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Community College Excellence Awards Announced

Community colleges with creative programs to help at-risk students, provide health care, and train workers to improve the environment were honored in Seattle today at a conference of the American Association of Community Colleges.

The three winning colleges of the 2010 MetLife Foundation Community College Excellence Award, administered by Jobs for the Future and sponsored by MetLife Foundation. are:

Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.;

Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Ill.; and

Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, Wash.

Each winning school will receive a $50,000 grant. Finalists receive $20,000.

In the Service to Students category, Chaffey College was recognized for its Open Doors to Excellence Initiative that helps students on academic probation stay in school and get on track academically. Students identified as at risk for dropping out are invited to enroll in a course offered through a counseling service to help them develop better study skills, time management, library research, and critical thinking. "Some students have no connection to the college," says Peggy Cartwright, the director of public relations and marketing at Chaffey. "Through this course, they get involved and learn names and find resources so they can go to a teacher or the library and ask for help."

Other finalists in the category included:
-Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, S.C.; and
-Queensborough Community College in New York City.

Service to Community honors went to Lewis and Clark Community College for its Nurse Managed Care program that provides low-cost and free health care on campus and to area communities with a mobile health unit. The program also offers practical experience for its students studying nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy assistant, dental hygiene, exercise science, and therapeutic massage. Lewis and Clark is the only community college to operate a nurse managed-care center.

Other Service to Community finalists were:
-Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and
-North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, Iowa.

Clover Park Technical College won the Service Through Innovation award for its Brownsfield to Green Initiative, which trains workers in environmental mitigation. Working with the local county and city governments, workers equipped by the community college were able to be hired to clean up abandoned, idle, or underused properties for development. The program was recognized as a model economic- development partnership with a goal of environmental justice.

Finalists in For Service Through Innovation:
-Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y.: and
-Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va.

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