One year ago, Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley released the Vision for Success: Strengthening the California Community Colleges to Meet California’s Needs. This groundbreaking strategic vision was developed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, College Futures Foundation, and The James Irvine Foundation. Through the Vision for Success, the California Community Colleges established six system-level performance goals that reflect California’s highest priorities: improve completion rates, increase transfer to the University of California and California State University systems, decrease the number of excess units a student takes to get an associate’s degree, increase job placement for career technical education students, eliminate equity gaps among traditionally underrepresented students, and eliminate regional equity gaps.
To achieve these ambitious goals, the Vision for Success outlines seven core commitments to carry the system forward on a unified path. These interconnected commitments capture a new, proactive, student-centered mindset that is guiding the system's work forward. The commitments are:
- Focus relentlessly on students' end goals.
- Always design and decide with the student in mind.
- Pair high expectations with high support.
- Foster the use of data, inquiry, and evidence.
- Take ownership of goals and performance.
- Enable action and thoughtful innovation.
- Lead the work of partnering across systems.
The California Community College (CCC) system is already making great progress toward achieving the Vision for Success goals through reforms supported by the legislature and the governor. The fiscal year 2018-2019 State of California budget includes a new Online College for working learners, a new funding formula that will incentivize colleges to work toward achievement of the Vision’s goals, and an expansion of the California College Promise program. This year’s budget builds on last year’s substantial new supports. Last year, following the lead of philanthropic investments, the legislature provided State funding to expand the Guided Pathways framework to implement an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success to all California Community Colleges, and passed a major reform to improve student assessment and developmental education placement processes.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our organization, we remain focused on expanding partnerships to increase opportunity and improve outcomes for all Californians through the California Community Colleges. I am honored to work alongside talented teams of professionals to offer a wide-reaching portfolio of programs and services that work to increase systemwide resources, and directly respond to the needs of students, colleges, and the system as a whole.
Keetha Mills, President and Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for California Community Colleges
It is a decisive moment for effecting reform, and the Foundation is proud to be working hand-in-hand with the Chancellor’s Office and the entire system of Community Colleges throughout the state to achieve this shared vision. The last year has been one of tremendous growth and impact as we have forged new partnerships, increased resources, and advanced innovations to support the work of the system.
Our work spans student success, workforce development, equity, community impact, and system support. The following is an overview of the accomplishments that we celebrate this year.
The Foundation secured over $11 million to advance statewide student success initiatives designed to accelerate student completion and transfer rates.
- Coordinated the second year of the California Guided Pathways Demonstration Project, support for 20 colleges to implement an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success
- Through the Success Center, helped the Chancellor’s Office administer the Chancellor’s Higher Education Innovation Awards, which provided $20 million to 11 California community colleges and districts to help scale proven programs that bolster student success
- Built capacity to support the implementation of the Vision for Success by conducting policy and research analysis within the Success Center
- Began the Credit for Prior Learning project to develop systemwide infrastructure to help more students receive credit for skills they already possess
- Began enhancements to the Vision Resource Center, the next evolution of the Professional Learning Network, to establish a resource for colleges to access materials, communities, and training to implement system reform
- The California AfterSchool Network began a project to digitize a quality assessment process to help California’s afterschool programs continuously improve
- The California Acceleration Project advanced efforts to implement assessment and placement reforms designed to increase the number of students who complete transfer-level English and math
- California College Guidance Initiative launched College Next, an effort to increase college and career readiness across California’s Central Valley
- Piloted the AmeriCorps Student Ambassador Program with seven colleges and 38 students to train community college students to promote wellness and career exploration among their peers
- Developed a civic engagement student leadership program and held a Civic Engagement Summit to help build a network of leaders committed to increase voter participation, civic knowledge, and community volunteerism
- Launched the Student Journey to Success project to apply a behavioral science lens to California Community Colleges’ student-facing technology platforms, in alignment with the commitment in the Vision for Success to “always design with the student in mind”
In the past year, the Foundation expanded programs and services to help develop a diverse, well-prepared workforce for the California economy through nearly $11 million in support for workforce development initiatives.
