Bevill State Community College has been selected as a finalist for the national 2010 Bellwether Awards for their program, Kinesthetic Learning on Wheels-Creating Learning Through Real Life Experiences.
The Bellwether Awards, called the “awards of awards” for community colleges, has been compared to football’s Heisman Award because it is competitively judged and is given annually by peers in community colleges.
Sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida, the awards recognize exemplary community college programs in three categories: Instructional Program: Services (IPS), Planning, Governance & Finance (PGF), and Workforce Development (WD).
The Kinesthetic Learning on Wheels program was chosen as an award finalist in the Instructional Programs and Services Category. The program, which focuses the Great Moonbuggy Project, is a component of BSCC’s Drafting Design Engineering Technology (DDET) curriculum.
“The Moonbuggy Project is a great example of kinesthetic or hands-on learning,” said Maurice Ingle, Bevill State’s DDET instructor. “The Moonbuggy Project engages the students in all phases of a real-working project and takes them through research and development, to building, then to the final implementation of racing the buggy in the NASA International Great Moonbuggy Race.”
The Bevill State program is one of ten across the nation selected as a finalist. Other colleges in the category include Metropolitan Community College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Westmoreland County Community College, Austin Community College, Sinclair Community College, Queensborough Community College, Fanshawe College, Bucks County Community College and Central Piedmont Community College.
“The Bellwether Awards recognize programs and practices that are moving community colleges into the future, and it is, indeed, an honor for Bevill State and Ms. Ingle to be identified as educational leaders in the nation,” said Bevill State President Dr. Anne McNutt. “The moonbuggy project provides a wonderful opportunity for our students and our college. Our team was one of only two community college teams to participate in NASA’s international competition this year and we finished 14th, which is a great accomplishment and indicates the quality of our program,” she said.
The award finalists will present on their programs at the Community College Futures Assembly, held January 29 to Feb. 1 in Orlando, FL. Winners will be announced at the Assembly luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.
The Community College Futures Assembly serves as a national independent policy think tank. Convening annually in Orlando, the purpose of the Assembly is to articulate the critical issues facing American community colleges and recognize innovative programs. Finalist applications addressed the 2011 conference theme The Workforce 2020. Additionally, the 2011 Assembly will feature a number of policy experts in attendance to discuss the inter-connectedness of public, private, and foundation support for workforce development. The Policy Summit, Workforce 2020, will focus on the extent community colleges are prepared to address the needs of the future workforce, identify potential gaps, and develop recommendations for policy-makers.
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