Professor selected for Bellwether National Outstanding Dissertation Award

Photo courtesy of College of the Desert. Dr. Pamela Stegeman.

Photo Courtesy Dr Pamela Stegeman

Photo courtesy of College of the Desert. Dr. Pamela Stegeman.

College of the Desert is proud to announce that Dr. Pamela L. Stegeman has been selected as the inaugural winner of the Bellwether College Consortiums Outstanding Dissertation Award for her dissertation “Characteristics of collaborative community college/economic development organization partnerships: A multiple case study.” The Bellwether College Consortium presents a total of three different Bellwether Awards as well as the Outstanding Dissertation Award. The award will be given to her on Feb. 27 at the 2022 Community Colleges Futures Assembly in San Antonio, Texas.

The Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes a dissertation that substantially contributes to the literature and or practice of community college instruction governance or workforce development. A substantial contribution is defined as dissertation research that demonstrably adds to the scholarly literature on community college, revises understanding of a researchable problem associated with community college, or looks at an aspect of community college in a new way.

Dr. Stegeman is the first recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award. The creation of this inaugural award competition serves as a significant, unique and valuable contribution to a community college scholarship. The Community College Futures Assembly provides a dynamic venue to augment research focused on issues central to public two-year colleges. This national recognition at Bellwether’s signature event provides an ideal platform to showcase exemplary research sponsored, featured and disseminated by the Bellwether College Consortium.

“Receiving the inaugural Bellwether Outstanding Dissertation Award for my research in the workforce and economic development underscores their forward-thinking on the importance of community colleges in the United States economy and the impact community colleges make in people’s lives,said Dr. Stegeman. She continued, I am honored and grateful for this award as it reflects the work I undertake every day with College of the Desert students. Based on my research, I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to work with local economic development organizations to diversify the economy here in the Coachella Valley. COD can help solve employers’ number one need; a workforce pipeline of educated individuals with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the new middle class, middle-skills jobs.”

I am honored for this award as it reflects the work I am undertaking every day with College of the Desert students.

— Dr. Pamela Stegeman

“Dr. Stegeman’s research provides new insight to another question, how do community colleges serve as platforms for high demand employer training programs,” stated Dr. Rose Martinez, Director for the Bellwether College consortium. “Her study is an empirically based road map to identifying an employee in the characteristics needed to have community colleges become integral to a business growth model.”

Dr. Stegeman has been with COD since 2013 and holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in government, a Masters of Business Administration degree, and a doctorate in education and community college leadership. She has held leadership positions in Fortune 100 companies and has “directed marketing and brand-building efforts at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Sprint, Nextel and Procter & Gamble.

“Dr. Stegeman has demonstrated her exceptional talent for preparing our students to enter the business world with skills, knowledge and passion. She is deserving of this recognition,” said College of the Desert President Martha Garcia, Ed D. She recognizes this achievement as an honor for both Dr. Stegeman and College of the Desert.

The Bellwether College Consortium was established in 1995 and is sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida. It is comprised of award-winning colleges charged with addressing critical issues facing community colleges through applied research and the promotion and replication of best practices managing workforce development, instructional programs and services and planning governance and finance. The Community College Futures Assembly has recognized over 600 outstanding and evidence-based effective community college programs in more than two decades.

Annually, 30 community colleges are deemed finalists from many applicants in the United States and its territories. The selected colleges compete for one of the three Bellwether Awards. The National Council of Instructional Administrators sponsors the award in the category of Instructional Programs and Services. Planning, Governance, and Finance are sponsored by the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, and the National Council sponsors the Workforce Development category for Continuing Education and Training. The competition and selection bring a level of excellence that demonstrates the innovative spirit and results-driven mindset that exists among our finest community colleges.

Dr. Stegeman has demonstrated her exceptional talent for preparing our students to enter the business world with skills, knowledge and passion. She is definitely deserving of this recognition.

— Dr. Martha Garcia, President College of the Desert.

College of the Desert previously received a Bellwether Award in 2018 for outstanding work in the EDGE program. Starting in 2012, the EDGE (Engage, Develop, Grow, and Empower) Program was developed to increase student success and combat the challenges that students face in completing college-level Math and English courses. The California Community Colleges Chancellors Office recognized Chancellor’s Desert’s successful EDGE program with the 2016 Chancellor’s Student Success Award.

The success of EDGE inspired the development of the Community plEDGE program in 2017. This complimentary program provides students with free tuition and fees to assist in completing their educational goals. The plEDGE program now offers additional funding for eligible EDGE students to help with college tuition and fees. The students receiving this assistance will also plEDGE to maintain full-time enrollment. At the same time, in the program, participate in mentoring or internships, engage in community service, complete career preparation workshops and maintain grade levels.

To learn more about Edge and plEDGE you can contact them and apply for either program.