What Leaders Are Saying About


“The Latinx report is an important reminder that we must do more to ensure the success of Latinx students once through the doors of college. As California’s largest and fastest growing demographic, the critical investments made in these deserving students will serve as down payments on California’s future.”

Senator Ben Hueso
Chair, Latino Legislative Caucus


“When we co-founded the Campaign for College Opportunity nearly fifteen years ago, Steve Weiner and I were deeply troubled by the inadequacy of the capacity of California higher education to provide for the needs of the citizens of the state.  Thanks to the sustained efforts of the Campaign, we now have a deeper understanding of both the issues underlying the problems facing students, and the requirements of appropriate improvements in policy and practice.  The State of Higher Education for Latinx in California is the latest, in depth, examination of a crucial population that must be better served.  California has just elected a new Governor; we will be urging him to use his power to use this information to promote the success of California students and to advance the state’s competitive edge.”
David Wolf
Executive Director Emeritus, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

“Because of the single-minded focus of outstanding advocates educational outcomes for Latinos have dramatically improved in the last ten years.  Unfortunately, the improvement has not erased dramatic gaps in many of the measures used to gauge progress.  This task cannot be left only to advocates, all sectors of California society have a stake in the improvement of Latino outcomes.”
María Blanco
Executive Director, UC Immigrant Legal Services Center
UC Davis School of Law

“The Campaign for College Opportunity’s report, The State of Higher Education for Latinx in California, details the work ahead as we continue to eliminate barriers to student completion.  We remove barriers by simplifying complicated transfer pathways as we expand and clarify Associate Degree Transfers. We sharpen our focus on equity and our completion priorities as we systematically implement the Student Success Funding Formula.  Many of our institutions of Higher Education in California are federally designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). An equity focus on increasing the completion of Latinx students will significantly increase the overall performance of HSI institutions, and will increase baccalaureate attainment for the state of California as a whole.”
Sonya Christian
President, Bakersfield Community College

“The State of Higher Education for Latinx in California provides a compelling overview of the challenges California faces in serving the state’s largest minoritized student group. Chief among these challenges is the lack of representation among Latinx faculty and leadership positions as well as widening equity gaps in postsecondary education, with an 8% increase in graduation disparities between Latinx and White students. Coupled with structural impediments endemic to the K-12 system, these challenges (as documented within this report) should serve as a clarion call for action.”
Luke Wood, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion and Distinguished Professor of Education
San Diego State University

“California’s community colleges are the key to social mobility for our people and critically important to the economic prosperity of our state. Reflecting the values of our democracy, community colleges offer an open door to opportunity to an education that benefits all Californians. This promise of college opportunity could not ring truer for the million Latinx students who are enrolled in our community colleges. However, the State of Higher Education for Latinx report shows us that real opportunity requires more than just an open door for far too many Latinx students, who make up the majority of community college enrollment. This report should sound the alarm bells for state and institutional leaders that we must double down and address the serious barriers that keep students from achieving their goals of transferring or earning a degree.  The economic viability of our state and the standard of living for all of our people depend upon it.”
George R. Boggs, Ph.D.
Superintendent/ President Emeritus, Palomar College
President and CEO Emeritus, American Association of Community Colleges

“Open access institutions bear the greatest responsibility for fulfilling the American commitment to equal educational opportunity. The urgency around increasing the number of college-educated adults in the United States is generating millions of dollars to support a staggering array of policy and practice reforms, particularly targeted at community colleges and four-year universities that have high concentrations of students of color.  This report shows us that we still have a long way to go in achieving greater equitable outcomes for students of color. Institutional leaders responsible for implementing these policy reforms must recognize that racial inequality is a central feature of the higher education system and the root problem that needs to be addressed.”
Estela Mara Bensimon
Dean’s Professor in Educational Equity & Director Center for Urban Education
Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

