Newsroom

Five New Student-Centered Policies Deliver a Win for California


As Governor Newsom took final action on bills this past week, we are proud to share that five student-centered policies championed by the Campaign were signed by the Governor. These bills expand support and protections to vulnerable student populations, including undocumented students, as they work to achieve their college dreams.

We congratulate Governor Newsom and legislative leaders on a successful year of policy accomplishments and thank them for supporting legislation to increase college opportunity and student success.

The Campaign’s 2019 Legislative Agenda advanced many recommendations outlined in our Blueprint for Higher Education – a roadmap for meeting future worked demands and closing persistent racial equity gaps. One of the policies the Campaign has long championed was reflected in Assembly Bill 130, which would have established the Higher Education Performance, Accountability, and Coordination Commission to provide state-level leadership responsible for postsecondary planning, oversight and coordination. While we recognize the Governor’s commitment to strengthening higher education in California, we are disappointed by his decision to veto AB 130. Read more

California’s Undocumented Students Speak Out


It is Undocumented Student Action Week and the Campaign for College Opportunity is pleased to share with you our latest brief, In Their Voices: Undocumented in California Public Colleges & Universities. In Their Voices uplifts the experiences of undocumented students and highlights the ways in which our state and college leaders can better support undocumented students as they seek out college opportunity.

College opportunity is key to ensuring that California can meet its economic goals, and immigrant students are poised to make major contributions to future growth. California is home to 27% of the nation’s undocumented immigrants and educates an estimated 64,000 to 86,000 undocumented students in the state’s public colleges and universities.

However, educational attainment rates for California’s undocumented students trail the nation’s. Read more

Celebrating and Protecting College Opportunity


The start of the new school year is full of excitement and promise. For both of us, it has meant watching the young women in our lives take the next steps in their educational journeys.
Jessie’s Reflections
In my 14 years of working at the Campaign, I have most enjoyed seeing our work come full-circle, impacting the lives of students we meet. I was especially proud to see my niece, Bianca, earn an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), nine years after we championed the legislation that created the ADT. Bianca is one of over 159,000 students to earn this degree, and I was thrilled to see her graduate and enroll in the Sacramento State junior class.
Audrey’s Reflections
I have been looking at my daughter Isabella’s baby pictures and wondering how time flew so quickly between the pictures of her early years and the last few selfies I snapped as I dropped her off on campus for her freshman year of college. Moving my first-born into her new dorm, I was reminded of my late grandfather, who would have celebrated his birthday the same week Isabella started college. My grandfather was an immigrant from Mexico who came to this country so that his children could have a better life. Isabella’s success thus far is a testament to his grit and resilience when facing the obstacles many immigrants face moving to a new country. Read more

New Research on the Impact of AB 705


For too long, talented California students were trapped in a downward spiral of remedial education courses from which they’d never emerge. Community colleges largely relied on ineffective standardized tests that placed more than 75 percent of incoming students into lengthy remedial course sequences, where few ever reached transfer-level courses or achieved their college goals. But thanks to Assembly Bill 705, California’s community colleges are ushering in a new era of placing students into courses where they are most likely to succeed.

Today, the Campaign for College Opportunity in partnership with the California Acceleration Project released a regional progress report, “Getting There: Are California Colleges Maximizing Student Completion of Transfer-Level Math and English?” that looks at how well California’s community colleges are implementing AB 705.

The report looks at 47 colleges in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and the Central Valley, and finds that AB 705 has catalyzed tremendous changes in community college course offerings. Between 2018 and 2019, colleges have doubled the proportion of transfer-level courses they are offering. Read more

New Law is Catalyzing Big Changes at California Community Colleges

Colleges in Los Angeles, Inland Empire and Central Valley take key steps to tackle long-standing problems with remedial education, but progress is uneven.

(Los Angeles, CA) – – The Campaign for College Opportunity released a regional progress report, “Getting There: Are California Colleges Maximizing Student Completion of Transfer-Level Math and English?” that looks at how well California’s community colleges are implementing AB 705, a new law intended to reform remedial education.

Beginning this fall, California’s community colleges are required, under AB 705, to utilize a student’s high school grades for English and math course placement. The law also prohibits colleges from denying students access to transfer-level courses and gives students the right to begin in courses where they have the best chance of completing the English and math requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Until now, colleges largely relied on ineffective standardized tests that placed more than 75% of incoming students into lengthy remedial math and/or English sequences where few ever reached transfer-level courses or achieved their college goals.

