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Community Education Earns Quality Recognition
March 7, 2013

The Walters State Office of Community Education has earned Interest Level Recognition in the annual Excellence in Tennessee recognition program administered by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE). TNCPE is the only state-wide quality program and is patterned on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing organizational excellence. 

Walters State representatives accepted the award at the Anniversary Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet held recently in Nashville.  

“I want to thank the Walters State Office of  Community Education for its commitment to improvement and excellence,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “For twenty years, TNCPE has been helping organizations become more efficient and effective, and Walters State, in partnership with TNCPE, is doing its part to help build a stronger, better Tennessee.”

Walters State’s Office of Community Education offers noncredit (CEU) courses for business and industry via customized packages or open enrollment and general interest programs including talented and gifted, kids college, healthcare and professional development.

“We are honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Anita Ricker, assistant dean of Community Education at Walters State.

“Our staff strives to continuously improve, seek innovative programs and be ready to better serve our communities,” she also said.

Through an annual evaluation and assessment process, TNCPE recognizes high-performance organizations that exhibit continuous improvement and best practice processes.  This year, TNCPE has named 37 organizations as 2012 Award winners. They represent outstanding achievement in the following industry sectors: health care, manufacturing, service, education, government and nonprofit.  

Organizations like Walters State’s Office of Community Education apply to the TNCPE program at one of four levels. As the levels increase, so does the depth and complexity of the application, which is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Since the program was founded in 1993, only 22 organizations have attained the excellence designation. Two organizations, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority will receive the Excellence Award this year; 10 organizations will be honored with the Achievement Award; 23 organizations will receive a Commitment Award; and, eleven organizations, including Walters State, will receive Interest Recognition.
 
“This program helps organizations look at the big picture. But it’s not easy--if it were, every organization in the state would be participating,” said TNCPE President Katie Rawls. 

“Organizations like Walters State’s Office of Community Education are truly passionate about performance excellence and have chosen TNCPE and the Baldrige framework to help them become the best-run organization they can be.” 

A full list of winners can be found on the TNCPE website www.tncpe.org.

Established in 1993 as a public-private partnership by Governor Ned McWherter, TNCPE strives to promote economic development by helping companies and organizations grow more competitive in today’s global marketplace. TNCPE is patterned after the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the national standard for recognizing organizational excellence. More than 1,200 organizations have participated in and benefited from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Award Program, including those in the health care, service, manufacturing, not-for-profit, educational and government sectors. Four Tennessee businesses—Caterpillar Financial  Services, Pal’s Sudden Service, Eastman Chemical Company and Federal Express—have been honored with the prestigious Baldrige National Quality Award and the TNCPE Excellence Award. 

In the picture: The Walters State Office of Community Education has earned Interest Level Recognition by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Accepting the award are (second from right) Dr. Joe Combs, dean of the Walters State Office of Community Education, and (second from left) Dr. Anita Ricker, assistant dean of Community Education. Presenting the award are (right) Ron Ramsey, Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Tennessee Senate, and TNCPE president Katie Rawls.