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Community college programs for underserved students honored

July 10, 2012 |  1:09 pm

Three community college programs that serve underrepresented students were honored with the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award on Tuesday at a ceremony in Sacramento.

Recognized were the SparkPoint program at Skyline College in San Bruno, which provides financial coaching to students and community members; Santa Barbara City College’s Transitions Program, which helps former prison inmates obtain college degrees and certificates; and the African American Male Education Network & Development (A2MEND) program, which provides mentors, scholarships and professional development opportunities for students, faculty and staff at a number of community colleges.

“These programs show the wide variety of support programs available to our students, faculty and administrators,” Scott Himelstein, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, said in a statement. “It’s gratifying to know that each one was formed to help those in need, to level the playing field if you will, and that’s what Dr. Rice believed in and fought for his entire life and certainly as our board member.”

The award was established in 2001 to honor community college staff members, districts and programs that have contributed to diversity and student equity. Rice, a longtime educator and Presbyterian minister, was born in Baton Rouge, La., and served on the community colleges board from 1992 until his death in 2000.

He is the father of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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-- Carla Rivera

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