July 17, 2018

Christina Jimenez 


T 916.322.4004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The 18th Annual Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award ceremony today honored two college programs whose work has promoted student equity, diversity and access in the California Community Colleges. The ceremony was held at the Crocker Art Museum.

The 2018 Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award, named for a former member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, was handed out to Cuyamaca College’s Accelerated Pathways through Transferable English, Math and English as a Second Language program and Santa Barbara City College’s Single Parents Arriving Ready for College (SPARC) program.

“We commend this year’s winners for working tirelessly in their efforts to achieve student equity in higher education,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “Dr. John W. Rice believed in the importance of diversity and equity and these programs we celebrate today are wonderful examples of the dedication that Dr. Rice stood for. His legacy lives on through the great opportunities these programs are providing for students.” 

Dr. John W. Rice served on the board from 1992 until his death in 2000. While on the board, he displayed a strong commitment to multicultural learning experiences for all students. The award was established in 2001 to honor community college staff members, districts, colleges or programs that have made the greatest contribution towards faculty, staff and student diversity and equity. “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the two winners of the annual Dr. John W. Rice Awards," said Keetha Mills, president and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

"We celebrate their achievements in promoting diversity and equity throughout the California Community Colleges. Because of their work, students have the opportunities they need to succeed in college."

About the Winners:

Accelerated Pathways Transferable English and Math – Cuyamaca College

 The college has made three structural program changes: basing placement policies on selfreported high school GPA and previous course-taking history; allowing seemingly underprepared students to enroll directly in transferable courses with co-requisite support; and, allowing students to enroll in a one-semester accelerated preparatory course. Almost immediately, seemingly unprepared students enrolled directly in a transferable math class showed significant increases in one-year completion rates compared to the previous year. Overall, completion rates were nearly seven times greater. Success rates are similar for students enrolled in the new accelerated English pathway. With these new practices in place, Cuyamaca College is helping all students accomplish their higher education goals.

Single Parents Arriving Ready for College – Santa Barbara City College

Single Parents Arriving Ready for College (SPARC) is an intensive six-week summer bridge program that serves as an entry point for single parent students who are new or returning to college and are struggling academically. The program was designed by single parents for single parents of lowincome, who are academically unprepared, and are trying to better themselves through higher education. SPARC offers comprehensive and academic support services and guidance on personal issues. Graduates of this program not only leave with a solid foundation to begin their higher education, but also with a new sense of discovery that their voices matter and deserve to be heard. SPARC provides opportunities for single parent students to break through barriers and create a future for themselves and their children.

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 web site or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.