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Black Student Success Week


California Community College system

The California Community College system is celebrating its fifth anniversary of intentional advocacy for a better future for Black students with its annual Black Student Success Week, April 22-26. The series will encompass virtual events and is expected to have a crowd of more than 5,000 students, parents, educators, college administrators, and community and civic leaders throughout the week. Black Student Success Week was created in 2020 by a dedicated coalition of leaders and advocates within the California Community College. This series takes place during the last week of April and is an opportunity for stakeholders across the state to advance commitment to increasing enrollment and the academic well-being of Black and African American students. 

The California Community College system has had an increase in statewide headcount, gaining 8% in fall 2023, as opposed to fall 2022. The system is on track for 2 million students for the year. California Community Colleges’ strongest enrollment growth has been from groups that are historically underrepresented in higher education, such as Black and Hispanic/ Latino students, students with disabilities and students between the ages of 35 and older. Black Student Success Week has done its part to help increase enrollment as a result of various system wide efforts. The annual event helps bring attention to barriers that prevent Black students from enrolling in college and allow for conversations around next steps to help increase completion rates and close the achievement gap. All are welcome to listen and take part in the important dialogue. 

“We have seen progress with increased enrollment, but our work is not done,” said Keith Curry, president and CEO of Compton College and Chairman of the Black Student Success Week Committee. “We must be persistent in addressing the issues so that students not only enroll in college, but also universities to complete a bachelor’s degree.”

The theme for this year is Building a Better Future Together: the Urgency is Now and focuses on innovative approaches to help Black students succeed in community college. Workshops include The Black Hour at noon and all workshops are open to community college administrators, staff, faculty, practitioners, students and all interested parties. After the workshop was followed by The After Party which is an hour long small group discussion on the topic of the day. During the evenings, for the second year is The Student Hour, a student-centered operation which is presented by the California Community Colleges, shares information and resources helping Black community college students become successful. The Blackout Advocacy Day takes place on April 25 and allows for an opportunity for constituents to engage with local elected officials and higher education policymakers to discuss key priorities. Spaces and programs for Black students have proven to be incredibly important and continue to be important for the success of Black students.