Reading, PA – Reading Area Community College (RACC) has been nominated for a national award for its online learning through the Bellwether College Consortium, which is comprised of award-winning colleges charged with addressing critical issues facing community colleges and recognizing best practices. Key areas of recognition include workforce development, instructional programs and services, and planning governance and finance.
RACC’s Teaching and Learning, Academic Affairs, has been recognized as a top ten finalist for its online learning in the category of instructional programs and services. In less than five years, the college has transformed online learning through faculty adaptation of a learning management system, resulting in a 94% student satisfaction rate with their learning experience in 130-plus online courses, ten fully online programs, and robust face-to-face and hybrid courses. Faculty engagement was key to the design process, which included required professional development for developing courses and teaching online, support from the Teaching and Learning Center, and evaluation of all new courses through standards. Such efforts set a foundation to meet the challenges of COVID. RACC staff and faculty have been able to pivot advising and teaching to better serve students during these unstable times.
“I am so proud of the work done by our faculty and staff to continue improving processes to better serve our students,” says RACC President Dr. Susan Looney. “We have a history of preparing students for good jobs and great careers, and being recognized as a Bellwether finalist further validates my belief that RACC’s faculty and staff are among the best in the country.”
Annually, the Bellwether Consortium nominates 30 community colleges finalists from a large group of applicants in the United States and its territories. The selected colleges compete for one of three Bellwether Awards. A rigorous selection process with two rounds of judging by peers and academicians in the field culminates with a daylong event of presentations by contenders for the Bellwether Award. RACC will be competing for winner in the instructional programs and services category with its presentation, “Striving for Excellence in Online Learning through Teacher Engagement” at the end of January. The Bellwether Awards are widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges.
To learn more about programs at RACC, visit racc.edu or call 610.607.6224.