If memory serves well, you might recall a time when you walked past a display case in the hallway, left of the campus library entrance, containing the photos of some students proudly holding a plaque.
If you have ever wondered what they are holding, it's the Academic Excellence Award and it is one of Cerritos College's greatest prestige offered to students.
This award is unique in its nomination process, as the only form of entry a student can make is by being anonymously nominated by one of their professors.
Unfortunately, the award remains widely unknown to a large majority of the student body here on campus. Prior to being informed on the existence of the award.
Political science major, Penelope Dominguez assumed that it was a recognition of academic characteristics colleges look for in new applicants
"From the sound of the title, I would assume it recognizes student's academic progress, their grades, G.P.A and how actively involved they are in their communities," she said
In reality, the award was created in the late 1960's and continues to be used as a means to both reflect the interest in the academic success of the students by their professors and recognize the efforts of outstanding students in their pursuit of higher learning.
This year, over 60 students are being considered to receive the award; each one being recognized for their specific achievements in an academic field such as, but not limited to, arts, mathematics, foreign languages and cosmetology.
After learning of the award nomination progress, Engineering major Luis Rando Florez was interested in pursuing a nomination.
"Now that colleges have become more and more competitive, an award like this could give me priority enrollment in colleges," he said
Those who are chosen as nominees have met qualifying academic prerequisites determined by the Board of Academic Excellence.
These students have declared a major, completed 30 units with a 3.5 grade point average or higher and accumulated at least nine units relevant to their major with a similar G.P.A.
Sounds like a feat easier said than done, but very much accomplishable as demonstrated by a long list of previous winners shown here.
As of last week, the Board of Academic Excellence is not at liberty to disclose the names of the nominees as they are yet to be chosen and contacted.
Talon Marks will continue to update this story as the names are revealed. A formal list of nominees is expected to be presented by the board no later than Friday of this week.
For those interested in being considered for future Academic Excellence Award nominations, Dr. Bettencourt, Chairman of the Board of Academic Excellence, advices students to become familiar with iFalcon and utilize the academic skills encapsulated in this philosophy.
The entire campus faculty is also available to provide academic guidance to it's students. Dr. Bettencourt himself is an active professor here on campus who is continuously involved in the success of his pupils.
"One of my passions is student success and facilitating ways for students to be successful in all areas of life," he said.
His involvement in the Academic Excellence Award board is directly related to that endeavor, "When the position became vacant, jumped at the opportunity to fill the chair at the (Academic Excellence) board because I was able to organize the recognition of outstanding students here on campus."
An award season has come and gone, but a new one looms in the horizon.