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Rice Awards presented to CA community colleges advancing diversity, equity and student success

Sacramento, CA — The 20th annual Dr. John W. Rice Awards ceremony today awarded two colleges for achievements in advancing diversity, equity and student success.

The 2020 Dr. John W. Rice Award for Diversity and Equity was awarded to College of Marin for working to close equity gaps in completion and transfer rates for traditionally underrepresented students, and for reducing equity gaps between the college's proportion of students of color and faculty of color. Pasadena City College received the 2020 Dr. John W. Rice Award for Student Success for advancements in overall student completion rates, transfers to a UC or a CSU and the reduction in the number of units earned by associate degree recipients.

"It is an honor to recognize College of Marin and Pasadena City College for their leadership in achieving equity and academic success for the thousands of students they serve," said Board of Governors President Tom Epstein. "Their efforts reflect the principles of Dr. John W. Rice that guide the work of all of California's community colleges today."

The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award was first established in 2001 to honor community college staff members, districts, colleges or programs that have made the greatest contribution towards faculty and staff diversity or student equity. In 2019, the Dr. John W. Rice Award in Student Success was added to the program. In addition to highlighting the work of colleges, the ceremony also honors the legacy of former board member Dr. John W. Rice, who served on the board from 1992 until his death in 2000 and displayed a strong commitment to multicultural learning experiences for all students. He was a tireless advocate for our system, access to education, diversity, equity and student success. His work continues to inspire educators and leaders today.

"Congratulations to the community colleges receiving recognition this year for their outstanding efforts to improve student equity, diversity and student success on campus," said President and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges Keetha Mills. "This work is more critical than ever and has a profound impact on our students."

About the Winners:

Dr. John W. Rice Award Diversity and Equity: College of Marin

College of Marin is making significant strides in improving student outcomes among traditionally underrepresented groups, a success made possible by diligently supporting learning communities, building a dynamic dual-enrollment program and implementing equity-focused professional learning. College of Marin's learning communities, including UMOJA, Puente Project and STEM, empower students to excel and persist by cultivating community, a sense of belonging, academic achievement and self-advocacy. To add, College of Marin Providing Access and Supporting Success (COMPASS) has worked to reduce educational inequity in Marin County by increasing the college readiness of participating students and contributing to their academic success in high school and beyond.

This year, as the country faces a national reckoning of systemic racism and injustice, many equity-focused conversations and events took place on campus, all designed to develop an equity-minded ethos and to help faculty, staff and administrators look at all institutional issues through an equity lens. The college also joined the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance. With a focus on building student access and promoting a campus welcome to all, College of Marin is leading the way in closing the equity gap.

Honorable Mention: Hartnell College

Dr. John W. Rice Award Student Success: Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College demonstrates strong retention and degree completion rates. All first-time college students get coaching, academic advising and priority registration to get them started on the right path. The college also offers multiple programs for special populations to ensure all students can achieve their higher education goals, no matter where they begin.

Pasadena City College was one of the first California community colleges to implement AB 705 in English and math, which helps ensure student are not placed unnecessarily in remedial courses. Thanks to the various student support programs offered at Pasadena City College, including the PCC Complete early registration program, along with a dedicated transfer center and comprehensive transfer programs, the college transferred the most California community college students to the University of California and California State University systems for the 2019-2020 academic year. (Highest headcount of transfers, based on data from CSU and UC.) Pasadena City College has built an environment that ensures all students are prepared for success in their personal and professional lives.

Honorable Mention: Moreno Valley College

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges with 116 campuses 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.


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