Higher Education

Report on Latinos and California Community Colleges

On October 8, 2008, the Center for Latino Policy Research (CLPR) at the University of California, Berkeley released a research brief on transfer preparation issues confronting Latinos titled "Untapped Potential: Latinos and California Community Colleges".  The brief was written by Lisa Chavez, a research analyst at the Warren Institute, who conducted this work as a research associate at the CLPR.

In this brief, Chavez shows that Latinos are now the largest group of students who begin their postsecondary studies at a California community college after graduating from a public high school. The explicit linkage between the community college system and the state’s public 4-year colleges represents a prime opportunity to increase the number of Latinos that earn four-year degrees via the system’s transfer function. The brief describes current transfer rates among Latinos, reviews the literature on the barriers to transfer, and concludes with a cohort analysis of Latino community college students that describes their demographic profiles, coursework patterns, transfer readiness and outcomes. Chavez concludes that California's community college system is not close to reaching its potential as a stepping-stone to four-year colleges and universities for Latino students.

To view this brief, please click here.

Diversity and Access

In California in 1996, the passage of Proposition 209 brought an end to most voluntary state and local government affirmative action policies in public employment, education, and contracting. At the University of California, the direct effect of Proposition 209 on student body diversity was devastating, and the decrease in the presence of underrepresented minorities continues. Appropriately, the leadership of the University of California has become increasingly attentive to determining the precise scope and boundaries of Proposition 209. Is everything that can be done, within the limits of state and federal law, in fact being done? Three central questions - the parameterization of legal risk, the array of program options and the information needed for hard choices - are the underpinnings of a strategy for advancing the goals of inclusion and diversity.

The first Warren Institute effort within a broader undertaking concerning the consequences and future of proposition 209 with respect to higher education is a report providing an analytical framework for the evaluation of diversity-related programs at the University of California, Berkeley in light of federal legal principles and applicable state law. To help ensure that these programs effectively advance institutional goals, appropriately balance legal risk and protect the rights of all persons, the report examines the important principles and unsettled questions for decision makers in California higher education, establishes a framework to order the vast universe of inclusion-related programs at UC Berkeley and comparable institutions and offers strategies for institutional research and program evaluation so that UC Berkeley and similar institutions will be able to improve their ability to make wise decisions in this realm in the future. 

Please click here to review the report "Advancing Diversity at the University of California, Berkeley Under Proposition 209."

Equal Opportunity in Higher Education: The Past and Future of Proposition 209

On October 27, 2006, the Warren Institute convened a symposium entitled “Equal Opportunity in Higher Education: The Past and Future of Proposition 209” at the Clark Kerr Center, UC Berkeley. The event led to a rich dialogue on the consequences of Prop 209, with commissioned authors presenting their research and various community partners adding their input to various sessions.

Below are links to drafts of the roughly 25 studies from leading scholars and policymakers across the nation that were commissioned for the conference, representing a wide variety of disciplines and institutions. Initially made available on a CD-Rom at the conference, these drafts represent our interests in probing rigorously and creatively into the past, present and future consequences of Proposition 209, as well as in fostering a nonpartisan analysis of how Proposition 209 has affected student and faculty diversity in California higher education.

The commissioned studies are being edited for publication in a forthcoming volume Equal Opportunity in Higher Education: The Past and Future of Proposition 209, edited by Eric Grodsky and Michael Kurlaender, both professors at UC Davis. 

Commissioned Research Papers