Young women in our families starting their first year at a university

The start of the new school year is full of excitement and promise. For both of us, it has meant watching the young women in our lives take the next steps in their educational journeys.
Jessie’s Reflections   
In my 14 years of working at the Campaign, I have most enjoyed seeing our work come full-circle, impacting the lives of students we meet. I was especially proud to see my niece, Bianca, earn an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), nine years after we championed the legislation that created the ADT. Bianca is one of over 159,000 students to earn this degree, and I was thrilled to see her graduate and enroll in the Sacramento State junior class.
Audrey’s Reflections 
I have been looking at my daughter Isabella’s baby pictures and wondering how time flew so quickly between the pictures of her early years and the last few selfies I snapped as I dropped her off on campus for her freshman year of college. Moving my first-born into her new dorm, I was reminded of my late grandfather, who would have celebrated his birthday the same week Isabella started college. My grandfather was an immigrant from Mexico who came to this country so that his children could have a better life. Isabella’s success thus far is a testament to his grit and resilience when facing the obstacles many immigrants face moving to a new country.
Like all of you, we want nothing more than to see our children reach their dreams. But far too many families struggle. Too many families are locked into neighborhoods that are racially stratified, low-income, and lacking in real access to college and economic opportunity. That is why the Campaign’s work for the past fifteen years is so vital; through research, policy, and coalition building, we are making college dreams a reality.

We encourage you to read more about our recent efforts and meet the amazing individuals we have added to our team below. 

Happy new school year! 
Jessie Ryan, Interim Co-President /Executive Vice President
Audrey Dow , Interim Co-President /Senior Vice President
Our Latest Research
In partnership with the California Acceleration Project, we recently published a regional progress report, “ Getting There: Are California Colleges Maximizing Student Completion of Transfer-Level Math and English?” that looks at how well California’s community colleges are implementing AB 705.

The report analyzes early AB 705 implementation efforts at 47 community colleges in the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, and greater Los Angeles. We examine fall course schedules and websites to identify bright spots and problems in implementation, with particular focus on the extent to which college course offerings are aligned with the AB 705 standard of “maximizing” student completion of transfer-level math and English courses.
Protecting Access to the CSU  
The California State University recently introduced a proposal to increase quantitative reasoning eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen. In coalition with the Education Trust—West and Just Equations, we are raising serious concerns about the disparate impact it could have on Latinx, Black, Native American, and low-income students. 

Over 60 business, civil rights, and community organizations, and six of the largest K-12 school districts, representing over one million students, have expressed their opposition to the CSU’s proposal.
At the urging of our coalition, the CSU convened an unprecedented special hearing on August 29th in Long Beach, to more thoroughly discuss the proposal. During the hearing, our Senior Vice President, Audrey Dow, shared the findings from a recent study, which found that the CSU would lose nearly one-fifth of currently eligible Latinx students and one-quarter of currently eligible Black students should an extra year of math and/or science be required. That translates to 5,000 fewer Latinx students and 600 fewer Black students entering the CSU every year. 
The CSU Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the proposal at their next meeting on September 24-25th. We encourage you to follow the discussion on social media using #CSUAccessDenied, and if you are a CSU student or alum, join nearly 800 CSU students and alumni in signing the petition to the let CSU know their own students and alumni oppose this proposal!
Hope on the Horizon Celebration
On August 27th, we hosted 115 California leaders, policymakers, students, and high education stakeholders for our second annual Hope on the Horizon Celebration in Sacramento to celebrate 15 years of making college dreams a reality. We reflected on the Campaign’s policy accomplishments over the years and honored California leaders who made those successes possible, including Abdi Soltani, founding Campaign Executive Director; Early Commitment to College bill author and former Senator Jack Scott; and AB 705 author, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. We also honored Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara as our Dream Maker; California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley for being an Equity Disruptor; and Campaign Co-Founder David Wolf for his visionary leadership.
Coordinating California Higher Education

California stands out as one of only two states in the country without a statewide coordinating entity, which is needed to advance the state toward meeting attainment goals and closing racial equity gaps in higher education. That is why the Campaign supports AB 130, which will establish the Higher Education Performance, Accountability, and Coordination Commission.

AB 130 positions the state to confront these challenges by tasking the commission with planning, oversight, and coordination among California’s higher education systems to guide the state in meeting critical issues of college access, affordability, and completion.

Learn more about the need for an independent higher education coordinating body in California from our recent publication Coordinating Higher Education in California.
2019-20 State Budget

In June, Governor Newsom and lawmakers adopted a state budget that prioritizes many of the recommendations outlined in our Blueprint for Higher Education, which calls on the state to set a bold new vision for higher education. The final budget increases college access and affordability for California students and sets the state on a path toward establishing statewide tools critical to addressing equity gaps in educational success and meeting future workforce demands.

The 2019-20 State Budget includes funding to increase seats at the UC and CSU. It also supports student success with investments in the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025 and support services for low-income underrepresented students at the UC.

Find a full summary of higher education budget highlights here.
We have warmly welcomed five new members of the Campaign Team! (Left to right) Kendrick Davis, Ph.D., Vice President of Policy Research; Sara Mooney, Regional Affairs Director; Vikash Reedy, Ph.D., Senior Director of Policy Research; Joshua Hagen, Program Manager of Student Success Initiatives; and Lilly Garcia, Graphic Designer.

Would you like to join the Campaign team or know someone who would? We are recruiting for a Senior Research Analyst to conduct research and analysis to inform public discourse on opportunities for advancing policy reforms specific to higher education in California.
Thank you to our 15th Anniversary event sponsors whose generous contributions allow us to continue our work to make college dreams come true.
College Futures Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation

Foundation for California Community Colleges

Association of Independent California Community and Universities

Sierra Health Foundation
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo


United Way

Center for Urban Education

Los Rios Community College District

Sacramento State
California Business Roundtable

Wells Fargo

Cal State LA

Ruiz Foods

United Way

University of California

Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association - UC Davis
We invite you to show your support for our work and join the celebration by becoming a 15th anniversary sponsor.