From CCLC: Making the case for Equity

The Community College League of California (CCLC) is a nonprofit entity that represents the interest of all 72 community college districts in California.

Scott Lay, President, CCLC
Photo from the ACCCCA website



Scott Lay, the President of CCLC sends regular communications on behalf of the League.



Here is an excerpt from his August 28th communication on “equity” and the community college:


California’s community colleges are 46th in the nation in percentage of part-time students, with 69.4% of our students taking fewer than 12 units. And, only 8.4% of our students are taking 15 units–the number required to complete in two years.

It’s time for us to loudly declare that the system is rigged against community college students. And, in doing so, that promissory note is a broken promise, and students find themselves given a bad check by the state. Consider the following:

  • Community colleges, which enroll 2.3 million Californians, receive 28% less per student than K-12 schools, 57% less than the California State University, and 78% less than the University of California.
  • Cal Grants are rigged against community college students as well, providing only $1,473 per year, when students attending for-profit colleges for the same program can get up to $9,223.
  • Only 8% of the 290,000 students who apply and are eligible for a competitive Cal Grant actually are awarded one. Only 1 out of every 17 Cal Grant dollars goes to a California Community College student, even though 8 out of every 10 undergraduate students in public and private California higher education are enrolled in a community college.
  • There are more Latino students in California’s community colleges than total undergraduate students enrolled in all other public and private colleges and universities in the state.
  • The enrollment of African-American students in California’s community colleges nearly matches the undergraduate enrollment of the University of California.

It’s time for a frank talk about equity. Sure, the term is nothing new, and nobody is against equity. However, state funding and policy choices have too often created barriers to equity, and we must fight to remove them. It’s an uncomfortable issue, as it’s about race and socioeconomics. However, higher education equity is the key to California’s economic future, something that we all must be concerned about.

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