One of 14 colleges and districts selected statewide, Palomar is the only
college in San Diego County to receive this grant

SAN MARCOS, CA (April 20, 2017) – Palomar College was recently named to receive a
$2 million state award for innovation. One of 14 community colleges and districts selected throughout the state, Palomar is the only one in San Diego County receiving this award. Granted by the State of California’s Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education, the award recognizes the development of  “innovative programs to increase completion rates and make college more affordable.”

“We are so proud and happy to receive this award,” said Palomar College Superintendent/President Dr. Joi Lin Blake. “It shows how Palomar has already stepped up to the needs of our students and our community with innovative programs and procedures. The extra funds will allow us to go even farther in helping students reach their goals in a timely and economic manner.”

California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley congratulated the 14 California community colleges and community colleges districts selected for the $25 million state award, which will be split among the winning campuses and districts. “I extend my congratulations to all of the winning districts and colleges for earning this prestigious and well-deserved award,” he said. “Boosting completion rates and reducing college costs are among the highest priorities for all three higher education systems in California. The schools recognized today are leading the way when it comes to making these twin goals a reality for this state.”

This year’s awards recognized California districts and colleges that help reduce the time it takes students to complete degrees and credentials, reduce the total cost of attendance for students, or do both. The legislation specifically highlights the state’s interest in efforts to:


  • Redesign curriculum and instruction, such as the implementation of three-year bachelor’s degrees.
  • Allow students to make progress toward completion of degrees and credentials based on their demonstration of knowledge and competencies, including skills acquired through military training, prior learning, and prior experiences.
  • Create programs that make college more affordable by making financial aid and other supports and services more accessible, including by increasing the number of students who apply for these programs, or by reducing the costs of books and supplies.

A committee consisting of the state’s director of finance, four members selected by Gov. Jerry Brown, an appointee of the state Senate Committee on Rules and an appointee of the Speaker of the state Assembly reviewed the applications and selected the winning campuses.

In addition to Palomar, other recipients of $2 million awards are: Cuesta College, Evergreen Valley College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Los Rios Community College District, Riverside Community College District, Santa Monica Community College District, Shasta College, Sierra College, South Orange Community College District, and West Hills Community College District

Recipients of  $1 million awards are Laney College, Los Angeles Valley College and West Hills Community College District.

A list of the announced and the submitted applications can be found here: The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit

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Melinda Finn, Public Affairs,, 760-744-1150 x2365
Laura Gropen, Director, Public Affairs,, 760-744-1150, ext. 2152