Student success in higher education is critical to the health of our state and regional economies. Since the global pandemic struck, Californians and postsecondary institutions alike have been grappling with extraordinary challenges. And long before, it was clear that many California students faced significant structural barriers to earning a college degree. California needs a recovery that courageously addresses inequities in post-secondary education that have created and exacerbated wealth gaps. 

The Recovery with Equity Taskforce was established by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education, Dr. Lande Ajose, in consultation with the California Governor’s Council for Post-Secondary Education, to recast today’s challenges as an opportunity to help California’s economy recover with a post-secondary ecosystem that is more equitable, resilient, coordinated, and aligned with the economic needs of the state.

With a focus on equitable student achievement and in partnership with education leaders across the state, the Taskforce produced Recovery with Equity: A Roadmap for Higher Education After the Pandemic. This report includes a set of interconnected recommendations aimed at ensuring that the opportunity for success and economic mobility is equitable and available to all:

Fostering Inclusive Institutions: Institutional cultures and approaches to teaching and learning that work for all learners, especially those left behind.

  1. Improve Faculty, Staff, and Administrator Diversity
  2. Cultivate Inclusive, Engaging, and Equity-Oriented Learning Environments
  3. Retain Students through Inclusive Supports

Streamlining Pathways to Degrees: An integrated statewide system for admission and transfer to provide clear, easy-to-navigate pathways to degrees.

  1. Establish an Integrated Technology Platform
  2. Streamline and Unify the College Admission Process
  3. Develop a Common Course Numbering System

Facilitating Student Transitions: High-touch, high-tech guidance and improved academic preparation for college access and success.

  1. Provide High-Tech, High-Touch Advising
  2. Support College Preparation and Early Credit

Simplifying Supports for Student Stability: Resources and structures packaged and simplified to help students meet basic, digital, and financial aid needs.

  1. Establish an Integrated Admissions Platform
  2. Subsidize Internet Access for Eligible Students
  3. Improve College Affordability

Higher education will play a critical role in our state’s economic recovery from the pandemic—and in driving prosperity for California’s future. Our state will thrive when we eliminate income inequality and disparities of credential and degree attainment by race and geography. 

We encourage you to learn more about these recommendations that our state can pursue to ensure California’s public post-secondary institutions stride toward this vision for a better future, and invite you to join us in considering ways that our network can contribute to the achievement of these goals.