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 NWTC in finals for national Student Success award


 Casey Fryda


NWTC honored in AACC Awards of Excellence program

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has received national recognition for effective student success initiatives. NWTC is among four finalists in the second national Student Success Award competition established by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Student Success is one of six Awards of Excellence created by AACC to recognize innovation and promising practices among two-year colleges nationwide. According to the award notification letter:

"This prestigious honor puts your college in the vanguard of community colleges nationwide, distinguishing it as a model of progressive practice and innovation.  The Award of Excellence program was established not only to recognize exceptional achievement and leadership among community colleges, but also to increase national visibility for exemplary practices that will ultimately benefit all community colleges."

Dr. Jeff Rafn, NWTC president, told employees that the honor belongs to all of them. “Every one of you have worked extremely hard, exhibited great commitment, and engaged in outstanding creativity and innovation as we have striven to achieve the best outcomes for our students. Recognition such as this cannot happen without great people like you.”

Instructor Matt Peterson is a current member and past leader of NWTC’s Dream Core Team, which is dedicated to transforming every area of the College to improve student outcomes. In supporting the award nomination, he said, “Dream has involved every division of the College—instructional and non-instructional—and every academic department. Successes have ranged from increased student funding to enhanced intervention systems to remodeled spaces, all designed to make sure students can enter College confidently, persist from term to term, overcome whatever obstacles life sends their way, and graduate on time.”

The Awards of Excellence competitions are held annually. Winners will be named April 7 in Washington, D.C. during the AACC Annual Convention, which attracts close to 2,000 educators, policymakers, corporate and foundation representatives each year. The Awards are based on recommendations of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a national, blue-ribbon group of education experts that described a redesigned community college of tomorrow, one that would “reinvent the student experience” and help “reclaim the American dream.”

NWTC was also a finalist for last year’s AACC Emerging Leadership Award. That award was created in response to the expected retirement of 43% of community college CEOs (and many other college leaders) within the next five years, and the need for effective leadership development strategies.