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College Futures Foundation Awards Grant to Create Racial Equity Framework for California Community College Baccalaureate Program

USC’s Pullias Center, UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, UC Davis School of Education are recipients of grant aimed to support the development of a racial equity framework for Community College Baccalaureate Programs (CCBP) in California. 

Adrian H. Huerta of USC’s Pullias Center, along with UCLA SEIS’s Cecilia Rios-Aguilar and UC Davis’ Marcela Cuellar, have been awarded a $275,000 grant from the College Futures Foundation. The grant will fund research to create a racial equity framework for select California community college baccalaureate degree programs with a focus on racial equity in academic and labor market outcomes.

Huerta will collaborate with colleagues at UCLA and UC Davis on the study, which builds on recent research focused on narrowing the racial equity gaps in CCBPs.

This grant comes one year after California passed a law expanding a pilot program that created bachelor’s degrees at community colleges. The new law allows the community college system to add up to 30 baccalaureate programs each year. Currently, baccalaureate programs are offered in 17 community colleges throughout the state, with three more awaiting accreditation. 

The College Futures Foundation Baccalaureate Program study will develop new racial equity assessment tools, determine which areas need capacity-building support to enhance race-conscious and equity-minded policies and practices, and how research-to-practice learning communities improve CCBP practitioners’ expertise and implementation of processes and practices.

Huerta, a former CCC college student and current faculty member at USC’s Rossier School of Education, stated, “I'm excited to engage with colleagues at UCLA and UC-Davis to embed racial equity elements into CCB programs. It's an incredible feeling to invest into a system that provided me my first access to higher education." 

"CCB programs are a promising step to increase access to higher education for more California students, we are excited to collaborate with colleagues across CCs to embed racial equity into these new efforts," continued Dr. Huerta.

“I am excited to partner with two leading scholars in higher education whose expertise is on racial equity,” said UCLA’s Dr. Rios-Aguilar. “This grant will give us an opportunity to partner with all California’s CCB programs and document their successful processes and practices and to develop strategies to better serve low-income students of color who are pursuing their baccalaureate degrees.”

UC Davis’ Marcela Cuellar said, “I am excited to collaborate with my colleagues at USC, UCLA, and across California’s CCB programs. Our collective efforts will help inform how these vital programs can advance baccalaureate degree attainment and racial equity.”

The College Futures Foundation works to ensure that more students who reflect California’s diversity complete a B.A. and access the opportunity for a better life.