Many of us frequently say that the best job in the world is serving as a faculty member in the California community colleges and that the work we do as faculty in service of our students is its own reward. Faculty do the work they do because it is truly a vocation in the sense of being a calling and a labor of love. Even so, human nature makes one want and appreciate recognition for the work that one does, and faculty are no exception to this tendency. Recognition of good work of our faculty colleagues can motivate them to grow further as professionals. Whether it is done locally or statewide, or both, we should take the time and make the effort to recognize the excellence of our faculty colleagues for the wonderful work they do on behalf of our students and communities.
The California Community College System offers three prestigious statewide awards that recognize the excellence of our faculty colleagues and the service they provide to students. These awards are given to faculty who are nominated by their local senates and who exemplify the ideals of faculty service to students. Announcement letters, application forms, and award criteria and scoring rubrics are sent to local senate presidents in the advance of the application deadlines. While announcement letters are sent approximately one month before the deadlines, local senates should start early in identifying potential nominees for these awards. Information about all awards is available at http://asccc.org/awards,including applications for 2017 – 18 awards.
Exemplary Program Award
Application Deadline: November 6, 2017
Theme: Guided Pathways
This honor is a Board of Governors award sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. The Exemplary Program Award recognizes outstanding community college programs. Each year the ASCCC Executive Committee sets the theme, and the theme for 2017-2018 is Guided Pathways. Up to two college programs receive $4,000 cash prizes and a plaque, and up to four colleges receive an honorable mention and a plaque. The call for nominations and application materials is sent to senate presidents in October. Members of the ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee, along with representatives of CEOs, CIOs, CSSOs, and the Student Senate, review and score the applications. Awardees are recognized by the Board each January, with the program director of each program invited to attend the Board meeting to receive the award. More information is available at http://asccc.org/events/exemplary-program-award-0.
Application Deadline: December 22, 2017
This honor is a Board of Governors award sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Named for former California Community College Chancellor Gerald C. Hayward, the award honors up to four outstanding community college faculty who have a track record of excellence both in teaching and in professional activities and have demonstrated commitment to their students, profession, and college. Recipients of the Hayward Award receive a plaque and a $1,250 cash award. The call for nominations and application materials is sent to senate presidents in November. The Hayward Award is conferred annually on faculty who have been nominated by their faculty peers through their local senates. An important change implemented this year is that local senates may now nominate up to two candidates for this award, provided that at least one nominee is a part-time faculty member. Another change is that awards are no longer based on geographic area; applications will now be considered on a statewide basis. Applications are scored by members of the Standards and Practices Committee, the four ASCCC Area Representatives, and additional faculty readers identified from each of the four areas. Recipients are recognized by the Board each March. The award winners are invited to attend breakfast with the Academic Senate President on Monday morning before the award ceremony and to attend the Board meeting to receive the award. More information is available at http://asccc.org/events/hayward-award-0.
Stanback Stroud Diversity Award
Application Deadline: February 5, 2018
This award is proudly sponsored by the ASCCC. The Stanback Stroud Diversity Award, named for former ASCCC President and current Skyline College President Regina Stanback Stroud, honors faculty who have made special contributions addressing issues involving diversity. After more than 15 years that the award has been given, faculty from around the state have been honored for their work teaching to diverse learning styles, working with students of color and from non-traditional backgrounds, designing inclusive curriculum academic support programs, and many more projects and programs. Winners of the Stanback Stroud Diversity Award are tireless advocates for those who may feel marginalized or overlooked in an academic setting. Local senates may nominate a single faculty member or a group of faculty members who exemplify the ideals of the Stanback Stroud Diversity Award. The call for nominations and application materials is sent to senate presidents in December. Members of the Standards and Practices Committee and the Equity and Diversity Action Committee review and score applications. The winners of the Stanback Stroud Diversity Award are honored at lunch at the Spring Plenary Session. More information is available at http://asccc.org/events/stanback-stroud-diversity-award-0.
Local Recognition of Excellence
While the awards given at the state level offer excellent opportunities for statewide recognition of the excellence of our colleagues, providing opportunities for local recognition of faculty is equally, if not more, important as statewide recognition. Local recognition of faculty excellence provides the opportunity for colleges to celebrate accomplishments while strengthening morale and providing inspiration for the faculty. Furthermore, programs for local recognition of faculty excellence can provide local senates a means to identify nominees for statewide awards.
Given that faculty professional development is one of the 10+1 areas of academic senate purview, local senates are uniquely positioned to provide leadership in establishing the means for providing such opportunities. Some practices local senates can consider include the following:
- Establishing local awards that feed into the statewide awards and align with their criteria and deadlines. This practice can provide the means for local senates to seamlessly identify their nominees for the statewide awards.
- Establishing a college or district awards fund by working with parties such as your college president, board of trustees, college foundation, emeriti association, and local student senate. Such an awards fund could be used to provide cash awards and plaques, as well as pay for awards ceremonies. Recognition of faculty excellence should be seen as a college responsibility, for without faculty the college could not serve the students.
- Ensuring opportunities for recognition of excellent part-time faculty. Our part-time faculty colleagues have a profound impact on the success of our students and are a core part of the fabric of our colleges, and their efforts should be recognized.
- Creating a lecture series for local award winners. Just as important as recognizing our colleagues for excellence is learning from them what they do to serve our students. Learning effective practices for serving students from award winning colleagues is an excellent professional development opportunity for faculty.
Recognition of faculty excellence, whether through local or statewide awards, is an important means for providing motivation for professional growth while boosting faculty morale. Local senates not only can identify nominees for statewide awards but also can provide the leadership needed to recognize faculty excellence at the local level. To that end, the ASCCC strongly encourages local senates to identify and nominate faculty for statewide awards and to identify local opportunities for recognition at their colleges.