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Our Publications

July 2014 | The Real Cost of College: Time and Credits to Degree in California

Real Cost of College coverA new series of state-wide reports, “The Real Cost of College: Time and Credits to Degree” detail how the time and credits it takes most students to attain a degree from the state’s Community Colleges and California State Universities are growing well beyond the traditional benchmarks and creating a raft of expensive consequences for students and the state.

pdficon_large.gif Read the Community College Full Report pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic

pdficon_large.gif Read the California State University Full Report pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic

Checkout the interactive tools that accompany the reports | Watch the webinar overview of the findings


March 2014 | Updated - The State of Higher Education in California: Borrowing for College

Borrowing-for-College_cover.jpgWhile families and students use a combination of sources to finance the college investment, ranging from personal contributions, grants, and student loans, the rates of student loan borrowing and the level of debt are rising significantly both nationally and here in California. Borrowing for College examines the magnitude of student loan debt taken on by undergraduate students enrolled at colleges and universities in California, explores the current federal student loan options and policies, and provides recommendations to improve affordability for California’s college students.

pdficon_large.gif Read the Full Report pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic 


February 2014 | Higher Education in California:  A Primer on the State's Public Colleges & Universities

Higher_Education_Primer_FINAL.jpgThis publication is an overview of Higher Education in California to provide readers with a deeper understanding about how the public systems work. The primer outlines the mission, enrollment, cost of attendance, and governance and funding structure of each of California's public higher education systems. This resource also provides critical facts about the current state of higher education and California's workforce and the importance of investing in higher education. Finally, the document outlines some solutions that will be necessary to preserve access and increase student success and provide the educated workforce the state requires. (updated from September 2013)

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January 2014 | The State of Higher Education in California: Average Won't Do

IHELP_AverWontDo_Report_Final.jpgCalifornia's once-model higher education system has fallen into mediocrity. The latest report in our State of Higher Education in California series compares the state's performance to the rest of the nation in six key college measures. The report, Average Won't Do: Performance Trends in California Higher Education as a Foundation for Action, commissioned by the Campaign and produced by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (IHELP) at California State University, Sacramento, analyzes ten-year trends in college preparation, affordability, participation, completion, benefits, and funding. The findings are mostly disappointing.

pdficon_large.gif Read the Full Report pdficon_large.gif Read our Summary pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic


December 2013 | The State of Higher Education in California: The gender and racial gap analysis

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California is home to more college-aged men than women. However, women of all ethnic groups are now outpacing men in the state in terms of enrollment and graduation from both the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) levels. In the third report of our series, The State of Higher Education in California, we detail the wide gaps between men and women in college preparation, enrollment and completion in California, with attention to the significant gap between Black and Latino men compared to their female counterparts.  

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December 2013 | The State of Blacks in Higher Education in California

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Despite the steady increase in the number of Black students who graduate from high school in California, not enough Black students are going to and completing college. In the second report of our series, The State of Higher Education in California, we detail the lack of significant progress in Black higher education, the need for the state’s higher education system to work better for all students and the recommendations to address this gap. 

pdficon_large.gif Read the Full Report pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic  pdficon_large.gif Download the Social Media Toolkit 

Click here to view the recorded webinar which reviews the key findings and recommendations


November 2013 | The State of Latinos in Higher Education in California

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The Latino population in California is large, growing rapidly and on its way to attaining majority status just after 2050, but college degree attainment is low despite a significant increase in college-going rates. The first of our new series, The State of Higher Education in California, the report details how progress in Latino higher education is stalled, how the state’s higher education system has failed to work for all students and the potential impact on California’s competitiveness as a global economy. California has an economic and social imperative to build a higher education system that boosts degree attainment among Latinos.

pdficon_large.gif Read the Full Report pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic  pdficon_large.gif Download the Social Media Toolkit 

pdficon_large.gif Read the Full Report in Spanish  pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic in Spanish 

pdficon_large.gif View the Press Release pdficon_large.gif View the Press Release in Spanish

pdficon_large.gif Read what folks are saying about the report

Click here to view the recorded webinar which reviews the key findings and recommendations


May 2013 | Working Hard, Left Behind: Education as a pathway from poverty to prosperity for working Californians

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The report identifies the extent and composition of California’s working low-income families and the opportunities, or lack thereof, that exist in the state to help move working low-income families to greater economic security through higher education.  While there is great opportunity, wealth, and innovation in the Golden State, this success has not reached everyone; the California Dream is in severe danger of slipping away, with the state ranking first in the country in the number of working low-income families.

