The Rising Scholars Network (RSN) was established in 2014 to expand the number of justice-involved students participating and succeeding in the community colleges. The RSN programs includes many initiatives (Adult Programs, Juvenile Justice and Textbooks/Digital Course Content) now serving almost 20,000 justice-involved students both on campus and federal or state prison, county jail, juvenile facility, or other correctional institutions. California legislature and the California community college system are committed to using higher education as a tool to combat the impacts of mass incarceration. Research indicates higher education reduces recidivism, changes lives, and builds stronger communities. This work is core to the California Community Colleges’ mission, critical to the Chancellor’s DEI Call to Action, and closely aligns with the Vision for Success which relentlessly focuses on:

  • Increasing the number of California Community College students annually who acquire associate degrees, credentials, certificates, or specific skill sets that prepare them for an in-demand job;
  • Increasing the number of California Community College students transferring annually to a University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU) or four-year independent colleges/universities;
  • Decreasing the average number of units accumulated by California Community College students earning associate degrees;
  • Reducing equity gaps across all of the above measures through faster improvements among traditionally underrepresented student groups.

Adult Programs (RSN-AP)

This initiative was created in 2014 with SB 1391 (Hancock) to provide educational opportunities and career technical education to students directly impacted by the justice system to increase job skills and employability upon introduction back into society.

  • RSN-AP Award List (59) (FY 2019-20 - 2024-25)
  • RSN-AP Award List (9) Implementation (FY 2022-23 - 2025-26)
  • RSN-AP Award List (15) Planning & Implementation (FY 2022-23 - 2025-26)

Juvenile Justice (RSN-JJ)

In 2021, AB 417 was passed allowing California Community Colleges to continue to expand and increase community college courses for justice-impacted students that lead to degrees or certificates that result in enhanced workforce skills or transfer to a four-year institution. This initiative was created for model college programming to be offered both within juvenile facilities and on the community college campus, to establish a direct pathway to college for juvenile justice-impacted youth.

  • RSN-JJ Award List (44) (FY 2022-23-2026-27)

Textbooks/Digital Course Content (RSN-TDCC)

This initiative was established in 2018 to provide textbooks and/or digital course content to students who are incarcerated or detained in federal or state prison, county jail, juvenile facility, or other correctional institutions that are enrolled in one or more California Community College courses that lead to either a program pathway, transfer, career technical education or improving high school graduation rates.

  • Reimbursement Request Instructions
  • Reimbursement Request Certification
  • Reimbursement Materials Template

Resources and Tools



contact information

For Adult Programs or Juvenile Justice assistance:


For Textbooks/Digital Course Content assistance: