FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director of Communications and External Relations
Citrus College is the First California Community College to Receive Top Honors for Student Success by National Organization
Glendora, Calif. (April 17, 2019) – Out of more than 1,100 community colleges in the United States, Citrus College has been recognized as a leader in the nation for student success by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
At the AACC Awards of Excellence Gala on April 15, Dr. Walter Bumphus, AACC president, and Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, AACC board chair and president of the Community College of Baltimore County, presented Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College, with the 2019 AACC Award of Excellence in the Student Success category.
Citrus College is the only community college in California to have been honored by the AACC in 2019.
"I am most pleased to accept this award on behalf of the students, faculty, staff and board of trustees of Citrus College," said Dr. Perri. "Since 2012, the college has been laser focused on increasing student success and completion. This award is truly a validation of our efforts, and it will certainly motivate us to do even more to change the lives of students."
Every year, the AACC recognizes the exceptional work accomplished by the nation's community colleges by presenting Awards of Excellence in six categories: Student Success, Advancing Diversity, CEO/Board Relationship, Community College Safety and Planning, Faculty Innovation, and Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership. The AACC Award of Excellence in the Student Success category recognizes a community college that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to student achievement. The criteria used to determine this year's finalists included the development of a comprehensive strategic completion plan, the achievement of measurable and significant increases in degree completion, certificate completion, and transfer from two-year to four-year institutions.
Citrus College was highlighted for establishing and promoting an associate degree for transfer (ADT) pathway to four-year college and universities, and for introducing the Citrus College Promise, a program designed to cover enrollment fees and other college costs for first-time students for up to two years. As a result of the college's efforts, transfers have risen by 38 percent from 2014 to 2017.
Additionally, Citrus College implemented the I Will Complete College (IWCC) program, which includes academic advisement and completion counseling to students as they enter college. IWCC participants receive priority registration for their first three years at the college and qualify for the Citrus College Promise. The graduation rate for the first three cohorts of IWCC students is 8 percent higher than the rate of non-IWCC students. There has also been a steady increase in ADTs awarded, from 399 in 2014 to 1,027 in 2018.
"Winning this award affirms that Citrus College is leading California and the nation in its approach to increasing student completion rates and investing in collaborative support structures," said Susan M. Keith, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. "On behalf of the board of trustees, I extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Perri for her leadership, and to the faculty, staff, management and students of Citrus College who make recognitions such as these possible."