Cerritos Complete Wins the 2018 Excelencia Award

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Media Contact: Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; 562-653-7878

NORWALK, Calif. – October 12Raquel Lizarraga accepting the award, 2018 – Cerritos College’s official California Promise Program Cerritos Complete won the 2018 Examples of Excelencia Award in the Associate Level category at the Celebración de Excelencia event on October 11. Examples of Excelencia is the only national effort to identify and promote evidence-based practices that help accelerate Latino student success in higher education. Through a yearlong process, Excelencia in Education identifies, reviews, and promotes programs at colleges and universities, as well as community-based organizations.

“It is an honor to be named as a winner of the Examples of Excelencia Award,” said Dr. Jose Fierro, president/superintendent of Cerritos College. “We are proud of Cerritos Complete, because it opens doors for our students and community. Since its inception in 2016, the College has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of degrees and certificates awarded to our students. These successes lift our underserved population from personal hardship to success. Cerritos Complete does not simply offer access to education; students become invested in the program, because they become partners in their own education. Our employees are invested in Cerritos Complete as well. The program exemplifies our campus-wide efforts to provide wraparound services with strong personal, academic and financial support.”

Cerritos Complete was officially established as the College’s California Promise Program in 2016 and has served over 2,500 student participants from the College’s local high schools, to date. The program gives students skills and knowledge to succeed in college, and provides personalized support to help them graduate from college in less time. Cerritos Complete also provides local high school students with a merit-based scholarship that covers tuition for one year.

More than 70 percent of Cerritos College students are Latino, and most of these students are first-generation college students. Program participants generally outperform non-participants in units completed, persistence, and completion of entry-level math and English, among other areas.

Cerritos Complete was also named as a finalist for the prestigious Bellwether Award earlier this year.


About Cerritos College: Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at http://www.cerritos.edu/.