Award-Winning Programs at League Board and Alliance Institutions Exemplify Community College Innovation

From the League
Innovation Showcase

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Innovation of the Year Award winners from 32 participating League member colleges! The League initiated the Innovation of the Year Award over 35 years ago to recognize local community college programs and initiatives that reflect the spirit of innovation and experimentation on which our organization was founded. The award provides an opportunity for colleges to showcase their innovative efforts; celebrate the dedicated educators, staff, and administrators who are responsible for this exceptional work; and promote a culture of innovation at their institutions.

Some of this year’s winning innovations are described below. Click here for a full list. Individual institution pages provide details about award winners.

Not a member? Learn about how your college can participate in League Awards here.

College of DuPage

Immersive Visualization Lab

College of DuPage is investing in the development of innovative technologies in instructional methodology as part of its Enhancing Education initiative. The college recently unveiled an Immersive Visualization Lab. Students and other visitors are surrounded by a fully enclosed 8-foot high, 10-meter diameter, 360-degree projection of images and full-motion video supplemented by fully immersive audio. Faculty can use available content or create their own using a 360-degree camera, which enables them to customize the learning experience to their exact needs. Learn more here.

Hudson County Community College

Gateway to Innovation

Gateway to Innovation (GTI) was developed to achieve systemic improvement in Hudson County New Jersey’s workforce ecosystem. GTI provides students with comprehensive services; offers alumni career development services; provides county residents with no-cost short-term credential training; and engages with employers in the healthcare, IT, and finance sectors. Over 2,600 students and alumni, and hundreds of underserved residents in communities of color, have been uplifted, empowered, and provided pathways to a better future. Learn more here.

Institute of Technical Education

Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Marking for Computer-Aided Design Drawings

Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Marking for Computer-Aided Drawings (AMCAD) is the first and only automated system on the market capable of grading CAD exercises accurately. It combines two methods in computer vision technology to view and detect differences between students’ drawings and the answer key, independently of their position and size. AMCAD circumvents manual marking of CAD drawings, which is extremely time-consuming and prone to human errors. The application allows students to attempt more exercises, as lecturers can provide prompt feedback to them. Learn more here.

Maricopa Community Colleges – Rio Salado College

Upskilling Adult Education Students: A Collaborative Career Training and Partnership Pathway Model

Rio Salado College (RSC) Adult Education (AE) has initiated multiple innovative partnerships to create college bridge solutions and help noncredit adult education students to access and succeed in college-level career training programs. These innovative workforce preparation partnerships support a diverse population of adult learners who embody the mission of community colleges and remain vital to Arizona’s local economy. The integrated education and career training partnership solutions are impactful, collaborative, and scalable. Learn more here.

Montgomery County Community College

Virtual Reality Radiography Simulation

Montgomery County Community College piloted a virtual reality radiography simulation paired with artificial intelligence that evaluates student interactions and decisions. This innovation established new immersive avenues for practice for first- and second-year students, and uncovered knowledge gaps. The solution offered students the capacity to simulate clinical X-ray procedures on an as-needed basis in a desktop or virtual reality environment. As a result, learners became more competent in the clinical environment without any added risks. Learn more here.

Sinclair Community College

Tartan TOPS Program

Transition Option in Post-Secondary Education (Tartan TOPS) is a comprehensive transition program at Sinclair Community College designed to provide opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to attend college and gain work experience. Participants receive wraparound support services and person-centered planning, and attend inclusive college classes for academic credit. After TOPS, students continue to attend Sinclair in pursuit of additional certificates and/or degrees or seek employment in the community. Learn more here.