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NWTC is a finalist for prestigious 2021 Bellwether Award

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Student standing in front of 8 Week Advantage text
Student standing in front of 8 Week Advantage text

NWTC is a finalist for the prestigious national Bellwether Award.

NWTC's transition from semesters to eight-week terms, “The 8-Week Advantage: Turning Change into Transformation,” was judged a Top 10 Bellwether Finalist in the category of Planning, Governance & Finance. The award recognizes excellence in three categories: Instructional Programs and Services; Planning, Governance and Finance; and Workforce Development.

Leaders from NWTC will make an hour-long presentation in the next round of judging to determine one national award recipient. In fall 2020, about half of NWTC's degree and diploma programs had been converted to eight-week terms, which have been shown to help more students complete their classes and graduate on time. In fall 2021, the transition is expected to be complete. See the 8 Week Advantage page for details.

Thank you to all of the faculty, staff and students who have been on this journey with us!

The official announcement from the Bellwether College Consortium is as follows:

30 Community Colleges Named as Finalists for the Bellwether Award

SAN ANTONIO, TX —The Bellwether College Consortium announced its list of 30 community colleges selected as 2021 finalists for the highly coveted Bellwether Awards in a first round of competition. Bellwether finalists represent leading community colleges whose outstanding and innovative programs and practices were selected among competitive submissions as exemplary. The finalists will undergo a rigorous second and final round of review at the fully virtual 2021 Community College Futures Assembly in January, 2021. Each selected college provides a 60-minute presentation on its program or model to an anonymous panel, recognized as skilled practitioners and thought leaders in the field. The Bellwether Awards are widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges.

“The Bellwether College Consortium prides itself on identifying and celebrating replicable, scalable and results-based programs and models and disseminating these highly lauded examples of institutional success to peer  institutions,” said Dr. Rose Martinez, director of the Bellwether College Consortium. The consortium honors community colleges with awards in three categories.

The Instructional Programs and Services category recognizes programs and services that foster or support teaching and learning in the community college. The following ten institutions have been named finalists:

  • College of the Canyons
  • Pima Community College
  • Bossier Parish Community College
  • South Mountain Community College
  • Broward College
  • Naugatuck Valley Community College
  • Oxnard College
  • Reading Area Community College
  • Pima Community College
  • Madisonville Community College

The Planning, Governance and Finance category recognizes programs or activities that improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college. The following ten institutions have been named finalists:

  • Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Onondaga Community College
  • El Paso Community College
  • Blinn College District
  • Collin College
  • Pensacola State College
  • Broward College
  • Pima Community College
  • University of Arkansas Community College at Hope Texarkana

The Workforce Development category identifies strategic alliances that promote community and economic development. The following ten institutions have been named finalists:

  • Houston Community College
  • Broward College
  • Pima Community College - HPOG
  • Rogue Community College
  • Oxnard College
  • San Jacinto College
  • Polk State College
  • South Mountain Community College
  • Pima Community College - USAF Paramedic
  • Holyoke Community College

All finalists will be presented at the 2021 Community Colleges Futures Assembly and one winner will then be selected from each category by a panel of national experts.

The assembly, now in its 27th year, convenes annually as an independent national policy forum for key higher education leaders to work as a “think tank” in identifying critical issues facing the future of community colleges, and to recognize Bellwether winners and finalists as trend-setting institutions. The Bellwether College Consortium Policy Summit kicks off the signature events on Friday, January 22, 2021, and includes a film screening of the 2021 Bellwether Film Choice. This year’s film is The Right to Learn by Canadian filmmaker Conor DeVries.

The Bellwether College Consortium is a group of colleges charged with addressing the critical issues facing community colleges through applicable research and the promotion and replication of best practices addressing workforce development, instructional programs and services, and planning governance and finance. The Bellwether Award is proudly sponsored by the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio, Texas.

For more information, consult the Community College Futures Assembly website, or email


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