives. Session highlights are:
Friday, Sept. 2
AlamoAdvise and Peer
Friday, Sept. 9
Early College High School and Dual Credit
Friday, Sept. 16
Emerging Innovations: S.H.A.R.E Center and Open Education Resources (OER)
Friday, Sept. 23
Palo Alto College’s Innovation Highlights