What We Do  /  Environmental

Improving air quality for all Californians.

The Foundation’s Environmental Programs directly benefit colleges, students, and the community, contributing to cleaner air and expanding student career training opportunities in the automotive field. 

The Foundation is poised to further our relationships to address environmental issues beyond air quality, positioning California Community College students at the forefront of new environmental initiatives.

Current Programs


The California Automotive Resource Center (CalARC) is a hub for students and professionals in the automotive industry. This site offers resources to help automotive professionals advance their career and education, locate training programs and certification courses, find job opportunities in their region, or join a community to connect with other automotive professionals throughout the state.

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Cars for Colleges

The Foundation's vehicle donation program helps people to retire their older vehicles in exchange for income tax benefits. This program helps improve air quality and supports the Community Colleges and various Foundation programs.

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Replace Your Ride

The Replace Your Ride program helps people trade in their older, high polluting vehicles for a more fuel-efficient option. Options include a new or newer vehicle, a hybrid or electric vehicle, discounts on car-sharing or vanpooling, or a public transit pass. This program is created for vehicle owners in the South Coast Air Basin, and is administered in collaboration with the The Foundation works with South Coast Air Quality Management District.

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Smog Check Referee Program

The Bureau of Automotive Repair Smog Check Referee program was created to improve the smog check process and help reduce air pollution for all Californians. Referee centers are state-contracted emissions test facilities that provide a wide array of resources for California motorists, including specialized services other smog stations are not authorized to perform. The Foundation is contracted by BAR to manage the Smog Check Referee program at 30 Community College campuses. In addition to a wide array of services for consumers, Referee centers offer valuable career training opportunities for California Community College students.

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Smog Technician Training Program

The Smog Check Referee program has helped support the training of hundreds of future smog technicians through the Student Technician Training Program (STTP). This 300-hour paid training program includes extensive hands-on experience which prepares automotive students to become high performing smog technicians. Graduating technicians have gone on to successful employment in the industry, own their own smog check stations, or become Smog Check Referees themselves.

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Former Programs


The High Emitters Repair or Scrap (HEROS) program was a cooperative effort between South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and the Foundation for California Community Colleges that operated between March of 2012 and May of 2013. This incentive program was designed to reduce the number of high polluting vehicles on the road. Students were hired to help administer the program and staff the call center.


VRRRM (Vehicle Repair, Retirement, and Replacement for Motorists) was an incentive program designed to reduce the number of high emitting vehicles on the road. The program operated between March of 2010 and August of 2012 and was funded by $20,000,000 from the Unocal Reformulated Fuel Settlement. Events were held on several Community College Campuses, allowing us to hire students to help administer program and to staff call center. VRRRM paid for approved emissions-related diagnostics and repairs that resulted in a significant and durable emissions reduction. 

  • VRRRM for CAP: A statewide assistance program that supplements the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s Consumer Assistance Program for vehicle repair.
  • VRRRM for PASS: An initiative to add a vehicle repair component to the Polluting Automobile Scrap and Salvage program in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District.
  • VRRRM for HEROS: A component that complements the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s High Emitter Replace or Scrap 2 ( HEROS2) program by offering Southern California consumers cash incentives to retire or replace their qualified high-emitting vehicle.

Contact Us

Iris Aguilar
Director of Environmental Programs and Special Projects
T: 916.325.1858
E: iaguilar@foundationccc.org

Key Partners

  • California Air Resources Board 
  • Department of Consumer Affairs – Bureau of Automotive Repair 
  • San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District 
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 3500
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

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Supporting our Work

Help the Foundation further its mission to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 113 colleges and 72 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

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