CCCSE to Receive 2014 Alliance for Educational Excellence Award

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JACKSON, MS – The Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) has been selected to receive the 2014 Alliance for Educational Excellence Award, presented by Phi Theta Kappa to organizations providing exceptional support for higher education. The award will be presented during the Society’s Annual Convention, April 24-26, 2014, in Orlando.

Dr. Kay McClenney

In 2001, Phi Theta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa, and the National Honor Society launched an initiative, The Alliance for Educational Excellence, to promote broad-based excellence in learning at all levels of education. Phi Theta Kappa has assumed the leadership role for this initiative, which now includes many international and national education-based organizations.

Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley said the award is being presented in recognition of the Center’s work undertaken to improve student success in community colleges.

“As a result of CCCSE’s distinguished body of work, community colleges better understand the varied and daunting challenges their students face in their journey to complete college,” Dr. Risley said. “This award gives notice to the extraordinary contribution the Center has made by sharing broadly promising practices that truly impact the success of all students. 

“We will also pay tribute to the remarkable and enduring leadership of the Center’s Director, Dr. Kay McClenney,” Dr. Risley said, adding that her contribution in shaping the work and focus of community colleges on a national level is unrivaled. He cited her impactful role on the 21st Century Commission of the Future of Community Colleges and the subsequent Implementation Teams initiative. 

“Perhaps her most important contribution to the field is that she kept us focused on students’ aspirations and needs – through their voices,” Dr. Risley said.

Dr. Risley also noted that CCCSE has contributed to the work of Phi Theta Kappa by allowing scholarship recipients the opportunity to complete the Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Through CCSSE results, Phi Theta Kappa is able to confirm the value and impact of Phi Theta Kappa programs in supporting and increasing student success.

Past recipients of the Alliance for Educational Excellence Award have included USA TODAY for its 20 years of support for the All-USA Community College Academic Team; the Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their support of the New Century Scholars Program, Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program, and Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program; the American Association of Community Colleges for their support and engagement with Phi Theta Kappa spanning several decades; the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for their efforts in raising the issue of equity with regard to selective senior colleges admitting community college transfer students; and the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation for their contribution of over $2 million for the establishment of an endowment for Phi Theta Kappa transfer scholarships.                  

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.