The California Community Colleges are in the midst of a major reform effort aimed at significantly increasing the number of students successfully completing their educational and career goals. The Student Success Initiative was launched in 2012 by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and the Chancellor's Office, and is based on a set of 22 recommendations which now serve as guiding policy for the system. More recently, the Board of Governors adopted the Vision for Success, a set of bold systemwide goals and commitments designed to ensure the California Community Colleges continue to serve the needs of the state.
The Success Center serves as an essential hub for promoting practices and policies needed to meet the goals outlined in the Vision for Success that will improve student outcomes and make education equitable and attainable for all students.
Keetha Mills, President and CEO
The Success Center works closely with the Chancellor’s Office and the California Community Colleges by serving as a hub that promotes the sharing, adoption, and implementation of effective practices and policies across the CCC system. Policy and research development, professional development activities, and special projects support the implementations of systemwide student success efforts.
Focus and Projects
The Success Center, which was launched in fall 2014, is focused on several priorities:
- Policy Research and Analysis. A key function of the Success Center is the provision of data and analysis to inform and influence state-level policy changes related to student success. Policy and research work has supported the development of the student-centered funding formula, the online college, developmental education and placement reform, and apportionment for academic support time (tutoring).
- Supporting Implementation and Measurement of the Vision for Success. The Success Center worked with partners to develop an online professional development clearinghouse for community colleges, the Vision Resource Center. The Vision Resource Center creates a shared learning environment for faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees to collaborate across institutions and access a comprehensive library of professional development resources to help colleges meet the Vision goals. Community college personnel can create an account at visionresourcecenter.cccco.edu. This virtual support venue will be augmented by on-ground workshops and consultations.
- Recognizing Credit for Prior Learning. The Credit for Prior Learning Initiative works to support and develop the infrastructure and resources needed to improve credit for prior learning in the California Community Colleges. Credit for Prior Learning—the awarding of credit to college students for the skills and knowledge they acquired outside of a classroom—can be a valuable strategy in helping community colleges serve their non-traditional students, increase degree completion, and meet California's projected workforce demand.
- Policy and Practice Convening. Through support from the Spencer Foundation, the Success Center will convene researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to build relationships and catalyze actionable research to benefit community colleges.
The Success Center is housed in the Foundation for California Community Colleges and is tightly integrated into Chancellor’s Office operations. Seed funding for the Success Center was provided by The Kresge Foundation, a private organization that works to create opportunities for low-income individuals and improve communities nationwide. The Success Center has also received financial support from the California Education Policy Fund (launched by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), the Lumina Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and leverages state funding to carry out projects.
The Success Center is backed by a dedicated group of program partners within the California Community Colleges.
The Success Center’s work contributes to national learning and implementation of student success reforms while sharing resources, opportunities, and effective practices with a nationwide network of Student Success Centers located in 15 states and funded by the Kresge Foundation. The network is managed by Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit organization committed to helping students and workers succeed in today’s economy.