Setting a college degree attainment goal has the potential to dramatically increase college access and success, but the efficacy and impact of states’ efforts to increase attainment will depend significantly on the extent to which they prioritize racial/ethnic equity. Longstanding disparities in college enrollment and completion have resulted in large gaps in degree attainment by race/ethnicity, with just 18 percent of Latinx adults and 34 percent of Black adults holding an associate degree or higher, compared to over half (53 percent) of White adults in California.

There is simply no way for the state to meet industry demand for educated workers without more educated Latinx, Black and Asian American, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders. As state leaders in California work to increase college attainment and meet workforce demand, they must take responsibility for addressing racial/ethnic equity gaps.