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Advancing DEI

The AACC Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Award recognizes the college that has contributed significantly and over a sustained period of time to advancing diversity in community college leadership, the community, and within higher education as a whole.

Criteria used to evaluate applications are as follows:

  • Demonstrates an ongoing commitment with dedicated resources and measurable outcomes to increase diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the college and the greater community.
  • Articulates in the college mission statement dedication to social equity for all students and personnel in terms of race, gender, age, physical ability, and sexual orientation.
  • Fosters an environment of belonging for students, employees and the community.
  • Reflects the diversity of its community and student population.
  • Models innovative and progressive practices that support institutional equity.
  • Maintains and advocates for policies that support diversity, equity and inclusion at local, state, and national levels.

Previous winners in this category are eligible to apply again 5 years after winning in the award category.


  • 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 strengthening of the diversity and equity initiatives on the campus.

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 electronically by the CEO of the nominating institution.
  • Each award is given annually, and the honoree(s) will be recognized at AACC Digital.
  • Nominating package (excluding required photos) must be 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 photo the college (signature building), and (3) photos of diversity, inclusion and equity activities at the college.

Complete your college's submission using the nomination form provided above.

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