pdficon_large.gif Download the Executive Summary pdficon_large.gif Read the Full Report  pdficon_large.gif Download the Infographic 

Visit the webpage to view the webinar which reviews the key findings and recommendations 


November 2012 | Meeting Compliance But Missing the Mark: A progress report on the implementation of historic transfer reform

Meeting_Compliance_Missing_the_Mark_website.jpgTwo years after the successful passage of historic transfer reform legislation, SB 1440, have the community college and CSU systems achieved robust transfer reform? In this report, the Campaign for College Opportunity conducts a data review to measure implementation at individual community colleges and California State University campuses in order to present progress on implementation, and to identify the level of campus compliance and the reasons for progress or a lack thereof. This report also issues recommendations so that the historic legislation can fulfill its promise to California students, achieve necessary transparency and effectiveness within the colleges, and move students more effectively through college and into the workforce.

pdficon_large.gifDownload the Executive Summary pdficon_large.gifRead the Full Report  pdficon_large.gifView the Press Release


April 2012 | California's Economic Payoff:  Investing in College Access & Completion

Californias_Economic_Payoff_Cover.jpgThe report documents the economic return to the state of California for every $1 it invests in public higher education, finding that the state will reap $4.50 from taxes on the increased earnings of college graduates and lower costs for providing other state safety net services and incarceration. That's a net return of 450 percent. The report also captures the significant economic return for students who graduate versus attend but never complete at a CSU or UC, and documents their personal payoff.  All findings are disaggregated by race/ethnicity.

pdficon_large.gifDownload the Key Findings pdficon_large.gifRead the Full Report   pdficon_large.gifView the Press Release


April 2012 | What Works Now: Five Solutions to Improve Student Success in California's Community Colleges

2012_What_Works_Now_PwP_Cover.jpgThe report provides profiles of five Community Colleges that have had tremendous success with instituting programs that move more students through the system and onto the university or the workforce. This practices highlight innovative and scalable approaches to get more students to reach their college goals. The five colleges profiled in ‘What Works Now’ include: City College of San Francisco, Chabot College, Chaffey College, Long Beach City College, and Los Medanos College. The report also highlights the importance of data collection, collaboration, and leadership in improving student success.

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March 2012 | Latino Students and Higher Education: California Profile

2012-Latino-Completion-Profile_FINAL-1.jpgThe Latinos and Higher Education California Profile was compiled by The Campaign for College Opportunity with data from The Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (IHELP) at Sacramento State University and UCLA IDEA, UC/ACCORD. The profile documents college-going rates and completion rates for Latino students, finding distrurbingly low rates in both areas. At a time when the Latino student population is growing and the state is projected to have a shortage of one million trained workers with a baccalaureate degree, California must ensure that more Latino students graduate from high school ready for college and are successful in reaching their college goals.

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February 2012 | Challenged From the Start: Stories of Student Perseverance & Determination in California's Community Colleges

Challenged-from-the-Start_document_thumbnail.jpgThis publication looks at the complicated path that community college students across California are forced to navigate in their quest to improve their lives, brighten their futures, and contribute to their communities. The document shares 10 student experiences in the ever challenging and confusing community college system. These stories point out the high price we are making students pay as a result of cutting higher education funding, limiting access, and lacking an overall strategy for improving college completion. They also show opportunities to change the current systems to allow colleges to better serve their students.

pdficon_large.gifDownload the Executive Summary pdficon_large.gifRead the Full Report


February 2012 | Black Students and Higher Education: California Profile

Black-Completion-Profile_FINAL-1.jpgThe Blacks and Higher Education California Profile was compiled by The Campaign for College Opportunity with data from The Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (IHELP) at Sacramento State University and UCLA IDEA, UC/ACCORD. The profile documents college-going rates and completion rates for black students finding downward trends in both areas. At a time when the state is projected to have a shortage of one million trained workers with a baccalaureate degree, California must ensure that more black students graduate from high school ready for college and are successful in reaching their college goals.

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November 2011 | Gender Profile for Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges

2010_10_IHELP_DWF_Report_icon.jpgThis supplemental analysis to the statewide Divided We Fail: Improving College Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges report, looks at trends in completion by gender. It was released jointly by The Campaign for College Opportunity, the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy (IHELP) at Sacramento State University, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and The Women’s Foundation of California. The data finds that across racial/ethnic groups, females complete community college at higher rates than their male counterparts; however, Black females and Latinas complete at lower rates than their white female counterparts. Access the original report and regional profiles on the Divided We Fail page.

