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Level 1 - Commitment to Community Excellence

This level provides communities with the tools and resources they need for their performance improvement journey. Communities respond to the Community Profile section of the Communities of Excellence Framework, describing their mission, vision, and key factors that lead to success. This provides a strong foundation for the second step, Journey to Community Excellence.

Note:  The assessment fee is waived for communities participating in our National Learning Collaborative.  For all other communities applying, see program cost information in the Instructions and Request for Assessment Form.  

Key Dates

July 15th, 2021 Commitment to Community Excellence Request for Assessment Due
August 15th, 2021 Commitment to Community Excellence Application Due
October 15th, 2021 Written Feedback Report Provided to Community Applicants


Key Links

Commitment to Community Excellence Instructions and Request for Assessment Form

Community Profile

Level 2 - Journey to Community Excellence

A requirement of this level of the program is to receive Commitment to Community Excellence Recognition before applying.

At this level, communities continue to learn and develop effective approaches that help improve their community’s performance. In addition to responding to the questions in the Community Profile, applicants describe key processes in response to Category 1: Community Leadership and Category 2: Community Strategy. In their responses, they show that approaches are systematic and show appropriate deployment of these approaches. They also document levels and trends for key results related to the health, educational attainment, safety, and economic vitality of the community (items 7.1(1) and (2), 7.4(1) and 7.5(2)). This level provides a clear pathway for communities moving to the third level – Community of Excellence Recognition.

Key Dates

June 15th, 2021 Journey to Community Excellence Request for Assessment Due
July 15th, 2021 Journey to Community Excellence Application Due
October 15th, 2021 Written Feedback Report Provided to CommunityApplicants


Key Links

Journey to Community Excellence Instructions and Request for Assessment Form

Communities of Excellence Framework

Level 3 - Community of Excellence Recognition

Communities are required to receive Commitment and Journey Level recognition before applying.

Participation allows communities to take their performance excellence journey to a higher level through a full assessment. Applicants respond to the Communities of Excellence criteria in its entirety, including the Community Profile and categories 1–7. In their responses to the process categories (1–6), applicants detail the approach used, the extent of deployment, evidence of learning, and integration among processes. In responding to category 7 (Results), they report levels, trends, comparisons, and integration for all key results. 

Key Dates

June 15th, 2021 Community of Excellence Request for Assessment Due
July 15th, 2021 Community of Excellence Application Due
October 15th, 2021 Written Feedback Report Provided to Community Applicants


Key Links

Community of Excellence Instructions and Request for Assessment Form

Communities of Excellence Framework