2018 Champions of Higher Education Celebration

2018 Champions of Higher Education Celebration

Our third annual Champions of Higher Education celebration highlighted the exemplary efforts of California leaders and institutions to improve student success. This year we honored:

2018 Champions of Higher Education for Excellence in Transfer

12 Community Colleges and 4 California State Universities are honored for their excellence in implementing the Associate Degree for Transfer

Learn more about our 2018 college and university honorees.

Unsung Hero

Alfred Herrera | Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Partnerships, UCLA

Rising Star

Jorge Reyes Salinas | Former California State University Student Trustee

Rising Star

Alexa Victoriano | Former Los Angeles Community College District Student Trustee

Legislative Champion

Holly Mitchell | California State Senator 


Change Maker

Reach Higher, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama


To view photos from the evening, click here.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Master Sponsors


Baccalaureate Sponsors


Hope on the Horizon: Charting a Course for Student Success

Hope on the Horizon
On November 13th, the Campaign for College Opportunity hosted our inaugural Hope on the Horizon: Charting a Course for Student Success celebration at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, where we hosted higher education partners from across California for an evening of celebration and reflection on the past year of higher education policy. The evening was also an opportunity for community members to gather as we honored California Attorney General Xavier Becerra; UC Immigrant Legal Services Executive Director, Maria Blanco; California Community Colleges Board of Governors Vice President, Pamela Haynes, and three California Community College and California State University student leaders for their extraordinary work in serving and supporting California students.

Labor and civil rights activist, Dolores Huerta kicked off the evening presenting the 2018 Change Maker award to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Becerra, a son of immigrants and the first in his family to attend college reflected on his journey through the higher education system in California as a Latino and looked ahead at the work to be done to support Californians like himself pursuing a higher education. Unsung Hero Maria Blanco called on the urgency to serve and support the state’s undocumented and DACAmented students, while Pamela Haynes called on the need to invest in the success of all students, regardless of income or ethnicity. We closed out the evening with a spoken word performance from UC Davis student Malissia Bordeaux, who spoke on the barriers to college opportunity and the doors her degree as a Black student will open. You can watch the celebration and all of the speeches below.

Official Reception Sponsor

Benefactor Sponsors


Patron Sponsors



Invest in Success Advocacy Day

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 Location: California State Capitol

The Campaign for College Opportunity and The Education Trust—West, in coalition with eighteen civil rights, student, business, education, and community organizations, met with legislators at the State Capitol to advocate for a student centered funding formula at California Community Colleges.

A student centered funding formula seeks to incorporate the tenets of Vision for Success in community college district budgeting and planning, as well as in how the Chancellor’s Office can support districts’ efforts to set and realize their own specific goals to improve student outcomes. Aligning resources for the California Community Colleges with the Vision for Success–at the system, district, and college level–is a necessary step towards ensuring that the vision comes to fruition.

Changing Faces: The Case for Diversity and Inclusivity in Higher Education Leadership

Our latest report, “Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students and our Economy, analyzes faculty, academic senates, and college leaders by race and gender for the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California. In conjunction with the report, we presented “Changing Faces,” a series of conversations across the state to share the report findings and discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in California’s higher education leadership.

We hosted an event for each of the three systems of California higher education to engage in robust conversations about potential solutions and opportunities for change.

Changing Faces at the University of California

Changing Faces at the California Community Colleges 

Changing Faces at the California State Universities

2018 Basic Skills Capitol Conversation


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Location: California State Capitol

The Campaign for College Opportunity, the California EDGE Coalition, and the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office hosted a joint briefing on Basic Skills implementation and innovations throughout the California Community College System. Representatives from Cuyamaca College, Sacramento City College, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, and the California Acceleration Project joined the conversation around high impact practices in implementing basic skills programming as well as the challenges that large scale implementation presents.

2017 Champions of Higher Education Celebration


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On December 5th, we hosted our second annual Champions of Higher Education celebration in downtown Los Angeles with 150 of our closest friends. We shared a beautiful evening honoring nine California Community Colleges and four California State Universities for their exemplary efforts in implementing the Associate Degree for Transfer. We also honored California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León for his legislative leadership on higher education policy, former President of the College Futures Foundation, Julia Lopez, for supporting the programs and policies that help more students reach their college dreams, the University of California Board of Regents and UC President Janet Napolitano for their support of undocumented and DACAmented students, and EdSource, for exceptional journalism covering California’s higher education landscape.

To learn more about our honorees, click here for a detailed description on their Associate Degree for Transfer data and watch the video below.

Transfer Maze Capitol Briefing


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Location: California State Capitol
The Campaign for College Opportunity and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office hosted a joint briefing on the state of transfer in the state of California. Read the Campaign for College Opportunity’s full Transfer Maze Report here.

Sacramento Office Open House


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Location: Campaign for College Opportunity Sacramento Office
The Campaign for College Opportunity welcomed Sacramento-area partners and friends to our new Sacramento office and celebrated our Assembly Bill 705 (Irwin) victory. Read more about AB 705 and how it will ensure assessment equity at California Community Colleges here.