CCC Chancellor Daisy Gonzalez Praises College Corps and Promotes New Equal Employment Resources

At the first statewide student media teleconference of the year held Feb. 1, California Community Colleges (CCC) Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales spoke about the economic importance of the student work program known as College Corps, now in its second year.

“It’s a part of a bigger vision to make sure that our students have access to paid, work-based learning,” Gonzales said. 

The program, created by the governor’s office, compensates students for the hours they volunteer on large-scale projects in California—providing particular opportunities for lower-income students to serve their communities while attending school. “I resonate very closely with this, because as someone who grew up in foster care as a first-generation college student, what drove me was to be able to give back,” said Gonzales.

Last year, 19 colleges across California offered the College Corps program, giving over 3,000 students the chance to give back by volunteering at local elementary schools, food banks and storm relief efforts. This year the program has more than doubled, expanding to 46 campuses across the state.

Colleges that seek to offer the work program must go through a competitive grant application process through the governor’s office. College Corps is not currently being offered at Diablo Valley College.

On the call, the Chancellor also talked about CCC’s continued commitment to ensure students have a safe and inclusive campus climate during Black History Month. Gonzales said she hopes colleges statewide can create “a system that creates ecosystems of unconditional belonging.” 

Gonzales added it’s important that schools highlight BHM events and speakers on campus, and help make students aware of resources such as Nandi, a mentorship program for African American women and working professionals. The Umoja Community, which is active at DVC, is another venue broadening the cultural and educational experiences of African American students. 

Additionally, Chancellor Gonzales announced that this year’s Black Student Success Week will be held April 24-28, featuring daily webinars, group discussion forums and a virtual advocacy event with this year’s theme, “Vision To Action: Building Systems and Structures for Black Students’ Success.” 

Finally, the Chancellor discussed the Fall 2022 publication of the Equal Employment Opportunity Handbook, a tool to advance the cultural transformation of public higher education in California to ensure equitable student opportunity and success. “This is a long time coming, and I want to make sure that I recognize all the student leaders who have been a part of this,” Gonzales said. 

The handbook, which has been in the works for four years, includes useful information on equal opportunity hiring practices, increasing diversity in workplaces, and gives links to internship programs and services to help students succeed. The handbook can be found for free on the California Community Colleges website.

Chancellor Gonzales wrapped up the teleconference, thanking those who attended for their time and wishing students good luck for their spring semesters. The next student media teleconference will be held in April.