The progress report, conducted by the California Acceleration Project, looks at course schedules from 47 colleges in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and the Central Valley and finds that AB 705 has catalyzed tremendous changes in community college course offerings. Between 2018 and 2019, colleges have doubled the proportion of transfer-level courses they are offering; transfer-level classes have increased from 45 percent to 88 percent in English and from 33 percent to 71 percent in math. Read More

A Brief Farewell


‘Tis the season I love most, as hundreds of thousands of California college graduates put on their cap and gowns while friends and families cheer loudly for all the pomp and circumstance. High school graduates have made decisions about where they will be going to college, and many parents prepare for the angst of sending them off and planning how they will afford it all. This is why the Campaign for College Opportunity is supporting a record number of bills and funding priorities this year to significantly increase the number of spots in the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU), along with legislation that will establish a higher education coordinating body and a state education data system, expand financial aid to cover the full cost of college, and improve transfer.

With our partners at Ed Trust—West, we have launched a campaign to protect college opportunity at the CSU, which is under threat from a proposal to raise eligibility requirements for incoming freshman without data proving the change is necessary, without consultation with K-12, and without considering the clear inequities these new requirements would create for Black, Latinx, Native American, and low-income students. You can read more about our advocacy below, and I invite you to join us. Read more

Governor Newsom Budget Update Prioritizes Higher Education


In his updated budget proposal, Governor Gavin Newsom maintains his commitment to fund thousands of new seats for California students, invest in proven practices that improve graduation rates, and remove barriers to college affordability. While higher than expected tax revenues increased the total higher education budget from the Governor’s January proposal by an estimated $200 million, they led to modest financial aid investments; notably the expansion of a second year of free community college tuition through the California College Promise and rapid rehousing efforts at the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems.

The governor’s updated budget maintains $10 million to establish a strong educational data system from pre-K to K-12 to college and the workforce. Now is the time for the Governor to exert his leadership in creating a statewide higher education coordinating body that is inclusive of civil rights and business communities. The coordinating body can set an ambitious North Star goal for statewide college attainment and regularly monitor progress towards meeting the state’s workforce and economic demands while holding our colleges and universities accountable for improvement and the closing of persistent racial/ethnic gaps. Read more

15 Years of Making College Dreams a Reality


Working to ensure all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy and democracy – that’s been the singular mission the Campaign for College Opportunity has focused on since our founding fifteen years ago.
California students, like Karen Dominguez and Tylar Campbell, who grace the covers of our recent State of Higher Education reports, are the reason that an unlikely coalition of business, education, and civil rights leaders came together to form the Campaign for College Opportunity in 2004.

Our founders believed that California was turning its back on the promise of college opportunity to current and future generations of students and the impact would bring serious economic and civil rights consequences. They knew that a broad-based coalition armed with good data and a student-centered public policy agenda could ensure that California delivers on its promise of a spot in college for all eligible students while improving college completion rates and eliminating racial/ethnic inequality in higher education. Read more

Webinar Recording: The State of Higher Education for Black Californians


On February 20th, we released the State of Higher Education for Black Californians report, a landmark report that reveals progress the state is making in better preparing Black students for college even while major inequities in college access and completion persist at our community colleges and universities.

Over 500 participants joined our webinar to discuss the report findings and learn about solutions that will ensure more Black Californians can attend and succeed in college. Click here or below to watch the webinar featuring our President, Michele Siqueiros, Dr. J. Luke Wood, Associate Vice President of Faculty Diversity & Inclusion at San Diego State University, and Dr. Teresa W. Aldredge, President of the Board of Directors of Umoja Community Education Foundation. Read more

New Report: The State of Higher Education for Black Californians


California’s Black families and students know the value of an education. Today, more Black students are graduating from high school, going to college, and earning degrees than ever before. But for many of the 2.2 million Black Californians the dream of going to college and crossing the graduation stage remains an illusion.

California cannot remain innovative, entrepreneurial, or economically competitive without closing persistent racial equity gaps in education and ensuring more Black students go to college and graduate.

Today, the Campaign for College Opportunity released the State of Higher Education for Black Californians, a landmark report that reveals progress the state is making in better preparing Black students for college even while major inequities in college access and completion persist. Read more