Tulsa Community College Named Top Community College for Student Success and Leadership Safety and Planning


Tulsa Community College has been recognized with the 2021 Award of Excellence for Student Success and the 2021 Award of Excellence for Leadership Safety and Planning by the American Association of Community Colleges.

The prestigious award in each category recognizes exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges.

The announcement came Thursday, May 27, during the national association’s AACC Digital, a revamped virtual conference for 2021. The association represents nearly 1,200 2-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students.

The first award recognizes TCC’s remarkable journey to improve the graduation rate resulting in dramatic increases in student success outcomes. The College intentionally redesigned the student experience with its selection into the Guided Pathways Project in 2015, meaning the way students navigate college changed as advising was embedded in the academic schools and a multi-year project focused on achieving equitable outcomes.

“TCC has worked diligently to design a student experience that represents success for ALL students. While this has been challenging work, we have worked to increase degree completion and close achievement gaps. We are particularly proud TCC saw a nearly 22 percent increase in degree or certificate completion from 2016 to 2020,” said Dr. Leigh B. Goodson, TCC president and CEO.

The second Award of Excellence highlights the institution’s strategic efforts in safety preparedness and planning, prior to and in response to the 2020 pandemic. The strategic planning, beginning in 2015, as well as safety-related investments in the areas of risk management, public health, and emergency preparedness provided the existing supports and enabled the College to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Setting the priority for safety, planning and leadership has been a long-term, multi-year planning effort. This national recognition represents thousands of hours by dedicated employees to support more than 25,000 students, faculty and staff across four main campuses, an aviation center and several community campuses throughout Tulsa County,” said Goodson.

This foundational work in recent years including personnel, multiple facility improvements, technology upgrades, and ongoing training helped reinforce a culture of safety. This focus allowed the College to develop innovative solutions to support employees and students in a remote, or virtual environment while having a highly coordinated and integrated approach to response planning and shared leadership.

The AACC Awards of Excellence are presented annually in seven categories.