“It is absolutely urgent that California’s higher education institutions work more closely with its high schools to set rigorous goals to prepare and place Latinx students on the pathway to college readiness and enrollment. With more than half of all our students Latinx, we cannot wait any longer for “modest improvements”.  The future of the state is at stake now!”
Patricia Gandara
Co-Director Civil Rights Project
University of California, Los Angeles


BUSINESS LEADERS                            

“California’s economic vitality cannot be sustained without making sure every Californians is prepared for a dynamic and challenging future. The Campaign’s “State of Higher Education” documents where we are making progress and where more progress is required.  California Forward and our partners in the CA Economic Summit are supportive of the reforms and investments needed so all children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and so schools, colleges and universities are meeting the needs of all Californians regardless of heritage, geography or personal history.”
James Mayer
President & CEO, California Forward


“As a first-generation college graduate, I know firsthand the opportunities that a college degree provides for economic advancement.  The Inland Empire is home to one of the largest and fastest growing concentration of Latinos in the nation.  We know how critical the success of the Latino community is to the success of our region.  While progress has been made in college attendance and degree attainment, more work needs to be done.  IEEP strongly supports the recommendations by the Campaign for College Opportunity to improving college degree attainment and ultimately closing the achievement gap.
Paul Granillo
President and CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership

CALIFORNIA LEADERS                         

 “The riches and successes of our Golden State are owed to the countless contributions of immigrants who paved the way for us. If there has ever been a time to repay their debt to making California one of the greatest economies in the world, it is now. It is unacceptable that only 12 percent of Latinx adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, when they represent the majority population in our state. Make no mistake, the future of our state will be determined by the rise and fall of Latinx and it starts with investments by our state leaders.”
Alison de Lucca
Executive Director, Southern California College Access Network

“We envision a public education system where every student has the opportunity and resource to succeed in school and in life. The Campaign for College Opportunity’s State of Higher Education for Latinx Report highlights that serious opportunity gaps remain for Latinx students, who make up the majority of our K-12 and college enrollment. How long before we say enough is enough? California must get serious about closing the racial ethnic gaps in college access and completion. Failure to do so will jeopardize California’s future.”
Oscar Cruz
President & CEO, Families in Schools

“The data presented in this report is crucial to informing decision-makers on the actions we must take to close racial equity gaps and achieve greater college opportunity for Latinx students, particularly around the need for greater Latinx representation at the top leadership positions of our higher education systems. As the leader of a premier statewide Latina leadership organization, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), I have witnessed how higher education for Latinas has the power to transform communities. Educating Latinas and putting them in leadership positions is critical for the future success of California. The State of Higher education Report gives us the evidence, and the roadmap, to close the gap for Latinx students in California.”
Helen Iris Torres
Executive Director & CEO, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality

“The Latinx college degree gap is the product of barriers that Latinx students face all along the education pipeline, from preschool through college. While we’re glad to see some improvement in college completion rates, more needs to be done to tear down these barriers and dismantle systemic inequities. We are proud to stand with the Campaign for College Opportunity in calling for more action from the state’s leaders to speed up the pace of change.”
Carrie Hahnel
Interim Co-Executive Director, Ed Trust—West

“California’s Latinx students are the majority of our K12 student population, their continued success after high school graduation is an important state issue. It is troubling to see that some gaps in postsecondary attainment have widened for these students and we stand ready to work with our partners at the Campaign for College Opportunity, other stakeholders, and our state’s newly elected leadership to tackle the disparities in access and opportunity leading to these outcomes.”
Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga
Interim Co-Executive Director, Ed Trust—West

“In 1968, tens of thousands of East Los Angeles high school students marched out of their classrooms protesting a poor quality of education in area schools. The historic East L.A. Walkouts advanced community leadership and educational opportunity resulting in more Chicano students attending institutions of higher education. However, five decades later, deep educational and economic disparities persist barring far too many Latino students from reaching their dream of college. As a community, we must continue to demand equity for students of color and ensure all are prepared for college and meaningful participation in the global economy.”
Maria Brenes
Executive Director, InnerCity Struggle