March, 2019

In this Issue: 

  • Advocacy Resources for League Sponsored Legislation
  • Community College Bills of Interest
  • Issues Emerge Around Availability of Nursing Clinical Training Opportunities
  • Federal Issues of Interest
  • Federal Grant Opportunities
  • Upcoming Events

Advocacy Resources for League Sponsored Legislation

The League is proud to collaborate with leaders statewide to sponsor three pieces of legislation that support access, equity, and success for California’s community college students. Our legislative package includes efforts to increase access to early college opportunities, opportunities to connect students to food aid, and a plan to fund community college students’ total cost of attendance. To assist in advocacy in support of these bills, the League has provided a number of resources below:

AB 30 (Holden) Community Colleges: College and Career Access Pathways: A longtime champion of dual enrollment, Assemblymember Holden has introduced AB 30 in partnership with the League to streamline the process for enrolling in dual enrollment programs. The bill extends the program so that local partnership can engage in long-term planning. AB 30 removes many administratively burdensome steps that colleges and K-12 districts must go through to establish partnerships. The bill also adds continuation high schools as programs eligible for dual enrollment under CCAP.  The measure was approved unanimously in the Assembly Higher Education Committee and will be heard next in the Assembly Education Committee.

Here’s how you can help:

Download the Fact Sheet

Draft a Letter of Support

AB 612 (Weber) Statewide MOU to Participate in CalFresh Program: The process to become an authorized SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) retailer and accept EBT cards on campus is long, bureaucratic and requires negotiating agreements with various agencies, including county, state, and federal agencies. This can take up to 2 years and consume significant staff time and resources. Additionally, over 60 colleges are located in a county that does not offer this program and therefore are ineligible to bring this service to students. AB 612 increases access to CalFresh and the Restaurant Meals Program. The bill authorizes the Department of Social Services to enter into a statewide MOU with the Chancellor’s Office to permit all colleges with eligible facilities to accept EBT cards at their campus cafeterias and restaurants. This bill is supported by the League's Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce.

Here’s how you can help:

Download the Fact Sheet

Draft a Letter of Support

SB 291 (Leyva) The California Community College Student Financial Aid Program: SB 291 expands state financial aid to address the inequity in the current financial aid system and makes a meaningful commitment to community college affordability by focusing resources for our most vulnerable students. The bill would provide need-based grant awards to eligible community college students who attend an eligible community college and seeks to include $250 million in fiscal year 2019-20 with incremental increases until 2024-25.

Here’s how you can help:

Download the Fact Sheet

Draft a Letter of Support

Colleges and community college advocates are strongly encouraged to submit letters of support of AB 30, AB 612, and SB 291. Please send a copy your support letters to For more information or details on how you can support these measures, please email

Community College Bills of Interest

Legislators had until February 22, 2019 to introduce legislation. This year, Legislators introduced over 2,700 measures for consideration. The League is currently tracking 150 bills which impact California Community Colleges and its students. Legislators are particularly focused on affordability, financial aid, and changes to local collective bargaining measures, among other topics. Bills must be in print for 30 calendar days before any action, such as amendments or votes in committee, can be taken. Policy committee hearings have begun and bills affecting community colleges will be considered throughout the months of March and April.

Below are brief summaries of key bills currently tracked by the League with significant impact on community colleges:

ACR 14 (Limón) Dual Enrollment Week
This resolution recognizes March 17, 2019 to March 23, 2019 as Dual Enrollment Week. Dual Enrollment partnerships allow students to save both time and money in completing a college degree. These partnerships also provide opportunities for underrepresented college students to experience a college environment and improve their preparation for college level work while in high school.

ACR 31 (Limón) California Community College Month
This resolution highlights the benefits of a community college education, including low fees and open access, and the system's versatility in meeting student needs for transfer, career technical education, and assistance with skill development. It also emphasizes the system's contributions to the State's economy. This measure is co-sponsored by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Community College League of California.

AB 2 (Santiago) Community Colleges: California College Promise
This bill authorizes a community college to waive fees for two academic years for any student who has not previously received a degree or credential, regardless of the student’s income level. As a condition of utilizing Promise funds, a community college must meet all Promise program requirements, including outreach to high schools, maximizing need-based financial aid, participating in the federal loan program, complying with AB 705, and participating in the Guided Pathways program.

