As California has moved in recent years to strengthen and expand dual enrollment, a group of community foundations in the Central Valley has been at the forefront of developing a broad, regional approach to support dual enrollment as a high-leverage strategy to increase equitable postsecondary attainment. The foundation partners—the Central Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of San Joaquin, the Kern Community Foundation, the Stanislaus Community Foundation, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—worked together with colleges, K-12 districts and high schools, and community organizations to create a holistic strategy encompassing the large and diverse Central Valley. Supporting students to enter and succeed in college is an urgent need, given low college attainment rates and wide economic and racial disparities across the region.
As part of this effort, the foundations engaged CLP to map the landscape of dual enrollment in the eight-county region. The findings are described in CLP’s new report, A Deeper Dive: Understanding Dual Enrollment Programs in the Central Valley, which highlights challenges and promising practices emerging from sites working to expand equitable dual enrollment. CLP used these insights to inform a series of four roundtable meetings with legislative staff from state and federal delegations representing the Central Valley region. Convened by the foundations, the roundtables took participants through a “learning journey” to inform them about dual enrollment in their respective communities and engage them in dialogue around needed policy changes.
The foundations have been able to elevate these issues to the state level, ensuring that policy is informed by the experience of practitioners in the field. This work is timely, in light of Governor Newsom’s proposed $500 million investment in dual enrollment for the 2022-23 state budget.