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 Excellence in Education Awards is a celebration, acknowledgement and affirmation of the tremendous work that so many are doing to serve our students and communities.

The 2023 New Horizons Excellence in Education Awards will utilize nominations for these honors from the five key conference categories:

  • Communication
  • High Impact Practices
  • Culture of Care
  • Workforce Development
  • Financial Aid

The winner project/program in each category will be awarded a certificate and $500.

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 for 2023

  1. Beyond Ideas with Communication: 
    A successful nominee demonstrates an understanding of who we are serving and who needs us. Some projects/programs in this category may include those that build awareness of our equity goal; or provide intentional support to engage faculty and staff in understanding how the equity goal is reflected in their students and the communities they serve.
  1. Beyond Ideas with High Impact Practices:
    A successful nominee will demonstrate ways that they make sure EVERYONE has the opportunity to learn. Some projects/programs in this category may include high impact teaching practices that are making a difference in the classroom or office; intentional strategies to improve learning outcomes, deepen student connections, and ensure program cohesion for successful entry into the workplace or seamless transfer; or address the equity gaps in student success in the classroom, office, or department.
  1. Beyond Ideas in Culture of Care:
    A successful nominee takes care of our students as humans first. Some projects/programs in this category may include providing all students with a culture of care that supports and inspires their educational and career success; removing barriers to success; providing students with connections to community resources that address non-academic barriers to success; or equipping front line staff to be able to respond accurately to most student inquiries.
  1. Beyond Ideas in Workforce Development:
    A successful nominee helps our students get to work with family-sustaining wages. Some projects/programs in this category may include partnerships with business and industry developed to prepare well-qualified workers for current and emerging workforce demands; models implemented to meet students’ scheduling needs and move them more quickly through their program; or using labor market information, careers, programs, and transfer pathways to guide students effectively in selecting program majors.
  1. Beyond Ideas in Financial Aid
    A successful nominee understands the available resources and how to leverage them for all our students. Some projects/programs in this category may include addressing students’ financial needs (tuition, books, life expenses, etc.) in a holistic, integrated manner; strategies to identify high-demand, high-cost programs with low enrollment of historically minoritized populations and promote equitable enrollment representation; or closing knowledge gaps about current funding and financial aid regulations and implementing best practices for student financial services.


Nomination Process

Any VCCS employee may be nominated. Nominations for the Excellence in Education Awards must be submitted using the Online Application form, which includes the following items:

  1. Nomination Category
    Select one (1) nomination category for this submission. A description of each category can be found here:  EIE Awards Details
  1. Description (maximum – 300 words/2,000 characters with spaces)
    Please describe the program/project or individual you are nominating for this award.
  1. 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?
  1. 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.
  1. Additional Information (maximum – 300 words/2,000 characters with spaces)
    What additional information should we know about this program/project or individual?
  1. Three Words
    What three words best describe this program/project or individual?


Nomination Due Date and Announcements

Award applications and nomination submissions for 2022-2023 are now closed.
Award recipients and their college president will be notified confidentially prior to the public announcement during the annual New Horizons conference in the Spring.



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