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Statement On Public Policy Institute Of CA Higher Ed. Survey - Nov. 17, 2011


November 17, 2011
Contact: Paige Marlatt Dorr
Office: 916.327.5356
Cell: 916.601.8005
Office E-mail: pdorr@cccco.edu<mailto:pdorr@cccco.edu>
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California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott Issues Statement on the Public Policy Institute of California’s Higher Education Survey. Public support for the community college system remains high and virtually unchanged since 2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott today issued a statement on the Public Policy Institute of California’s survey “Californians & higher education.” The survey, released last night, says most Californians believe budget cuts have significantly hurt the state’s three systems of public higher education and, with the probability of more funding reductions on the horizon, believe higher education is heading in the wrong direction. Despite the state’s budget woes, 62 percent of Californians gave the California Community Colleges a good or excellent rating, higher than the California State University and University of California systems:

"I am gratified that public support for California’s community colleges remains high, especially during these difficult times. It's clearer than ever that we need to keep our state’s colleges affordable. Unfortunately, the budget situation will likely force another round of cuts and a fee increase for our students. Through our Student Success Task Force we are working to make our colleges even better by improving completion rates. This is no substitute, however, for the additional investment that we as a state need to make in higher education."

The California Community Colleges<http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/> is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.6 million students each year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

For the full Public Policy Institute of California survey, visit - http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_1111MBS.pdf

NOTE: Please see attached fact sheet with more details on the Public Policy Institute of California survey, the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force and the California Community Colleges state budget.


  • The PPIC poll showed 62 percent of respondents gave good or excellent ratings for California’s community colleges -- a rating that has remain virtually unchanged since 2007.
  • Some 67 percent of parents whose children attend community colleges rate them as good or excellent.
  • Both ratings are higher than corresponding measures for the California State University and the University of California.

The California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force was convened in January 2011 as a result of Senate Bill 1143 (Liu)<http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_1101-1150/sb_1143_bill_20100928_chaptered.pdf>, which required the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to establish a panel to examine best practices for promoting student success and then to adopt a plan for improving degree and completion rates within the California Community Colleges.

The task force includes a broad representation of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, researchers, college presidents and district chancellors, local trustees and third-party advocates. It is chaired by board of governors member Dr. Peter MacDougall. There are 20 members<http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/PolicyInAction/StudentSuccessTaskForce/TaskForceMembers.aspx> on the task force.

The task force met monthly and spent nine months examining strategies for promoting student success, including improving student assessment, delivering remedial instruction, increasing access to financial aid and academic counseling and identifying national funding models to incentivize completion rates. In October 2011 the task force released draft recommendations for public comment. Californians are invited to take part in the reform effort by reading the draft recommendations, submitting comments, participating in town hall meetings, and logging on to online discussions.

The recommendations call for development and implementation of tools that do a better job of determining the skill level and needs of entering students, as well as innovation that will lead to students addressing basic skills education earlier in their academic careers.

Other draft recommendations would require:

  • Students to decide on their course of study earlier so they can reach their goals on time, which will save money and get them into the workforce faster.
  • Colleges to give priority enrollment to students who make progress in meeting their identified goals and to adjust course offerings according to the needs of students based on those goals.
  • Expanded use of technology, especially as it relates to helping students access and plan their educational goals, with tools such as smart phones.
  • Colleges to use scorecards to publically report on their progress to improve student success.

The task force is continuing to gather public feedback and discuss input received to date in meetings and online. Some adjustments to the recommendations have already been made based on public comments.

The task force will present its plan to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors for consideration at its January 2012 meeting. The final report of recommendations will be presented to the Legislature in March 2012.

The draft recommendations and more information on the task force can be found at http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/SSTF.aspx


  • If by December 15, 2011, state revenues fall more than $1 billion below projections the community colleges will be cut by an additional $30 million.
  • If the shortfall is more than $2 billion, community colleges will suffer a $102 million cut.
  • Either budget shortfall would result in a $10 per unit fee increase from $36 to $46.


