Miami Dade College (MDC) is no stranger to prestigious honors. It is ranked among the top colleges in the U.S., with a commitment to quality, diversity, innovation and best practices.
The latest honor comes from American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) which conferred upon MDC its Advancing Diversity Award for its significant contributions — over a sustained period of time — to advancing diversity in community college leadership, the community, and within higher education as a whole.
The first award of its kind, it recognizes MDC’s ongoing dedication to social equity for all students and personnel; reflects the diversity of its community and student population; models innovative and progressive practices that support institutional diversity, and maintains and advocates for policies that support diversity at local, state, and national levels.
Under the leadership of Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, MDC’s president, the college has graduated more Hispanics and African-Americans than any other college in the country. MDC students represent 185 countries and speak 94 languages; in terms of its full-time workforce, 75 percent of administrators, 63 percent of faculty, and 88 percent of staff are minorities.
“This recognition is truly on behalf of everyone who is part of what we call ‘Democracy’s College.’ Diversity is a cornerstone in everything we do. At MDC, we have proven that diversity, open access and quality can go hand in hand,” Dr. Padrón said.
The awards ceremony took place on Apr. 23 during the AACC’s 93rd annual convention in San Francisco.
The AACC established the Awards of Excellence to align with key recommendations of the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a blueribbon group that issued its findings last spring. Its mission is to elevate community colleges that are at the vanguard of progressive practices. Finalists for the AACC Awards of Excellence were chosen by a specially appointed committee of the AACC board of directors.