January 18, 2017

Paige Marlatt Dorr

Office: 916.327.5356

Cell: 916.601.8005

Office E-mail: pdorr@cccco.edu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors today recognized two California community colleges as 2016-17 Exemplary Program Award recipients. MiraCosta College in Oceanside and Reedley College near Fresno were chosen for developing programs that use contextualized teaching and learning strategies to help more students reach their educational goals, whether that be earning a degree or certificate, transferring to a four-year university or improving basic skills in English or math.

“These programs have had impressive success in closing equity gaps and increasing our students’ access to support services and innovative instruction,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Cecilia V. Estolano. “MiraCosta College and Reedley College represent two institutions that have dedicated time and resources to helping all students reach their fullest potential.”

MiraCosta College was selected as an award recipient for its HealthStart Program that assists students, many of whom are from underrepresented communities, successfully build their skills in prerequisite courses leading to desirable careers in nursing and other health allied fields. The program has seen tremendous success. HealthStart deliberately collaborates between the letters, nursing, counseling and career technical education programs and financially backed by the counseling and nursing departments and the Student Success and Support Programs funding.

Reedley College was chosen as a winner for its Reedley Middle College High School; a program designed to address the needs of its community where only 15 percent of the local population obtain a college degree. By creating the Reedley Middle College High School on its campus, the college can provide space for students to obtain hands-on career experience specifically in the areas of agriculture and business; reflecting the needs of the local economy. The program seeks to increase student achievement by transitioning students from high school to college and advocates for students to pursue accomplished careers and reciprocate their successes by contributing back to their communities.

The winning colleges received awards of $4,000 as recognition from the award sponsor, the Foundation for California Community Colleges. The El Camino College Educational Development Department and Sierra College Fire Technology Program were each given honorable mention plaques.

The annual Exemplary Program Award is sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Award nominees must show the overall success of their program; a contribution to faculty engagement; demonstrate a response to the needs of students, faculty and the college; collaborate with other programs on campus or within the community; provide evidence that demonstrates how the program supports the community college mission; and can be used as models for other community colleges.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit our website.