OACHE wins prestigious government award

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 12, 2003

Tribune staff report

The Ohio Appalachian Center For Higher Education won an Oscar Thursday as it was selected as one of five winners of the 16th Annual Innovations Awards, sponsored by the Institute for Government Innovation.

The Innovations in American Government Award - often referred to as &uot;the Oscars&uot; of government award programs - is sponsored by Harvard University. The Innovations Awards cycle consists of four rounds.

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The first round takes place in the fall and involves more than 100 experts (both practitioners and scholars) who evaluate applications and select 100 programs from among the applicant pool to advance in the competition. These 100 programs then submit a supplementary application and receive extensive press coverage marking their achievement.

The second round of competition takes place during the winter and results in the selection of fifteen programs to advance in the competition.

The third round of competition consists of a site visit. Innovations evaluators will visit each of the fifteen programs to conduct a two-day assessment. Following the completion of a successful site visit, each of the fifteen programs is officially named a finalist for the Innovations Award, receives further press coverage, and becomes eligible to receive a monetary grant.

The fourth and final round of the competition involves representatives from the fifteen Finalist programs making presentations before the members of the Innovations National Selection Committee, who then select the five winners of the award. Each of the five winners is then eligible to receive an additional grant that brings the total grant to $100,000.

OACHE joined 311 System of Chicago, Ill., Energy Efficiency Utility of Vermont, FirstGov.gov and La Bodega de la Familia of New York as this year’s winners.

The OACHE is a consortium of 10 public higher education institutions in the 29 counties of Appalachian Ohio, including Lawrence County. It was established by the state of Ohio in 1993 to increase the low college-going rate of the region’s citizens. The Center works with colleges, universities, K-12 schools, and the private sector to help school districts and campuses with career planning, financial aid, field visits, and guest speakers.