Sinclair Community College has won its first ever Bellwether Award for the “Pioneering Online Sciences Labs” project. The college has been nominated several times in the past, but has never won. Sinclair is the first school in Ohio to win in the Instructional Programs and Services category.
The Bellwether Awards recognize outstanding, trend-setting programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. Applications for the awards are competitively peer-reviewed by a panel of judges, who select 10 finalists to present at the Community College Futures Assembly. At the Assembly, each finalist college gives a presentation. The programs are judged based on how well the program addresses a need, results and strategy and capacity. In addition, the program is measured on its impact to the workforce of 2020 and sustainability.
The “Pioneering Online Science Labs” story was presented by Nancy Thibeault, Shan Huang, Marigrace Ryan, Vandana Rola, and Rene Vogt-Lowell. The group reviewed how Sinclair students expressed a need for fully online degrees. After achieving approval and getting faculty buy-in, the development of online labs required the recruitment and training of qualified adjuncts to accommodate the unexpected student demand and the creation of specific courses.
“It is a wonderful story that could only happen at a great place like Sinclair,” said Dean of Distance Learning Nancy Thibeault. “It took a lot of people at the college to make this successful, but could not have happened without the hard work of the Web Course Development team.”
Many others contributed to the project’s success including everyone in DL - Learning Technology Support and Distance Learning Programs & Support.
Thibeault pointed out that many at the college were instrumental in making this a success. The science faculty bravely stepped forward to develop the online labs, and their chairs routinely add extra sections to meet demand. All the divisions and departments across the college support the technical infrastructure and provide services to students. It is great to see the students succeeding because of this team effort.
This was a challenging journey with a successful ending that could not have happened without their support, added Thibeault. “We should be very proud of the contribution that we all made to win Sinclair’s very first Bellwether award!”