TN SOAR recognizes WSCC as college of the year

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

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Walters State Community College was recognized as the Community College of the Year by the Tennessee Board of Regents during its annual SOAR Awards Dinner in Nashville.

The College of the Year award recognizes the college that has demonstrated, through evidence, a sustained commitment to and proactive advancement of student success and workforce development.

“This award reflects the dedication and work of our students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State. “I am so proud of every member of our college family who has remained dedicated to student success, especially during the challenges of the past two years. We are deeply honored and humbled by this award and know that it would not be possible without the tremendous community support we receive from throughout our service area or the leadership of the Tennessee Board of Regents and the state legislature.”

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In its selection criteria, TBR said the award seeks to recognize colleges with measurable and significant increases in ‘on-time’ degree completion, certificate completion, transfer rates to four-year institutions and progression and completion of underrepresented student populations. Other criteria included innovative programs that support student success and workforce development with student support services, K-12 partnerships/collaboration and workforce readiness partnerships.

The selection committee also looked at the development of a comprehensive and bold strategic plan to address existing equity gaps and how the college has contributed to state completion goals and system strategic priority areas across the institution.

More than 300 students, faculty, staff, supporters, state legislators and other

Guests attended the SOAR Awards Dinner, presented by The Ayers Foundation, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Nashville Downtown.

Special guests included former Governor Winfield Dunn, who in 1972 signed into law the legislation creating the Tennessee Board of Regents system, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Other special guests included former TBR Chancellors Roy Nicks and David Gregory along with board members of the Foundation for the College System of Tennessee.