Fifty years after the East Los Angeles Walkouts, the struggle for educational equity continues in California higher education with a lack of diversity among faculty and leadership

Despite a racially and gender diverse student body at California’s public colleges and universities, centers of power remain White, threatening California’s ability to produce more college graduates and remain economically competitive.

(Los Angeles, CA) — Today, on the 50th anniversary of the East Los Angeles Walkouts, the Campaign for College Opportunity released a new report “Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy” that shows the drastic disparity between California’s public college and university students and higher education leaders and faculty when it comes to race and gender.

Fifty years ago in East Los Angeles, Latinx students led the protests over unequal conditions and practices in their high schools as part of a movement to improve the quality of their education and ensure they were prepared for college. Today Latinx make up 43% of undergraduate students in California and 69% of all undergraduate students are racially diverse. Despite this diversity, over 60% of college faculty and senior leadership on California’s campuses and 74% of Academic Senators are White. And, although 54% of college students are female, women are underrepresented among tenured faculty, academic senators, college leadership and in statewide governance.

California’s standing as the sixth largest economy in the world depends on producing more college graduates but persistent gaps in college access and success for African-American, Latinx, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students hinder progress. Racially and gender diverse college leaders and faculty are key to improving success for all students.

“The findings of this report are not about demographics, they are about helping our education leaders and state policy makers understand that this issue of a lack of diversity is tied to student success,” said Paul Granillo, President and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

Left Out looks at data from 2016-17. Major findings include:

  • Within the University of California (UC) system, where 26% of the student body are Latinx, there are ZERO Latinx leaders in the UC Office of the President. Additionally, only 11% of college leaders, 7% of tenured faculty, and 5% of Academic Senators are Latinx… read more. 


Governor Brown’s final budget maintains focus on student success,
improved pathways and accountability

Governor Jerry Brown proposes $33.7 billion for California higher education in his 2018-19 budget proposal. The investment solidifies his signature fiscal prudence while continuing to enact investments and innovations to improve college performance that will live beyond his tenure.

“California’s greatest strength has historically been in its educated citizenry. The only way to maintain that stature is with continued higher education investment. Today’s budget proposal preserves the Governor’s commitment to improved student completion with innovative ideas for funding our colleges and universities and the delivery of education,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “The budget proposal, however, falls short of providing the additional funding necessary to expand seats at our public universities to meet increasing student and workforce demand,” concluded Siqueiros.

The Governor proposes an ambitious new funding formula for California Community Colleges that rewards better student outcomes by investing additional revenue in colleges for the number of students they graduate, the number who graduate within three years, and the number of students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer. The proposal also suggests additional revenue for the number of low-income students a college enrolls. “Strategic funding by the state of California to increase college success by providing fiscal incentives to improve time to degree, transfer, and graduation is long overdue,” said Siqueiros. Read more. 


Bill passed by Congress avoids worst provisions for students and borrowers from past versions, but still harms how we fund higher education

Today, Congress passed H.R. 1, “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” (Brady, R-TX) sending the bill to President Trump for his expected signature. Since its introduction in the House of Representatives, several of the provisions that most concerned higher education advocates have been removed due to wide public opposition. The bill’s author, Congressman Kevin Brady, said that these changes reflected, “how closely we listened to the American people as we worked to finalize the bill.” Reductions to tax credits that help families pay for college and a provision to make interest payments on student debt taxable were removed from the final version of the bill. While more immediate impacts on how students and families pay for college were avoided, this flawed bill would still undermine higher education financing by adding significant pressure to the budgets for states like California and the federal government. Read more.


Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives voted by a 227-205 margin to pass H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” authored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), which impacts key tax provisions that make college more accessible and affordable. At a time when states like California face major shortfalls of college-educated workers, this bill would undermine our ability to prepare students for a 21st-century economy. California currently faces a projected shortfall of 1.7 million college credentials needed to meet workforce demands by 2025. While there are many means through which we can better utilize federal tax policy to support college completion, the House’s tax bill is likely to make higher education more expensive and further out of reach for many hard-working students and their families.

