Alamo Colleges is awarded national excellence award

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Alamo Colleges administrators prepare to be photographed after revealing this district wins the 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Nov. 15 at Killen. On the left, Debi Gaitan, vice president for student success at Northwest Vista College, hugs Chancellor Mike Flores as District 1 trustee Joe Alderete Jr. holds a sign announcing the award. Per its website, the Baldrige Award is described as “the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive.” Sergio Medina

It is the first time a community college has been given the award.

By Sergio Medina

The Alamo Colleges has been awarded the 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Chancellor Mike Flores announced in a conference Nov. 15 at Killen Center before district employees.

The award is described on its website as “the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive.” To be considered, entities evaluated must demonstrate high performance in services provided.

This district was one of five awardees for the 2018 award. The other four included:

Integrated Project Management Company, Inc., a private business consulting company; Tri County Tech from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education System; Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, based in Jasper, Indiana; and Donor Alliance, a nonprofit Organ Procurement Organization.

In an interview after the conference, Flores said the award is a reminder to keep providing quality service.

Baldrige examiners evaluated this district Oct. 1-5 for consideration for the award. They visited district facilities, including this college, and interacted with employees.

Flores said this is the first time this district has won the Baldrige Award.

“This is the first time, actually, that a community college district has won the Malcolm Baldrige Award,” Flores said. “So it’s important because what we’re doing, we’re doing things, you know, throughout the family of colleges and throughout the system that supports our students.

“I think it’s ensuring that we provide the best level of service and support to our students,” he said.

He further said one of the things the Baldrige examiners identified is that students at this district rated the academic adviser system with a satisfaction rate of 94 percent.

“And that we’ve also increased the number of students earning degrees by over 150 percent in the last six years,” Flores said.

In December, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program will send this district a full report based on the findings of the evaluation conducted in October.

“(They) will actually send us a full report on what they identify as things that we should celebrate and recognize and honor, and then they’ll also give us feedback, and so we’re going to use that feedback to be able to improve the level of support we provide to students and to the community as part of that effort,” Flores said. “So I think the important thing is that we’re always getting feedback, either from ourselves and what we do, or from students and the community.”

For more information on the award, visit

The official press release from district read, “The award is the most prestigious honor a higher education institution can achieve for performance excellence in innovation, efficiency and leadership.”


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