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Innovation of the Year Awards

Submit Your Institution's 2017 Innovation of the Year Award Winners Starting October 3, 2016

Submission Deadline Is March 1, 2017

Established over 30 years ago, the League’s Innovation of the Year award was devised as a way to recognize significant innovations at Alliance member colleges. These innovations reflect capstone achievements and the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded. This award is designed to recognize 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 Alliance colleges determine their own eligibility criteria and selection protocol, and each college or system submits their winning Innovation of the Year through our online system. One winner will be accepted for each college or district.

Criteria. Winning innovations should meet one or more of the following criteria.

  • Quality. Students and/or staff agree that the innovation increases quality in the course, program, office, or institution.
  • Efficiency. The innovation contributes to more efficient processes.
  • Cost Effectiveness. The innovation adds value to the institution while containing or reducing costs.
  • Replication. The innovation is easy to replicate at other institutions.
  • Creativity. The innovation is original and creative.
  • Timeliness. The innovation is not more than five years old at the institution, allowing plenty of time for it to be tested.

Nomination. To begin the nomination process, each college announces the Innovation of the Year award competition at its institution. The individual college or district forms a local committee to establish institution-specific criteria and select an award winner. The League encourages participating colleges to seek nominations from all areas of the college, including full- and part-time instructors, student services staff, administrators, and support personnel. The award celebrates the innovation as well as those who designed and implemented it; therefore, a single nomination will include both the innovation and the people who developed it.

Selection. Each participating college determines the selection process it will use and follows that process to select its Innovation of the Year award recipient. The college shares information about the winning innovation with the League, including a brief description of the innovation and the names, job titles, and a photograph of the personnel who developed the innovation. The League presents an Innovation of the Year award to each participating college for its winning innovation.

Guidelines.The guidelines for submitting institutional winners for consideration are sent directly to the individual designated as the primary contact at each League Alliance Member College. Please contact Sherry Sklar to find out who your college has designated as its primary contact.

Honoring Award Recipients. Participating colleges have a variety of ways to celebrate their local winners and further emphasize the value of innovation in community college education. Some colleges plan special award ceremonies, recognition programs, receptions, or dinners to honor and celebrate their award recipients. A number of colleges provide each member of the winning team with funding to attend a League conference. Participating colleges often issue news releases announcing the selection, and some publish pamphlets or booklets featuring the winning innovation.
The League recognizes Innovation of the Year award winners by

  • Sending each recipient an honorary certificate;
  • Inviting recipients to share their innovations at the Innovations conference;
  • Posting information about award winning innovations on the League website; and
  • Highlighting winners at Innovations conference general sessions via revolving PowerPoint slideshows.

2016 Innovation of the Year Award Winners. In 2016, 44 awards were granted in seven categories: (1) workforce preparation and development, (2) learning and teaching, (3) student services and activities, (4) research, assessment, and accountability, (5) resource development, (6) basic skills and developmental education, and (7) leadership and organization. Click on the links below to learn more about winning innovations by award year.

To learn more about the competition and how your college can participate, contact Sherry Sklar.

2016 Innovation of the Year Award Winners


League for Innovation in the Community College
1333 South Spectrum Boulevard, Suite 210 · Chandler, Arizona 85286 · Voice: (480) 705-8200 · Fax: (480) 705-8201
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