#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. All the coalitions commit to a single fundamental premise: Secure access to food, housing, and other basic needs are essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority.

This coming cycle is your chance to join the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition! Check out this overview of the supports offered and sign up by October 31 to participate.

#RealCollegeCalifornia Impact:
As a result of engaging in the Coalition, college leaders and districts:

  • Used data to inform basic needs programming and interventions
  • Implemented strategies to support students with equitable emergency aid models (doubling graduation rates)
  • Strategized to develop innovative programs to secure housing
“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

The Coalition in its Third Year (2021-2022):

Envisioned by the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce, the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition was created in 2019 to provide the latest evidence, integrated with hands-on guidance to inform implementation and help members develop a cutting-edge mindset to increase their institutional effectiveness. The Hope Center works with participating institutions to provide technical assistance, professional development training, and coaching to engage in the latest state of the arts practices.

In a post-pandemic environment, the Coalition aims to strengthen California’s ecosystems to support students’ basic needs and promote college completion. New offerings are designed to help colleges:

  • Learn how to assess and analyze students’ basic needs and experiences with the new economics of college,
  • Optimize HEERF III funds’ allocation to maximize student relief,
  • Cope with emergency aid challenges
  • Strengthen and expand community alliances to better support students,
  • Increase students’ basic needs supports utilization, and much more!
“Being part of this community of practitioners is really helping us enhance the delivery of supports we offer to students during the pandemic.”

- Justin Mendez, Basic Needs Program Manager, Long Beach City College

The upcoming cycle of the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition brings new benefits to participating institutions. Check out this overview of the supports and renew or become a member by October 31 (deadline extended).

#RealCollegeCalifornia Membership

All California higher education institutions are invited to join the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition. To do so, institutions should complete the following membership form, including affirming the commitment statement and issuing the membership payment to the Community College League of California.  

Membership Pricing
The membership fee is based on the institution’s student headcount and includes individualized technical assistance and coaching. Please note that the membership fee can be covered by HEERF funds:

  • 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

Notes: District pricing varies according to the number of colleges in them. A portion of the membership fee ($300) will be used to support the annual #RealCollegeCalifornia Summit. The membership cycle runs from September 1 to August 31.

This coming cycle is your chance to join the #RealCollegeCalifornia Coalition! Check out this overview of the supports offered and sign up by October 31 to participate.

For additional information or questions please contact realcollegeca@temple.edu

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

About your college:

If you are signing up all colleges in your district, please complete an application for each college, separately.
Each college in a district should complete this application separately.

Who will be the point of contact for your #RealCollege membership?

Current Efforts:
Please provide information on your current activities and services to support students’ basic needs.

Who can we contact to learn more about your survey and the results? 

Commitment Statement:
Please review this statement with your college president and affirm that they agree to it. If possible, please post your commitment publicly.

We recognize that secure access to food and housing is essential to academic success in higher education and must, therefore, be treated as a top educational priority. We will exemplify this commitment in our public statements and in our daily work. We will advance a campus culture of caring that recognizes that students are humans first. We will use data and evidence to drive our efforts to reduce food and housing insecurity and seek to impact as many of our students as possible. Finally, we will address the structural poverty that created this basic needs security crisis.