Alamo Colleges wins Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

November 15, 2018


Photo of College Presidents and Board Trustees

On November 15, 2018, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross today named the Alamo Colleges District a 2018 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), marking a significant milestone in the district's ongoing journey to achieve the highest level of student success and performance excellence. A presidential-level honor celebrating its 31st anniversary, the award recognizes sustainable excellence through visionary leadership, organizational alignment, systemic improvement, and innovation. The award is the most prestigious honor a higher education institution can achieve for performance excellence in innovation, efficiency, and leadership.

The Alamo Colleges District is one of only five organizations to receive the award this year and is the first community college system to achieve this level of recognition in the history of the program. It is also one of only 12 organizations from 27 applicants to receive a site visit this year and one of only four in education.

“We are ecstatic to have achieved this milestone in our journey to fulfill our vision of becoming ‘the best in the nation in student success and performance excellence',” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. “This award was made possible by the hard work and dedication of our outstanding faculty, administrators and staff who collaborated effectively for many years to bring us to this moment. There are no words to express the gratitude and pride that the board and myself feel as we celebrate the culmination of our efforts, which will benefit our students, our organization and our community for years to come,” Flores added.

This elite designation is for organizations that undergo a rigorous examination of their business processes using the internationally recognized best practice Baldrige Excellence Framework. In October, ACD hosted a team of examiners who met with staff at the district, its five colleges, and off-site locations and developed a comprehensive report highlighting strengths and weaknesses in seven categories: leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, knowledge management, workforce focus, operations focus, and results.

“These awardees are inspiring in so many ways,” Ross said. “Each honoree strengthens our economy through its organizational excellence and positive impacts for its customers, students, patients, and employees. They exemplify the American spirit in action and are role models for success in business and commerce.” ACD has been on its performance excellence journey for many years. The Alamo Colleges DSO and four of the district's colleges have been awarded the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) by the Quality Texas Foundation, which follows the Baldrige framework and is required to apply for the MBNQA. In 2016, the DSO was one of three organizations in the state to receive the TAPE. St. Philip’s College was one of only two organizations in the state to receive the 2018 TAPE and the only educational institution to win the award since 2016.

Palo Alto College netted the award in 2015 and was the only educational organization to win the award since 2011 and the first in higher education to win since 2007 when Northwest Vista College was honored with the TAPE. Northwest Vista College was chosen for a Baldrige site visit in 2011 and 2012; Palo Alto College received one in 2016, and the entire district was chosen for a site visit this year.

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