MOSES LAKE — Big Bend Community College is one of eight community colleges nationwide to earn recognition from an organization that promotes academic achievement and improvement at community colleges.
Big Bend was one of two colleges in Washington named as a “Leader College” by Achieving the Dream Network in 2017. The organization promotes post-secondary education, especially community college, and for minority and low-income students.
The two Washington colleges were the only two in the West receiving the award this year.
The Leader College award is given to participating colleges that have shown improvement for three years in areas the organization uses to measure student success, said Matthew Killebrew, BBCC’s director of communications. It’s the highest designation for schools that have shown improvement, Killebrew said.
Big Bend will be eligible to compete for all grants offered by the organization, “and (recipients) are encouraged to provide leadership and support to other colleges in the ATD network,” Killebrew wrote. College officials will share the lessons they’ve learned with other colleges, and continue working to improve education opportunities at Big Bend.
“Being designated as a Leader College is a national honor that recognizes the high quality of teaching and learning occurring at Big Bend. Our employees have worked very hard to earn this title,” said BBCC president Terry Leas.
More than 220 community and technical colleges are part of the ATD program. The goal is to improve education for students, using a “unique process” that focuses on seven essential areas, Killebrew said.
The Leader College designation is for three years; colleges must recertify after three years.
Edmonds Community College also received the Leader College designation. Other 2017 recipients include Athens Technical College and West Georgia Technical College in Georgia, Wallace State Community College in Alabama, Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, Stanly Community College in North Carolina and Housatonic Community College in Connecticut.