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Report 95-08: Perspective of the California Postsecondary Education Commission on Educational Equity

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

June 1995

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This document provides the Postsecondary Education Commission's historical and present perspective on educational equity in California higher education -- a perspective which draws upon the Master Plan for Higher Education, the California Education Code, and the Commission's adopted policies and recommendations.

The Commission decided to summarize its perspective to assist the leadership of the State's higher education institutions in responding to the Governor's Executive Order to End Preferential Treatment and to Promote Individual Opportunity Based on Merit (W-124-95), issued on June 1, 1995. Because the Governor vests the responsibility for responding to this order with the governing boards and executives of higher education, the Commission believes that, as the coordinating agency that advises the Governor and Legislature on higher education policy, its perspective on this issue should be beneficial to higher education's leadership as they consider their response to the Executive Order.

The Commission's perspective emerges from its belief that educational equity is vital to California's economic and social future. To that end, the Commission stipulates that the focus of attention ought to be on the preparation of students for college, particularly on taking and performing well in the specific courses that are required in order to be eligible for admissions to the California State University and the University of California. The Commission has long supported effective collaborative student preparation programs whose goal is to enhance the number of students who are admissible from groups whose historical rates of eligibility for California's public universities have been low. Additionally, this perspective discusses the importance of developing campus environments that are supportive for all students.

Finally, the Commission reiterates its opposition to any practice that involves quotas, the predominance in the admissions process of any one factor other than eligibility, lowering of academic standards, or the enrollment of ineligible students through other than limited special action efforts.

At its August meeting, the Commission will discuss a report on the historical and current policies, programs, and practices in California higher education to achieve statewide educational equity goals. The Commission expects that this paper and the one that it will consider in August will contribute to greater understanding on this critical, but controversial, topic currently being debated at the national and state levels. Moreover, the Commission intends that these reports will support the self-reflection currently underway about educational equity in California higher education.

The Commission accepted this report at its meeting on June 5, 1995.

Related Topics: Enrollment Demand and Capacity Analysis | Equity, Access, and College Preparation

Further information may be obtained from the Commission's Research Staff
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

A copy of any publication may be requested from the Commission's Publications Unit
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

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