Tulsa Community College Announced as Finalist for Two National Awards

April 13, 2021
Tulsa Community College is receiving national attention for how it has transformed the student experience resulting in dramatic increases in student success outcomes as well as the institution’s strategic efforts in safety preparedness and planning, prior to and in response to the 2020 pandemic.

The College has been a named a finalist for the American Association of Community Colleges 2021 Awards of Excellence in the Community College Safety Planning and Leadership Category and the Student Success Category. These awards recognize exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges.

“This is a celebration of our students and our community. Our team of dedicated faculty and staff strive to help our students succeed and our efforts over the past few years are producing results,” said Dr. Leigh B. Goodson, TCC president and CEO.

TCC 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.

“This difficult and challenging work has helped us increase degree completion and at the same time close achievement gaps. We are particularly proud TCC saw a nearly 22 percent increase in degree or certificate completion from 2016 to 2020,” said Goodson.

Among other positive key performance indicators, TCC saw its three-year success rates for graduation and university transfer increase including for students of color as well as students graduating with fewer total credit hours, meaning students save time and money in completing degree requirements.

Lone Star College – University Park in Texas and Owens Community College in Ohio have also been named Awards of Excellence finalists in the Student Success category.

TCC is also being recognized nationally for its strategic planning, beginning in 2015, and safety-related investments in the areas of risk management, public health, and emergency preparedness. The foundational work over the past several years helped reinforce a culture of safety and prepare the College for the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote learning in March 2020.

“Through the careful implementation of our phased Return to Campus Plan and associated new safety protocols, including temperature screenings as you enter each building and required facemasks, we have had extremely limited spread of COVID-19 on our campus,” said Sean Weins, TCC vice president of administration & COO.

This focus on campus safety and public health allowed the College to redesign the student experience for Fall 2020 and continue to serve students safely. These investments since 2015 included leadership positions as well as increased multiple facility improvements, added technology such as the adoption of a safety app, and ongoing training initiatives facilitated by the College.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Rockland Community College in New York have also been named Awards of Excellence finalists in the Community College Safety Planning and Leadership category.

The American Association of Community Colleges will recognize the finalists and announce the winners on May 27, 2021.