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#RealCollege is a national movement created by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. Focused on the struggles, triumphs, and realities of what it means to be in college today, #RealCollege seeks to change the landscape of higher education so that all students can afford and complete their studies.

Historically disempowered students and colleges become more powerful when they work together, pooling resources to alter the future of higher education. #RealCollege coalitions form the basis of the movement. In these coalitions, members work together toward common goals in order to increase their effectiveness. All of the coalitions commit to a single fundamental premise:  Secure access to food and housing is essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority.

The inaugural #RealCollegeCalifornia was instigated by the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce. In its second year, participating institutions have access to engage in the coalition's programming and technical assistance to:

  • Create an institutional culture that recognizes that securing access to food and housing is essential to students' academic success and that it should be treated as a top educational priority.
  • Increase the institutional effectiveness to advance basic needs work.
  • Build internal capacity to implement and advocate for policy change, enhancing the operationalization of programs designed to support students.
“Addressing students' basic needs is hard and necessary work. We need to do it as a community, and #RealCollegeCA brings us together as allies in support of our students.“

- Keith Curry, Ed.D., President/CEO, Compton College

Benefits of joining the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition:

  • Engage in the latest state of the art practices to connect students with basic needs supports.
  • Use the latest evidence, integrated with hands-on guidance to inform implementation, and help members develop a cutting-edge mindset.
  • Build the capacity of all teams involved in advancing basic needs (unlimited participation!)
  • Flexible access to learning tools: the Coalition’s asynchronous learning approach accommodates members' busy schedules and interests, where they engage in an exclusive channel to access useful materials, articles, submit questions to the Hope Center staff, and communicate with other members.
  • Free registration to the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit: Fostering Resiliency During A Pandemic.
  • Participate in learning sessions and get informed about new practices and efficient tools.

Check out this infographic with an overview of the support we offer.

#RealCollegeCalifornia Membership

All colleges are invited to join the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition for one year. To do so, institutions should complete the below membership application, including affirming the commitment statement and pay the #RealCollegeCalifornia membership fee to the Community College League of California. As part of this process, institutions will share information on their current #RealCollege efforts in five areas: food security, housing security, communications and education, data, and policy.

Membership Pricing
Membership fees are based on the institutions' student headcount and include individualized technical assistance for their teams involved in basic needs work and a 50% discount to participate in the #RealCollege Survey (district pricing varies according to the number of colleges and their student count):

  • 10,000 students or less                        $3,000
  • 10,000- 20,000 students                     $4,000
  • 20,001- 30,000 students                     $5,000
  • 30,001 students or more                     $6,000

A portion of the membership fee ($300) will be used to support the annual #RealCollegeCalifornia Conference scheduled for December 4, 2020.

Note: The Coalition offers individualized support to institutions. Therefore, district pricing depends on the number of colleges in the district and their student headcount. For special invoicing arrangements, please contact realcolleca@temple.edu.

Membership Cycle
The membership cycle covers September through August and payments are processed by the Community College League of California.

Membership Application

To check out an overview of the supports and offerings, click here.

  • Memberships run from September 1st to August 31st.
  • The membership renewal due date is September 30 each year.
  • We encourage members to sign up early so they can access the 50% discount on the survey participation (sign up takes place in the summer months).

Note: Colleges that complete the #RealCollegeCalifornia membership application will receive an invoice from the Community College League of California for membership payment.