- Supported planning, start-up activities, and initial design of the Online College, a new option for working adults to upskill for new career opportunities
- Brokered nearly 8,000 work-based learning experiences through LaunchPath, the Career Experience Suite, Career Catalyst, and the California Apprenticeship Initiative programs
- Created a Work-Based Learning Planning and Tools Pilot to support 32 colleges to use Foundation tools and services in the Career Experience Suite and ultimately increase work-based learning experiences for students
- Expanded partnerships with consortiums of educators and employers in California and across the nation to serve Sacramento, San Diego, Sonoma County, West Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle
- Partnered with Badgr to allow students and youth participating in Foundation work-based learning management platforms to share the digital badges they earn through LinkedIn
- Placed over 97,000 nursing students in clinical work-based learning experiences through the Centralized Clinical Placement System (CCPS)
- Launched an enhanced version of CCPS, used by consortiums of schools and hospitals in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, North Texas, South Carolina, Florida, and Hawaii
- Trained 34 students to be smog check technicians, half of whom went on earn their technician license, through the Smog Check Technician Training program
Equity programs deliver specialized support to reduce barriers for students from historically underrepresented groups or those with additional needs. This year, the Foundation secured nearly $4 million for a portfolio of programs improving mental health and wellness, and providing supports for veterans, foster youth, and immigrants.
- Served over 15,000 Community College faculty, staff, and students with access to Kognito online suicide prevention trainings
- Promoted the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 text-based, confidential assistance service, to California Community College students resulting in nearly 5,000 conversations
- Provided a total of $405,000 to 18 colleges to supplement independent living skills and advocacy services for nearly 2,000 foster youth students
- Expanded the Fresh Success employment and training program for CalFresh recipients to Southwestern College and prepared to serve students at Foothill-De Anza and Contra Costa community college districts in 2019
- UCLA and UC Berkeley joined a total of eight law schools participating in California LAW, a program designed to build a diversity pipeline into the legal profession
- Launched a new effort to help the California Community Colleges better serve Dreamers and respond to changes in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
- Helped organize the inaugural Basic Needs Summit and the seventh Veterans Summit which provided professional development to college staff to better serve students in need
With a presence in nearly every community throughout California, community colleges are poised to serve as a nexus for projects that empower communities and improve the environment. This year, Foundation programs in transportation, energy, and the environment grew services that reach disadvantaged communities, totaling over $7 million of support.
- Connected 90,000 Californians with funding opportunities through California Climate Investments
- Brought together community organizers and environmental justice advocates at the California Climate Investments Leadership Summit
- Provided hotline support and consumer outreach services for diesel regulations on behalf of the California Air Resources Board
- Began research to develop outreach strategies for the California Road Charge Pilot Program on behalf of CalTrans
System Support and Services
Supporting our colleges through innovative programs and services, including the collaborative purchasing program CollegeBuys, is an integral part of the value the Foundation provides for the California Community College system. To provide resources and tools in this fiscal year, the Foundation secured $8 million in support for CollegeBuys and other programs.
- Helped colleges, students, faculty, and staff collectively save $33.9 million through CollegeBuys
- Served over 10,500 students, faculty, and staff through CollegeBuys
- Distributed $3.5 million in student scholarships through the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment
- Raised and distributed funds to support students and staff impacted by California wildfires
- Launched the California Community Colleges Corporate Roundtable with 20 partners and continued to host the California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference with over half of the statewide college districts in attendance
- Collaborated with CSU and UC to further streamline procurement through the California Higher Education Shared Services initiative
- Completed modernization of FUSION, a web-based database of over 80 million square feet of California Community College facilities
- Launched a California Community Colleges brand alignment project to improve consistency and instill trust in systemwide communications and tools
- Supported the Network of California Community College Foundations, including collaborating in their strategic planning process to provide alignment with the Vision for Success
- Opened the Collaboration Hub, a flexible meeting and workspace to support collaboration within the system
The Foundation is proud to be celebrating twenty years of supporting innovation and excellence in higher education. Over the next decade, community colleges will provide pathways to opportunity for millions of Californians. As the trusted partner of the California Community Colleges, the Foundation has committed to doubling our impact by 2028 to help achieve the system’s bold Vision for Success.
As we look forward to beginning our third decade of service, we remain relentlessly optimistic and focused on expanding opportunity through education in a large and diverse state, working together with our partners to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.