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October 2010 | Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges

2010_10_IHELP_DWF_Report_icon.jpgThis report, commissioned by The Campaign from The Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (IHELP) at Sacramento State University and released with 15 partnering organizations, shows that college success remains an elusive goal for many students in California’s community colleges.The report tracks over six years more than a quarter of a million degree seeking students who entered a California community college (CCC) in 2003-04 and analyzes their progress and outcomes by major racial/ethnic populations. Access profiles by region and gender on the Divided We Fail page.

pdficon_large.gifDownload the Key Findings pdficon_large.gifRead the Full Report


March 2010 | Policy Brief: Some Lessons from Florida for California Higher Education Policy

2010_03_CCO_Some_Lessons_From_Florida_Report_icon.jpgThe higher education policies and practices in other states, particularly those with large and diverse populations, may offer lessons for California in its efforts to increase degree production. Florida is viewed as a reform-oriented state in the area of education policy, and has participated in a number of recent national projects focused on improving student outcomes. It is the fourth-largest state in the country and, like California, has a large public higher education system that relies heavily on its community colleges. This report explores some of Florida's best practices and what California might learn from them.

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February 2010 | Moving California Ahead: Increasing College Completion in the Golden State 

2010_03_CCO_Moving_CA_Ahead_Report_icon.jpgThis report explored opportunities for the state of California to utilize the proposed federal College Access & Completion Innovation Fund and The American Graduation Initiative proposed in 2009. While the federal act HR 3221: the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act did not pass, this report's recommendations suggest strategies for California to increase college-going and improve student success that can be pursued regardless of the additional funding.

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June 2009 | Technical Difficulties: Meeting California's Needs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Fields

2009_06_CCO_Technical_Difficulties_STEM_Report_Icon.jpgThis report, commissioned by the Campaign from the Sacramento State Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy (IHELP) and co-released with Bay Area Council, finds California’s colleges and universities are not producing enough graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, which could result in a talent deficit in key industries in the state and prolonged economic woes.

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April 2009 | California Community College Transfer: Cutting the Gordian Knot

2009_04_CCO_Gill_Transfer_Cutting_the_Gordian_Knot_icon.jpgTransfer is one of the main functions of the California Community College system, and remains one of the most complicated and confusing functions as well. This paper provides a perspective on fixing transfer—from a former California Community College statewide dean and legislative policy analyst. Transfer degrees, recommended in this report, are a crucial element of reform; but, a defined transfer-degree curriculum is only one strand in the Gordian knot, there must also be an encompassing structure for student success.

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November 2007 | Closing the Health Workforce Gap in California

2007_11_CCO_Closing_Health_Workforce_Gap_Icon.jpgThis study, commissioned by The Campaign and co-released with Kaiser Permanente and the California Wellness Foundation, provides a comprehensive view of the allied health workforce, including nursing. The study found that California lags behind the rest of the nation in providing an adequate health care workforce.

pdficon_large.gifDownload the Executive Summary  pdficon_large.gifRead the Full Report


February 2007 | Early Commitment to College

2007_02_CCO_ECC_Exec_Summary_icon.jpgThis report summarized the need for a program that seeks to improve educational attainment in California – Early College Commitment. Senate Bill 890, established the Early Commitment to College program that was signed into law in 2008. The premise of the program: the State of California will commit a place in college, support services and financial aid to eligible middle and high school students who sign a Save Me a Spot in College Pledge and take steps to prepare themselves for the opportunity.

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April 2006 | Keeping California's Edge 

2006_04_CCO_Keeping_CAs_Edge_Report_icon.jpgThis report, authored by Dr. Robert Fountain of Sacramento State University and commissioned by The Campaign for College Opportunity and co-released with the California Business Roundtable, analyzes the demand for highly educated workers in California through 2022.

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November 2005 | Return on Investment

2005_11_CCO_Return_on_Investment_Report_icon.jpgThis report by UC Berkeley researchers Henry Brady, Michael Hout and Jon Stiles, quantifies the potential benefits of state investment in higher education — and the cost of failing to invest. We find that the gains are substantial: for every new dollar California invests to get more students in and through college above current levels, it will receive a net return on investment of three dollars.

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May 2005 | Listen Up: Californians Respond to the College-Access Crisis

2005_05_CCO_Listen_Up_Report_icon.jpgThe Campaign visited every major region in the state to document what Californians had to say about the challenges facing higher education with ever-increasing demand yet shrinking budgets, and their ideas for solutions. The Listening Tour took us from the classroom to the boardroom and many places in between. There was resounding agreement in every region and from all sectors that the state must develop a plan to ensure college opportunity for this growing young population. This report chronicles what we learned on the Listening Tour and includes new regional enrollment forecasts, real-life student stories, and recommendations for solutions.

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