It has been quite a week for Valencia, and before many of you begin to depart for a period of well earned rest and holiday celebration, I want to reflect on the events with you for just a moment.
It was the greatest privilege of my professional life to represent you and our students at the Aspen Award presentation in D.C. on Monday. As the emcees worked their way down the list and it became clear that we might well be the final winner, I found myself thinking of what this means for the work you have all done, sustained for more than a decade, to produce results that are leading the community college world to higher expectations of ourselves and our students. I hope you feel deeply affirmed for the passion and thought you have put into everything you have created in recent years:
- new systems of student engagement (LifeMap),
- new commitments to deeply engaging pedagogy,
- a serious commitment to assessment as a vital part of the learning environment,
- new approaches to learning support,
- intelligent deployment of technology, not to be the “most wired,” but to support the best learning environment,
- many innovations based on solid evidence of impact, such as the SLS courses, Supplemental Learning, Learning in Community (LinC), Bridges, etc.,
- major curriculum changes,
- and so on, and so on….
And all of this is on top of years of dedication to the day to day job of creating a rigorous and engaging learning experience every day for our students in every discipline. Words can’t express how proud I am of your work.
This is a high point in a long and important journey, but clearly not the end-point. With this recognition comes heightened responsibility to do the best work, achieve the best results, hold ourselves and those we serve to the highest standards. I know we can count on each other to continue the journey with renewed commitment and expectation.
Thanks to all of you for all that you do to make Valencia FOREVER the first winner of the Aspen Prize.
Have a wonderful, joyful, restful holiday.