The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has won a prestigious gold Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations for its role in launching “Salary Surfer,” an online innovation linking associate degrees and certificates to actual salaries.
The East County college district shares the 2013 top national award for communications success with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office. The Paragon Award was presented Friday at a national conference in New Orleans for NCMPR, an organization for marketing, communications and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges, whose members represent more than 650 campuses across the United States, Canada and Bahamas. This year’s Paragon competition drew over 1,800 entries from nearly 300 colleges and was judged by more than 80 marketing and public relations professionals.
With a key message that California’s two-year colleges produce a tremendous return on investment, the state chancellor’s office created Salary Surfer, an online tool that gives the median earnings of those who have completed a community college certificate or degree in a specific discipline and have gone on to jobs. Salary Surfer was unveiled at in-person and telephonic news conferences led by state Chancellor Brice W. Harris last June at Grossmont College, which took the opportunity to also showcase its high-tech health and sciences complex, where many in the health professions have trained locally.
The event drew coverage by dozens of national news publications, leading industry publications, and television and radio network affiliates. Paragon judges praised the communications effort for “ effectively targeting audiences with a strategic approach that showed great diversity in communications strategies.”
College district Chancellor Cindy L. Miles said the Paragon Award is particularly meaningful because the event’s success represents excellent teamwork on the part of the state, district and college communications staff .
“Wonderful accomplishments result when people from multiple fronts join together with the common goal of attaining student success,” Miles said.