College of the Year x2

March 31, 2023 – For the second year in a row, Walters State Community College (WSCC) has been named Community College of the Year by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The win was especially nice as WSCC shared the victory podium with Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Morristown, which was named Technical College of the Year.

The College of the Year award, presented during the TBR’s Fifth Annual Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition (SOAR) awards dinner, recognizes the college that has demonstrated, through evidence, a sustained commitment to and proactive advancement of student success and workforce development.

“We are extremely honored and proud to be named Tennessee’s Community College of the Year for a second year in a row,” Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State, said.  “This award is a testament to the continuous commitment and dedication of our employees and the tremendous support the college receives from the communities we serve.  Walters State faculty and staff genuinely care about our students and have created a culture that is focused on the success of our students.”

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Morristown was also honored during the event as the Technical College of the Year.  Miksa and TCAT President Susanne Cox, accepted the awards on behalf of their respective institutions.

Members of the TBR senior leadership team considered nominations for the College of the Year award based on a specific set of criteria.  The comparative analysis by the selection committee began with each institution’s strategic and comprehensive plan to address existing equity gaps in the communities they serve.  They also considered each college’s contribution goals and system strategic priority areas.

Additionally, the TBR evaluated colleges based on measurable and significant increases in on-time degree completion, certificate completion, transfer rates to four-year institutions, and progression and completion of underrepresented student populations.  The final portion of the evaluation process center on on the creation of innovative programs that support student success and workforce development in areas such as developmental education, student support services, K-12 partnerships/collaboration, and workforce readiness partnerships.

TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings welcomed finalists from across the state during the awards dinner and congratulated them on their achievements.  “We come together to celebrate the best students, faculty and staff and many others who go above and beyond to support what I believe is on fo the best higher education systems in the country.  Students, you inspire us with your strength, perseverance and dedication to enrich not only our own lives, but the lives of your families,” Tydings said.

Gov. Bill Lee could not attend in-person but congratulated each of the finalists in a video that was presented during the dinner.  Lee thanksed those in attendance for their commitment to excellence in education.  “It’s an honor to celebrate each of Tennessee’s outstanding students, faculty, staff at the community colleges and TCATs across our state.  Our community colleges and TCATs offer a variety of life-changing opportunities for Tennesseans.  And these finalists stood out as leaders who have excelled in their communities.  Congratulations on this honor and thank you all for your hard work and excellence,” Lee said.

Each award winner received a SOAR trophy, and all finalists received plaques commemorating their achievements.  Walters State and TCAT Morristown took home engraved College Cups signifying their 2023 College of the Year awards.

Source:  Citizen Tribune

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