Owens announced as finalist for national awards of excellence

Press Staff Writer

        Owens Community College has been named a finalist in two categories – Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership and Students Success – for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 2021 Awards of Excellence.
        The national awards recognize exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges.
        Owens is one of 12 community colleges and the only one from Ohio to be recognized as a finalist for the AACC 2021 Awards of Excellence.
        “We are pleased to be recognized by the AACC as finalists for our corporate partnerships and student success initiatives,” stated Bill Balzer, interim president, Owens Community College. “Fostering success for both students and our community is our mission and we are extremely proud of all the amazing work being done by our exceptional faculty and staff.”
        The Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award honors local, regional and national collaboration between a college and corporate partner that has achieved demonstrable, multi-year success in advancing the mission of the institution(s), the economic prosperity of a community, region or the nation, and the learning excellence of students. Owens has been recognized for its partnership with Raise the Bar Hancock County and eight Findlay-Hancock County manufacturers to launch the Ohio Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (OH! FAME) program.
        “What makes this partnership successful is the role the businesses play. They are active in developing curriculum, guest speakers, board members, and much more,” said Tracy Campbell, assistant director, Advanced Manufacturing and FAME. “Each student has an employer mentor as well as a college success coach to help guide them on their career path along with their educational path. It is a pleasure to be able to work with the students and employers to help fill the needs of the region.”
        The Student Success Award recognizes a community college that has demonstrated, through evidence, a sustained commitment to proactively advancing the cause of student success at a community college.
        Over the past two years, the college has transformed its student placement processes and how to improve underprepared students’ success. The college has moved from a single measure of placement to a more holistic approach using multiple criteria and student feedback to provide more accurate placement. 
        In addition, the college embarked on a complete review of all its associate degrees to decrease both the number of credit hours required and time until completion. The majority of programs now have clear pathways to completion in 60-65 credit hours by streamlining the choice of program courses and removing unnecessary elective credits. 
        AACC's Awards of Excellence underscores the association's priorities and brings national visibility to promising practices among its member colleges. 
        Nominees will be judged by a select committee of the AACC Board of Directors. The winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Virtual Gala during AACC Digital in May.


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