Dr. John Rice Awards for Diversity, Equity and Student Success Awarded to the College of Marin and Pasadena City College

(Vivian Chan)

By Jolene Darensbourg

SACRAMENTO – The Board of Governors of California Community Colleges presented the Dr. John Rice Award for Diversity, Equity and Student Success to the College of Marin and Pasadena City College on Sept. 30 for their efforts in closing the equity gap and helping to promote student success within the California community college system.

John W. Rice was dedicated to making a difference in education through his passion for diversity and equity.

While being on the Board of Governors of Community Colleges, Dr. John W. Rice was an advocate for equal employment opportunities and nondiscrimination in the nation’s system of higher education.

He believed that equal fairness was critical, but that there was also importance in working hard for success as well.

To honor his work and dedication, the Dr. John W. Rice awards were established in 2001 by the Board of Governors to recognize efforts towards diversity, equity and student success.

Daughter of John W. Rice, former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice said a few words at the event about the awards honoring her father’s legacy.

She spoke of her father and how devoted he was towards the belief that if a society is not sufficiently diverse, it is not serving all of its people, and if it was not equitable, diversity would mean nothing more than difference and division.

The College of Marin received the award for their efforts towards Diversity and Equity, while Pasadena City College outshone in their student success.

It is also important to note the honorable mentions of Hart Kneel School and Moreno Valley College to recognize their impending efforts in diversity, equity and student success as well.

Diversity and Equity

The Dr. John W. Rice Award for Diversity and Equity was awarded to the College of Marin for taking strides for students in underrepresented groups by closing the equity and achievement gaps.

The College of Marin will invest their efforts into more college prep programs and a summer career academy.

COMPASS (College of Marin Promoting and Supporting Success) helps students graduate high school more prepared and ready for college while also being able to transfer to the College of Marin with transferable credits.

The College of Marin is taking strides towards diversity by hiring more people of color and an equity focus on professional development to help staff understand students and each other better to cultivate a safe, equitable and inclusive campus environment.

The college also strives to end social injustice by implementing an Inclusion Diversity Equity Action committee.

IDEA will be put into effect to build more awareness and to share more knowledge on the issues of power, privilege and oppression.

The College of Marin leads the way in trying to close the equity gap by challenging stereotypes.

Student Success

Pasadena City College was awarded the Dr. John W. Rice Award for Student Success for ensuring that their students are set with all the tools needed for success.

Every student that starts at PCC receives coaching and academic advice from day one and can get priority registration or even participate in their early registration program so that they can receive help on taking the classes they need to finish their degree or certificate.

Pasadena City College was one of the first community colleges in California to implement the AB 705 system in English or math to make sure students were not forced into any remedial classes.

PCC helps students finish faster and move on to either a four-year college or start their career in the workforce.

Pasadena City College has a great transfer program, enabling the college to transfer the most California community college students to the University of California and California State University systems for the 2019-20 year.

These two colleges strove to break barriers and make improvements to build a better and more inclusive environment to ensure students had all the right tools and opportunities for success.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Oertel

    I don’t know much about Pasadena, but I do know that Marin county has a relatively low percentage of non-white people.  Not even very many people of Asian descent.

    I also know that community colleges (such as College of Marin) are on the “front lines” of the decline in demand for college education (especially community colleges).  As such, perhaps they’re doubling-down on efforts to recruit non-white students, for their own survival.

    Santa Rosa Junior College (in the adjacent county) is also facing this same “dearth” of new students.

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