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Two CCCCD Programs Receive National Recognition



Two CCCCD Programs Receive National Recognition

Feb. 21, 2003 - Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) has received national recognition for collaboration between two of its award-winning programs, Learning Communities and Service-learning. CCCCD has been chosen one of 12 national contributors to a monograph published by The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE). CCCCD is the only Texas community college selected for this recognition.

CCCCD's contribution to the publication, a chapter titled "Beyond Learning Communities to the Engaged Campus at Collin County Community College," was co-written by Gary Hodge, dean of Social Sciences, Health and Public Services.

"CCCCD is recognized nationally for being a leader in initiatives which allow us to provide students with an education in the values of our democratic society," said Cary Israel, CCCCD president. "We take very seriously our mission to engage students in the community through innovative college courses."

This is not the first time that CCCCD has been recognized for its unique collaboration. Two years ago, the college was chosen over 150 entries nationwide to win the national Bellwether Award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative practices in the area of instructional programs and services. The award was sponsored by the National Council of Instructional Administrators and the Institute of Higher Education.

The Learning Communities program is designed to integrate two or more classes around one interdisciplinary theme. Students have an opportunity to take two or more classes simultaneously.

"The college is dedicated to enriching student's academic experiences and broadening student's perspectives," said Hodge. "What better way to engage students than by allowing them to 'learn by doing'? This program offers a vehicle for students to impact the community first-hand while gaining an academic viewpoint. The knowledge gained and the spirit cultivated can be applied beyond the classroom throughout their lives, benefiting the places we live and work."

Service-learning embraces the concept of "learning by doing," or active student involvement in community and public affairs outside of the classroom. Service-learning combines community service with academic curricula in such a way that the needs of the students and of the community are served. In this program, students have created websites for nonprofit organizations, taken police dogs to hospitals and tutored students at local elementary schools.

AAHE is a national professional organization of faculty, administrators and students dedicated to improving higher education. It convenes forums for discussing matters of interest to colleges and universities, advocates unique learning practices, encourages diversity on campus and disseminates information on teaching and learning strategies.

Collin County Community College District serves more than 38,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, the CCCCD is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. The college is one of only nine instructor Cisco Academy Training Centers in the world.