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Sinclair Community College Named a 2023 Bellwether Award Finalist for Furthering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Sinclair Community College has been selected as a 2023 Bellwether Award finalist and will compete against colleges from across the country for this nationally recognized award that identifies and honors outstanding and innovative community college programs in three award categories.  

Sinclair Community College’s submission, “Equity and Inclusion for All, Across the Classroom, Campus, and Community,” was selected as a finalist in the Bellwether Planning, Governance and Finance category.

“Sinclair Community College is honored to be named a finalist for the prestigious Bellwether Award. Sinclair’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion encompasses a daily, intentional pursuit to help all individuals turn dreams into achievable goals through accessible, high quality, affordable learning opportunities,” said Dr. Steve Johnson, President – Sinclair Community College.

Sinclair’s Bellwether Award submission highlighted the institution’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy that builds a more equitable campus through innovative methods including the Curb-Cut Effect which focuses on attracting and retaining diverse student populations and supporting them through course completion and training, and success benchmarking in the classroom resulting in significant gains made for all learners from classroom to community through programs, intentional services, and inspiring leadership.

“Of particular note in Sinclair’s award submission were efforts at expanding access and success for students in online learning environments. The pandemic highlighted how critically important digital equity efforts are in supporting student success. Sinclair’s intentional focus on decreasing technology barriers, while expanding cutting edge teaching and support approaches in online classrooms made a tremendous impact,” added Dr. Christina Amato, Dean of eLearning – Sinclair Community College.

Over the past ten years, Sinclair Community College has seen a 458% increase in the number of degrees and certificates earned by minority students and a 478% increase for African American students. From July 2021 to August 2022, Sinclair’s Diversity Office hosted more than 60 virtual events with over 2000 internal and external attendees.

“This recognition highlights the tremendous efforts of Sinclair’s faculty, staff, and leadership who actively support diversity, equity, and inclusion through engagement and innovative programming to improve outcomes for all learners,” added Michael Carter, Senior Advisor to the President and Chief Diversity Officer – Sinclair Community College.

“The significance of the Bellwether Award is that the winning programs are replicable, scalable, equity-focused, and demonstrate evidence-based success,” said Rose Martinez, Ph.D., director for the Bellwether College Consortium. “With the complexity of issues facing our community colleges today, these finalists are extraordinary examples of colleges providing scalable solutions to tough challenges.”

A Bellwether Finalist is a community college with a program that scores highest in the first round of competition and is invited to compete in the final round of award competition. Finalists were announced recently on November 9. The Bellwether Award categories are instructional programs and services, workforce development, and planning, governance and finance.

Finalists in the Planning, Governance, and Finance category, which recognizes programs or activities that improve college efficiency and effectiveness are:
Alamo Colleges District (TX)
Blinn College District (TX)
Clark State College (OH)
Hudson County Community College (NJ)
Lakeshore Technical College (WI)
Lamar State College - Port Arthur (TX)
Pima Community College (AZ)
Polk State College (FL)
Sinclair Community College (OH) 
Western Dakota Technical College (SD)

The Bellwether College Consortium issued a call for nominations in the summer of 2022. Finalists representing 14 states and 24 community colleges were selected to compete from a large pool of submissions. College teams will conduct presentations to a jury of anonymous judges and fellow community college practitioners and CEOs and share how they significantly addressed a critical issue affecting community colleges. Event co-sponsors include the National Council of Instructional Administrators, the National Council for State Directors of Community Colleges, and the National Council for Continuing Education and Training. The national competition will be held February 26 - 28, in San Antonio, Texas. The 2023 Bellwether Award recipients will be named at the event.

The Community College Futures Assembly convenes annually as an independent national forum for innovators to work as a think tank. It identifies successful responses to critical issues facing the future of community colleges and hosts its national award competition annually.

Visit the Bellwether College Consortium website for more information,, or email