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Home > Careers > Office Of Professional Development > Awards & Scholarships > Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)


Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)


The purpose of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) is to recognize excellence in teaching in Virginia’s community colleges.

The Awards

The Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence is awarded annually to one teaching faculty member in the VCCS who distinctly represents the teaching excellence found at VCCS college(s). The award provides the recipient with a VCCS stole and $5,000. One nomination per campus will be accepted.


Eligible applicants:

  • Are full-time teaching faculty with unrestricted rank and salary proposals,
  • Possess a minimum of five years of full-time VCCS service during which at least 75% of the workload was devoted to teaching, and
  • Are recommended by the president of the employing institution

Note: The VCCS will consider one applicant per campus.


Selection of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence recipient is made by a committee comprised of one college president, one academic vice president, two deans (one academic and one student services), three faculty members, one student, and the Director of Faculty Development.


The criteria on which the recipient is selected reflect the following:

1. Instructional Effectiveness:

  • encourages active learning
  • respects diverse talents and ways of knowing
  • creates and offers many options for learning
  • gives prompt feedback
  • emphasizes time on task
  • assesses student learning through documentation
  • promotes a complete range of thinking skills
  • integrates the acquisition of basic academic success skills and academic values into course work
  • integrates technology appropriately into teaching and learning
  • understands current trends and issues related to pedagogy and the discipline

2. Student Focus:

  • promotes positive student relationships
  • encourages cooperation among students (through group work or projects, collaborative
    learning communities, or other mechanisms)
  • engages learners as full partners in the learning process, with learners assuming responsibility for their own choices
  • communicates high expectations
  • encourages personal development, work and career preparation
  • creates change in learners
  • engages students in activities outside of the classroom such as clubs, organizations, tutoring, field trips, or similar activities

3. Discipline Competence:

  • possesses specific knowledge and skills
  • maintains currency through discipline-related professional development

4.    Personal Attributes:

  • models life-long learning
  • engages in positive working relationships with students, colleagues, departments, campuses, and/or community
  • affirms and participates in shaping a college’s culture (mission, vision, and values)
  • demonstrates clear reasoning skills

Note: All four criteria stated above will be given equal weight by the Selection Committee.

Application Process

The Application Packet

The completed application packet for the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence must include these items (additional materials are not accepted):

  • A 150-word abstract of information in the proposal; a narrative that provides compelling evidence of the nominee’s excellence (maximum length is 5 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins all around — it is strongly recommended that the material in the narrative be organized by the four criteria presented above); a syllabus of a class taught within the last five years; and an electronic copy of a one-page letter of support from the president of the nominee’s institution.
  • A video featuring the nominee engaged in teaching that demonstrates aspects of the four criteria listed below. To strengthen the connection to the four criteria, the applicant should consider organizing the video by those criteria. The video must be submitted in the format specified below. Examples could include: Video of the applicants teaching or working with student(s). Maximum length is 6 minutes. [This must be submitted as a Quicktime (.mov) file.], or screen shots from an online class, copied into a MS Word document, no more than 10 pages, or text from student discussion boards, copied into a MS Word document, no more than 10 pages, or a Powerpoint presentation.

The Submission Process

  • All documents (information and demonstration) are to be burned onto a CD that is to be sent by the Chief Academic Officer of the college to the VCCS Office of Professional Development. It must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on April 25th. The deadline date is the same every year. If the due date falls on a weekend, then the following Monday will serve as the due date.
  • Nomination packet CDs should be sent to:
    VCCS Office of Professional Development
    300 Arboretum Place, Suite 200
    Richmond, VA 23236
  • Application materials on campus nominees from multi-campus colleges are to be submitted in one group representing the college by the Chief Academic Officer of the college.
  • Nomination packets that are incomplete, do not comply with the submission requirements, exceed the specified length, or include additional materials beyond those required will not be considered.
  • Applicants should note that occasionally colleges have internal deadlines for application for this award. Be sure to check with your college to make sure you are complying with any internal deadlines or processes.

Application Due Date

Nomination packets for the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence are due to the Office of Professional Development by April 25 of the year prior to the award year the applicant is nominated for. Afterwards, the Selection Committee reviews all received nomination packets and chooses one nominee as award recipient. The recipient is announced at the annual New Horizons conference in April of the award year. Additional announcements are distributed through the VCCS Office of Institutional Advancement and the Office of Professional Development’s website.

Connection to the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award

It is expected that the preparation of materials for the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence will position a college and its nominee to address related criteria for the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award.


For more information on the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, contact the Office of Professional Development at