Award-Winning Programs at League Board and Alliance Institutions Exemplify Community College Innovation

From the League
Innovation Showcase

Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Innovation of the Year Award-winning innovations and associated team members from 32 participating League Board and Alliance member colleges! The League initiated the Innovation of the Year award over 35 years ago to recognize local community college projects and initiatives that reflect the spirit of innovation and experimentation on which our organization was founded. The competition provides an opportunity for colleges to showcase their innovative programs, practices, policies, partnerships, and resources; to celebrate the dedicated educators who are responsible for such exceptional work; and to promote a culture of innovation at their institutions.

Some of this year’s winning innovations are described below. Click here for a full list.

Community College of Baltimore County

Teaching and Learning Excellence through Scholarship

Teaching and Learning Excellence through Scholarship (TALES) is an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal which addresses teaching and learning at community colleges to improve higher education and student success. This journal was conceived in 2020 by a small group of Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) faculty as a mechanism for sharing the scholarship of teaching and learning and the great work being done at CCBC and other community colleges. TALES presents an opportunity for faculty members to publish their classroom research and offers readers all over the world insight into the art and science of teaching and learning at community colleges. Learn more here.

Forsyth Technical Community College

LEAP@ForsythTech: College Sponsored, Community Driven

Forsyth Technical Community College’s registered learn and earn apprenticeship program—LEAP@ForsythTech—was the first of its kind in the Piedmont Triad. The program started as a college and Advanced Manufacturing Business and Leadership Team collaboration to resolve a significant lack of suitably skilled employees. Candidates are recruited from high school seniors, adults in the community looking to reskill, and current employees of LEAP employer partners who want to upskill. To date, there have been six cohorts with 54 total apprentices registered across 10 occupations, and employers have grown from four to 21. Recently, LEAP celebrated its third program completer. Learn more here.

(See the image at the top of this post.)

Madison Area Technical College

Madison College Advancing Virtual Reality

Madison Area Technical College created virtual reality (VR) scenarios for health care training that transcend what is possible in simulation and even reality. With the touch of a button, a virtual patient can go into cardiac arrest and students are put into the live situation to assess and react in real time. As clinical sites closed due to the pandemic, the college put paramedic students through VR simulations that successfully replicated what was lost to unavailable clinical hours. VR training has also been embraced by faculty in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program. Learn more here.

Seattle Colleges – Seattle Central College


Springboard8 is a cohort-based student support program for Black identifying men offered in partnership between Seattle Central College and Slalom, a business and technology consulting firm headquartered in Seattle. Springboard8 works to close the opportunity gap for Black men and help them get to graduation. The program supports students in earning their postsecondary degrees; building connections to navigate professional, academic, and business worlds; and developing valuable career and community networks to realize their dreams. Students in Springboard8 receive support from peers and professional coaches, professional development and career guidance, and tuition coverage and incremental financial awards on the path toward completion. Learn more here.