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Award recognizes outstanding community college programs in California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors today recognized two California community colleges as 2015-16 Exemplary Program Award recipients. Las Positas College and Pasadena City College were chosen for developing programs that utilize contextualized teaching and learning strategies to further student success.
“These innovative programs exemplify the best in California community colleges,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Geoffrey L. Baum. “Through these programs, Las Positas College and Pasadena City College are advancing the goal of our system to expand student access and engagement, while closing the achievement gap.”
Las Positas Colleges was selected as a winner for its Early Childhood Development – Math Learning Community, which brought together faculty from various disciplines and outside organizations to further the success of Early Childhood Development students in sequenced math courses. The groups worked together to create a math series that uses materials and assignments relevant to Early Childhood Development students, a group that has often struggled to complete math requirements for permits or degrees. Since the program started in 2012, retention and success rates for those students in sequenced math courses have increased significantly.
Pasadena City College was selected as a winner for its Biology 11: General Biology hybrid course. The course was redesigned by full- and part-time faculty to improve student engagement in the sciences and close the achievement gap among Hispanic, African-American and Native American students. The new curriculum features an interactive and contextualized learning design that calls for students to work in groups to solve real-world problems. This approach helps students focus on improving skills like reading, writing, research, teamwork, presentations, critical thinking and problem solving. The result of the redesigned course has led to an increase in enrollment, retention and success rates among underrepresented minority students, as well as a reduction in the achievement gap.
Both colleges receive cash awards of $4,000 for the recognition. City College of San Francisco, College of the Canyons and Reedley College were all selected as honorable mentions.
The Exemplary Program Award is sponsored annually by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Award nominees must be able to show the overall success of the 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.
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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 in English and math, 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 http://californiacommunitvcolleqes.cccco.edu/, https:l/www.facebook.com/CACommColleqes, or https:/!twitter.com/CaiCommColleqes.