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California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Taskforce Releases Report

President G. Gabrielle Starr

California’s Higher Education Recovery with Equity Taskforce released its recommendations today for the state’s COVID-19 recovery efforts for post-secondary education and workforce readiness. Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr is one of the leaders in the taskforce charged with envisioning a new roadmap for higher education after the pandemic.

According to the report, most of the growing high-quality jobs in the state require post-secondary education, yet there are significant gaps in educational attainment by race/ethnicity and geographic region.

The taskforce’s report was presented to Gov. Gavin Newsom and aims to serve as a roadmap of how California’s post-secondary systems can serve students better and more equitably, while creating and cultivating talent that improves California’s economic prosperity.

“Meeting basic needs is essential to helping students to be students first, creating a path for all to achieve their full academic potential,” says President Starr, who co-led the area of the report that aims to simplify student support. “Removing barriers and streamlining access to existing services, coupled with a strong commitment to student financial aid, will bring greater opportunity for countless individuals and benefit the entire state. Best of all, these goals are within reach if the state commits to a focused, consistent effort.”

The taskforce identified recommendations to advance four goals:

  • Fostering Inclusive Institutions: Institutional cultures and approaches to teaching and learning that work for all learners, especially those left behind.
  • Streamlining Pathways to Degrees: Integrated statewide system for admission and transfer to provide clear, easy-to-navigate pathways to degrees.
  • Facilitating Student Transitions: High-touch, high-tech guidance and improved academic preparation for college access and success.
  • Simplifying Supports for Student Stability: Resources and structures packaged and simplified to help students meet basic, digital and financial aid needs.

The taskforce was created last summer by the Governor's Council for Post-Secondary Education, which serves as an independent consultative resource to the governor on the economic and social impact of higher education in the state.