Tambellini, a leading independent technology research and advisory firm dedicated to higher education,  honored the top IT decision-makers and teams from the  Alamo Colleges District for their strides to transform their campuses and reach students amid the swirl of COVID-19 … and against near impossible odds.

“Institutions look to continuously improve their operations by adapting to the rapidly changing demands of today’s students, and the most successful ones are supported by strong technology leaders and teams,” said Vicki Tambellini, President and CEO of Tambellini Group. “We are honored to elevate and reward Alamo Colleges for their remarkable achievements in serving students and leading progress during an exceptionally challenging year for higher education.”

The challenges presented by the pandemic were enormous for the District, which boasts five colleges and eight regional centers and a large percentage of students who lacked broadband internet access and devices.

So, a team led by Dr. Thomas S. Cleary, the Alamo Colleges District's vice chancellor, set to work on finding ways to deliver remote access to all of them through a 10-point “don’t disrupt the student” motto. Among the many solutions put into practice was a “Park and Learn” initiative that allowed students to get high-speed internet in all of its campuses’ parking lots.

The results were well-received, adding stability during a time of struggle for higher education. In fact, while community college enrollments plummeted, particularly for first-time students and those from lower-income communities like San Antonio, the Alamo College District experienced a slight uptick in its fall 2020 numbers. The ability of the quick tech turnaround also led to a 92% retention rate in the spring of 2020, its highest ever. Those efforts helped them earn the honor from Tambellini Group.

“This award is the latest in a long line of national, state and local recognitions that reflect our dedication to performance excellence and particularly, our efforts to give our students the benefit of the latest and best technology to ensure their success,” said Dr. Mike Flores, Alamo Colleges Chancellor.

For the Alamo Colleges District, which serves 70,000 students in the most impoverished and one of the most technology-challenged areas in the United States – San Antonio – the recognition was confirmation of a job not only done, but also well done. (“


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