KCC wins Best Programming award from LERN for Bruin Youth initiative

KCC mascot Blaze gives kids high-fives during a reading event at a local elementary school.

Kellogg Community College last month won an international lifelong learning award from the Learning Resources Network (LERN) for the College’s efforts developing educational programs for area youth.

KCC’s LERN International Award in Best Programming was one of just 20 awards presented at the organization’s annual conference in San Diego on Nov. 21, attended by 800 lifelong learning professionals from five countries. KCC was recognized for its growing Bruin Youth Programming initiative, which includes year-round Bruin Bots youth robotics initiatives, dozens of youth day camps, and the “Blaze Goes to College” series of children’s books, among other initiatives.

LERN is the world’s largest continuing education and lifelong learning association, and offers information and consulting services to educational organizations around the globe.

KCC Lifelong Learning Director Mary Green said the LERN award validates the department’s intentional focus on developing a long-term “Bruin Youth Pipeline” marketing and recruitment strategy aimed at engaging area youth and attracting future students to the College.

“We’re proud of the work that’s been done to help future Bruins discover KCC in a new and fun way,” Green said. “We intend to keep connecting the community to the College through our programs, and already have plans underway for amazing new summer camps.”

LERN President William A. Draves said the award recognizes innovation in the field of lifelong learning, “an absolutely critical component to individual and community quality of life and prosperity.”

“With more than 100 award nominations every year, gaining an International Award is an outstanding achievement,” Draves said.

KCC has offered a variety of youth programming opportunities throughout the years, which have been expanding since the new Bruin Youth Programming initiative launched in 2016 with a series of summer camps and a goal of creating lifelong connections that could lead to future enrollment.

KCC offered more than 40 youth summer camps and after-school programs over the course of the 2018-19 academic year, with more than 630 registrations – an 80% increase over the summer of 2018. Of the Bruin Youth summer campers surveyed following each camp, 82% said they are more likely to come to KCC as a result of the camps and 71% said the camps helped them identify future career paths.

“The Lifelong Learning team has enjoyed bringing back Bruin Youth Programming, and it was an honor to have our work recognized as a best practice by the Learning Resources Network,” Green said. “We hope to see even more future Bruins on campus this summer.”

For more information about Bruin Youth Programming at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/youth. For information about other Lifelong Learning initiatives at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/lifelong.

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