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Board of Governors Recognition and Awards

Classified Employee of the Year Awards

The Classified Employee of the Year Award was established through a resolution at the May 2008 Board of Governors meeting. The Award has been given out annually since May 2009 to honor community college classified employees who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to professionalism and community colleges. Recipients are nominated by members of their college/district community and endorsed by their local Board of Trustees. Award recipients are selected by representatives of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Foundation for California Community College and must have a record of outstanding performance of professional activities, as well as a record of active participation on campus and beyond.

The Classified Employee of the Year Award is supported through a grant from the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Each recipient will receive a $500 cash award and a commemorative plaque.

2018 Classified Employee of the Year recipients

Classified Employee Award Criteria (PDF)
Classified Employee Awards Program Form (PDF)

John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Awards


The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award was established in 2001 to honor a community college staff member, district, college, or program that has made the greatest contribution towards faculty and staff diversity or student equity.

This award is named in honor of former Board of Governors member Dr. John W. Rice. He served on the board from 1992-2000 and was a leader, innovator, and spokesperson for equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination in the California Community Colleges. This award is named in his behalf as a testament to his strong commitment to faculty and staff diversity, student equity, and his strong support for a multicultural learning experience for all students.

2013 Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award recipients
2013 Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award press release
Photo Gallery


2015-16 Exemplary Program Awards


The Exemplary Program Award, sponsored annually by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, was established by the Board of Governors in 1991 to recognize outstanding community college programs. Each year, as many as two California Community College programs receive cash awards of $4,000 and up to four programs receive honorable mention plaques. The awards are sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Colleges and provide an excellent opportunity to showcase exceptional programs. Recognizing the importance of contextualized learning to enhance student achievement, the theme for 2015 – 16 is Contextualized Teaching and Learning. Programs that provide innovative strategies for improving student learning through the use of contextualized pedagogy and embedded basic skills delivery relevant to the program of study were just some of the possible emphases of eligible programs.

Exemplary Program Award recipients are selected from community colleges throughout the state, with no more than two from any one Academic Senate area. Each college may nominate one program to receive this prestigious honor. Local academic senates were encouraged to form selection committees with representatives from students, staff, administration, and faculty. At the state level, a committee that included representatives of the state administrator groups, students, and faculty evaluated the nominated programs. 

This year, the Academic Senate has selected two Exemplary Program Award winners and three honorable mentions. These colleges have developed programs that utilize contextualized teaching and learning strategies to further student success.

2015-16 Exemplary Program Award Winners and Honorable Mentions 

Board of Governors Legislator Awards


After several years of hiatus, in 2006 and each year thereafter the Board of Governors and Chancellor recognize two to four legislators for their outstanding leadership and support of the California Community Colleges. The legislators are presented with an award at the annual California Community Colleges, Board of Governors Legislative Reception held in May. The Board of Governors host this reception to thank legislators for their ongoing support of California Community Colleges throughout the legislative year. The Board of Governors submit nominations for legislators they believe have provided strong leadership and support for the California Community Colleges. There are three award categories with the criteria for each listed below:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: This is our highest award and is awarded only when a legislator has consistently and courageously advocated for the California Community Colleges, especially during difficult times. We do not give this award every year; the award is given only when there is a member who rises to this level of commitment and support. In the past, this award has been given to Senators Jack Scott, Denise Ducheny, and Alan Lowenthal.

  • BOG Legislator of the Year Award: This award is given to an outstanding legislator who has authored significant community college legislation, and who consistently looks out for the best interests of the California Community Colleges. This person has an in-depth knowledge of the community colleges and its policy issues. In 2010 Assemblymember Warren Furutani was presented with this award and in 2012 this award was presented to a Senator and Assemblymember; Senator Carol Liu and Assemblymember Susan Bonilla.

  • Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award (formally known as “Friends of Community College Award”): This award is given to a legislator who has emerged as a key advocate on budget and policy matters. This person is an up-and-coming community college leader in the Legislature and someone we can count on to hear our issues. In the past, this award has been given to Senators Alex Padilla and George Runner and Assemblymembers Gil Cedillo, Marty Block, John Laird, Jean Fuller, Anthony Portantino, Ira Ruskin and Tom Berryhill.

PRESS RELEASE: California Community Colleges Board of Governors Honors Gov. Jerry Brown for Leadership and Support of Public Higher Education (PDF)