Policy and Research

The Success Center provides rigorous, actionable, and timely policy development and research support to the Chancellor’s Office, especially as it relates to student success through the implementation of the Guided Pathways framework and the goals set forth in the Vision for Success.

The work of the Policy Development and Research division of the Success Center includes:

  • Identifying critical policy areas and emerging state and national reforms
  • Providing data-informed suggestions for policy change aimed at improving student success by translating results of research into policy proposals
  • Managing special policy development and in-depth research projects with funding from philanthropic partners

Policy Development

The Success Center develops policy proposals to promote student success, including researching best practices, identifying statutory and regulatory changes, and providing research and analysis for legislative and budget proposals.

Policy issue areas of focus:

The policy issue areas of focus include:

  • Student access, persistence, and completion
  • Closing achievement gaps among historically underserved students
  • Redefining the delivery of student services and supports
  • Financial aid reform
  • Program evaluation
  • Equity as it relates to all policy areas, including the Success Centered Funding Formula

The primary focus of our policy development and research is to support the Chancellor’s Office in implementing the Guided Pathways framework and the Vision for Success goals with an emphasis on equity.


We provide detailed secondary research, background, and data analysis on policies aligned with the Vision for Success goals, system student success reforms, and the Guided Pathways framework.

Research areas of focus:

  • Conduct regulatory and statutory background analyses
  • Draft detailed research reports
  • Conduct data analyses
  • Provide an evaluation of the progress on Strategic Vision goals

Special Projects

Credit for Prior Learning Initiative

Credit for prior learning (CPL)—the awarding of credit to college students for the skills and knowledge they acquired outside of a classroom—can be a valuable strategy to help community colleges serve their non-traditional students and increase completion and equity. Read more >

The Vision for Success

The Success Center facilitated the development of the Vision for Success and shapes its implementation through policy and research. The Vision for Success was developed through an extensive process of research, interviewing experts and key stakeholders, and inviting all Californians to participate in a Virtual Town Hall, which led to written submissions from approximately 550 individuals.

Research Convening

Our research convening aims to bring together a group of (1) academic, higher education researchers, (2) Chancellor’s Office leadership and staff, and (3) legislative, executive, and other statewide higher education policy staff in February 2019 to discuss how these three groups can best work together to ensure that statewide policy affecting the community colleges is informed by rigorous data and analysis.