2023 BELLWETHER AWARD
The Bellwether College Consortium is pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2023 Bellwether Award. The consortium invites community colleges to participate in a transformative and rewarding experience of sharing their respective responses to bellwether issues. A community college designated as one of the 30 Bellwether Finalists is invited to engage in an immersive, interactive final round of competition for this national recognition. A Bellwether Award winner will be chosen in each of the three categories below.
1) Instructional Programs & Services: Programs or activities that have been designed and successfully implemented to foster or support teaching and learning in the community college.
2) Planning, Governance, & Finance: Programs or activities that have been designed and successfully implemented to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college.
3) Workforce Development: Public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development by producing a workforce.
The content in the application should address the following elements for the first round of competition (criterion weights are shown in parentheses):
The criteria is described below:
- Identify a critical issue or challenge that this program, model, policy or service was designed to address. (20%)
- Describe the process, timeline, participants, and resources required to implement the program model, policy or service. (25%)
- Specify the performance indicators and outcomes that have demonstrated the success of this program, model, policy or service from an equity lens (if applicable) and success in scalability. (30%)
- Elaborate on lessons learned for colleges considering a replication of this initiative. (25%)
We no longer ask for an optional video clip in the application. However, if selected as one of the 30 Bellwether Finalists, a short video can be included in the college’s showcase display or formal presentation to the judges at the Futures Assembly.
The 2023 Community College Futures Assembly Showcase will be a judged event. As a part of the final round of competition, the 30 Bellwether finalists will present their submissions to attendees, including judges during the celebratory kickoff to the Assembly. Skirted tables will be provided to all finalists and a limited number of electrical outlets will be available.
Chronology of Events
Call for Applications
The application portal’s opening date for the 2023 Bellwether Award competition is May 25, 2022. This is an open call to all public community colleges in the United States and its territories. Announcements will be provided via social media and email correspondence.
Collection of Applications
To be considered for the Bellwether Award, a formal application form must be completed and received by the consortium no later than September 27, 2022. Applications MUST be submitted ELECTRONICALLY via the ONLINE portal. The Program Summary portion of the application will be scored by our esteemed judges. The summary should not exceed 5000 characters. No supplemental information is needed.
All applications will be sent to the judges, and they will determine 10 finalists in each category on the basis of the selection criteria (see above).
30 Bellwether Finalists Announced
The 30 Bellwether Finalists will be notified no later than November 2022 and announced via press release and showcased on the consortium’s social media resources.
Community College Futures Assembly Registration and Preparation of Formal Presentation
Finalists will be invited to join the Bellwether College Consortium and register for the 2023 Community College Futures Assembly held in San Antonio from Sunday, February 26 to Tuesday, February 28. By popular demand, the Menger Hotel has been secured in beautiful San Antonio. It is adjacent to the historic Alamo and within walking distance of the vibrant Riverwalk.
College finalists must confirm their attendance and register all attendees and presenters. Attendees are reminded to make reservations using the conference hotel link by the deadline. College representatives (e.g. trustees, chancellor, presidents) and business and industry partners are strongly encouraged to attend and provide institutional support for their respective colleges. Three nationally representative panels of distinguished guests will serve as judges. They will select the three Bellwether Award winners. The 2023 Bellwether Award and Best in Showcase Award winners will be presented in each category at the Bellwether Award Ceremony.
A Bellwether Finalist webinar will be announced to address questions, presentation preparation, and the required digital binder submission. Finalists will receive an invitation to this free preparatory event.
Scoring criteria for the digital binder and the oral presentation are the same. Judges will score a maximum of ten pages of content and an additional ten pages for appendices with the presentation.
Guidance for Creating a Digital Binder:
- Title page includes the program title, college, and award category (large font)
- Max of two pages per scored criteria listed
- Table of Contents & tabs
- Compelling or data-supported rationale
- Concise language & easy-to-read text, and
- Graphics explaining the process and sharing important data and outcomes
- No hyperlinks should be included in the digital binders
- The pdf file can be a maximum of 100MB
2023 Bellwether Award Ceremony
This is a memorable, celebratory event not to be missed! Past event highlights include congratulatory remarks from the U.S. Secretary of Education and engaging conversations with leading CEOs and presidents of influential higher education organizations.
Timeline for the 2023 Community College Futures Assembly
- BCC Submission Portal Opens: May 25
- Bellwether Award Competition Overview: June 16
- Deadline for Completed Application: September 27
- 30 Bellwether Finalists announced: November 2022
- Judges review Applications (Round One)
- 30 Bellwether Finalists Announced in November of 2023
- Bellwether Finalist Webinar: November 15
- Registration Opening: November 7
- Complete the Bellwether Finalist Information Survey: December 7
- Deadline for Finalists to Register for Futures Assembly: February 7
- Digital Binder Submission Deadline: February 10
- 2023 Community College Futures Assembly: February 26-28, 2023 Includes presentations by 30 Bellwether Finalists (Round Two) and Bellwether Award Ceremony