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Supporting College Student Access and Success: Making Sure Hard Work Pays Off

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By: Audrey Dow, Senior Vice President, The Campaign for College Opportunity

This blog is an excerpt from the panel on “Supporting College Student Access and Success” from the American Educational Research Association conference on January 17, 2017. Our Senior Vice President, Audrey Dow, gave remarks on policy opportunities that could help address college student access and success. Please click the video above to watch the entire remarks.


Good evening.

Thank you A.E.R.A. for having me tonight. It’s wonderful to be here with Dr. Long, Juana, James, and Adolfo.

I’m glad we’re having this conversation on college access and success here in California because in so many ways, California is what the rest of our country will look like in the future.

My remarks today will focus on the policy opportunities we have before us that can help address so many of the challenges laid out in Dr. Long’s lecture.

California’s Master Plan for Higher Education paved the way for our UC, CSU and community college systems which created a workforce that catapulted the state into becoming a world leader and ensured the type of innovation that we’re famous for (Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, Apple, Disney) keeps the state as one of the largest economies in the world.

It’s the reason I’m sitting here today. My father, immigrated to this country at the age of 10 from Mexico. He’s the grandson and son of panaderos (bakers) but when he turned 18 he didn’t go into the family business, it wasn’t why my grandfather left his country. He came here for better opportunity for his son and somehow knew that education was likely the key. So, in the early 1970’s my dad enrolled in LA Trade Tech College, just down the street from here, which led to him earning a certificate in electrical engineering, an apprenticeship at American Bridge Steel Company, and a career that allowed him to own a home, have quality healthcare, save for retirement, put his two girls through college and have a little fun.

The Master plan was groundbreaking policy for its time, it fit the needs of that moment and served millions of students, including my father, and the state but that moment was over fifty years ago.

Our once model higher education system has fallen into mediocrity in college preparation, completion and affordability. In fact, California is projected to be 2.3 million college educated workers short of economic demand in just eight years.  California’s population has more than doubled in size and is more racially diverse and geographically spread out. Today, Latinos represent 40% of California’s population but only 11% of adult Latinos have Bachelor’s degrees. Half of all children are Latino in the state and most will be first-generation college goers– these are demographics that the original master plan never contemplated. Read More

A Gift for all of California’s Students


By: Aileen Zhong, Policy & Programs Associate

Every year we are faced with a difficult task, to find the perfect gift for our students during the holiday season. And while you might wonder whether the student in your life really needs that extra pair of shoes or the latest iPhone you won’t have to wonder whether a gift from our list is necessary. This season the Campaign for College Opportunity wants to urge you to consider giving your student something that they, their peers and all California students could benefit from for years to come. Give your support to  improving access and completion to our state’s higher education system by getting involved with the Campaign in 2017 or by making a donation today!

In just a few short years, our state will experience a huge shortage of educated workers needed to meet California’s workforce demands. Access to our public colleges and universities has been constrained, selectivity has increased, and all the while the value of a college degree is more important than ever. To address these issues, we propose six ways you can get involved and give California students the gift of equal opportunity! Our list may not fit in a box, but it’s what our students need and deserve – so let’s get to work!  Read More

Why Are Public Colleges and Universities Enrolling So Many Out-Of-State Students?

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Press Statement: Statement on the Introduction of SB 1050 (de Leon)

Increasing the number of California K-12 students eligible for the state’s public universities and ensuring seats for California students at the University of California

Today, California Senate pro Tempore Kevin de León (Los Angeles) introduced visionary legislation that ensures a student’s zip code or income status does not determine whether they are adequately prepared and get the opportunity to go to college.

Now more than ever, California needs more students to earn a bachelor’s degree – our economy demands it. By 2030, 38% of all jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree. But if current trends persist, only 33% of adults will hold a bachelor’s degree leaving the workforce 1.1 million bachelor degree holders short. Businesses need more college educated workers and students know they need more than a high school diploma to realize their full potential and make it into the middle class.

Read the Entire Press Statement

Estudiantes latinos en la mira de los colegios comunitarios de Los Angeles 

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College Admission from a College Counselor’s Perspective

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By: John Kim, College Counselor
Belmont High School

For the past several years, I have awaited the official release of the Los Angeles Unified School District calendar to find out when the week-long Thanksgiving break is scheduled. As an employee of the district and the father of three young daughters who are students in LAUSD district, I am eager to figure out when and where we may travel together as a family during this special time of the year. On a professional note, I also flag this week to determine how many days ahead of November 30th this vacation time is scheduled. For those of you not familiar with, or perhaps who have forgotten the importance of this date, November 30th marks the deadline for high school seniors to submit their CSU and UC applications online in the state of California. As a college counselor at Belmont High School for the past ten years, November 30th is in line with other important dates such as March 2nd, the FAFSA/Cal Grant deadline in California; May 1st, the Statement of Intent to Register deadline; Belmont’s graduation date; and July 1st, the deadline for most colleges and universities to receive students’ final official high school transcripts. Read More

Press Statement: Governor’s 2016-17 Budget Proposal

Governor Jerry Brown’s 2016-17 budget proposal increases funding for the state’s public colleges and universities by $596 million while making ongoing investments in access and student success.

The Governor proposes encouraging investments in California Community Colleges, including expanding enrollment funding by 2% to serve an additional 50,000 students, $248 million for programs that support career technical education and student transition to the workforce, and $25 million for Innovation Awards to—among other things—improve transfer pathways. Particularly encouraging is the $30 million proposal to continue investment in better preparing students for college level work.

To read the full press statement, click here.