community colleges Archives - The Campaign for College Opportunity

Historic Number of Latinx in California Graduating High School and Going to College but State’s Colleges and Universities Continue to Produce Too Few Latinx College Grads, Threatening Future Economic Stability Report Finds

As California’s biggest, and growing racial/ethnic group, the success of Latinx students is critical to meeting future workforce demands

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Campaign for College Opportunity released the 2018 “State of Higher Education for Latinx in California” report, which documents some of the progress California has made in providing college opportunity to its Latinx students, as well as the gaps in college attainment, access and completion allowed to persist by the state’s colleges and universities. As the largest – and growing- student population in the state, if California fails to close the college attainment gap between Latinx and White students there will be grave consequences for the state’s economic standing as the fifth largest economy in the world.

Over 50% of California’s K-12 students are Latinx and a record number of Latinx students are graduating from high school, passing the courses required for university admission and going to college. In fact, 1.3 million Latinx students are enrolled in college today which is over half a million more Latinx college students compared to the year 2000. College graduation rates are also on the rise and while these are all promising trends, there is also troubling news.

Despite representing 40% of California’s total population, Latinx still have the lowest proportion of college degree earners and the highest proportion of people who have not graduated from high school. High schools graduate Latinx students at a lower percentage and do not provide equitable access to the classes needed for college admission to Latinx students compared to other races. And, colleges and universities have allowed the gap in completion between Latinx and White students to rise instead of close.

The good news for California:

  • California is graduating more Latinx students from high school. 86% of Latinx 19 year-olds have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Latinx transfer to California State University (CSU) campuses grew 10 percentage points between Fall 2010 (57%) and Fall 2016 (67%), thanks to the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT).
  • Time to degree has decreased for Latinx students at University of California (UC) campuses. Only 38 percent of Latinx who entered the UC in fall of 2000 graduated within four years compared to 49% of the class who entered in 2010 – an 11 percent point improvement.
  • The gap between White students’ and Latinx students’ completion rates at California Community Colleges and graduation rates for transfer students within four years of enrolling at CSU has narrowed over time.

The bad news:

  • Only 18% of Latinx adults have a college degree compared to 52% of Whites.
  • The gap in bachelor’s degree attainment between Latinx and Whites increased from 30 to 31 percentage points in the last decade.
  • California community colleges fail to support more than one half of Latinx students to attain a credential or transfer. Only two percent of Latinx transfer in two years, 31 percent in six years.
  • Differences in six-year graduation rates between White and Latinx students have increased at CSU and UC.
  • Faculty, Academic Senate bodies, college leadership, and governance are not reflective of the Latinx population or student body.

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Happening Now! Invest in Success Advocacy Day


Today, the Campaign for College Opportunity and The Education Trust—West, in coalition with eighteen civil rights, student, business, education, and community organizations, are at the State Capitol advocating for a community college funding formula that centers on equity and student success.

California Community Colleges serve a diverse student body of approximately 2.1 million students with goals of university transfer, career technical education, and basic skills. These institutions promise an affordable path for students to reach their college and career goals. However, too many students fail to cross the finish line.

The current community college funding formula encourages campuses to enroll more students, but fails to ensure that these institutions prioritize student success, improve outcomes, or close equity gaps faced by Latinx; African American; Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander; and low-income students.

Students don’t enroll in college without a belief that they will cross the finish line. How we fund our community colleges should reflect that students want more than just “access” to campuses, they want to transfer, earn a degree or certificate, and leave college prepared to succeed in their careers. Without better-aligned investments in critical student supports, large racial/ethnic gaps will continue and unacceptable completion rates will persist. Read more

Do You Know the New Community College Chancellor’s Top Priorities?

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By: Olga Jimenez, Communications Associate, Campaign for College Opportunity

On July 18th, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors selected Eloy Ortiz Oakley to become the system’s next Chancellor. Oakley will be the first Latino to serve as Chancellor of a system that serves over 2.3 million students, 42% of whom are Latino.

Eloy Ortiz Oakley is the type of leader that pushes the status quo. He is passionate, committed, and innovative in his work to ensure more students are afforded a college education and the limitless possibilities that education offers.

A product of the California Community Colleges, Ortiz Oakley has a personal stake in seeing the system prosper. After all, the system has educated three of his children both at Oxnard College and Irvine Valley Community College with a fourth on the way. Eloy recognizes the impact a community college education has had in his life and that of his family. In his first speech after the announcement of his selection as Chancellor he shared, “Community colleges run deep in my family. It is amazing to think that one generation ago there wasn’t much thought about going to college and now, there’s nothing but the thought of going to college.”  Read More

Invest in Community College Students; Transform Our Communities

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Secretary of State Alex Padilla Reflects on the Importance of Going the Distance on Transfer Reform for California Students

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By: Secretary of State Alex Padilla

California has made tremendous progress in building a community college transfer pathway that helps students reach their educational goals and receive a college degree. That’s a big difference from where we were just six years ago when confusing and conflicting requirements kept so many California community college students from transferring to a four-year university. For those students fortunate enough to transfer, the burdensome process drove up their costs and the time it took to complete a bachelor’s degree. Even fewer students transferred with an Associate Degree to show for all of their hard work at their community college.
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We Can’t Live Without You…Really…

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By: Olga Jimenez, Communications Associate, The Campaign for College Opportunity

Dear California Acceleration Project,

As Valentine’s day nears, we wanted to take a minute to express our ardent admiration for you in true Little Rascals, Alfalfa fashion!

You are tackling one of the biggest and most important issues facing students at community colleges –  helping them get through remedial courses prepared enough to succeed in college level course work.  You have demonstrated that faculty led reforms and innovations are the way forward.  And you have demonstrated this dedication to students beyond the ones you serve at your own colleges in the hopes that ALL California community college students placed in remedial courses can succeed through the redesign of developmental English and math curriculum. Read More