LBWCC gets national recognition
Published 9:14 am Monday, December 2, 2013
Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBWCC) was named a national Bellwether Finalist Winner and will be recognized by the Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando, Fla., in January.
Alabama Community College System Chancellor Dr. Mark Heinrich said the finalist designation is an honor.
“LBW’s recognition as a Bellwether Finalist is a monumental accomplishment and a tribute to your leadership,” said Heinrich as he congratulated Dr. Riedel. “This honor underscores the work ethic and commitment of your entire campus community. I am very proud for you and your college.”
Competition for the prestigious Bellwether Award is among all community colleges in the nation, with 10 finalists selected in each of the three categories. The awards are given annually in three categories to colleges with outstanding and innovative programs or practices. Only 10 finalists are named in each of the three categories of instructional programs and services; planning, governance and finance; and workforce development.
LBWCC’s application titled “Transforming Campus Culture through Student Housing at a Rural Community College” resulted in the finalist designation in the planning, governance and finance category.
“As a finalist, we have the opportunity to make a presentation at the Futures Assembly, highlighting our project, the College, and our state for a national audience,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel.
“We applied in this category because of the strong collaboration in bringing the new Saints Hall student housing to reality, located adjacent to the Andalusia campus. In addition, it is a strategy that can be replicated by other colleges that wish to experience the benefits.”
The College worked closely with the LBWCC Foundation through the idea development phase, with the Foundation obtaining a suitable lot through a partial donation. Other collaborative efforts involved city, state and federal leaders with obtaining building permits, tax-exempt status through the legislature, and funding through the Community Facilities Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office.
The Community College Futures Assembly, established in 1995, is sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida and focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating.
“Just to be included in the top 10 in the nation is great recognition for the College, the Foundation, the State of Alabama, and all those involved in the development of Saints Hall student housing,” said Riedel.
“This project resulted in a win-win situation for LBW and our students. It benefits our students not once, but twice. It provides much-needed housing, and the profits earned return directly to the LBWCC Foundation for use in funding scholarships and other College projects. We are thrilled to be able to tell our colleagues across the nation about this successful endeavor.”