Great Ideas for Teaching Award (GIFT)

The Great Ideas for Teaching program is open to all community college instructors, full-time or part-time, in any discipline. GIFT facilitates the sharing of ideas to inspire faculty, advance great ideas, and generate new ones.

The Great Ideas for Teaching program was created by Dr. Brenda Vance, a psychology instructor at Tulsa Community College. Dr. Vance passed away many years ago, but her legacy survived with Cyndi Hess continuing the GIFT program for awhile. Then, beginning in 2001, Dr. Doug Price, also from Tulsa Community College, took the lead with creative enthusiasm. He solicited more faculty involvement, presented greater incentives for faculty participation, and truly made the GIFT concept a gift to all for nearly a decade. In 2010, Cherry Rain from Redlands Community College was named chair.

Since 2016, the OACC Conference Planning Committee have been given the opportunity to review each submission and select a winning GIFT submission(s). The conference planning committee selects the winner(s) and a cash award is given to the selected submissions. The winner(s) also present their winning submission during a breakout session at the conference. 

Submitting Your Award Entries

Ideas will be published in the anthology in the format in which they are submitted. By submitting, each entrant acknowledges and consents to publication in the Great Ideas for Teaching Anthology only. Also, entrants consent to have contact information published in the anthology so that readers can inquire further.

The conference planning committee selects 1-2 submissions to receive a $500 cash award! 

Each winner will also present their Great Idea for Teaching in the GIFT AWARD breakout session!

Past Winners


Title (centered)

  • The Rationale
  • The pedagogical problem or issue addressed
  • The Idea
  • Impact on Students

Contact Information (this line centered)

  • Name
  • College
  • Position or Department
  • Email
  • Phone Number

AWARD ENTRIES MUST NOT EXCEED TWO PAGES SINGLE SPACED. Please send your entry as an attached Word document and email to

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • How well does the submission capture the reader’s attention?
  • How well does the submission articulate the GIFT to a general audience?
  • Is the problem or issue addressed prevalent in other classrooms?
  • Is the idea clearly explained?
  • Is the idea an unique contribution to the practice of education?
  • Is the idea effective?
  • Does the submission show positive impact on students?
  • Can the idea be easily implemented by other educators, at least within the discipline?
  • Does the submission entice the reader to find out more?