This award bestows recognition to a worthy individual whose doctoral dissertation makes a substantial contribution to the literature and/or practice of community college instruction, governance, or workforce development. A substantial contribution is defined as dissertation research that demonstrably adds to the scholarly literature on community college, revises understanding of a researchable problem associated with community college, or looks at an aspect of community college in a new way. The dissertation may also be an interdisciplinary effort that identifies a research problem new to the field. Dissertations utilizing a diversity of methodological approaches are encouraged. Applicants vying for the award do not need to be members of the Bellwether College Consortium, but do need to be enrolled or have recently completed their doctoral program at an accredited four-year university in the United States. The award recipient will be announced at the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly on February 1, in San Antonio, Texas.
The creation of this inaugural dissertation award competition serves as a significant, unique and valuable contribution to community college scholarship. The Community College Futures Assembly provides a high-energy venue to amplify research focused on issues central to public two-year colleges. This national recognition at Bellwether’s signature event provides an ideal platform to showcase exemplary research sponsored, featured and disseminated by the Bellwether College Consortium.
The Bellwether Outstanding Dissertation Award is open to graduate students who conducted research for a dissertation study in partial fulfillment of a doctoral degree (i.e. Ed.D. or Ph.D.) and whose research focused on community colleges or community college students. All complete and eligible submissions are reviewed by a selective panel of esteemed scholars and practitioners with expertise in community college issues. The national panel will exclude any judge whose associated with the applicant’s doctoral program or institution. The doctoral dissertation must be successfully defended and uploaded to ProQuest between January 1, 2020 – December 1, 2021.
AWARD & BENEFITS
- Complimentary registration for the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly, January 30 – February 1, 2022, at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.
- Awardee is formally announced at the Bellwether Award Ceremony and presented with the Bellwether Outstanding Dissertation Award. A brief abstract of the study will be shared and picture of the award recipient will be shown at the event.
- An exclusive invitation to provide a featured poster session on the winning study at the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly
- Recognition provided on the Bellwether College Consortium website, in printed and electronic materials, and through the consortium’s social media channels
Dissertation nominees should complete an online submission form providing the following information:
- Dissertation author’s name and contact information.
- Title of the dissertation, date successfully defended, university and name, title, and email address of the applicant’s dissertation chair.
- A brief description of the dissertation not exceeding 500 words. This summarization may be the dissertation abstract or a synopsis.
- Provide a link to the successfully defended and accepted version of your published study.
- Submit a letter of support by the dissertation chair or a dissertation committee member addressing the exemplary features of the study and its relevance to the area of community college practice. The letter should not exceed one page. A committee member can provide a nomination letter for no more than two candidates.
Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Timeliness of research (i.e. new or trending issue)
- Significance and/or originality of the problem and research questions pertaining to community college
- Relevant and appropriate use of theory/theories or a theoretical or conceptual framework
- Comprehensiveness and relevance of the literature review
- Detailed rationale and detail of methodology employed, including research design
- Rationale and quality of the data analysis
- Comprehensibility and meaningfulness of the results to community college practice
- Overall significance and applicability of the study to theory and/or practice to community college practice and scholarship
- Precision and strength of writing, critical analysis, and scope and depth of bibliography as related to the research topic
AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT & CEREMONY
The Bellwether award recipient will be announced and recognized at the 2022 Community College Futures Assembly with a beautiful award for an outstanding dissertation.
The jury of judges will be comprised of representatives including the Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees, seasoned researchers committed to the study of community college issues, leaders of national community college organizations, and respected members of higher education philanthropy.
September 10: Announce award competition
September 13: Open dissertation submission portal
December 1: Close dissertation submission portal
January 30: Poster presentation at CCFA (Invited)
February 1: Announce & award winner at the award ceremony