Lakeshore Technical College Receives National Bellwether Award

Hiring, onboarding, and retention efforts earn recognition.




Lakeshore Technical College is the 2024 Bellwether Award winner in the Planning, Governance, and Finance category for investments made in redefining its recruitment and onboarding process. It is the first two-year college in Wisconsin to earn the award, which was announced February 27 during the 30th Annual Community College Futures Assembly held in San Antonio, Texas.

“This recognition is significant not only for our college but also for our community to know that the continuous improvement efforts going into our recruitment and onboarding process are proving successful,” says Lakeshore President Dr. Paul Carlsen. “The peer reviewers who analyzed our entry clearly saw our mission-focused approach ensures we hire the right people and give them the tools they need to teach and support our students the best they can.”

Bellwether Awards annually honor innovative community college programs and practices in place that address critical issues facing community colleges across the country. They are granted annually in three categories and widely regarded as one of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognitions for community colleges. Lakeshore has been selected as a finalist five out of the last six years.

According to Carlsen, after acknowledging its recruitment and onboarding practices needed improvement in 2020, the college’s leadership team took steps to analyze and redefine the processes to become more effective for both applicants and the college. Focus shifted from quickly filling short-term needs to focusing on long-term benefits of intentional onboarding. Every step along the way was strategically modified. Today, new hires undergo 12 months of onboarding including in-depth training by subject matter experts and high-level overview of key topics by members of the college’s reorganized training department, renamed the Teaching and Learning Center. 

Information about Lakeshore can be found at

Bellwether Award
Accepting the 2024 Bellwether Award on February 27, 2024, during the 30th Annual Community College Futures Assembly held in San Antonio, Texas, were Lakeshore Technical College President Dr. Paul Carlsen, Executive Director of Human Resources Marissa Holst, Director of Teaching & Learning Center Kelly Carpenter, Vice President of Student Success Dr. Tanya Boman, and Board member Roy Kluss. 


About Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College is a comprehensive community and technical college educating more than 9,000 students annually. Students enroll at Lakeshore to master real-world, employable career skills and start their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Lakeshore faculty and staff are focused on providing each student an individualized learning experience.
Lakeshore Technical College is a nationally recognized two-year college. The college was ranked #2 in the nation by Washington Monthly, #17 in the nation by Forbes, #20 in the nation by, a top-150 two-year college by the Aspen Institute, a 2024 Bellwether Award winner, and named the 2021 Large Business/Industry of the Year by the Chamber of Manitowoc County.
Approximately 800 students graduate from Lakeshore each year, and associate degree graduates report earning a median salary of $59,899 within six months of graduating. In addition to the Cleveland campus, Lakeshore educates students at learning campuses in downtown Manitowoc and downtown Sheboygan. Classes are also offered at additional sites throughout the district. Visit Lakeshore at