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East County News Service

August 10, 2019 (El Cajon) - Cuyamaca College’s efforts to transform the way that students are taught math, English and English as a Second Language have been recognized by a national organization that promotes Latino success in higher education.

The Rancho San Diego college was the only California community college selected as a finalist for the 2019 Examples of Excelencia, a national recognition for programs advancing opportunity for Latinx students in higher education. Sixteen finalists were selected from a field of more than 166 nominated programs from 32 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Winners in four categories will be selected by Excelencia in Education at their annual Celebracion de Excelencia event on October 24 in Washington, DC.

“Cuyamaca College opened the door to education’s promise for all students – including disproportionately impacted Latinx students,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes.

Cuyamaca College was the first community college in California to scale its developmental reform efforts. The college eliminated remedial courses in math, English, and English as a Second Language, adopted changes to course placement policies, and provided support to students who needed it when placed into a transfer-level course.

As a result of those steps, Latinx students increased successful completion of transfer-level English from 38% to 66%, and in transfer-level math from 15% to 65%. Completion rates in math for all first-time students increased from 23% to 67%, and in English from 38% to 79%.

This is the second award that Cuyamaca College’s innovative effort has received. In July 2018, Cuyamaca College was one of two California community colleges to receive the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award. The award, given by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, honors community colleges that have made the greatest contribution toward student, faculty or staff diversity and equity.

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