Mission College Recognized At NCORE Conference

Mission College Recognized At NCORE Conference
Mission College demonstrated its impactful equity initiatives and exemplary practices at the national conference. The highlight of the conference was the recognition bestowed upon Dr. Patrick Marshall, the visionary behind the College Collaborative System (CCS), for his outstanding leadership and commitment to social justice and equity in educational settings.


HONOLULU, HAWAI'I  -- The 36th Annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE) showcased academic excellence and social impact as programs from Mission College took center stage from May 28 to June 1. This momentous event, organized by the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies, drew over 5,500 individuals and representatives from 1,100 institutions, affirming its status as a vital forum for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

The highlight of the conference was the recognition bestowed upon Dr. Patrick Marshall, the visionary behind the College Collaborative System (CCS), for his outstanding leadership and commitment to social justice and equity in educational settings. CSS is an Emmy Award-Winning program consisting of six community colleges, including Mission College, that offer rehabilitation, education, and transitional services for incarcerated individuals. Dr. Marshall's unwavering dedication to addressing the complex challenges faced by justice-involved individuals earned him the prestigious Change Agent award.

"Receiving the Change Agent award is a humbling honor. The College Collaborative System represents a beacon of hope for incarcerated individuals, offering them a pathway to education, rehabilitation, and ultimately, successful reintegration into society," Marshall said. "This recognition is a testament to the dedication of our team at Mission College and our partner institutions who tirelessly work to uplift and empower those we serve."

President Awan highlighted Mission College's commitment to implementing the principles of the CCS, stating, "At Mission College, we recognize the transformative potential of education in breaking the cycle of incarceration and empowering individuals to realize their full potential. Through tailored academic curricula, comprehensive outreach programs, and holistic support services, we strive to foster a culture of inclusivity and opportunity for all. It was an honor to support Dr. Marshall and the College Collaborative and share the power of this program on a national platform".

Individuals standing in front of board
Mission College demonstrated its impactful equity initiatives and exemplary practices at the national conference, standing out among over 1,400 presentation submissions this year.

Marshall's work was shared in the "Combating Recidivism Through Unity: The College Collaborative Story," which was led by Gurpreet Gill, Mission College Adjunct Instructor; Dr. Pedro Avila, President, Gavilan College; Dr. Rowena Tomaneng, President, San Jose City College; Dr. Awan; as well as Dr. Marshall. The presentation looked at how community colleges break jurisdictional barriers by providing wrap-around services, seamless transitions, and pathways to education. This collaborative effort transforms jails into educational hubs, empowering individuals for a brighter future through the College Collaborative System.

In addition to Dr. Marshall's recognition, the conference featured other presentations from Mission College employees that showcased the institution's dedication to promoting educational equity and social justice. With over 1,400 submissions to present this year, Mission College showcased its meaningful equity work and best practices at this national conference.

These presentations included:

  • "Institutionalizing a Bridge from In-Custody to On-Campus Learning for Justice-Involved Students"
    Presented by Mission employees Daniel Arias, Dr. James Baker, Haze Dennis, Steve Duong, Nita Esparza, and Michael Lau, this presentation highlighted the institution's commitment to providing higher education opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in the South Bay/Bay Area. The college reduces recidivism rates in Santa Clara County jails through education and empower justice-involved individuals with career skills essential for securing and retaining jobs in the Silicon Valley.
  • "Latinx STEM Identity & Sense of Belonging: The Mission College Summer Research Model"
    Presented by Inez Barragan, HSI-STEM Program Director, this presentation explored the importance of a Sense of Belonging in STEM fields and delved into the Mission College Summer Research Model. The work shared looked at three strategies to improve STEM success for Hispanic and low-income students by providing access to other STEM students and resources, transforming classroom learning experiences through faculty professional development activities focused on inclusive teaching practices, and enhancing students' learning experiences through hands-on, work-based learning opportunities.
  • "Promoting Activism in ESL Students"
    Led by Myo Kyaw Myint, ESL Faculty at Mission College, this presentation highlighted the impactful steps taken by the ESL department to empower its students and cultivate a sense of activism within the college community. Through initiatives such as encouraging students to write letters to the editor, express themselves through poetry, and share personal stories, the department has successfully provided platforms for ESL students to voice their ideas, opinions, and wisdom.
  • "Strengthening Student Equity through BIPOC Male Voices"
    Led by Mission employees Jackie Escajeda, Lusyna Narvaez, and Ken Songco, this presentation delved into the importance of higher education and factors contributing to student success by detailing how the college is addressing the persistent gender gap in enrollment and disparities in success rates among different demographic groups.
  • "UPLIFT: Embarking on a Transformative Journey"
    Presented by Dr. Awan and Lorrie Ranck, Vice President of Instruction, this presentation introduced UPLIFT, a transformative initiative aligned with Mission College's Equity Framework. UPLIFT prioritizes intentional and systemic changes, leveraging the college's potential to foster transformation while overcoming trauma responses and building trust. Through learning, listening, and love, UPLIFT aims to create a future-thinking and outcomes-focused environment that promotes student success.

  • “A President’s Perspective – Transforming a College Culture with Intentional Equity”
    Presented by Dr. Awan, this presentation focused on the presidential perspective on how to transform and maintain a healthy college culture from hiring to onboarding, with intentional equity and inclusivity, exploring the four quadrants of organizational culture change and the holistic approach to having a college community come together to create lasting change.
"As we reflect on the invaluable insights and experiences shared at NCORE, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering a more just and equitable society through education," Awan said. "Mission College remains steadfast in its mission to empower all individuals, regardless of background or circumstance, to achieve their dreams and contribute meaningfully to our communities."

NCORE is seen as the leading national forum on issues of race and ethnicity in American higher education bringing together scholars, practitioners, and activists to engage in dialogue, share best practices, and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. 

Benjamin Demers
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
[email protected] 
About Mission College

Mission College is a leading institution of higher education dedicated to providing accessible, high-quality education that empowers students to succeed.

With a commitment to student success, equity, and innovation, Mission College offers a diverse range of academic programs, exceptional faculty, and supportive services to foster a thriving educational community. 

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