Mertes Award for Excellence in Community College Research
Each year, ACCCA honors the author(s) of a substantial research project or dissertation that significantly contributes to our understanding of the effectiveness of community colleges and higher education. The purpose of the Mertes Award is to honor and acknowledge outstanding research—either a dissertation or topic-specific project on community colleges or administration and to encourage continued research on substantive issues facing higher education and/or community colleges.
The recipient(s) of the award are selected by a review committee of ACCCA Board representatives along with representatives of the Management Development Commission (MDC) and the Research and Planning Group (RP Group).
Authors of research completed within the past two years are eligible and nominations may be made by either colleagues of the author, organizations or candidates may self-nominate for the award. Submissions should include an abstract/executive summary of the research of no more than 20 pages. The committee may request additional information if needed.
Winners will receive a $500 cash award from the Mertes Award Fund, have their abstract published online by ACCCA and their name will be engraved on a perpetual plaque kept at the ACCCA headquarters in Sacramento and displayed annually
- Submission of an abstract (1 to 2 pages) and an executive summary (not to exceed 20 pages) describing the research. It is not necessary to submit the entire research document.
- The research must have been completed within the prior two years.
- The research must address specific issues of concern to California community colleges that have policy implications or the potential to shape the future of community colleges. The research must seek to promote and keep community colleges on the cutting edge of higher education in this country and the world.
- The author(s) must provide written permission for ACCCA to edit and publish a summary of the research (if not already available to ACCCA members via other professional publications.)
- Is the research topic of current interest? Does it contribute to and further higher education research about California community colleges?
- Is the research of superior quality in its methodology, its completeness and clarity of style? Is the methodology rigorous, objective, and valid? Does the research thoroughly address and answer the question(s) posed?
- Do the research findings have action and policy implications at the institutional, community, state, regional and/or national level(s)?
- Does the research add to the reader’s understanding of the California community colleges?
Click here to see past award winners.
2017 Award-Winning Project
2015 Award-Winning Project
2014 Award-Winning Project
- Long Beach City College - Promising Pathways to Success: Using Evidence to Dramatically Increase Student Achievement
2014 Mertes Nominees
- Steven Crow - The Significance of the Transfer Mission for the California Community Colleges
- Dr. Diane Fiero - What’s Working: Program Factors Influencing California Community College Basic Skills Mathematics Students’ Advancement to Transfer Level
- RP Group - Student Support (Re)defined
2011 Award-Winning Project
- Alice van Ommeren - New Transfer Partners: California Community Colleges and Private For-profit Four-year Institutions
2009 Award-Winning Projects
- Chancellor's Office - Service Areas
- Chancellor's Office - Peer Grouping
- Rachel Rosenthal - Educational Leadership