Southwest Tennessee Community College was among five community colleges honored for their work advancing access and success for students on April 15 at the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Awards of Excellence Gala, part of AACC’s 99th Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.

Led by President Tracy Hall, Southwest was recognized in the Community College Safety, Leadership, and Planning category for its efforts to keep students safe. Among those efforts:

The college’s Police Services/Public Safety Division plans for responding to disastrous situations and has developed training programs for officers, employees and students.

The creation of the Southwest Emergency Response Team (SERT), which is comprised of faculty and staff members, is an ongoing safety program developed to incorporate employees’ assistance with safety drills and activities.

Southwest also has a relationship with the Memphis Police Department (MPD) and worked with the MPD to address potential civil unrest in the city when it came to light that a confederate rally was scheduled to occur across the street from Southwest’s Union Avenue Campus.

Award winners were selected by a committee of the AACC Board of Directors. Finalist colleges also were recognized at the Awards of Excellence Gala. The AACC, which is located in Washington, D.C., has nearly 1,000 member colleges delivering educational and economic opportunity for 12 million diverse students.

 The other winners and categories were: The Community College of Aurora (Col.), Advancing Diversity; Michigan’s Kalamazoo Valley Community College (and partners Bronson Healthcare and Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services), Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership; Maryland’s Howard Community College, Outstanding CEO/Board Relationship; California’s Citrus College, Student Success.

SOURCE: American Association of Community Colleges