Three ways in which the House “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” does not serve the interest of California or its students:

  • In streamlining the three existing higher education tax credits into the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the House’s tax proposal would simultaneously eliminate $17.5 billion in taxpayer support for higher education. While consolidating the currently available education tax benefits could better support and target students in need, the House bill does neither. Any taxpayer investment on higher education should be preserved within programs that support college access and affordability, rather than be redirected towards other uses.
  • Elimination of the state and local tax deduction on federal income taxes would make less revenue available for California and further contribute to the budgetary pressures that have led to declining state funding for the UC and CSU. Federal tax policy should not make it more difficult for states to support higher education and jeopardize our ability to enroll more students. Ten years since the onset of the Great Recession and despite recent reinvestment, we have still not yet reached 2008 levels of state funding for the California State University and University of California. Insufficient state support for public higher education has led to reduced capacity and increasing selectivity while we graduate record numbers of college-eligible high school students, as well as higher tuition rates for those that are admitted. Read more.


New law takes huge step toward addressing largest impediment to success in California Community Colleges; Remediation.

Today, Governor Brown signed historic legislation that ensures more students have access to college-level courses when they start community college, substantially increasing their chances of completing a degree, certificate or transfer!

AB 705 (Irwin), sponsored by the Campaign for College Opportunity, requires community colleges to use high school performance as a factor in determining course placement for college-level math and English.

“For too long, inaccurate high stakes placement tests put students behind and stopped them from ever crossing the graduation stage. With the signing of AB 705 into law, more students will be placed directly into college-level courses and be able to reach their goals,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

This law was introduced because more than 75% of California’s community college students are being assessed and placed into pre-college level courses annually, despite evidence that many of them could be successful in college-level courses, where only 40% will earn a degree, certificate or transfer after six years. Read more

Thirteen California Colleges & Universities Honored for Excellence in Transfer

Nine California Community Colleges and four California State Universities to be honored December 5th for excelling at enrolling and graduating Associate Degree for Transfer earners.

This week, the Campaign for College Opportunity announced the names of nine California Community Colleges and four California State University (CSU) campuses for significantly increasing the number of students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), enrolling those students at a CSU with junior status, and graduating ADT earners with a bachelor’s degree.

The majority of California students who go to college attend community college with the majority of them hoping to transfer to a four-year university. Unfortunately, only 4% of community college students transfer after two years.

That is why in 2010, together with then-Senator Alex Padilla, the Campaign for College Opportunity sponsored historic transfer reform legislation that created a clearer path for students to earn an associate degree and get guaranteed admission as juniors to the CSU system. Since then, over 69,000 students have earned an ADT and of those that enrolled in the CSU, they earned their bachelor’s degree almost twice as fast as other transfer students!

The following thirteen colleges and universities will be commended on December 5th in Los Angeles for excellence in implementing the ADT program and supporting students’ goal of transferring and earning a bachelor’s degree. Read more

New Report Finds Transfer Process for Community College Students to Four Year Universities a Complex and Costly Maze

Study by The Campaign for College Opportunity calls on the state to fund CSU and UC to serve more freshman and transfer students and urges community colleges, CSU and UC to clear the transfer maze.

Los Angeles (September 12, 2017) – The Campaign for College Opportunity today released a new report, “The Transfer Maze: The High Cost to Students and the State of California,” which found that transfer between California Community Colleges and the California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC), is a bureaucratic maze which few students manage to navigate.

