Awards Season Is Here

Standards and Practices Committee Chair

With the fall term underway and student energy returning to college campuses, faculty will be reconnecting with their colleagues. That return will spark a myriad of thoughts about dedicated and inspirational fellow faculty that go the extra mile for their students. An excellent way to recognize and honor amazing colleagues is with statewide awards, through which the system celebrates the incredible work being performed by faculty across the state.

Three statewide awards that recognize and honor the excellence of faculty are facilitated by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ Standards and Practices Committee. Information for all awards may be found on the ASCCC webpage under the “Services” tab, including award descriptions, application materials with scoring rubrics, and directions for online submission.

Some recent additions to the awards process are online submission and increased emphasis on inclusion, diversity, equity, anti-racism, and accessibility (IDEAA). Each award now has a website with award details and a link to the online application. All information and application materials are to be submitted through the web application. For the current year, scoring rubrics have been updated to reflect an increased focus on equity and social justice. The specific mechanism depends on the award, with some including IDEAA as an additional level to existing criteria and others as an entirely new criterion.  

Exemplary Program Award

The Exemplary Program Award was established by the Board of Governors in 1991 to recognize outstanding community college programs. Each college or district may nominate a single program. 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.

The ASCCC selects an annual theme related to the award’s traditions and statewide trends. The California Community Colleges system is the largest public higher education system in the United States, enrolling about 1.8 million students. California community colleges have had to adapt to a changing landscape, including fire, pandemic, social injustice, and civil unrest, in order to best serve their students. In light of the work that colleges and faculty have done to maintain the focus on student success, the ASCCC Executive Committee selected the theme of “Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes: An Ethnic Studies Approach to California Community Colleges Curriculum” for this year’s 2022-23 Exemplary Program Award. Excellence in this area will involve demonstrating an understanding of the experiences, challenges, and thought processes of students and the promotion of efforts to teach ethnic studies centered on African-American, Chicano/Latino, Asian-American, and Native American studies courses that enable students to learn about their own stories. Winners of this prestigious award will be honored at the January 2023 Board of Governors meeting.

Completed applications are due by November 6, 2022. Full details may be found on the ASCCC Exemplary Program Award site at

Hayward Award

The Hayward Award for Excellence in Education is sponsored annually by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. This award honors community college full-time and part-time faculty who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to their students, colleges, and profession. Award recipients, nominated by their colleges’ academic senates and selected by representatives of the ASCCC, must have a record of outstanding performance of professional activities as well as a record of active participation on campus.  

All faculty, classroom and non-classroom, are eligible for consideration. Each local academic senate may nominate one full-time and one part-time faculty member. Up to four recipients—two full-time and two-part-time faculty members—may be selected. Winners will be honored at the March 2023 Board of Governors meeting.  

Completed applications are due by December 18, 2022. Full details may be found on the ASCCC Hayward Award site at

Regina Stanback Stroud Diversity Award

The Regina Stanback Stroud Diversity Award honors committed faculty who consistently rise to meet the challenges faced by students and is sponsored this year by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Serving the most diverse student population of any higher education system in the United States, the California Community Colleges system is largely comprised of demographic groups that have traditionally faced barriers to education. California community college faculty have both a challenge and a responsibility to demonstrate the sustained attention and support necessary to fully engage and excite these students. This prestigious award acknowledges an individual or group that is exceptional in contributing to the advancement of intercultural harmony, equity, and campus diversity at their college.

Each college or district may nominate one faculty member or group of faculty. All faculty are eligible, part-time and full-time, classroom and non-classroom. Winners receive $5,000 and are honored at the ASCCC Spring Plenary Session in April.

Completed applications are due by February 5, 2023. Full details may be found on the ASCCC Regina Stanback Stroud Diversity Award site at

Application Tips

  • Start the nomination process early so that all components of the application may be completed before the submission deadline.
  • Use the rubrics when writing the application, providing ample evidence for each of the criteria.
  • Compose the award application using any document processing program and cut and paste into the web application to ensure work is not lost.

Local Honors

Recognizing the work of faculty on local college campuses is another way to celebrate and elevate the good work that is done. A college or district academic senate could establish annual awards, with position categories such as full-time, part-time, classified professionals, and administrators and perhaps with themes. Local academic senates may also establish an honored or distinguished faculty award for distinguished service over an extended period. The academic senate itself or an awards committee could facilitate these awards. Such local awards could then serve as starting points for nominations for statewide awards.

More than ever after the past few challenging and exhausting years, the community college system should celebrate and thank faculty for their perseverance, creativity, innovation, and dedication to diverse students. Simply by nominating outstanding individuals for statewide awards, local academic senates are recognizing and appreciating the work performed by faculty, including how they inspire students and their colleagues, and validating and encouraging them to continue their excellent work.