August 16, 2022
Contact: Melissa Villarin
Office: 916-327-5365
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has been awarded the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Equity Award for the Pacific region.

“Community colleges are unique institutions dedicated to making high-quality higher education accessible for all Americans," said Jee Hang Lee, ACCT President and CEO. "This year's regional ACCT awardees represent the most outstanding people and programs from throughout the country, and we are excited to be able to bring attention to them."

The Equity Award recognizes a commitment to achieve equity in the college’s education programs and services, and in the administration and delivery of those programs and services. Nominees had to show leadership in setting policies that promote and enhance opportunities for institutional diversity, inclusion, and equity for women, persons of color, LGBTQs or members of any other underrepresented or underserved population.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors and the 1.8 million students we serve, I’d like to thank the ACCT for this honor, which recognizes the hard work throughout our system to put equity at the core of everything that we do,” said Pamela Haynes, president of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges. “We have dismantled a remedial education system that harmed students, particularly students of color, by preventing them from entering directly into transfer level courses. And we have embraced a culture of universal belonging by embedding diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility into hiring and retention practices and policies designed to improve campus climate and student success.”

Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD, noted that the board’s commitment to the Vision for Success continues to drive the 116-college system to ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

“The work ahead is clear, and the urgency remains,” said Gonzales. “We will continue to fully implement the Board of Governors Vision for Success, and guiding our work will be Gov. Newsom’s Roadmap for the Future of California.”

California Community Colleges has made a commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). Key actions taken or which are under way include:

  • Ending remedial education requirements. One-year completion of transfer-level courses increased from 49% to 67% in English, and from 26% to 50% in mathematics over four years.
  • Adopting a new funding system that supports student equity by targeting funds to districts serving low-income students and student success by providing districts with additional resources based on students’ successful outcomes.
  • Creating a regulatory framework for colleges to work with local stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and collective bargaining partners, to incorporate DEIA competencies and criteria into performance evaluations and tenure review.
  • Implementing changes to transition campus policing from a “warrior” to a “guardian” mindset emphasizing de-escalation and crisis intervention and developing community and evidence-based policing policies and practices.

ACCT’s annual awards program honors outstanding community college trustees, equity programs, presidents, faculty members, and professional board staff members at regional and national levels.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. 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, Instagram and Twitter.