The report finds that only 4% of students intending to transfer do so within two years. By six years, only 38% of students transfer. This bodes poorly for California’s economy that is predicted to be 1.1 million bachelor degrees short by 2030. “When 70% of all college students in California attend a community college, a successful transfer path is key to producing the bachelor degrees the state needs and that the majority of students in community college hope to gain,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

The report’s analysis finds that because transfer is so complex, community college students take longer to complete their bachelor degrees and spend $36,000 – $38,000 more than a student who started their education at a four-year university. When students are stuck in the transfer maze, state spending rises, tax revenue is lost, and spots for new students are unavailable.

While major transfer reforms have been introduced in the last several years, including the successful Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT), the process remains complicated and inconsistent across systems, schools, and departments. The report outlines six key factors that construct the transfer maze: Read more.


La devastadora decisión del Presidente Trump de eliminar gradual y eventualmente el programa de Acción Diferida a los inmigrantes que llegaron al país siendo niños (DACA) ha ocasionado total desaliento a Campaign for College Opportunity. Este programa de inmigración temporal proporcionó alivio a más de 800 mil personas; muchos de estos inmigrantes fueron traídos a los Estados Unidos siendo aún niños por lo que no han conocido o llamado a otro país su casa y por ende han aprendido a amarlo como a su país.

La falta de liderazgo del Presidente para proteger y preservar el programa DACA deja ahora el destino de los actuales receptores en manos del Congreso. Sin embargo, aun si el Congreso actuara para proporcionar alivio legal a las personas que vinieron a este país cuando eran niños, esto no nos garantiza que el Presidente firme tal acción. Con la devastadora noticia de hoy los talentosos y prometedores jóvenes que se han beneficiado del programa DACA continúan en un estado de limbo y con la amenaza de una deportación cada vez mayor.

Nuestro país fue fundando con los sueños inmigrantes, los cuales con mucho esfuerzo han sido parte crítica en el éxito de nuestra democracia y economía. El fin de DACA significa que las familias están bajo la amenaza de ser divididas, nuestra economía podría sufrir la pérdida de más de $1.5 mil millones en impuestos, las brillantes mentes de muchos de nuestros jóvenes en Colegios y Universidades se enfrentarán a la incertidumbre sobre su futuro y California estará cada vez más lejos de cumplir con la demanda de mano de obra más cualificada. Para leer mas


The Campaign for College Opportunity is disheartened by President Trump’s devastating decision to phase out and eventually eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which provided temporary immigration relief to over 800,000 people, many of whom were brought to the United States as children and who have loved and called no other country home.

The President’s lack of leadership to protect and preserve DACA now leaves the fate of current recipients in the hands of Congress. However, if Congress does act to provide legal relief to individuals who came this country as children, there is no guarantee the President would sign such a policy. Young, talented and promising DACA recipients continue to be in limbo with the threat of deportation looming greater after today’s news.

Our country was founded on immigrant dreams and immigrants have been critical to the success of our democracy and economy. The end of DACA means families are under threat of being torn apart, our economy could suffer the loss of over $1.5 billion in taxes, bright young minds in our colleges and universities will face unfair uncertainty about their future and California will be further away from meeting the demands for a more educated workforce.

So, to the nearly 220,000 Californians with DACA status and all DREAMers who make this state and our country great, we stand with you, we will keep fighting for you, and we will keep fighting for a more perfect union. Read More.


Our Letter Urging President Trump to Defend DACA

September 1, 2017

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump,

We strongly urge you to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which is providing temporary immigration relief to over 800,000 people, many of whom were brought to the United States as children and who have loved and called no other country home.

Out of the 11 million immigrants that call California home, nearly 2 million are college educated. Losing and even underutilizing these college educated workers poses a threat for California’s workforce and economy as the state is already poised to be 2.4 million college educated workers short by 2030.

DACA students have been raised in our communities, taught in our public schools, and abided by our laws. The time, energy, and money that has been invested into these students would be a huge economic loss for our state both in resources lost and in contributions they could be making to our communities. Let’s not waste our investment and instead benefit from the fruits of our labor by keeping these students here to work, to participate, and to thrive. Read more here.