Elevating Student Voices and Empowering Futures: C2C Seeks to Develop Actionable Tools for a Brighter Tomorrow

C2C Staff | January 31, 2024

By: Judy Chan, January 2024

“As a first-generation college student, it was kind of difficult to have that parental support and I think that’s also affected a lot in college. I feel like a lot of these college students have that parental support. I also do have that parental support, but it also feels like it’s kind of from a distance like my family is proud of me. They’re part of what I’m doing, but they just don’t know how to support me and what I’m doing. And I also know being that I’m in college now. I’m going to be the one helping my younger sister when she applies to   colleges next year, I’m going to help her fill out her financial aid, and I’m going to help her fill out all the scholarship applications.”

– Comment from student about the college application process

The California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) was named in state legislation to be California’s source of actionable data and research on education, economic, and health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. C2C has been envisioned to be the most inclusive data system of its kind in the nation, and deploys a three-pronged approach:

  • tools to support college planning and transition
  • an analytical data set on education and job outcomes, and
  • community engagement to inform development, interpretation, and awareness building about available information.

As part of statute, C2C conducts an annual survey (the “Student Experiences Audit”) to ensure we hear from students and families. We want to uplift student stories and ensure their voices and experiences guide our work as we build the data system. The data we receive helps validate some of the challenges we’ve heard previously and ensures that the work we are doing to expand and scale tools for students is relevant and aligned with their needs.

“Only some credits were accepted. I wish I knew more earlier about which credits would transfer as it would have changed the classes I took in high school and at the community college.

– Student quote

We heard that students were not always aware of where to go to get all the information needed to apply to college, that more financial aid awareness is necessary to support students throughout the process, and that nearly half of the students experienced challenges at some level when requesting transcripts for application or transfer credit. Along with our partners, C2C strives to reduce these burdens and aims to create a frictionless ecosystem where students can achieve their goals in education, employment and more. We are just getting started, and we look forward to future iterations where we will expand this study to hear from exponentially more students. Read the full report  here

“It costs money to send transcripts; money that amounts to gas money for the week. I don’t understand why I have to enter my transcript into every type of admission application and then still have to pay money to order transcripts be sent. I wish the colleges had better technology to transmit this information to each other instead of me doing data entry for the schools.”

– Student quote

In addition, we just launched the eTranscript California taskforce. The taskforce is part of a wider Master Plan for Career Education in which the Governor has tasked California with integrating statewide systems to remove barriers to education and employment. Over the next several months we will discuss how eTranscript and the Career Passport can streamline transcript delivery to usher students into higher education and employment pipelines. These tools will form the foundation to support skills-based hiring by providing ways for people to capture their learning experiences, accelerate completion of their program and provide better documentation that fully represents people’s skills, educational experiences and employment histories.

Some of the topics we will discuss include dual enrollment and college application integration, advising tools, credit for prior learning, competency-based education, workforce training, and digital credential badges. We hope you’ll stay tuned and follow along in the conversation with our task force.

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