May 22, 2023
Contact: Paul Feist
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s community college system progressed toward meeting key goals of its strategic plan, the Vision for Success, with gains in completion among all student groups, an increase in the number of students transferring to four-year colleges and universities and reductions in student success equity gaps among regions of the state.

“We set bold goals to improve student outcomes and are proud of the progress that has been made so far by our campus leaders, faculty, staff, and students, particularly during a global pandemic” said Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD, who presented the California Community Colleges State of the System report to the Board of Governors on Monday. “We are committed to action and transformational change that will continue to lead to equitable improvements that will benefit our students and our state.”

The 116-college system again exceeded the long-term goal of increasing the number of students earning credentials by at least 20 percent, even though the data for the period covered in the report coincided with steep pandemic-induced enrollment declines. Since the baseline year of 2016-17, the number of students completing credentials has increased by 25 percent.

Some 98,909 community college students transferred to California State University or University of California in the 2020-21 academic year, an increase from the previous year and up 14 percent from five years ago.

“Given the fact that the outcomes reflected in this report occurred during the pandemic, it is remarkable we saw progress in some areas,” said Amy M. Costa, President of the Board of Governors. “The Board's unyielding commitment to student equity remains and our work continues to improve our progress with urgency.”

While all student groups have made gains in completion rates and across regions of our state, the outcomes continue to light a path forward to tackle equity gaps for students of color. Equity gaps in educational attainment among regions continued to narrow, with the Central Valley and Inland Empire showing the strongest improvements.

The share of students who are employed in their field of study, one of the six goals measured in the report, dipped by 3 percentage points from the previous year to 68 percent as a result of the high unemployment rate and economic disruptions caused by the COVID crisis.

The State of the System presentation also detailed commitments to align the Vision for Success and its goals with the complementary Roadmap for the Future, the state’s long-term framework for increasing degree attainment and social mobility for all Californians. Community colleges will play a critical role in achieving the goal of having 70 percent of working age Californians earn a degree and certificate by 2030.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.