The Hope Center


#RealCollege is a national movement created by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Focused on the struggles, triumphs, and realities of what it means to be in college today, #RealCollege seeks to change the landscape of higher education so that all students can afford and complete their studies.

Historically disempowered students and colleges become more powerful when they work together, pooling resources to alter the future of higher education. #RealCollege coalitions form the basis of the movement. In these coalitions, members work together toward common goals in order to increase their effectiveness. All of the coalitions commit to a single fundamental premise:  Secure access to food and housing is essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority.

The inaugural #RealCollegeCalifornia was instigated by the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce. In its second year, participating institutions have access to engage in the Coalition’s programming and technical assistance to:

  1. Create an institutional culture that recognizes that securing access to food and housing is essential to students’ academic success and that it should be treated as a top educational priority. 
  2. Increase the institutional effectiveness to advance basic needs work. 
  3. Build internal capacity to implement and advocate for policy change, enhancing the operationalization of programs designed to support students. 

This is your chance to join us!  Check out this infographic with the overview of the supports we are offer. Membership sign up will re-open on June 1, 2021.

Benefits of joining the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition: 

  • Engage in the latest state of the arts practices to connect students with basic needs supports.
  • Use the latest evidence, integrated with hands-on guidance to inform implementation, and help members develop a cutting-edge mindset.
  • Build the capacity of all teams involved in advancing basic needs (unlimited participation!)
  • Flexible access to learning tools: the Coalition’s asynchronous learning approach accommodates members’ busy schedules and interests, where they engage in an exclusive channel to access useful materials, articles, submit questions to the Hope Center staff, and communicate with other members. 
  • Free admission to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit

Addressing students’ basic needs is hard and necessary work. We need to do it as a community, and #RealCollegeCA brings us together as allies in support of our students.

Keith Curry, Ed.D., President/CEO, Compton College

#RealCollegeCalifornia Second Year Programming:

Each quarter the Hope Center brings members together to share evidence-based practices and explore these trending topics:

  1. Increasing student service utilization: how to manage barriers and stigma, while enhancing online access to basic needs services
  2. Anti-racism practices in refining and growing your emergency aid programs
  3. Getting and keeping students engaged with caring practices
  4. Open to members’ choice

Other Support:

  1. We lift the work you do on social media, newsletters, and on our founding director’s accounts.
  2. Office hours – space to get advice and coaching about specific basic needs related issues
  3. Policy room – members gather to learn and discuss advocacy and policy implementation strategies
  4. Training – members can work with our staff to identify topics and plan PD sessions geared to increase internal capacity
  5. Participate in learning sessions and get informed about new practices and efficient tools.

Join the Coalition by November 30, 2020. Become a member!

#RealCollegeCalifornia Membership

All California higher education institutions are welcomed to join the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition. To do so, institutions should complete this form, including affirming the commitment statement, and pay the #RealCollegeCalifornia membership fee to the Community College League of California. As part of this process, institutions will share information on their current #RealCollege efforts in five areas:  food security, housing security, communications and education, data, and policy.

Membership Pricing

The membership fees are based on the institutions’ student headcount and include individualized technical assistance for their teams involved in basic needs work and a 50% discount to participate in the #RealCollege Survey (district pricing varies according to the number of colleges):

  1. 10,000 students or less                      $3,000
  2. 10,000- 20,000 students                     $4,000
  3. 20,001- 30,000 students                    $5,000
  4. 30,001 students or more                   $6,000

Note: A portion of the membership fee ($300) will be used to support the annual #RealCollegeCalifornia Conference.

The membership cycle covers September through August and payments are processed by the Community College League of California.

Check out this infographic with the overview of the supports we are offering and sign up by November 30 (extended) to participate.

For additional information or questions please contact

#RealCollege California Coalition Members:

  • Allan Hancock College
  • American River College
  • Cabrillo College Watsonville Center
  • Cabrillo College Main Campus
  • Cañada College
  • Clovis Community College
  • Compton College
  • Cosumnes River College
  • CSU East Bay
  • Cuyamaca College
  • Cypress College
  • De Anza College
  • East Los Angeles College
  • Evergreen Valley College
  • Folsom Lake College
  • Foothill College
  • Fullerton Community College
  • Imperial Valley College
  • Lake Tahoe College
  • Laney College
  • Long Beach City College
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Harbor College
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Los Angeles Pierce College
  • Los Angeles TradeTech College
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • Los Angles Southwest College
  • Mt. San Antonio College
  • Ohlone College
  • Porterville College
  • Sacramento City College
  • San Bernardino Valley College
  • San Diego City College
  • San Diego Continuing Education
  • San Diego Mesa College
  • San Diego Miramar College
  • San Jose City College
  • Santa Ana College
  • West Los Angeles College