Leaders of the Year & Rising Stars

Leaders of the Year

Eligibility: Only full-institutional members can nominate or be nominated.  Nominations from affiliates, corporate partners, educational associates, and non-members are prohibited.

Nomination Deadline: December 15, 2023 at 4:59 p.m. ET.


This award celebrates a trustee who has made significant contributions to the college, including but not limited to Demonstrating exceptional leadership and initiative, supporting professional development for the president and CEO, contributing to strengthening college governance, advocating for the college’s data and results-driven student success initiatives; Effectively representing the college at the local and state level; and significant achievements that benefit the college, district, state system or foundation.

Nomination Form


The CEO of the year is seen as a leader among their peers. The CEO of the year has a strong track record in the following areas: effective participation in shared governance; support of professional development for leaders throughout the college; implementation of results-driven student success initiatives; effective advocacy at the local and state level for the institution and its students; involvement in statewide initiatives and/or participation in national dialogues on trends and issues impacting community colleges; representation on local, state, and/or national boards that advance the work of two-year colleges; demonstrated courage under challenging circumstances; and has been recognized at the local, state and/or national levels for effective leadership.

Exclusions: CEOs who have announced their retirement or those planning to retire within the next three years are not eligible for this recognition.

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

Nomination Form


The faculty member of the year embraces the teaching and learning process and continuously seeks to integrate evidence-based teaching strategies into the classroom.  The faculty member of the year has been highly engaged in college committees and with organizations dedicated to student success for all.  This individual consistently seeks ways to improve their program and courses and collaborates with other faculty within the college to develop innovative solutions to address issues of equity, persistence, and completion. The faculty member of the year has stellar student evaluations for the courses he/she/they teach. This individual is also highly engaged in student activities within the external community and advocates for student success.

Nomination Form. 

Rising Stars


The Rising Star Award - Executive has the respect of their direct reports and CEO and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership.  This individual has spearheaded operational and/or instructional innovations that have improved student experiences.  The Rising Star - Executive can bring stakeholders together to coalesce around initiatives that make a difference for students, in particular for those underserved and underrepresented populations.  This leader effectively represents the college in the communities the institution serves and goes above and beyond to support student success. 
Eligibility: Individuals employed by colleges led by the AACC Board of Directors are not eligible.  Individuals with the following titles are eligible to apply: assistant/associate vice president/vice chancellor, vice president/vice chancellor, executive vice president, and provost.

Nomination form. 


The Rising Star - Manager has effectively led programs and services that make a difference for students. The Rising Star - Manager leads from the middle, embraces change and innovation, and continually seeks to improve existing processes, programs, and services.  This leader has a track record of solid engagement on college committees and with external constituents and participates in state and national organizations that support student success. 
Eligibility: Individuals employed by colleges led by the AACC Board of Directors are not eligible.  Individuals who hold a management position within the college can apply—Examples of eligible titles are chair, dean, director, executive director, administrator, and advising coordinator.  The nominee must be in a position that supervises other employees.

Nomination form

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