Addressing the needs of underserved students and boosting the capacity of California’s community colleges to help those students succeed in securing their certificates and degrees has long been a focus of the Chancellor’s Office. The purpose of the Basic Skills and English as a Second Language (ESL) Unit is to focus on and develop the most effective programs and practices serving academically underprepared and underserved students as part of a broader effort to eliminate achievement gaps.

The strategic goals for both Basic Skills and ESL:

  • Maximize the effectiveness and efficient utilization of the system's Basic Skills and ESL resources.
  • Identify, promote and disseminate information on exemplary programs and effective practices in serving academically underprepared community college students, to achieve program improvements through their replication and adaptation to the unique characteristics of individual community colleges/districts.
  • Recognize and inform the public about the system's achievement on the basic skills mission and on how that contributes to the availability of outcome data on post-secondary and/or employment goals attained by students who were academically underprepared when they entered community colleges.

Basic Skills, more commonly known as remedial education, is undergoing dramatic change in the California Community Colleges to make sure students are not placed in remedial classes that may delay or deter their educational progress, unless evidence shows they are highly unlikely to succeed in a college-level course.