California Innovation in Higher Education Showcase highlights student success to full house

150 150 Ed Coghlan

SACRAMENTO, CA—Over 200 education, business and civic leaders from across California gathered in Sacramento today for the California Awards for Innovation in Higher Education Showcase. The Showcase highlighted campuses that have innovated to significantly increase the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded, allow students to complete bachelor’s degrees within four years, and ease transfer throughout the state’s education system.

The Budget Act of 2014 appropriated $50 million to award California community colleges, California State University (CSU) campuses and University of California (UC) campuses for existing programs that promote these innovations. Award winners will be announced later this spring by the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education.

“Improvement in these areas is critical to helping reduce the income gap and to give more Californians the skills needed to be economically successful,” said West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon, who served as the Showcase Master of Ceremonies and is Chair of the Jobs, Education and Workforce Committee at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Thirty-five campuses from across California were on-hand to present, representing 70 percent of all applications to the Awards program. Their applications addressed three major areas of reform:

  • Supporting Students
  • Transforming Colleges
  • Collaborating Across Sectors

The day included presentations, discussions and networking with higher education innovators, business and civic leaders and state policymakers.

“The awards are important because they are innovative in themselves, spotlighting the kinds of changes needed to revitalize California’s long standing commitment to access to higher education while establishing an equal commitment to completion for all students,” said Jim Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward, which convened the Showcase with several other partners.

Partners in the Showcase include California Forward, the College Futures Foundation, California Competes, the Campaign for College Opportunity, the Center for California Studies, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and Young Invincibles.

Presenting campuses included:

  • Allan Hancock College
  • California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • California State University, Channel Islands
  • California State University, Chico
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • California State University, East Bay
  • California State University, Fresno
  • California State University, Monterey Bay
  • California State University, Northridge
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • California State University, San Marcos
  • California State University, Stanislaus
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of the Canyons #1
  • College of the Canyons #2
  • Foothill College
  • Grossmont College
  • Long Beach City College
  • Los Angeles City College
  • Los Angeles Mission College
  • Pasadena City College
  • Saddleback College
  • San Bernardino Valley College
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Santa Ana College
  • Shasta College
  • Sierra College
  • Solano Community College
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Merced
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz

“The Showcase is a testament to how much good work is happening in California in support of student success and the promise of new approaches, such as collaborative partnerships across different sectors and higher education segments,” said Toby Rosenblatt, chair of the College Futures Foundation. “The work is not easy, but these innovators are doing it.”

For more information about the Awards and applicant submissions, visit


Ed Coghlan

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