January 16, 2019

Christina Jimenez 


T 916.322.4004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Community Colleges Board of Governors this week honored four California community colleges as part of the 2018-19 Exemplary Program Awards. Rio Hondo College earned the highest honor for its alternative fuels program in alignment with this year’s award theme of “Environmental Responsibility.” Riverside City College, Santa Barbara City College and Sierra College received honorable mentions.

“These colleges are successfully training students to combat climate change and sustainably address food insecurity on campus,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Tom Epstein. “The collaborations among faculty and students to achieve these important goals serve as models for other community colleges throughout the state.”  

Rio Hondo College received the Exemplary Program Award for its alternative fuels program, which includes hybrid, fuel cell, compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, liquid petroleum gas and electric vehicle technologies. Rio Hondo College's alternative fuels program involved extensive work with community colleges and universities across the nation on safety standards to improve technician safety. The program prepares students and incumbent workers to become alternative fuels specialists at transit agencies, government maintenance facilities, heavy equipment dealerships or independent repair facilities.

Honorable Mentions are:

Riverside City College for its urban farm. The farm brought together members of the college, the community, K-12 feeder schools and partner universities, particularly the University of California, Riverside, to help develop the Farm and highlight the potential of its approach to community agriculture. The farm is also a place of refuge for many students and a source of food for a number who are food insecure.

Santa Barbara City College for its permaculture garden, which has changed the college’s public face by transforming manicured lawns into large portions of grounds covered with sustainable plants that help solve the food insecurity among students. The food produced in the garden goes directly to the college food pantry.

Sierra College for its environmental studies and sustainability program. The program provides students with the opportunity to meet the requirements to transfer to four-year colleges in the environmental fields including environmental studies and environmental science.

The annual Exemplary Program Awards, sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, launched in 1991 to recognize outstanding California community college campus programs. Award nominees demonstrate overall program success; faculty engagement; demonstrate a response to the needs of students, faculty and the college; collaboration among other programs on campus or within the community; support the community college mission; and serve as models for other community colleges.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success , a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.