Innovation of the Year Awards Honor Community College Educators and Innovative Programs That Serve Students


Established over 35 years ago, the League’s Innovation of the Year Award was devised as a way to recognize significant innovations at League Board and Alliance member colleges. These innovations reflect capstone achievements and the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded. This award acknowledges innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies, and activities that improve the ability of institutions to serve students and the community and to honor the faculty, staff, and administrators who have created and implemented them. Granting this award provides a venue for showcasing these innovations and the dedicated community college educators who strive for excellence on a daily basis.

League Board and Alliance institutions submit a wide spectrum of innovative initiatives undertaken within the academic year. One of last year’s winning innovations was Seattle College’s “Seattle Promise.” Seattle Promise is a student success and scholarship program focused on building a local college-going culture that creates a workforce ready for the region’s careers. The program is open to all Seattle public high school students regardless of GPA, income, or background and is designed to address equity gaps that prevent students from earning a postsecondary credential and securing living-wage employment. Another League Alliance member, Community College of Baltimore County, created a highly innovative program that enabled a collaboration between the college’s Dental Hygiene and Interpreter Preparation programs. Rebecca Minor, Interpreter Preparation Program Coordinator, and Tonya Beatty, Dental Hygiene Program Director, planned and implemented the “Deaf and Dental Hygiene” program to bring real-world experience in the deaf community to CCBC students.

League Board and Alliance member colleges determine their own eligibility criteria and selection protocol, and each college or system submits one Innovation of the Year winner. The designated primary award contact at each institution is responsible for administering this award and submitting names. If you are interested in nominating a capstone project and those educators responsible for that project, please contact your president or chancellor to find out who the primary contact is at your college.

We invite League Board and Alliance colleges to submit award winners through June 22, 2020. Visit the League website’s Innovation of the Year Award page to learn more about the nomination process, criteria, and recognition.

Lead image: Cuyahoga Community College's 2019 Innovation of the Year Award-winning team.