California Community Colleges

The California Community Colleges system consists of 113 community colleges throughout the state. Community colleges don’t require that you have a certain GPA and there are no tests to take or essays to write in order to be admitted. Students of all types of backgrounds, ages, and academic levels enroll in community colleges to gain knowledge and skills necessary to compete in today’s economy. Students in community colleges can receive associate degrees and short-term job training certificates in more than 175 different fields. In fact, community colleges train 70% of California nurses and 80% of our state’s firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and emergency medical technicians.

Community colleges are California’s most accessible and least expensive higher education option. Many also have specific programs on campus to support foster youth scholars. If your GPA is not high enough, or you are not sure of career goals, or can’t afford to go to a four-year university right away, community colleges are a proven stepping stone to a California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), or private four-year university. More than half of all California State University graduates were community college transfer students and 28% of UC graduates transferred from community colleges.

Community College Benefits and Resources for Foster Youth:

  • Priority Registration for Foster Youth: As a current or former foster youth in California, you now receive priority course registration at California’s community colleges, which makes it much easier to enroll in competitive classes. Getting the right classes at the right time makes a big difference in your ability to earn a degree and continue to receive financial aid.
  • Community College Foster Youth Liaisons: As a part of the Foster Youth Success Initiative, every single community college campus has a foster youth liaison designated to assist foster youth in accessing financial aid, scholarships, student services, and resources. Foster youth liaisons also help foster students set goals to complete programs, transfer, and attain certificates and degrees. Click here for a list of community college foster youth liaisons.

Community College Tools for Students: