2021 NROC Ambassador Awards Announced

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NROC Ambassadors and Everyday Heroes

NROC Ambassadors share their implementation use cases, instructional best practices, efficacy stories, and technology wants to inform development priorities, fortify the NROC community, and grow student success. Thursday, June 24, during a virtual NROC member celebration, the 2021 NROC Ambassador awardees were announced. Additionally, for the first time, we invited members to nominate 'Everyday Heroes' who went to extraordinary lengths to ensure no learner was left behind this past academic year. Read about these inspiring individuals.

Congratulations, everyone! We're grateful for everything you do to lift up the students you serve.

If you're interested in becoming an NROC Ambassador, please complete this short form.

2021 NROC Ambassador Award Winners

Pioneer Award for Career Achievement

Susan Barbitta, North Carolina Community College System

Susan led a number of groundbreaking initiatives designed to improve student access and success. A statewide commitment to opening doors to college opportunity led the North Carolina Community College System to reconsider placement, focus on reducing the time and money spent on remediation, and offer just-in-time academic support. With an eye on improving college retention and completion, North Carolina's 58 community and technical colleges have implemented targeted math and English transitions courses, powerful co-requisite components to Gateway courses, and new high school bridge programs.

Susan’s leadership helped launch, scale, and sustain innovations that will continue to be refined in the years to come. She has generously shared lessons learned with the entire NROC community and beyond, and her commitment to students and supporting her colleagues will be an enduring legacy. In retirement, she'll dedicate her time to her nonprofit organization, Cake for Kids Cambodia.

Learn more about North Carolina's groundbreaking work.

Texas College Bridge logo

Team Contributor of the Year

The team at Texas College Bridge, sponsored by the Texas Education Agency and coordinated by The Commit Partnership (under the leadership of Dr. Kristyn Edney and Timi Creekmore)

Texas College Bridge partnered with NROC to develop a personalized, adaptive learning platform (powered by EdReady) that guides 11th and 12th grade students through individualized, self-paced college preparation courses in math and English. Upon successful completion of the curricula, learners can earn credit for the college preparatory course as well as a CCMR indicator for A-F accountability.

Kristyn and Timi of The Commit Partnership have shared their work in national and regional conferences and webinars, and early efficacy data suggest that students who enrolled in Dallas College after successfully completing Texas College Bridge had a higher overall passing percentage than college students who did not participate in Texas College Bridge. We're grateful for the exemplary role Texas College Bridge has played in managing stakeholders across the state: teachers, leaders and learners.

Learn more about Texas College Bridge.

Amanda Beyer headshot

Ambassador of the Year

Amanda Beyer, Iowa’s Northwest Area Education Agency

Even before the pandemic, Amanda had been a trusted advisor for perspectives on different ways EdReady and NROC math and English resources might best serve districts. As a technology consultant at an educational service agency, she coaches teachers and works with school leaders to implement technologies that help institutions meet defined district objectives. Amanda has long been an NROC Ambassador, sharing her work at regional and national events and within our member community, and we're honored to call her a colleague and a friend.

Ivy Tech Community College logo

Team of the Year

An extraordinary team worked tirelessly through an extraordinary time to scale Ivy Tech Community College's low-stakes, holistic placement pilot program to serve more than 45,000 students across 19 campuses in less than a year. Early results demonstrate their alternative to high-stakes placement is strengthening student achievement, and efficacy continues to be tracked across different demographic groups to better understand and refine the effort.  

Team Ivy Tech, led by Gwenn Eldridge, has generously shared their work in papers, webinars, and conferences, and across the NROC community. We hope their success paves the way for other states interested in scaling student-centered approaches to placement.

Read more about Ivy Tech's low-stakes, holistic placement model.

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