Our Fight Songs: A Playlist for Social Justice Champions

Music was a valuable tool in the Civil Rights Movement, motivating activists during long marches and providing emotional strength in the face of violence. Negro spirituals and soulful chants like “We Shall Overcome” and “Eyes on the Prize” were the soundtrack that encouraged activists to continue their fight for equality and justice.

Our Campaign for College Opportunity team also uses music for inspiration as we push for cultural and institutional changes to make college more accessible to all students. Unlike the civil rights activists we admire, we don’t have original compositions or impressive vocal skills, but we use the power of song to keep us pressing on in our fight for college access for all students.

In this current political climate, where students’ opportunity to attend and excel in college may be threatened by tax legislation, a lack of federal movement to protect and support undocumented students, and ill-informed narratives that attempt to devalue the opportunities a higher education provides, we often turn to music to keep us going through challenging obstacles.

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California Should Do More to Support “Non-Traditional” Low-Income Students

Working-Poor-Families-Graphic-Transparent

By Abigail K. Bates, Senior Research Analyst at the Campaign for College Opportunity

Who comes to mind when you picture a college student?

Perhaps you think of a young adult living in a dorm on campus, taking a full load of classes, and splitting their time between studies and the activities of college social life.

While this typical image is true for many college students, it leaves out a large population of adult students who might commute to campus, live at home with their children, and juggle multiple jobs, classes, and family life. They might also attend more than one college to get the classes that fit into their demanding schedules. These students, deemed “non-traditional,” are often adults returning to school after being out of the classroom for several years.

Many students like these struggle financially, as they must sometimes make the difficult decision of deciding between paying bills to support a family and paying school fees.

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We Could Not Have Done It Without You

Thank you Index Cards

By Stacey Holderbach, Development & Administrative Manager at the Campaign for College Opportunity

In this season of thanks, we would like to share our deep gratitude to the foundations, corporations, organizations, and individuals who make our work possible. Their commitment and investment in the Campaign for College Opportunity allows us to ensure that the promise of a college education is available to this generation and future generations of California students.

Our supporters have many worthy causes to which they can invest, but year after year, they affirm their commitment to college access, completion, affordability and racial equity by investing in us.

Thanks to our funders’ investments, this year we were able to:

  • Share compelling student stories through our reports and presentations
  • Issue our first-ever California Higher Education Report Card, which measures California’s progress toward producing enough college graduates to meet our state’s economic needs by 2025
  • Publish The Transfer Maze: The High Cost to Students and the State, which highlights the critical role transfer plays in producing college graduates and providing economic opportunity, as well as the barriers students who wish to transfer still face in completing their education goals
  • Establish a coalition of leaders from higher education, philanthropy, and community organizations, and state and local policymakers to develop a proactive effort to protect California’s DACA and undocumented students
  • Advocate for funding and policies that accelerate students toward college completion by improving placement, transfer, and affordability.
  • Honor the exemplary leadership of the people and institutions crucial to ensuring student success, and highlighting these institutions as examples for best practices to inspire other colleges and universities

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All Students Should Have Access to Alternative Math Pathways

By Jacquelyn Lowe, recent graduate of Humboldt State University and a former Statway student at Pierce College in Los Angeles.
Republished from the Los Angeles Daily News

As someone whose college dreams were almost derailed by remedial math courses, I was thrilled to learn that the California State University system will no longer require intermediate algebra as a remedial pre-requisite for general education courses.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and throughout high school and college, I excelled in speech, debate, and all of my English classes. But math was my greatest obstacle.

When I enrolled at Pierce College, I didn’t pass the intermediate algebra placement test and learned I would have to take three semesters of remedial math before I could take a course that would transfer to CSU. After years of struggle, the idea of redoing high school math for a year and a half seemed like a deal breaker. I began telling myself I didn’t need a college education. After all, I grew up in a working-class family, already had a job in sales, and was raised by a single mother who made a living without a formal education.

That’s when my counselor told me about a program at Pierce called Statway. Developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Statway allowed me to bypass those three semesters and begin directly in college-level statistics, with remediation of necessary math skills built in… read more at the Los Angeles Daily News.

Beyond Affirmative Action

Reposted: August 2, 2017 (Previously posted May 1, 2014 | Written by: Michele Siqueiros, President, The Campaign for College Opportunity)

Race is in the news. Whether it’s State Senator Hernandez’ proposal (SCA-5) to have California voters repeal the ban on Affirmative Action in California higher education, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the State of Michigan’s repeal of Affirmative Action in college admissions, or the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers who earned a lifetime ban and fine from the NBA for his disparaging remarks, the issue of race is front and center.
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