The Hope Center

#RealCollege™ California

#RealCollege™ is a national movement created by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Focused on the realities, struggles, and triumphs of what it means to be in college today, #RealCollege™ seeks to transform 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. All our coalitions commit to a single fundamental premise:  Secure access to food, housing, and other basic needs are essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority.

#RealCollege™ California Impact:

As a result of engaging in the Coalition’s offerings, college leaders and districts:

  • Used data to inform basic needs programming and interventions
  • Implemented strategies to support students with equitable emergency aid models (doubling graduation rates)
  • Strategized to develop innovative programs to secure housing, maximize the implementation of one-stop centers, and leverage funding opportunities
  • Built internal capacity to respond to the ecosystem nuances, enhancing the operationalization of programs designed to support students

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

#RealCollege™ California Membership

Envisioned by the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce, the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition was created in 2019 to provide the latest evidence, integrated with hands-on guidance to inform implementation and help members develop a cutting-edge mindset to increase their institutional effectiveness. More than 50% of community colleges in California continue to engage in #RealCollege efforts to support and set students for academic success. Members of the Coalition have access to research and data services combined with learning best practices from peer institutions and other experts in the field. This approach strategically aligns The Hope Center’s nationally renowned student basic needs survey with systems change education and training services to help institutions not only identify their students’ basic needs, but also address them. 

Coalition members can select to engage in one of four levels designed to propel institutional transformation including Hope Impact Partnerships levels.

Offerings for #RealCollegeCalifornia members include:

This level is about students first and includes an enhanced and strengthened version of our #RealCollege student survey delivered through a data dashboard and bundled with several webinars and unlimited access to Hope’s NEW #RealCollege curriculum modules. For #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition members, this level also includes a reduced registration fee to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit and two California-specific practitioner community meetings facilitated by Hope staff focused on #realcollege research, policy, and/or practice.

360 View & Action Plan centers not only on students but the institutions that serve them. This level offers an examination of existing structures and systems that enable students to be most successful. In addition to the offerings in Level I, this level allows you to deep dive into assessments on institutional perceptions and inventories of current support services. It offers monthly coaching sessions, national learning community sessions, and trainings. This two-year engagement will conclude with the creation of an action plan, aiming to bundle together everything into a cohesive set of next steps for your institution. For #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition members, this level also includes a reduced registration fee to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit and two California-specific practitioner community meetings facilitated by Hope staff focused on #realcollege research, policy, and/or practice.

This is an implementation lab for current and past Coalition members that are further along on their basic needs programming journey. It is designed to leverage data you already have on hand combined with action planning, coaching, presidential circle sessions, and a national convening. This two-year commitment includes real-time access to the latest research for evidence-based practices which increase student basic needs security with a goal to design and launch such practices at the institutions. This level also offers #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition members a reduced registration fee to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit and two California-specific practitioner community meetings facilitated by Hope staff focused on #realcollege research, policy, and/or practice.

If surveying students and/or action planning is beyond your current institutional capacity or goals, we designed a level specifically for you. This one-year commitment includes reduced registration free to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit, two California-specific practitioner community meetings facilitated by Hope staff focused on #realcollege research, policy, and/or practice, and unlimited access to three modules of The Hope Center's NEW #RealCollege Basic Needs Curriculum.

Additional details, including pricing for Levels I, II, and III, are available here. Please note that we offer a $5,000 equity discount per level, per year to all coalition member community colleges and are open to exploring funding opportunities to help you join.

#RealCollegeCA Level Information

If surveying students and/or action planning is beyond current institutional capacity or goals, The Hope Center offers current and future Coalition members the option to continue to engage with institutions in California. The enrollment fee for a one-year commitment is $3,000 (regardless of the institutions’ student headcount).

Being part of this community of practitioners is really helping us enhance the delivery of supports we offer to students during the pandemic.

Justin Mendez, Basic Needs Program Manager, Long Beach City College

Renew or Enroll Now!

May 2ndEnrollment Application Deadline at 11:59pm ET
May 25thLevel II and Level III Partner Selection Notification
June 30thSigned & Completed Service Agreements Due
AugustHope Impact Partnerships Begin!

Note: A portion of the membership fee ($300) will be used to support the annual #RealCollege™ California Summit.

For additional information or questions, please contact

2021-2022 #RealCollege™ California Coalition Members:

Allan Hancock College
American River College
Berkeley City College
Cabrillo College Main Campus
Cabrillo College Watsonville Center
Cañada College
Citrus Community College
Clovis Community College
College of the Canyons
College of the Desert
College of the Redwoods
Compton College
Cosumnes River College
CSU East Bay
Cuesta College
Cuyamaca College
Cypress College
De Anza College
Diablo Valley College
Evergreen Valley College
Folsom Lake College
Foothill College
Fullerton Community College
Grossmont Community College
Imperial Valley College
Irvine Valley College
Lake Tahoe College
Laney College
Long Beach City College
Merced College
Moorpark College
Mt. San Antonio College
Ohlone College
Palomar College
Porterville College
Sacramento City College
San Bernardino Valley College
San Diego Community College
San Diego Continuing Education
San Diego Mesa College
San Diego Miramar College
San Jose City College
Santa Ana College
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Monica College
Santa Rosa Junior College
Sierra College
Solano Community College

2021-2022 #RealCollege™ California-LACCD Technical Assistance Coalition Members:

The Los Angeles Community College District has partnered with the Hope Center to scale best practices in addressing student basic needs insecurity. Over the next year, the institutions will work collaboratively to build capacity in the areas of advising, emergency aid, institutional research, institutional policy, and state policy to advance an ecosystem of support for students’ basic needs. Learn more about #RealCollege™ technical assistance initiatives at the Hope Center here.

East Los Angeles College
Los Angeles City College
Los Angeles Harbor College
Los Angeles Mission College
Los Angeles Southwest College
Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
Los Angeles Valley College
Pierce College
West Los Angeles College