Coaching Connection Receives Innovation of the Year Award

by Sam Colonna


The 2017 Innovation of the Year award was presented to WCC’s Coaching Connection Program by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

The League is an international non-profit organization that aims to promote advancement in community colleges. Some of the main points that the League focuses on include diversity, leadership and workforce development.

In order to celebrate outstanding staff, faculty, and student achievement, the League gives out numerous awards to community colleges nationwide.

The Innovation of the Year award was established over 30 years ago and was “devised as a way to recognize significant innovations at League Board and Alliance member colleges,” according to theleague.org.

The award is designed to recognize programs that improve the ability of colleges to help students succeed and also helps honor the faculty and staff that implemented the programs.

The criteria that must be met in order to win this award consists of quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity, and timeliness. Overall, the program has to be beneficial for faculty, students, and the community as a whole.

“This award honors the dedication, commitment and excellent work of our faculty and staff on behalf of student success at the college,” said WCC President, Belinda Miles in an informational email to students.

The Coaching Connection program was established at WCC in October, 2015. The program provides students with a completion coach, a specialist who is familiar with college resources, who can guide students through every step necessary to reach their targeted graduation date.

“Our Coaching Connection Program is one of several initiatives that connect students with necessary services to help students make progress through the curriculum and graduate on time,” Miles said.

Completion coaches collaborate with curriculum chairs, faculty advisors and career services in order to ensure each student succeeds at WCC.

Coaches try to be interactive with students and make sure they’re where they need to be. They also follow up with students and make sure they received individualized support.

“Completion Coaches allow students to ease their transition into college, through college and onto the next phase,” said Andrea Kelli Higgs, Assistant Dean of Learning Initiatives and Success.

Their goal is to provide students with a successful journey through WCC, along with a successful transfer and post-college experience. They also try to support retention and ultimate graduation from WCC.

“It’s wonderful to see our hard work pay off and hear the success stories of students who have been helped by our coaches,” said Jessica D’Amore, Program Administrator of Coaching Connection.

A huge part of Coaching Connection is the positive feedback from students. All the coaches take pride in being able to help students succeed and be a support system for them.

“I’m proud to be apart of the award winning Coaching Connection program, but the real award to me is the smile on the student’s face when I know our hard work had helped them successfully transition to their new path in life,” said Completion Coach, Chanel Nichols. “Coaching connection has helped many students reach their goal of completing their degree and becoming a graduate of WCC.”

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