  • 6.8% budget reduction ($400 million). This cut translates into approximately 200,000 students losing access to classes.
  • $10 fee increase, effective fall 2011, raised student fees from $26 per credit unit to $36 (38.5% increase).
  • The $10 per unit fee increase will generate approximately $110 million for the colleges to support an additional 50,000 students.
  • More than $129 million of the system’s funding was deferred which increased the cumulative total of delayed state payments to $961 million, or roughly 17% of the system’s annual funding.


  • When implementing budget cuts, community college CEOs have been directed by state chancellor Jack Scott to retain courses that lead to job retraining, degrees, certificates, transfer, and that help increase basic English and math skills.
  • If a 2011-12 budget shortfall occurs and the per unit fees will be increased to $46 in the summer 2012, this would mean a 77% increase in student fees within a 1 year period.
  • Under the current $36 per credit unit fee, full-time students enrolled in 15 units pay approximately $1,080 per academic year.


  • The California Community Colleges is the most cost-effective system of education in California. While the state revenue needed to support one community college full-time student is slightly more than $5,000 per year, that same student costs approximately $7,500 in the K-12 system and $20,000 and $11,000, respectively, at UC and CSU.
  • The community colleges have looked at every corner of the system to come up with efficiencies. Tactics implemented include course reductions, debt restructuring, administrative consolidations, energy savings programs, IT efficiencies, increased class sizes, reduced student services programs, furloughs, additional online instruction, increased industry partnerships and transfer coordination with the UC and CSU. The system is exhausting all options to free up additional funds and many college reserves are low.


Enrollment at the California Community Colleges has grown 44% in the last 15 years, yet per student funding in 2009-10 (adjusted for inflation) was lower than it was in 1995-96.

The demand for a community college education is continuing to outstrip resources. The California Community Colleges would have naturally grown by at least 5.5% in 2009-10. But instead, decreased funding caused the system to shrink by 4.8%.

  • In the 2009-10 academic year, the system sustained $520 million in budget cuts which equated to 8% of its overall budget. It is estimated that approximately 140,000 students were turned away from community college campuses in 2009-10 due to course reductions.
  • For fall 2009, course sections were cut by 6.3% and enrollment dropped by 0.2% over fall 2008. While total headcount declined by only 0.2%, the system’s first-time community college student enrollments decreased by 12% indicating that the hardest hit by budget reductions are recent high school graduates and displaced workers because they do not have priority registration.
  • For fall 2011, course sections have been reduced by 5%.


If just 2% more of Californians earned associate degrees and 1% more earned a bachelor’s degree, our state’s economy would grow by $20 billion, state and local tax revenue would increase by $1.2 billion a year and 174,000 new jobs would be created.

The economic return on investment in California's higher education infrastructure is a win-win for the state and its taxpayers. For every $1 California spends on higher education, it receives $3 in return.

  • The California Community Colleges is the largest provider of workforce training in the state and nation.


  • Undergraduate demand for the three public systems of higher education in California is expected to grow by 387,000 students by 2019. To accommodate the increase it will take $1.5 billion more in revenue.
  • If current funding trends persist, the Public Policy Institute of California estimates by 2025 California will face a shortage of 1 million college degree and certificate holders needed to fuel its workforce.
  • Approximately 55% of CSU and 30% of UC bachelor’s degree recipients started at the California Community Colleges.
  • With baby boomers retiring as the best educated and most skilled workforce in U.S. history, labor experts are concerned that California will lack workers with the critical aptitude needed to replace them.

Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that occupations requiring an associate degree will grow the fastest of any occupations from 2008-2018, at about 19%.

In 2010, Hispanics for the first time surpassed the 50% mark of California’s K-12 population.


  • 70% of California’s higher education students are enrolled in a community college
  • 25% of community college students nationwide are enrolled in the California Community Colleges
  • 49% of California jobs offer middle skill wages, annual incomes of $48,000-$75,000 * 70% of nurses in California are educated in the community colleges
  • 80% of firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians are credentialed at community colleges
  • 55% of CSU baccalaureates awarded in 2007 started as community college students
  • 30% of UC baccalaureates awarded in 2007 started as community college students
  • 48% of UC bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are earned by community college transfer students
  • 75% of California’s GI Bill veterans attend a community college
  • Every $1 invested in higher education results in a $3 increase in state revenues


Budget Information
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Pippa Gibson
Phone: 408.864.8936

Last Updated: 11/28/11