A Reason to Smile
Woman college graduate throwing confetti
Photo by Joshua Mcknight
This year, graduation season was even more special. With increased vaccination rates in our state and people being able to gather safely, I was glad to see that, like many campuses across our state, my alma mater, UCLA, hosted a combination of virtual and small in-person graduation ceremonies. To all 2021 graduates, congratulations! You persisted and succeeded amidst a truly challenging year. Photos of students celebrating in their caps and gowns truly made me smile.
While we celebrate graduation season, we also know that the pandemic is not yet over and that our students will return to school in the fall after more than a year and a half of challenging and, in some cases, heartbreaking circumstances. That is why we continue our work to safeguard college opportunity against the financial, mental health, and personal challenges our students have faced, along with the additional barriers of virtual and distance-based education. Read below to learn how you can join us in advocating for legislation that will eliminate barriers for community college students who want to transfer and ensure that California’s most low-income students receive the aid they need to complete their college education. Check out our latest publications and special events, including a lunch break I hosted with Governor Newsom's Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education, Dr. Lande Ajose.
We count on your continued partnership so that together we can ensure more students turn their tassels and toss their caps in the air each year.

Michele Siqueiros
Our Publications
In June, we released "Chutes or Ladders?: Strengthening California Community College Transfer So More Students Earn the Degrees They Seek," in which we examine the ways improving transfer for community college students is central to remedying racial inequity in higher education and to producing the educated workforce California needs; document the impact of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) on improving the transfer pathway; and offer recommendations for removing remaining obstacles for students in the transfer process and for strengthening the ADT pathway. We hosted a webinar in conjunction with the release of the report, featuring transfer policy experts and practitioners. You can watch the recording here or below.
In the Capitol
Our supported legislation has moved out of the Senate Education Committee! Efforts to transform transfer, redesign our financial aid system, and create a common course numbering system will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee in the coming weeks.

  • AB 1111 (Berman), which is moving with a concurrent $10 million investment allocated in the 2021-22 state budget, calls for creating a common course numbering system at community colleges, reducing the confusion students face when selecting courses and streamlining transfer. Learn more
Join us this summer for upcoming Lunch Breaks with Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, President of Fresno State University, and Angel Rodriguez, new Commissioner of the California Student Aid Commission. Learn more about them, their new roles, and their visions for higher education.
Recently, we hosted newly appointed CSU Trustee, Diego Arambula, and Governor Newsom's Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education, Dr. Lande Ajose, in opportunities to learn more about them and their roles. You can watch the recordings below.
Thank you to the generosity of UC Merced for
supporting our events.
The Campaign in the News
Congratulations to Our Student Leaders
Congratulations to the students of our 2020-21 Student Leadership Institute for completing the program! Over the past nine months, these student advocates have shown incredible leadership in higher education policy, learning the tools to become change-makers in California higher education. Learn more about the program
Now Hiring
We are seeking a Senior Research Analyst, Research Analyst, and part-time Research Fellow to join our team and conduct meaningful research that informs California higher education. Positions are open until filled. Learn more
Thank You to Our Funders and Event Sponsors
Our work would not be possible without the support from our funders. Thank you to the Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund, the Angell Foundation, and the Marin Community Foundation.

We also thank our generous sponsors for their support of our events.
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stacey Holderbach.