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Walters State Named Bellwether Finalist
November 17, 2022

Walters State Community College has been named a Bellwether finalist in the category of instructional programs and services. Thirty finalists have been named in three categories. Winners of this nationally recognized award will be announced at the 29th Annual Community College Futures Assembly (CCFA). The award identifies and honors outstanding and innovative community college programs in three  categories.

“The significance of the Bellwether Award is that the winning programs are replicable, scalable, equity-focused, and demonstrate evidence-based success,” said Dr. Rose Martinez, director for the Bellwether College Consortium. “With the complexity of issues facing our community colleges today, these finalists are extraordinary examples of colleges providing scalable solutions to tough challenges.”

Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State, said that being named a finalist is an honor and reflects on the college’s efforts in instructional excellence and student service delivery.

“This recognition can be credited to our devoted faculty and staff members who are constantly looking for new and better ways to teach students,” Miksa said. “This is confirmation that we are succeeding.”

A Bellwether finalist is a community college with a program that scores highest in the first round of competition and is invited to compete in the final round of award competition. The Bellwether Award categories are instructional programs and services, workforce development, and planning, governance and finance.
Finalists in the instructional programs and services category, which recognizes programs and services that foster or support teaching and learning, are:
Chattanooga State Community College (Tennessee)
El Paso Community College (Texas)
Hudson County Community College (New Jersey)
North Central Texas College (Texas)
NorthWest Arkansas Community College (Arkansas)
Pima Community College (Arizona)
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (North Carolina)
South Mountain Community College (Arizona)
South Piedmont Community College (North Carolina)
Walters State Community College (Tennessee)

Finalists in the workforce development category, which identifies strategic alliances that promote community and economic development, are:
Arizona Western College (Arizona)
Atlanta Technical College (Georgia)
Blinn College (Texas)
Gaston College (North Carolina)
Hudson County Community College (New Jersey)
Pima Community College (Arizona)
Reading Area Community College (Pennsylvania)
South Piedmont Community College (North Carolina)
St. Louis Community College (Missouri)
Tallahassee Community College (Florida)

Finalists in the planning, governance, and finance category, which recognizes programs or activities that improve college efficiency and effectiveness, are:
Alamo Colleges District (Texas)
Blinn College District (Texas)
Clark State College (Ohio)
Hudson County Community College (New Jersey)
Lakeshore Technical College (Wisconsin)
Lamar State College - Port Arthur (Texas)
Pima Community College (Arizona)
Polk State College (Florida)
Sinclair Community College (Ohio)
Western Dakota Technical College (South Dakota)

The award process began when the Bellwether College Consortium issued a call for nominations in the summer of 2022. Finalists representing 14 states and 24 community colleges were selected to compete from a large pool of submissions. College teams will conduct presentations to a jury of anonymous judges and fellow community college practitioners and CEOs and share how they significantly addressed a critical issue affecting community colleges. Event co-sponsors include the National Council of Instructional Administrators, the National Council for State Directors of Community Colleges, and the National Council for Continuing Education and Training. The national competition will be held February 26-28, in San Antonio. The 2023 Bellwether Award recipients will be named at the event.
The Community College Futures Assembly convenes annually as an independent national forum for innovators to work as a think tank. It identifies successful responses to critical issues facing the future of community colleges and hosts its national award competition annually.

Visit the Bellwether College Consortium website for more information at