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Irvine’s new way of investing in postsecondary success

The Irvine Foundation has entered into a partnership with College Futures Foundation that starts a new chapter in our support of postsecondary success in California. (Click here to read more about our recent efforts.)

To achieve Irvine’s singular goal – a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically – we know that the state’s community colleges and CSU system play a critical role. Completing a college degree or postsecondary certificate in California leads to a better job, more career advancement, and greater civic engagement. That’s why we have long provided funding to expand postsecondary success.

Now with our focus on low-wage workers, we have decided to split our postsecondary funding into two parts:

  1. Strengthening and expanding work-ready credentialing programs (which we will do directly, primarily as part of our Better Careers initiative)
  2. Accelerating and expanding the attainment of bachelor’s degrees (which we will fund through our partnership with College Futures)

We believe that College Futures is in a stronger position than we are to make grants to support improvements in how the CSUs and the California Community Colleges can better serve students. These two systems are pursuing critical changes in leadership, policy, and practice that, if successful, will expand and make more equitable the attainment of bachelor’s degrees across our state.

That’s why, last week, our board approved a $5 million grant to College Futures Foundation for them to invest in changes that put students at the center. College Futures is purpose-built to increase the number of students (particularly low-income students of color) who complete degrees in our state. They will regrant more than 90% of those funds to institutions and organizations with proven approaches to ensuring student baccalaureate success.

As Monica Lozano, President and CEO of College Futures, says of the partnership, “Ensuring the college success of students facing the most formidable barriers will help all of us – our families, community, and state – thrive economically and socially. Realizing this goal requires creativity and innovation, forming new and stronger partnerships, and tapping a wider range and deeper pool of resources.”

We are confident that, with College Futures’ leadership and track record, our investment in this partnership will contribute to greater college success as Irvine focuses on low-wage workers.

You can learn more about College Futures at