AB 151 (Voepel) Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Age Requirement
To be eligible for the California Community College Transfer Entitlement Award, an applicant may not be 28 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year, among other requirements. This bill would raise that limit to 30 years of age or older. This bill would also increase the number of students who meet the age eligibility requirement for the Transfer Entitlement Program.

AB 239 (Salas) Registered Nursing Programs: Multi-criteria Screening Tool
In 2007, AB 1559 (Berryhill) allowed community college nursing programs to use a multi-criteria screening tool when the number of applicants exceeds program capacity. The criteria includes factors such as academic degrees or diplomas held, grade point average, volunteer experience, being a first generation student, refugee or veteran status, low income background and proficiency in languages other than English. Currently, 41 of the 71 nursing programs in California community colleges use the multi-criteria screening tool. This bill extends the authorization for nursing programs to use a multi-criteria screening tool in student admissions from 2020 to 2025.

AB 541 (Gabriel) Competitive Cal Grants: AB 540 Student Eligibility
This bill would require all forms of state-based financial aid in California to be equally available to students who meet AB 540 requirements.

AB 595 (Medina) Community Colleges: Apprenticeship Programs
This bill would authorize a student enrolled in a community college class or classes pursuant to an apprenticeship training program or an internship training program, as defined, who does not have a social security number to use an individual tax identification number for purposes of any background check required by the class or program. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number helps individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws.

AB 695 (Medina) Authority to use Design-Build Contracts
Design-build contracts allow districts to award a construction and design contract to a single bidder instead of separate contract bids. The same bidder will provide architectural and construction services, which results in more efficient project management that saves districts time and money. The law authorizing California Community College districts to use design-build contracts is set to expire on January 1, 2020. In 2015, AB 1358 (Dababneh) extended the authority for K-12 districts to use design-build contracts to 2025. AB 695 extends the authorization for community college districts to enter into design-build contracts to January 1, 2030.

AB 806 (Bloom) Priority Enrollment for Homeless Students
AB 801 (Bloom, 2016) requires colleges to grant priority enrollment to students who are homeless youth. This bill removes the sunset date on priority enrollment for homeless students. The bill also changes the definition of "homeless" to include students who become homeless while enrolled in college.

AB 943 (Chiu) Community Colleges: Student Equity Plans
This bill would authorize the use of funding for student equity plans, up to $25,000 per campus, for the provision of emergency student financial assistance to eligible students to overcome unforeseen financial challenges that would directly affect a student’s ability to persist.

AB 1000 (Cervantes) Student Safety
This bill would require postsecondary entities to review and update the written procedure or protocols relating to sexual assault each academic year in collaboration with sexual assault counselors

AB 1051 (Smith) Clinical Nursing Faculty Load Cap Exemption
AB 1051 would indefinitely reinstate an exemption to the 67% cap for part-time faculty that was established for clinical nursing faculty and require each district that employs these faculty members to report specified information on or before June 30 of each year, and would require the Chancellor’s Office to report its information on or before September 30 of each year.

SB 173 (Dodd) CalFresh: Postsecondary Student Eligibility: Work-Study
This bill would require the California Department of Social Services to create a standardized form to be used by community colleges and universities to verify the work-study eligibility of students who are approved and anticipate participating in state or federal work study.

SB 484 (Portantino) Community College Transfer Students
This bill would require the governing board of each CCD to direct the appropriate officials at their respective campuses to (1) identify those students who have completed an associate degree for transfer, (2) notify those students of their completion of the degree requirements, (3) automatically award those students the degree, and (4) add those students to an identification system at the end of each academic year that would be maintained by the Chancellor’s Office and electronically accessed by CSU and UC.

SB 568 (Portantino) College Rapid Rehousing Program
This bill establishes the College-Focused Rapid Rehousing Program, which provides services to support homeless students in transitioning to stable housing and remaining enrolled in college. Under the program, campuses would use funds for housing navigation or search assistance, housing-related financial assistance and housing stabilization services. The provisions of this bill are contingent upon the enactment of an appropriation of state funds for this purpose.

SB 575 (Bradford) Cal Grants: Incarcerated Student Eligibility
Under existing law, the Cal Grant program prohibits a student who is incarcerated from being eligible to receive a Cal Grant award. This bill would repeal that prohibition and make conforming changes.

