Students get $130 million in Basic Needs boost from California Community Colleges
Students get $130 million in Basic Needs boost from California Community Colleges
Tracy Gorham
Tracy Gorham
Basic Needs

Students get $130 million in Basic Needs boost from California Community Colleges

As the nation’s largest higher education system launches its new academic year, its millions of students and their families should know that the state of California and its partners have got their backs with a new and stronger safety net.

HELP COMES DURING AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRUNCH: This summer, California launched a statewide Basic Needs campaign aimed at shoring up the most critical life essentials for CCC students — from food and housing to health and transportation. A recent study by the University of California found almost half of their students suffered from Basic Needs insecurity, and despite student commitments to improving their future prospects through college, enrollees in the CCC, UC and California State University systems all face unprecedented life challenges.

With 116 colleges in the CCC system, the Basic Needs assistance comes at a time when housing insecurity for the 1.8 million CCC students, according to the UC study, has reached almost 1 in 5 students affected by homelessness.

CONTACT DETAILS ON NEW CCC PROGRAM: Among the government agencies and nonprofit partners involved, the CCC Basic Needs is being coordinated by the nonprofit Foundation for California Community Colleges <foundationccc.org/What-We-Do/Equity/Basic-Needs> and ConexED student services management software that provide a one-stop digitally connected resource for essential services for campuses from San Ysidro to Eureka. Among the aid students can receive:

  • Food assistance eligibility through the CalFresh program
  • Support for housing, transportation, and technology
  • Access to childcare
  • Connection to physical health and counseling/mental health programs

Contact ConexED’s Katie Bevilacqua about how this unique education-focused software works to help deliver for students. Get visuals, video, and fact sheets.

NEW APPROACH TO EDUCATIONAL POLICY: California’s Basic Needs outreach breaks with higher education tradition, as public education systems have historically focused on student support by strengthening academics, student health, and financial aid. But with the Golden State’s skyrocketing housing affordability scarcity, and the impact from years of pandemic, systems like the CCC are stepping up to the responsibility of addressing student Basic Needs as essential to ensuring educational success. As educators and officials note: How can college students achieve with distractions like whether they have enough to eat or a safe place to sleep, let alone cover the cost of commuting, computer time, and textbooks.

The state of Basic Needs for California Community College students:

In establishing the Basic Needs program, California Gov. Gavin Newsom set out a Roadmap for how he envisions the program to provide an immediate safety net as well as help boost students longterm to succeed. Ensuring students’ own personal futures, state officials stress, also strengthens the future of California.

HOW IT WORKS: Basic Needs centers are now being established on CCC campuses statewide with the initial $30 million investment. The program earmarks $100 million over the next three years in program support: Among the goals:

  • Increase students earning degrees, certificates, and specific skill sets for in-demand jobs by 20% by 2026
  • Focus on establishing and expanding programs that address workforce needs in healthcare, climate action, education, and early education

As the Governor’s Roadmap announcement states: “It is recognized that CCCs serve the most diverse students in the state and as such, the roadmap serves as a vehicle to remedy structural and funding inequities that disproportionally affect students of color.”

As Gov. Newsom noted: “The CCC system plays a critical role in supporting the state’s goal of achieving 70% postsecondary degree and certificate attainment among working-aged Californians by 2030. “

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