Nicolet College sign

Nicolet College Honored with Third National Most Promising Places to Work Diversity Award 


For the third time in four years, Nicolet College has been named a Most Promising Places to Work award winner by two national organizations that support diversity efforts by community colleges across the country. 

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) partnered with Diverse: Issues in Higher Education to recognize Nicolet for its “best-in-class student and staff recruitment and retention practices, inclusive learning and working environments, and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities.” 

“We are incredibly humbled by and honored to be recognized as a 2023 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges award winner,” said Nicolet College President Kate Ferrel. 

“At Nicolet College, we believe that every employee contributes to the success of the College, and our culture must reflect the willingness to act together toward a preferred future. We are guided by our newly-minted strategic plan called Horizons 2025. Our strategic action plans are intentionally built to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where all of our learners, employees, and strategic partners can thrive.” 

 Nicolet was the only college in Wisconsin and one of 20 across the country to receive a Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges award in 2023. Nicolet also received the honor in 2020 and 2021. 

“We are proud to honor these colleges for their sustained commitment to diversity,” said Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “We are also pleased about the large number of applications this year. It shows that a growing number of colleges appreciate how critical diversity and inclusion initiatives are to their campuses and communities.” 

Diversity-related highlights at Nicolet over the past year include: 

- Collaborating with the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) to administer the HEDS Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey.  The survey asked for honest responses from students and employees to continue to improve the college’s planning and improvement processes. Nicolet will use the results and apply the information to help guide in areas such as grant requests, strategic and team planning, and DEI initiatives.   

- Hosted an Honoring the Indigenous Ways of Knowing event at Lake of the Torches in Lac du Flambeau in February. The event highlighted the work of the project, bringing our project partners together to identify ways to incorporate indigenous knowledge in college curriculum and the social fabric of the Nicolet community. 

- Hosting The Wall That Heals honoring Vietnam veterans. Nicolet was selected by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) as one of only 31 sites from across the country to host the traveling The Wall That Heals exhibit in 2023.  The three-quarter scale replica exhibit of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., along with a mobile Education Center, will be on campus May 18 to 21, 2023. It will be open 24 hours a day and will be free for the public to visit.  

- For Veteran's Day 2022, Nicolet College hosted a discussion panel composed of four local Veterans. These individuals shared experiences from their time in the military and led a discussion with members of the public asking engaging questions. 

President Ferrel also noted the exemplary work of the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, which she described as “a vibrant, passionate, creative, cross-representative, cross-functional team.” 

She also cited the committee’s mission statement, which reads: The Nicolet College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee strives to create a sense of belonging and values each person’s unique contributions and experiences. We provide educational resources and opportunities for the Nicolet College community to increase awareness, understanding, and respect in order to cultivate a diverse equitable and inclusive community. 

The award-winning institutions will be recognized during NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 27-30, in Austin, Texas. 

NISOD is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources for community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars.