News from The New England Board of Higher Education

Dennis Littky to be honored with New England Higher Education Excellence Award

Contact: John O. Harney, 617-357-9620 ext. 101 or

Jan. 7, 2011

Boston-The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) will honor Dennis Littky and Big Picture Learning of Rhode Island at its ninth annual New England Higher Education Excellence Awards celebration to be held Friday, March 11, 2011, at the Long Wharf Marriott Hotel in Boston, Mass. More than 500 people will attend this event, including leaders of education, business and government from across the six New England states.

Each year, NEBHE presents Regional Excellence Awards to individuals and organizations that have shown exceptional leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity, and State Merit Awards to honor the innovative work of organizations, institutions or individuals in each New England state.

Littky and Big Picture Learning, which he co-founded, are the recipients of the 2011 Rhode Island State Merit Award, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to higher education in his or her state.

Littky is co-director of Big Picture Learning and the Met Center in Providence. He is nationally known for his extensive work in secondary education in urban, suburban and rural settings spanning over 40 years. Under his leadership, the Met has expanded from a single school in downtown Providence to a network of seven small schools across Rhode Island, and has prepared all 750 of its students for collegiate and professional success.


He is the author of The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's Business, which won the Association of Educational Publishers' top award for nonfiction in 2005. In 2003, he was recognized as a leader in the small schools movement and awarded the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Fast Company ranked Littky fourth among the top 50 Innovators of 2004, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation recently selected Littky as part of the Daring Dozen: the Twenty Most Daring Educators in the World.

 "Dennis personifies the independent spirit and seriousness of purpose that characterizes innovations in New England education," said NEBHE President and CEO Michael K. Thomas. "We are proud to honor him."

Additional information about NEBHE's New England Higher Education Excellence Awards is available online at

NEBHE is a congressionally authorized, six-state agency whose mission is to promote greater educational opportunities and services for residents of New England. NEBHE programs are principally focused on the relationship between New England higher education and regional economic development.

 New England Board of Higher Education