SAN ANTONIO, TX. —The 2020 Community College Futures Assembly (CCFA) hosted 30 Bellwether finalists vying for the nationally recognized Bellwether Award has announced that Howard Community College (Columbia, MD), Pima Community College (Tucson, AZ), and Central Arizona College (Coolidge. AZ), were this year’s winners of the prestigious Bellwether Awards, which recognize outstanding and innovative programs in community college education. The winners were announced recently (Feb 4th) at the CCFA annual meeting in San Antonio, TX.

Howard Community College (Columbia, MD), won in the Planning, Governance and Finance category, which recognizes programs or activities that improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college. The program titled, Cloud Migration, in which Howard Community College was the first community college to move its administrative system to a vendor’s cloud hosting services. This improved the speed of the system, augmented campus technical support staff, reduced technology infrastructure on campus for Colleague and provides business continuity with disaster recovery and offsite data backup capabilities.

Pima Community College (Tucson, AZ) won in the Instructional Programs and Services category, which recognizes programs and services that foster or support teaching and learning in the community college. The program titled, Transform Developmental Education, Transform an Institution, provides students struggling to successfully fulfill prerequisite requirements for gateway courses a promising option. Publications report 50-70% of college students require preparatory coursework in mathematics or English. Pima Community College’s efforts shifted in 2013 when a cross-functional team created a comprehensive redesign plan which significantly increased successful completion of critical gateway courses.

Central Arizona College (Coolidge. AZ), won in the Workforce Development category, which identifies strategic alliances that promote community and economic development. The program titled, Education at the Speed of Industry, detailed how Sundt Construction, Incorporated and Central Arizona College formed a Workforce Development partnership to recruit and train skilled workers. Nationwide, it is reported 80% of construction firms nationwide have difficulty filling hourly and craft positions.

The Community College Futures Assembly issued a call for Bellwether Award nominations in the fall of 2019, and 30 finalist colleges in three categories were competitively chosen from the applicants. Ten finalists were selected in each category: Instructional Programs and Services, co-sponsored by the National Council of Instructional Administrators; Planning, Governance and Finance, co-sponsored by the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges; and Workforce Development, co-sponsored by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training. All finalists presented at the Assembly and one winner was then selected from each category by a panel of national experts within each category.

The Community College Futures Assembly, now in its 26th year, convenes annually as an independent national consortium for award-winning colleges to work as a “think tank” in identifying critical issues facing the future of community colleges, and to recognize Bellwether Finalist colleges as trend-setting institutions. For more information, consult the Community College Futures Assembly website, or email