Center News /
April 26, 2021

The Importance of Recognition: TCOE Awards add Value and Credibility

It’s not a new thing for outstanding instructors, educational programs, and community partners to be recognized in education. However, this is your chance to do so with a focus on transportation. 


Quite simply, awards publicly and meaningfully recognize those great people and organizations who have the most tremendous impact on our state’s high-quality transportation-related education programs. But, awards also bring credibility to programs and teachers as they showcase the skills and dedication it takes to be great. Consequently, students, families, and communities experience a deeper trust in those educational institutions and academic leaders, while growing in their own sense of pride about their academic communities. By recognizing educational support personnel and industry supporters, you are not only showcasing the generous gifts of others, but the deep connection between community leaders and programs. Essentially, the far-reaching strengths of a community-driven team approach comes to the public forefront.


Yes, the process of nominating teachers, supporters, and programs can feel like a heavy lift. But, I would argue that you can’t afford to not nominate.  (I would also argue that our nomination process is not labor intensive!) The value of recognition programs goes beyond trophies and celebration. Showcasing the accomplishments and gifts of people provides inspiration for others. It’s the old adage that success breeds success. After the trophies have been issued, and the party has died down, true champions in every facet of life begin thinking about how to repeat, compete, and inspire. Find joy in recognizing and inspiring others.   


The TCOE proudly sponsors awards to educators, advocates, supporters, and industry partners, for their outstanding contributions to the field of transportation-related education. Award winners are nominated by their peers, and recipients of these awards are selected at a regular scheduled meeting of the TCOE Awards Committee. The Awards Committee reserves the right to withhold conference of any award in any given year, which is an industry standard for programs such as these. All nominations shall be kept in an active file for up to three years, and may be extended at the discretion of the Awards Committee. This is to ensure that the best candidates have every opportunity to be recognized, even if they are nominated on a year with an above-average group of nominees. The nomination process is straight forward and relatively painless. Your participation through nominating your colleagues, staff, teachers, and industry partners is strongly encouraged.  Nominators are asked to provide some basic information about the candidate, as well as a minimum of three letters of recommendation from varied sources (a letter from the nominator counts as one of those letters). Deadline for nominations is June 1.  Award winners will be notified in June, and awards will be presented at a brief presentation during the MTTIA conference in August (membership in MTTIA is not required for nominees or nominators).

We sincerely hope you will use this opportunity to help us recognize, and promote, the valuable work that is happening across the state of Minnesota in transportation education. If you have any questions, please email Cassidy Jelen at [email protected] or me at [email protected]HAPPY NOMINATING!