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Student Equity Program Historical Overview

In 1991, the California Legislature charged all levels of public education to provide educational equity "through environments in which each person ... has a reasonable chance to fully develop his or her potential" (Education Code §66010.2c). In keeping with these requirements, the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board of Governors (BOG) adopted a student equity policy in 1992, to ensure that groups historically underrepresented in higher education have an equal opportunity for access, success, and transfer; enjoining all districts to develop, implement, and evaluate a student equity plan.

In 1996, the BOG amended its policy to establish the adoption of a student equity plan as a minimum standard for receipt of state funding. 

In 2002, the BOG implemented title 5 regulations requiring colleges to develop a student equity plan, and the Chancellor"s Office provided guidelines to the colleges for developing plans in June 2003. Colleges were asked to update and complete plans in 2005.  In response to the economic downturn and State budget cuts that began in 2008-09 and continued through 2012-13, the legislature instituted categorical program flexibility that suspended many regulatory requirements related to student equity and other initiatives. 

In January 2011, in response to SB 1163 (Liu), the BOG embarked on a 12-month planning process to improve student success, creating the Student Success Task Force. The Task Force published recommendations in early 2012, many of which became part of the Student Success Act of 2012 (SB1456).  Among many important changes in the Act, it reaffirmed the importance of focusing on student equity in the effort to improve student success.  

Although the BOG has made student equity planning a minimum standard for receipt of state funding since 1996 and has long recognized the importance of student equity, until the passage of the Student Success Act of 2012, student equity was not tied to any categorical program and did not receive formal funding through the legislative budget process. 

In 2013, the Chancellor"s Office convened a Student Equity Workgroup to review and update the student equity planning process, ensuring that each college identifies strategies to address and monitor equity issues as well as to mitigate disproportionate impact on student access and achievement.  The Chancellor"s Office provided an updated plan template to colleges in late 2013.


"Student Equity Fact Sheet" Student Equity. California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office,January 2014. February 8, 2016

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