Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards



The Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards acknowledge exceptional college work in support of the VCCS mission. The Excellence in Education awards program provides an annual opportunity to showcase, celebrate, and share ideas and innovations across the VCCS that contribute to improving student outcomes and reaching our strategic goals.


The Award

The 2022 New Horizons Excellent in Education Awards is a celebration, acknowledgement and affirmation of the tremendous work that so many have undertaken during these unprecedented times to serve our students and communities. These awards will highlight notable accomplishments between March 2020 and December 2021.

NEW THIS YEAR! The 2022 New Horizons Excellence in Education Awards will utilize nominations for these honors.

A single award will be given in each of the four categories.  The winner project/program in each category will be awarded a certificate and $500.  If more than one college is represented in the project, the cash award will be divided equally among the represented colleges.

Please note: All cash prize award funds will be transmitted from the System Office to the business office of the winner’s college for disbursement; funds will not be made payable directly to awardees by the VCCS System Office.



Any VCCS employee may be nominated for an award.


Excellence in Education Awards Categories

1. Building Opportunity through KNOWLEDGE:
A successful nominee will utilize information to drive and elevate our professional practice, our understanding of education, and/or ability to do our jobs well.  Some projects/programs in this category may include pedagogical practices that improve student outcomes, data driven approaches to solving a problem, research projects that expand our understanding, and evidence-based practices.

2. Building Opportunity through CONNECTION:
A successful nominee may have one or more of the following: an innovative way to connect to people and our communities; a new approach to bringing more students to campus and helping them succeed, and/or a program for meeting people where they are in ways.  These connectors help us humanize the knowledge we are gaining so we are all better equipped to serve in our roles. Some projects/programs in this category may include community outreach, tutoring and other student success programs, recruiting students and faculty, onboarding, tips for teaching students online, and effective approaches to providing services remotely.

3. Building Opportunity through INCLUSIVITY:
A successful nominee helps us become intentional in making sure everyone feels included and is being seen, heard and has a seat at the table. Some projects/programs in this category may include diversifying curriculum, representation with media and authors, having hard conversations about important things, and utilizing universal design.

4. Building Opportunity through COLLABORATION:
A successful nominee shows us how to work with one another, across departments, across the system, across the state. They build partnerships in the field with non-profits and/or stakeholders to benefit our students and communities. Some projects/programs in this category may include sharing faculty, free or low-cost student resources, resource building programs, and leveraging available programs and services in the Commonwealth.


Nomination Process

To nominate one or more exceptional candidates, please utilize this link for all submissions: 2022 New Horizons Excellence in Education Awards Nomination Form. Each nomination must include the following items:

1. Nomination Category
Select one (1) nomination category for this submission (refer to category descriptions above).

2. Description (maximum: 300 words/2,000 characters with spaces)
Please describe the program/project or individual you are nominating for this award.

3. Connection to Student Success (maximum: 300 words/2,000 characters with spaces)
How does this program/project or individual increase student success as described by the category?

4. Connection to Opportunity 2027 (maximum: 300 words/2,000 characters with spaces)
Please describe the connection between this program/project or individual to the goals of Opportunity 2027.

5. Additional information (maximum: 300 words/2,000 characters with spaces)
What additional information should we know about this program/project or individual?

6. Three Words
What three words best describe this program/project or individual?


Nomination Due Date and Announcements

All nomination submissions are due February 1, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. EST.  Virginia’s Community Colleges Student Success Center will send a letter of recognition to each nominee and all nominees will be featured during the slide show at the New Horizons Awards program. The recipient(s) and college president(s) will be notified confidentially prior to the public announcement during the Awards program at the annual New Horizons conference in April 2022.



For questions related to the Excellence in Education Awards, contact the VCCS Student Success Center at StudentSuccess@vccs.edu.