MiraCosta College Celebrates Recognition with 2023-24 Exemplary Program Award for Advancing Ethnic Studies

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MiraCosta College proudly announces its recognition by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors with the 2023-24 Exemplary Program Award. This prestigious honor highlights MiraCosta College's exceptional efforts in promoting and advancing its ethnic studies programs, reflecting our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive education.

The Exemplary Program Award, established in 1991 by the Board of Governors, celebrates outstanding community college programs annually. The Foundation for California Community Programs sponsors these awards to recognize and showcase extraordinary educational initiatives. This year, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges selected the theme of Excellence in Promotion and Advancement of Ethnic Studies, underlining the critical importance of this field in today's diverse educational landscape.

We share this honor with our fellow awardees - Chabot College, Glendale College, and San Diego Mesa College - each of whom has made significant strides in their ethnic studies programs. Together, we are setting a standard for excellence in this vital area of education.

MiraCosta College's journey to this recognition began with establishing a dedicated workgroup of faculty and students, culminating in creating our Ethnic Studies Department in fall 2022. Under the initial leadership of Alicia Lopez, a Sociology faculty member and Ethnic Studies discipline expert, the work group organized teach-ins, collectively developed a mission and vision statement, and wrote a powerful senate resolution.

The collaborative effort led to the hiring of our first full-time ethnic studies faculty member, Dr. Olivia Quintanilla. Dr. Quintanilla has been instrumental in designing and teaching innovative courses such as Introduction to Ethnic Studies and proposing new courses, including Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies, Introduction to Chicana/o Studies, Introduction to Black Studies, and Introduction to Pacific Islander and Oceania Studies, all set to be offered this coming fall. The high enrollment and waitlists in our existing classes show enthusiasm for these courses.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors President, Amy Costa, emphasized that all California community colleges must implement an ethnic studies requirement by fall 2024. MiraCosta College is proud to be at the forefront of this initiative, setting a pace for others to follow. Our efforts in ethnic studies meet the educational requirements and enrich our community by fostering a deeper understanding of diverse cultures and histories.

“As MiraCosta College continues to innovate and lead in ethnic studies, we extend our gratitude to our faculty, staff, and students who have contributed to this achievement,” Jonathan Fohrman, Dean, Arts, International Languages, and Ethnic Studies. “This award is a testament to our collective commitment to enriching our educational landscape with diverse perspectives and inclusive learning environments.”

For more information about MiraCosta College's Ethnic Studies Department and our range of programs, please visit miracosta.edu.

Image provided by California Community Colleges via Press Release

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