Gaston wins Bellwether Best in Showcase Award

Two teams from Gaston represented the College for two awards at the Bellwether College Consortium’s annual Community College Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas, on February 25 to 27. The consortium is a group of award-winning colleges charged with addressing critical issues facing community colleges, with concentration on workforce development, instructional programs and services, and planning, governance and finance. The gathering culminates in the announcement of the winners of the Bellwether Awards in each category, along with Best in Showcase awards and, every five years, the Legacy Awards.

Gaston College was a finalist for the Bellwether Award in the Workforce Development category for “Partnership: Meeting Critical Healthcare Needs,” a presentation about Gaston College’s partnership with CaroMont Health, which prepares students for success in the health care field by providing hands-on experience.

The College’s “Partnership” presentation was the Bellwether Best in Showcase award winner for the Workforce Development category. Best in Showcase awards are presented to the top three community college teams that provide “the strongest and most comprehensive elevator pitches explaining their respective program and its response to a critical issue.”

For its SPARC program, Gaston College SPARC program was named a finalist for the 2024 Legacy Award, which honors an innovative community college program that demonstrates five or more years of student success. The SPARC (STEM Persistence and Retention through Curriculum, Cohort, and Centralization) initiative was developed in 2009 by Gaston College to promote persistence and graduation rates of students taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. In 2016, the program won the prestigious Bellwether Award in the Instructional Programs and Services category.

Gaston 2024 Bellwether team photo for Best in Showcase award

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