HomeSchools & YouthCalifornia Community Colleges Board Honors GCC

California Community Colleges Board Honors GCC

Glendale Community College was among four colleges honored by the California Community Colleges board of governors with 2023-24 Exemplary Program Awards for outstanding efforts in promoting and advancing ethnic studies programs on Jan. 22 at the board of governors meeting in Sacramento.
“The faculty and ethnic studies programs being honored have worked as trailblazers and advocates, extending the impact beyond their classroom to enrich and empower communities across California,” said Cheryl Aschenbach, president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. “The understanding of the diverse people comprising today’s multiethnic society and their histories, cultures and values gained through ethnic studies is a necessity for all.”
GCC Ethnics Studies Department Chair Fabiola Torres said the program is “a revolutionary department embracing innovative teaching pedagogies and cutting-edge technology.”
“Our goal is to enrich the lives of every student at GCC by fostering inclusive learning environments rooted in social justice,” Torres added. “As we strive to meet the diverse educational needs of our students, we recognize the eminent importance of expanding our program. Moreover, we are excited to embark on a journey into Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality platforms, offering immersive learning experiences like never before.”
Glendale College was among the early adopters of an ethnic studies program. Shortly after its founding, the program was offering numerous new courses such as the Latino/a Experience, the Asian American Experience, the African American Experience, the Native American Experience and the Armenian Diaspora, the latter of which is especially pertinent in a city where 40% of the population is of Armenian ancestry.
The Exemplary Program Award was established by the board of governors in 1991 to recognize exceptional community college programs. Awards are sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Programs and are aimed at showcasing exceptional programs.
“We are all very grateful to Fabiola for all she has done for the college, the ethnic studies program, and most of all, our students. This honor is a recognition of her hard work, innovative sprit, and dedication to her profession,” said Michael Ritterbrown, GCC vice president of instructional services.

First published in the January 27 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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