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The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) announces the fourth annual Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest in honor of Scott Wright, past editor of Community College Week (1995–2000), recipient of the 1998 Award for Excellence in Higher Education Journalism, and the reporter who brought national attention to developmental education and the unique mission community colleges possess in providing an accessible education.

Submission Deadline

November 8, 2011
(Midnight–Central Standard Time)

Essay Topic

Describe a professor, staff member, or administrator who encouraged you to complete a
course, finish a semester, or graduate from college, and describe how they encouraged you.

$3,000+ in Prizes
  • $1,000 to the Student Author
  • $1,000 to the Faculty/Staff/Administrator Featured in the Essay
  • Complimentary 2012–2013 NISOD Membership to the Student’s College ($1,000 value)

Click here for a list of additional prizes.

Promotional Flyer

Print Contest FlyerWe have designed a downloadable promotional flyer and invite you to post the flyer on your campus to promote the Community College Week—NISOD Student essay contest. We also hope that you will forward the information to other faculty, staff, administrators, and students.

Submission Guidelines
  • Each author must be currently enrolled at the community college featured in the essay. The faculty/staff/administrator featured in the essay must also be currently employed at this same community college.
  • Each author may submit only one essay, and it must address the specific essay topic.
  • The essay text is limited to a minimum of 400 and a maximum of 500 words.
  • The following information must be submitted with the essay using our online form: (1) Essay title, author name, address, phone, & email address; (2) Faculty/staff/administrator name, college name, college address, phone number, & email address.
  • The essay must be submitted by MIDNIGHT (CST), November 8, 2011, via the online form on NISOD’s website. We do not accept submissions via email/fax/or by mail.
  • Essays will become the property of NISOD and Community College Week. Submission constitutes an authorization for NISOD and Community College Week to use the essays for research and grants. NISOD and Community College Week also have the authority to publish the results of the research and the text of the essays.
  • Editor reserves the right to make final editing decisions.
  • Contestants will be notified by Monday, February 6, 2012 regarding the status of their submission.

Additional Guidelines for the Winning Essay:

  • The student and the faculty/staff/administrator featured in the essay will forward their photos and bios to NISOD by February 27, 2012. NISOD will receive the college’s logo by February 27, 2012.
  • If the college featured in the essay is not a NISOD member, the college will receive a complimentary NISOD membership for 2012-2013. If the college is a NISOD-member, the college will receive a complimentary NISOD membership for 2012-2013.


For further information, contact
Sheryl Powell
Email or (512) 471-7545

For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.



National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD)
Community College Leadership Program | College of Education | The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, D5600 | Austin, TX 78712-0378
Ph: (512) 471-7545 | Fax: (512) 471-9426 |
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