Think Equitably, Act Locally: Ensuring Equity and Collective Advocacy in California Community Colleges


Over a million students of color attend California’s community colleges, gaining technical skills and education that prepares them for transfer and a variety of different trades and careers. Last year, each of California’s community colleges submitted their Local Vision Goals for a funding formula that would allocate resources according to student needs, not just enrollment. 

It’s all part of the college system’s efforts – in this case, called the Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) – to align funding with improving student success and closing equity gaps. Advocates across the state see this as an opportunity to keep community college leaders focused on better serving students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

While this effort is a step in the right direction, our review of the community colleges’ local goal submissions suggests that many fall short. In order for Student Centered Funding Formula Local Vision Goals to be achieved, we must support colleges in setting equitable and actionable targets.

Our latest Equity Alert discusses why goal setting matters and includes a tool advocates can use to evaluate and push for goals that are:

  • accessible and transparent to all stakeholders, 
  • focused on closing equity gaps, 
  • formed through partnerships with engaged community and stakeholders, and intentional about internal and external updates.

Help Spread the Word

It’ll take the people – starting with advocates like you – to ensure California’s community colleges can meet the needs of all of its students, starting with equitable goal setting. Share this Equity Alert with your online networks using the content below:

  • The Student Centered Funding Formula has the potential to be a powerful tool for equity. But it’ll take partnership from students, advocates, and campus leaders to support CA’s community colleges to act on this vision. New equity alert from @edtrustwest outlines how to get involved:
  • #DidYouKnow all of California’s community colleges have submitted Local Vision Goals for better serving students of color? Learn more and find your college’s goals here:

Related Resources

California Community Colleges SCFF Homepage

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.