aacc_logoWashtenaw Community College has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Awards of Excellence in Emerging Leadership. WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca was recently notified of this important achievement by Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the AACC.

WCC’s selection was based upon the groundbreaking development of its The Leadership Edge Leadership Academy, which invites 50 executive and emerging WCC leaders to participate in a seminar series designed around relevant issues fundamental to community college leadership and organizational development. Bellanca’s goal of nurturing well-trained leaders from within who have the ability to build high-performing teams positions WCC to address the ever-changing demands of the workforce, the community and the student population.

“This prestigious honor puts your college (WCC) in the vanguard of community colleges nationwide, distinguishing it as a model of progressive practice and innovation,” said Dr. Bumpus. “The Awards of Excellence program was established not only to recognize exceptional achievement and leadership among community colleges, but also to increase national visibility for exemplary practices that will ultimately benefit all community colleges.”

Headquartered at the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C., the AACC represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 13 million students, as well as a growing number of international members in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. According to the orawardsganization, community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of U.S. higher education, enrolling close to half (45 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates.

“On behalf of all the outstanding present and future leaders across WCC, I am very honored that our college has been selected as a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Bellanca. “This recognition is a clear reflection of the hard work so many have invested to help create and launch the The Leadership Edge Leadership Academy. I am extremely proud of our participants and the many contributions they deliver to our college and beyond each and every day.”

The Washtenaw Community College Five Year Strategic Plan includes a strategic priority focused on professional development and organizational health. A college goal as part of the initiative was to develop a program of succession training for the leaders of today and tomorrow from within the college.

Classes for the academy, which are held at WCC, include those that focus on supporting and actualizing the core community college mission; aligning strategic initiatives with the college mission; developing and enhancing a culture of leadership in the organization through staff innovation, creativity and accountability; and administrative and personnel management, among others. The classes are taught by professional graduate faculty from Ferris State University, and those who complete the seminar series receive a certificate of completion, and, if desired, may receive credit to apply for doctoral studies at Ferris State University.