Leadership Matters for Student Success

Last week, I penned an opinion editorial in EdSource that spoke to the urgency of investing in and transforming community colleges to drastically improve student success. When fewer than half of all community college students earn a degree, credential or transfer after six years, and when these rates are worse for Latinx, and Black students, we must do better.

Governor Brown, the Legislature, and Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley have been unabashed in their commitment to radically improve student success through bold investments and policy reforms. With these leaders we have championed historic investments to expand college access, preserve financial aid, fix remedial education and placement practices, and ensure clear pathways in and through college. This is also why today – alongside civil rights and education leaders across California – we support the Governor’s proposed community college student success funding formula, which makes improving student outcomes and serving low-income students a priority.

Because leadership matters, earlier this year we released a historic report, Left Out: How Exclusion in California’s Colleges and Universities Hurts Our Values, Our Students, and Our Economy, on the importance of racial and gender inclusion in higher education leadership to student success. We found that our college leaders and faculty are not reflective of the diversity of our students even while we know that these leaders are key to producing more college graduates and closing racial gaps. Read more.