PAVING THE WAY FOR STUDENTS IN 2022
As we say goodbye to 2022, we are grateful for the beacons of light that we celebrate below. We are inspired and grateful to the leaders rising up to support students amid continuing inequity, poverty, and the impact of the pandemic on our most vulnerable students. The Campaign for College Opportunity continues to lead ambitious policy and campus practice change focused on expanding college access, bolstering student success, and closing racial/ethnic gaps by:
ADVOCATING FOR HISTORIC BUDGET INVESTMENTS
Our budget advocacy helped secure nearly $1.7 billion in state budget investments for higher education to support pandemic recovery, increase affordable access to a college degree, and improve coordination across the California Community Colleges, University of California, and California State University while tackling racial/ethnic equity gaps.
STRENGTHENING STUDENT PATHWAYS
We cosponsored and passed equitable placement policy AB 1705, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, to ensure that students are empowered to directly enroll into transfer-level English and math courses that maximize their success in our community colleges.
EQUITIZING AND SIMPLIFYING FINANCIAL AID
In partnership with advocates of the Fix Financial Aid Coalition, Governor Newsom adopted the Cal Grant Equity Framework into the state budget. When fully funded, it will expand access to Cal Grants for 150,000 more low-income students, pending funding in 2024.
CELEBRATING STUDENTCENTERED LEADERSHIP
We recognized legislative leaders championing college opportunity, community colleges and universities excelling in transfer and equitable placement with Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, and held a pressing conversation on defending affirmative action in college admissions with U.S. Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Dr. Nasser Paydar.
PUBLISHING ROBUST RESEARCH
We published six timely reports, exploring the state of higher education for Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Californians, the racial and gender diversity on higher education governing boards, illuminating innovations to protect community college student enrollment amid the pandemic, and more.
SUPPORTING STUDENT SUCCESS
The Campaign is continuously leading major wins that put students first and elevate solutions to achieving racial/ethnic equity in college access and success. In 2018, we shared a groundbreaking higher education blueprint, calling on the Governor to reimagine a system of that contributes to a stronger future for California and a more vibrant democracy. We are proud to celebrate the progress listed below informed by our recommendations:
EXPANDING ACCESS TO FINANCIAL AID
• 2021: We successfully supported legislation to expand Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California DREAM Act completion.
•2020-22: We secured emergency aid in the state budget for students, including undocumented students, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
• 2022: We successfully advocated to expand Cal Grant awards to 150,000 more low-income students through the state budget.
ENSURING EQUITABLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE COURSE PLACEMENT
•2018 – present: We monitored implementation of equitable placement policy (AB 705, 2017) and engaged stakeholders on implementation progress.
•2022: Governor Newsom signs AB 1705, follow-up legislation to the historic AB 705 (Irwin), to ensure that community college students are supported to enroll in transfer-level courses.
•2019: We rally with students and advocates to stop the CSU from considering a proposal to add a fourth year quantitative reasoning admission requirement. The CSU Board of Trustees then abandoned the proposal in January 2023.
•2019: Our budget advocacy results in 15,000 new spots for students at our public universities.
•2022: The final budget invests in historic multi-year funding compacts across our state public higher education systems with goals to expand access and close racial equity gaps.
• 2021: AB 928 (Berman) is signed into law, strengthening the landmark Associate Degree for Transfer. The bill also establishes an intersegmental committee to oversee implementation and foster collaboration across the community college, CSU, and UC systems.
KEEPING OUR GAZE AHEAD
There is still much work ahead this new year and beyond to ensure that California keeps the promise of achieving a college degree for students. Stay tuned this year for exciting updates coming in 2023.
ESTABLISHING A STATEWIDE HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BODY
California remains one of the only states without a higher education coordinating body, resulting in a higher education system without enforceable, common goals and a state largely divorced from national dialogue on student success. The Campaign intends to seize on growing momentum to improve higher education system coordination in 2023.
DEFENDING DIVERSITY AND EQUITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to make a decision that could affect affirmative action in college admissions, the Campaign seeks to promote evidence-based solutions to address inequities in college preparation, admissions, placement practices, and transfer to ensure minoritized students have a real equitable opportunity to go to college and succeed.
ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS ACROSS THE STATE
We are embarking on a statewide tour to hear directly from students, gather feedback from higher education experts, and engage with partners to inform our priorities.
IMPLEMENTING POLICY AND BUDGET VICTORIES
We will continue to lead for implementation of equitable placement and community college completion (AB 705 & 1705, Irwin) using the newly adopted Equitable Placement and Completion Grant Program to support colleges’ full-scale adoption of the reforms.
We will ensure faithful implementation of historic transfer legislation (AB 928 & AB 1111, Berman) to meet critical deadlines, including establishing a singular General Education pathway for community college students in 2023 and the process for common course numbering adoption in 2024.
Under our strategic guidance, the components of the Cal Grant Equity Framework were incorporated into the 2022-23 state budget despite a sober fiscal outlook. We will ensure that policymakers understand the racial equity imperative of funding the Framework as a critical tool for pandemic recovery.
We thank our principal funders for enabling us to make college dreams a reality for all California students:
Angell Foundation; Ascendium Education Solutions, Inc.; Ballmer Group; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; California Community Foundation; The California Wellness Foundation; College Futures Foundation; ECMC Foundation; Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund; Kresge Foundation; Leonard Hill Charitable Trust; Lumina Foundation; Marin Community Foundation; Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation; Rosalinde & Arthur Gilbert Foundation; Molina Family Foundation; Sobrato Philanthropies; Southern California Edison; Stuart Foundation; Yellow Chair Foundation.
We are also grateful to individual sponsors and donors that contribute to support our work:
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo; California State University, Los Angeles; Cerritos College; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights; Estela Mara Bensimon; Great Public Schools Now; Linda Griego; Long Beach City College; Los Rios Community College District; Margaret M. Bloomfield Family Foundation; The Michelson 20MM Foundation; Oportun; Quinn Delaney; Union Bank; Southwestern College.Vice President