What We Do  /  Equity

Reducing barriers to opportunity for all students by championing student support services.

College access and degree or certificate attainment rates are affected by family income, race and ethnicity, disability, veteran status, immigration status, English as a second language, history of foster care, mental illness, incarceration, and a myriad of other factors. The Foundation’s equity programs provide quality resources, educational programs, and training for community colleges and the students that they serve, especially those who have been historically underrepresented. We are committed to enhancing existing services that assist students who face barriers to pursuing their academic goals, launching careers, maintaining wellness, and becoming active citizens in local communities.

The Vision for Success calls the system to close existing equity gaps, for good, by 2027. The Foundation’s equity programs are an integral part of the work happening in our system to improve student outcomes and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Current Programs

California Community Colleges Health and Wellness Program

Implemented in 2011, the California Community College Health and Wellness program (formerly called the California Community College Student Mental Health Program, or “CCC SMHP”)  is a statewide effort focusing on prevention and early intervention strategies which address the mental health needs of California community college students and advance the collaboration between community colleges and community based agencies.. The CCC Health and Wellness program is a partnership between the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. 

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Undocumented Student Support

The Undocumented Student efforts aim to help the Chancellor’s Office and the 116 California Community Colleges embed institutional practices and to provide specialized, comprehensive support services to undocumented students in the California Community College system.

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Foster Youth Support Services

In partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, the Foundation offers foster youth service programs that empower foster youth to navigate the challenging transition into adulthood. Each year, approximately 4,000 of California's foster youth age out of foster care; many are left unequipped and unprepared to navigate the higher education system. Our programs support students from foster care, starting with academic support and extending to independent living skills, accessing financial aid and more, aiming to set them up for success in college and beyond.

Current Foster Youth Support Programs:

  • Foster Youth Success Initiative
  • Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success
  • Foster Youth Housing Project
  • Public Benefits for Foster Youth

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Basic Needs

The Foundation for California Community Colleges has various programs and initiatives with the overarching goal of addressing and meeting the basic needs of all students and their surrounding communities.

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CalFresh Outreach Project

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation are working together along with multiple partners on a statewide level, including CSU Chico’s Center for Healthy Communities, to raise awareness and conduct outreach among students to enroll for CalFresh benefits. Apply for CalFresh benefits.

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Student Engagement

The Student Engagement program identifies students to take part in opportunities to inform California Community Colleges decision-making, simultaneously bringing student-centered design to the forefront and providing professional development opportunities for students. This includes coordinating student participation in Chancellor’s Office advisory groups and legislative hearings, as well as organizing and supporting student participation at events to represent the student voice and provide professional development for students.

California Earned Income Tax Credit/ Young Child Tax Credit Outreach Program

The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) Outreach Program is a collaborative effort with the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the Golden State Opportunity Foundation, to support a cohort of California Community College campuses in 2021 within the Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties in promoting the tax credits to their students and surrounding communities. Campus partners are provided informational resources and a social media toolkit to promote the CalEITC/YCTC virtually, and refer students to tax preparation services to claim the tax credits.

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Student Ambassador Program

The California Community College Student Ambassador Program trains California Community College students to serve as advocates on campus educating peers, faculty, staff, and the community about programs and resources available to help support student success. Student ambassadors build awareness of important resources through peer to peer outreach activities, both virtually and in-person.

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California Low-Cost Auto Outreach

The California Low-Cost Auto Insurance (CLCA) program is a state-sponsored program that makes auto insurance affordable. CLCA is designed to provide income-eligible affordable rates as a way to meet California’s mandatory insurance law. To holistically address our students' basic needs, CLCA and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are partnering to bring awareness to the program.

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Partner Programs

California AfterSchool Network 

The California AfterSchool Network (CAN) mission is to provide expanded learning practitioners, advocates, and community members with the resources and tools necessary to build high quality expanded learning programs in California. CAN serves as an advocate for effective policies and is a catalyst for expanded learning program quality. CAN believes that expanded learning programs can be a robust place of learning and discovery that supports high achievement for all students.

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California LAW

California Leadership Access Workforce (Cal LAW) works to create the foundational structure that connects, communicates, collaborates, and coordinates the programs that are part of the educational pipeline for diverse students into the legal profession or law-related careers. The mission of Cal LAW is to establish a pipeline of diverse students from high schools, community colleges, four-year institutions, and law schools into law or law-related careers so that the legal profession reflects the diverse population of the State of California. 

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Rising Scholars Network

The California Community Colleges welcome all students, including those who are incarcerated and those who have experienced incarceration in the past. Colleges with programs for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students proudly form the Rising Scholars Network.

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California Medicine Scholars Program

California Medicine Scholars Program (CMSP) is developing a statewide, coordinated pathway to produce a diverse physician workforce designed to increase health equity and decrease health disparities. It strives to break through systemic barriers and increase the preparation and competitiveness of Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine (UMiM) who begin their postsecondary education at a California Community College. 

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Dyslexia Connexion

Dyslexia Connexion is a California-based network that links people with dyslexia, researchers, policy makers, educators, advocates, youth, parents, and service providers to research, model policies, proven practices, funding opportunities and expert resources.

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Former Programs

In previous years, the Foundation’s Equity department has worked with a number of different partners on collaborative efforts surrounding several student populations and interests.

For more information and a list of previous programs, please visit our Former Programs page.

Key Partners


Iris Aguilar
Executive Director, Equity and Community Impact
T: 916.325.1858
E: iaguilar@foundationccc.org

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
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.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is a 501(c)(3) organization (EIN 68-0412350).

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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 116 colleges and 73 districts, serving nearly 2 million students.

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