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April 1st
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Safety, Emergency Planning and Leadership

AACC recognizes the importance of creating a safe campus environment. Pandemics, Acts of God and other critical events may happen on campus, and colleges must understand how to operate before, during, and after the event. Colleges can take steps to develop the leadership, infrastructure, and training needed to ensure a high level of safety of the institution and the surrounding communities. Further, they can serve as models and help provide workers to assist with community preparedness and response. To that end, the association has created the Award of Excellence in College Safety Planning and Leadership to recognize exemplary practices and innovation in campus safety and emergency response strategies, programs, and procedures.

Criteria used to evaluate applications are as follow:

  • College leadership has demonstrated commitment to developing training programs and developing leaders capable of handling issues that can potentially impact the institution, its students and employees.
  • College has a plan for addressing critical issues that may impact safety as part of its ongoing programs and operations.
  • College has integrated and regularly evaluates appropriate and safe use of equipment and materials in operations and programs to ensure that faculty and students operate in a safe environment.
  • College provides information to students and faculty related to responses for the variety of situations that can potentially impact the institution.
  • College has incorporated related training and associated industry-recognized credentials related to safety, preparedness, and response occupations into college operations and program delivery.
  • College has instituted specific programs and services to increase employee safety awareness and response.
Colleges that have previously won the award are eligible to apply 5 years after winning.


  • Colleges led by current members of the AACC Board of Directors are not eligible to apply.


  • Award finalists in a previous year are eligible to apply in the same category for the subsequent year. However, the finalist must submit an enhanced application. Enhanced means that the applicant must show further improvement in student success outcomes.

General Guidelines and Nomination Instructions:

  • Nominee must be a current AACC member college, and must pay membership fee for next year.
  • Nomination form must be signed by the CEO of the nominating institution.
  • Each award is given annually, and the honoree(s) will be recognized at AACC Digital.
  • Nominating packages (including required photos) must submitted through the nomination form AND include the following:
    • Nomination form. (You must create a new record for every award for which your institution applies.)
    • Minimum two letters of support, one signed by the nominating college CEO.
    • Additional support materials (i.e. news coverage, fact sheet, descriptions) NOT TO exceed five (5) pages.
    • 5 publication quality photos: (1) publication quality head shot of the CEO [300 dpi resolution or higher], (1) publication quality photos the college (signature buildings, and (3) photos of safety drills or table top exercises on the campus.
Submit your college's application using the nomination form provided above.

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