As we continue to cultivate a culture of excellence at South Louisiana Community College, employees are reminded to stop and smell the roses – that is, stop to celebrate wins and achievements.

When meetings and to-do lists seem endless, that’s the perfect time to take a breather and remind ourselves how far we have come in our journey to organizational excellence – and how our journey has enabled us to achieve higher levels of success and recognition.

Recently, SLCC’s chancellor, Dr. Natalie Harder, was honored with the E. Joseph Savoie Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District IV. This district represents 2,900 members from 261 two-year, four-year, HBCU, and private institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. This award recognizes a president or chancellor for outstanding efforts towards promoting understanding and support of education. Dr. Harder accepted the award in Dallas at the district’s annual conference at the end of March, with several members of her SLCC team there to cheer her on.

Likewise, SLCC’s director of communications and marketing, Christine Payton, was named the National Communicator of the Year from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR). One of the most prestigious awards presented to an NCMPR member, the award honors a two-year college marketing professional who has demonstrated leadership and ability in college communications. The icing on the cake for SLCC? Payton is the first person from Louisiana to receive this award since its inception in 1982.

Other wins and recognition include:

  • SLCC experienced overall growth in its Spring enrollment over last spring, with a 66 percent growth in online course enrollment at the college. Moreover, SLCC is noticing more first-time students are staying in college semester-to-semester.
  • SLCC’s Office of Communications and Marketing earned two national awards for the college’s recent enrollment ad series and a news story focusing on Open Educational Resources. The awards program received 1,943 entries from 243 colleges.
  • More than 34 SLCC faculty and staff presented at the Louisiana annual conference for community and technical colleges, believably the largest number of presenters from any college in the state! Our faculty, staff, and administrators did everything from teaching folks how to use open educational resources (OERs) in the classroom to encouraging leadership traits in administrators and demonstrating how to better utilize features of our online learning management system.
  • A record number of SLCC faculty presented at the League for Innovation in the Community College’s annual conference. The faculty members presented on SLCC’s Student Showcase, the college’s new Workforce Mathematics (WFMA) course, and more. The League represents more than 800 institutions dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement.
  • SLCC’s Employee Giving Campaign won a Gold Accolade from CASE District IV. The college’s Star Wars-themed campaign won top honor among all submitted annual fund campaigns. During this 2017 campaign, SLCC experienced its highest level of employee giving in history, while employees across its nine-parish footprint received fun visits from Storm Troopers.
  • SLCC’s Corporate College grew its non-credit division from under 250 students served in 2015 to more than 1,400 students served in 2017, a 460% increase.

These honors and successes confirm that SLCC is doing the right things, and our great work is being noticed locally, statewide, and even nationally. SLCC is heading in the right direction and becoming a best-practice institution that combines culture with strategy and passion with purpose.

Taking time to celebrate wins, both big and small, goes a long way in engaging faculty and staff and giving them the fuel to continue pressing forward in the journey to high performance.

Contributed by: Lana M. Fontenot, Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, South Louisiana Community College

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