Funding, Grants & Awards
CA Community Colleges Awarded for Innovation in Student Success
Thirteen California community colleges and districts were selected to receive the Awards for Innovation in Higher Education, a program run by the CA Department of Finance that recognizes higher education efforts to reduce the time it takes for students to complete degrees and credentials and increase college affordability. The 2016-17 state budget, released in January, allocated $25 million for the awards, which were announced April 3.
Committee members considered a variety of innovations, but gave preference to innovations that improve outcomes for historically underrepresented student groups, including low-income students; first-generation college students; students from underrepresented minority groups; students who are current or former foster youth; students with disabilities; and veterans, according to the awards announcement. Community colleges and districts using technology in innovative ways were also given preference.
The awards committee is led by Michael Cohen, director of the CA Department of Finance, who serves as the committee chairperson. It comprises four members selected by Governor Jerry Brown; an appointee of the Senate Committee on Rules; and an appointee of the speaker of the CA Assembly.
The committee selected the following applications to receive awards of $1 million:
The following will receive $2 million awards:
- Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, for its Associate Degree for Transfer program that enables high schoolers to earn an associate degree for transfer tuition-free one year after graduating high school;
- Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, which partnered with Ellucian for its Innovate Evergreen proposal to redesign curriculum and instruction using open educational resources to make college more affordable;
- Los Angeles Trade-Technical College for its Pathways to Academic Career and Transfer Success initiative, which offers customized student support to reduce time to certificate and degree attainment;
- Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, which will invest in IT infrastructure like ComCoefficient, degree planning software, to help students measure progress;
- Palomar Community College District in San Diego for a proposal to establish a learner-centered paradigm through STEM Academies, which will create and organize customized curriculum pathways to associate and certificate degrees in STEM fields;
- Riverside Community College District for its Foster Youth Support Network, in partnership with regional unified school districts and community organizations;
- Santa Monica College for further developing its educational planning tool, MyEdPlan 2.0, that provides real-time progress checks, degree audits and prerequisite checking capabilities;
- Shasta College in Redding for innovative degree programs like the Accelerated College Education and Bachelor’s through Online Local Degrees;
- Sierra College in Rocklin for its Re-Engineering Sierra College for Student Success program which partners with high schools, area colleges and universities, and the business community to increase college and career readiness;
- South Orange County Community College District in Mission Viejo for its Veteran Credit Articulation Track, in partnership with Saddleback College and several California State University institutions, which offers prior learning credits and other assistance to veterans; and
- West Hills Community College District for its Quick Path Program, which proposes developing a web-enabled prior learning assessment platform that will be used to award college credit for prior learning.
Further information is available on the CA Department of Finance site.