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May 28, 2024

Gavilan President: Community colleges have much to celebrate

Courtesy of Gavilan College President Kathleen Rose:

Welcome to April, to spring blossoms and pollen and butterflies and warmer temperatures on campus. Did you know that April is California Community College month? On Thursday, April 11th California Assembly Concurrent Resolution 31 (ACR 31) passed the State Assembly Floor unanimously with 67 co-authors. Introduced by Assemblymember Monique Limón, ACR 31 recognizes April 2019 as California Community College Month. The Community College League of California (League) and the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) join the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the State Legislature, and community colleges across the state in celebrating the academic achievements and civic contributions of California’s community colleges. I am thrilled that we are a part of an amazing system of colleges in our state and certainly have much to celebrate as we prepare for our centennial next year!

In the United States, one out of every five community college students attend a California Community College. “As the largest system of higher education in the nation, the California Community Colleges system is uniquely positioned to help residents of all backgrounds improve their social and economic mobility and build a better future for themselves and their families. It is fitting that the Legislature designates this month to celebrate the great value that our 115 colleges and 2.1 million students provide to our state,” said Eloy Ortiz-Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges.

The California Community Colleges system brings higher education within reach for every Californian with open admissions policies, low enrollment fees, financial assistance for low-income students, academic and career guidance, outstanding teaching from experienced faculty, and specialized support services for students. California’s community colleges educate students to be competitive in today’s demanding workforce, provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to obtain higher wage jobs, and supply the state’s fastest-growing industries with the skilled labor upon which their success depends.

“Rather than defining our worth by whom we exclude from our institutions, California’s community colleges practice a radical inclusivity that offers the diverse peoples of our state the opportunity to pursue quality postsecondary education from Chula Vista to the Siskiyous,” said Larry Galizio, CEO & President of the Community College League of California.

California’s public community colleges represent an accessible path for many, providing educational opportunities for students who wish to transfer to a four-year university or career education for students pursuing career technical training. The California Community Colleges system offers a wide range of academic programs and career pathways, from business administration and early-childhood education to aerospace engineering and dental hygiene. Additionally, nearly 24,000 student-athletes participate annually in 24 CCCAA-sanctioned intercollegiate sports.

“Our student-athletes have consistently demonstrated academic and athletic success, and we’re proud that our community colleges are providing the opportunities that are helping those student-athletes fulfill their dreams in the classroom and athletics,” said Carlyle Carter, Executive Director and CEO/President of the California Community College Athletic Association.

In addition to the unanimous support for ACR 31, the League’s Board of Directors recently passed a resolution in support of California Community College Month. All month long the League will be sharing historical facts, statistics, and student success stories highlighting California’s community colleges.

For more information on the Community College League of California and our system of colleges, please visit the following website: www.ccleague.org/map-colleges-list. Financial aid resources can also be found at www.icanaffordcollege.com/.

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