Versailles, Ky. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System Office of Professional Development and Innovation (OPDI) has been selected as a finalist for the Bellwether Award sponsored by the Community College Futures Assembly (CCFA). OPDIs Innovative Educator Academy (IEA): Enabling Innovation in the Community College was selected as a finalist in the Planning, Governance and Finance category.

The KCTCS IEA is an innovative think tank empowering participants to identify challenges and generate ideas in an unconstrained collegial "ThinkShop" network. This uniquely designed academy has emerged into a grassroots movement driven by faculty for change and innovation to help KCTCS identify solutions to challenges in higher education.

The IEA story begins with the statement: Wouldnt it be great if college faculty were engaged and empowered to find new ideas and solutions to really change things for the better?This is the guiding question driving the emergence of the KCTCS IEA to become a change igniter for the future. The idea and pilot for this concept started in 2015 with 23 participants at a remote location to begin working toward a new vision, a new way of doing things and to begin answering this question. This started the journey to apply knowledge, innovation concepts and our talent to build a team willing to find new ways to do things, in short, to think differently.

All finalists will present at the CCFA on Jan. 30 in Orlando, and one winner will be selected from each category by a panel of national experts within each category. The winners will be announced Jan. 31 at the annual meeting.