Issues Emerge Around Availability of Nursing Clinical Training Opportunities

Clinical training opportunities and access are essential to enable community college student to complete nursing programs. These opportunities provide professionals-in-training with practical and skills-oriented instruction under the supervision of a skilled practitioner. However, these slots are provided by third parties entities and thus outside the purview and control of colleges. If a college seeks to increase the number of students it serves, it must find available clinical training openings in the region.

Currently, the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) must approve major programmatic and curricular changes within nursing programs, determine the standards a program must follow, and identify the minimum academic qualifications for faculty. The BRN also can regulate the size of nursing programs based on the availability of clinical training placement slots and the job market’s ability to employ graduates of those programs.

Due to nursing shortages across California, the BRN has not had to exercise its authority to regulate clinical placement slots as opportunities have generally been available for students in nursing programs. While regional nursing shortages still exist, statewide employment data point to a diminishing shortage of qualified nursing professionals. As a result, hospitals in some regions have not increased the number of spaces available to accommodate expanding clinical training needs.

Earlier this year, the BRN proposed to limit the expansion of nursing programs at for-profit institutions in the Inland Empire and Orange County based on the Board’s authority to regulate the size of nursing programs. In response, some for-profit intuitions have alleged that the BRN did not adequately use market data to reach their decision and claimed that the BRN does not have the authority to limit the expansion of nursing programs. As a result, two bills have been introduced to address this issue. AB 1364 (Rubio), sponsored by the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools, is expected to create a governance structure that favors the interests of for-profit institutions. The other proposed measure, SB 700 (Roth), is sponsored by the Board of Registered Nursing.

Exploring Responsible Growth of Nursing Programs
The League is working with community college nursing program directors and other community college stakeholders to formulate a policy position that explores whether a neutral third party should regulate the number of students in a nursing program based on available clinical training slots and encourages nursing programs to responsibly grow in regions that are still experiencing nursing shortages.

Federal Issues of Interest

Department of Education Explores Regulatory Action:
In the absence of Congressional action on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the Department of Education (DOE) has attempted to revise or eliminate various Obama-era regulations. Due to the complexity of many of the Department’s targeted regulations and record-low the staffing levels at DOE, there are significant doubts in the ability of the Department to achieve its regulatory goals. Below is a list of regulations DOE is attempting to change.

Gainful Employment - Last year the Department of Education proposed to eliminate gainful employment regulations and instead putting the data on the College Scorecard. The Department has missed several deadlines to implement this proposal and will likely miss the next one, November 2019.

Accreditation - In January, the Department of Education initiated a regulatory review process exploring changes to accreditation. It has formed three subcommittees that will be looking at:

  • Single definition of higher education institutions.
  • Weakening the regional accreditation system.
  • Distance Education
  • Credit Hour
  • Competency-Based Education
  • State Authorization
  • Relationship between

Title IX Sexual Assault or Violence Investigations - In November, the DOE released proposed regulations outlining changes to colleges’ sexual assault and violence investigation processes. While the proposed regulations include some flexibility around off-campus incident investigations, overall the regulations would create a rigid and expensive investigative process. Due to the high volume of responses received during the mandatory comment period and requirements to substantively respond to each comment, the DOE will likely miss the November 2019 deadline to approve the proposed regulations.

New DACA Legislation Introduced:
On March 12, Democrats introduced a bill to provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants under the DACA program, and people with certain types of temporary immigration protections. Known as the Dream and Promise Act, the legislation was introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). Co-authors include Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), among others.

Federal Grant Opportunities

Presented by Downs Government Affairs

The League, in partnership with Downs Government Affairs, provides a list of federal grants to assist your community college in improving its programs and services. If you have any questions about the following grants, please feel free to reach out to Thomas Downs at

For a full list of federal grants available to community colleges, visit our Federal Grants page at:

Upcoming Events

Phi Theta Kappa Awards Luncheon
March 25, 2019 | Sacramento, CA

2019 CCPRO Conference
April 10-12 | San Diego, CA

2019 Annual Trustees Conference
May 3-5 | Resort at Squaw Creek

Follow League Tracked Bills at:
Follow news related to Budget and Policy at:

For more information, contact the League's Government Relations and Communications staff:

Lizette Navarette, Vice President |
Ryan McElhinney, Legislative Advocate |
Laura Murrell, Communications Manager |
Rina Kasim, Member Resources Associate |
Gerson Light-Sanchez, Government Relations & Communications Fellow |