TCC Connect Leadership Wins Award from the American Association of University Administrators

Two TCC Connect administrators recently received the 2023 Allen Watson Award from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA). According to the organization’s website, the award is “given annually to the presenter judged to have delivered the overall finest presentation at the preceding year’s AAUA meeting. Criteria include scholarly quality, professional relevance and importance, overall presentation quality, and (the) extent to which the session advanced the theme/topic of the seminar.”

The winning presentation titled, “Implementation Strategies for a Sudden Surge in Enrollments and Long-Term Impacts: The Experience of an Online Campus,” was delivered at the 2022 seminar by TCC Connect President Carlos Morales and Shelley Pearson, vice chancellor and provost.

“Our presentation at AUAA’s 2022 conference is significant as the audience is four-year institutions,” said Morales. “I am delighted for the recognition of the work we do at the two-year level; it is even more significant because we are an online campus.”

Regarding the award, Pearson said, “It is a great accomplishment for the entire TCC Connect campus. The award recognizes the effects of planning for quality on the ability to pivot or accommodate sudden changes in student enrollment activity.”

The presentation was inspired by the experience of returning to campus from COVID. “TCC Connect had increases in enrollments and student preference for online courses,” said Pearson. “Because of the planning and strategies in place pre-pandemic, the campus could accommodate the students quickly without sacrificing quality.”

The fall of 2021 saw the number of students taking at least one online course increase by 10 percent over pre-pandemic numbers in fall 2019.  Additionally, enrollments increased to double digits. Pearson says that having critical quality measures in place including the Online Instructor Certification; Peer-Developed Course; Online Readiness Assessment; and Instructional Design provided the campus with the infrastructure needed to accommodate the increases and continue to grow. Continuous data assessment and monitoring allowed for quick decisions regarding adjustments in specific areas of programming.

“I loved presenting with Dr. Morales in a live setting and receiving multiple follow-up communications from the participants interested in our methodologies,” said Pearson. “It is important to share online learning as a valuable modality for student success in a national conversation.”