January 27, 2022
Contact: Melissa Villarin
Office: 916-327-5365
Office E-mail: MVillarin@CCCCO.edu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Continuing Education program at Mt. San Antonio College focused on equitable outcomes for adults with disabilities and a De Anza College Guided Pathways Initiative that has created campus communities based on meta-majors have been selected as this year’s California Community Colleges Board of Governors’ Exemplary Program Award winners.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors established the Exemplary Program Awards in 1991 to recognized outstanding community college programs, and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) selects annual themes related to the award’s traditions and statewide trends. The theme of this year’s awards: Addressing Inequity in a Time of Crisis.

“De Anza College and Mt. San Antonio College’s School of Continuing Education defined leadership during a time of unique and profound challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by not being afraid to design transformative curriculum and capitalizing on the transition to online platforms, and we are honored to highlight their successes with the 2021-22 Exemplary Program Awards,” said Dolores Davison, president of the ASCCC.

The Adults with Disabilities IMPACT Program at Mt. San Antonio College’s School of Continuing Education offers specialized courses underscoring its commitment to serving all students via equitable practices promoting the development of self-determination, college and career readiness, and independent living skills among adults with disabilities. IMPACT – an acronym of sorts for Independent living skills, Mobility training, Physical health and safety, Advocacy for self, College career and job readiness skills, and Technology training – has seen a nearly ten-fold increase in growth since its founding with 70 students in 2014 and has expanded from one to six community sites during that time. An Adult Education Block Grant initially funded $20,000 for a technical expert who researched curriculum, evidence-based practices, and built community connections. Funding for the program has since grown to $270,000 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

De Anza College is known for its students’ high transfer rates to four-year institutions, and its Guided Pathways Initiative has made the transfer process even clearer through extensive work on mapping all 157 programs, including 55 common transfer patterns to the University of California and California State University systems. The Guided Pathways team also focused on keeping students on a pathway to success by engaging the campus around the concept of ‘villages’ in line with the Guided Pathways Initiative’s six meta-majors. More than 15,000 students are part of a village related to their major or academic area of interest, allowing them to feel a sense of community with faculty, staff, and each other. The Guided Pathways Initiative is a true collaborative success: more than 300 employees from 120 different areas of the campus community were involved in developing the program.

Also recognized with Honorable Mention awards were Rio Hondo College’s Division of Arts and Culture programs, which are committed to promoting equity and social justice through the visual and performing arts, and Reedley College’s Coffee, Tea, and Guided Pathways professional development program that has played a key role in keeping faculty and professional staff connected when instruction shifted to an online learning format.

The Exemplary Program Awards recognize efforts that show evidence of overall success; contribute to faculty engagement; respond to the needs of students, faculty, and the college; work in concert with other programs or the community; provide evidence of supporting the community colleges’ mission; and can be used as models for other community colleges. Up to two programs annually receive cash awards of $4,000 and up to four programs receive honorable mention plaques. Financial support for the awards is provided through the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

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; 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.