Board of Governors Recognize Glendale Community College Ethnic Studies

Board of Governors Recognize Glendale Community College Ethnic Studies


Glendale Community College was among four colleges that have been honored by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors with 2023-24 Exemplary Program Awards for outstanding efforts in promoting and advancing ethnic studies programs.

The Exemplary Program Award was established by the Board of Governors in 1991 to recognize exceptional community college programs. Awards are sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Programs and are aimed at showcasing exceptional programs. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges selects annual themes, and this year chose Excellence in Promotion and Advancement of Ethnic Studies.

“Congratulations to Chabot College, Glendale College, Mira Costa College and San Diego Mesa College for receiving the prestigious Exemplary Program Award which serves as an example to be emulated throughout the system,” said California Community College Chancellor Sonya Christian. “The programs being recognized are strengthened by faculty diversity, professional development, strong administrative support, fostering a culture of caring for students, outreach to K-12 students and so much more.”

“The faculty and ethnic studies programs being honored have worked as trailblazers and advocates, extending the impact beyond their classroom to enrich and empower communities across California,” said Cheryl Aschenbach, president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. “The understanding of the diverse people comprising today’s multi-ethnic society and their histories, cultures and values gained through ethnic studies is a necessity for all.”

GCC Ethnics Studies Department Chair Fabiola Torres said of the program, “GCC Ethnic Studies is a revolutionary department embracing innovative teaching pedagogies and cutting-edge technology. Our goal is to enrich the lives of every student at GCC by fostering inclusive learning environments rooted in social justice. As we strive to meet the diverse educational needs of our students, we recognize the eminent importance of expanding our program. Moreover, we are excited to embark on a journey into Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality platforms, offering immersive learning experiences like never before.”

“We are all very grateful to Fabiola for all she has done for the college, the Ethnic Studies program, and most of all, our students. This honor is a recognition of her hard work, innovative sprit, and dedication to her profession,” said Dr. Michael Ritterbrown, GCC Vice President of Instructional Services.

The recognition summary for GCC’s award: Glendale College was among the early adopters of an ethnic studies program and its efforts are only getting even better. With a diverse faculty, ample professional training and a supportive administration fostering a culture of care for students and faculty, the Ethnic Studies Department, shortly after its founding, was offering numerous new courses such as

the Latino/a Experience, the Asian American Experience, the African American Experience, the Native American Experience and the Armenian Diaspora, the latter of which is especially pertinent in a city where 40% of the population is of Armenian ancestry.

The awards were presented at the Jan. 22 Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.

About Glendale Community College

Glendale Community College has served the Glendale community and greater LA Metro region for 96 years. The dynamic institution offers college credit at the Verdugo Campus, continuing education at the Garfield Campus, and customized employment training at the Professional Development Center (PDC) located in Montrose. The college serves an ethnically diverse student body of more than 15 thousand students with a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility with one of the region’s top transfer rates to four-year universities. The GCC Promise Plus provides first time, full-time students with two years free tuition making it a strategic choice for students focused on obtaining a valuable yet affordable four-year college degree. Learn more at