Top header graphic with link to CSUS Home Page california state university, sacramento
Header Graphic
sac state homeuniversity affairspublic affairs
 Search Sacramento
 State website

  Sacramento State
  main news page

media resources graphic
   news releases
   news and events

   facts & stats
   experts guide
   image downloads
   news by e-mail
   contact news
     services staff

   submit news
     & events


publications graphic
   Sac State Magazine
   Sacramento State

   Sacramento State

calendars graphic
   events this month
   search events

additional news graphic
   Capital Public Radio
   alumni association
   crime alerts
   CSU Newsline

visitors resources graphic
   visitor relations
   Sacramento State
     ticket office

   campus directory
   campus tours

Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

December 1, 2004

Report: Californians complacent
as state higher ed struggles

Full Report (pdf)

California’s higher education system is lagging behind those of other high-growth states – due to a lack of urgency among politicians and policymakers to address some serious issues. That’s according to a recent report by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy at California State University, Sacramento.

The report says California is far behind in degree and certificate completion rates, and has large education gaps across ethnic groups. The state also has many more high school students who put off college, lowering their chances of ever earning a degree.

As for continued praise for California’s higher education promise, the report says, “celebration is unwarranted.”

The report, titled “Facing Reality,” compared California to seven other states experiencing high growth and demographic change: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington. It found that every other state is far ahead of California in identifying statewide challenges and deciding how to address them.

“We are suffering from a lack of statewide leadership on higher education,” says Nancy Shulock, the institute’s executive director and co-author of the report. “Nobody is driving the agenda statewide. We Californians like to sit back and assume that everything is fine. But it isn’t. Yes, we have fine institutions, but collectively they are leaving many important needs unmet. We need to get going and start addressing the problems.”

One of the big problems, Shulock says, is the state’s continued focus on getting students into college – and not nearly enough attention to getting them through.

“We’ve been obsessed with access to higher education at all costs, but shouldn’t we also care how they do once they’re in, about whether they actually graduate, and how well the system is set up to help students succeed?” Shulock says.

She says major challenges for California include a growing college-age population, learning gaps at the K-12 level, a large number of adults without a college education, a poor system for transferring students from community colleges to four-year universities, and no “culture of completion” at community colleges. California also lacks student-level statewide data, she says, as well as statewide goals and accountability for meeting them that would keep the focus on the needs of the state as a whole.

For more information or a copy of the report contact the institute at (916) 278-3888 or For media assistance, contact the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
Bottom bar graphic back to top

California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •