California Community Colleges (CCC) System

  • No tests to take or minimum GPA required to attend
  • Free tuition for most foster youth
  • 113 campuses across the state
  • Lots of different educational paths to choose from:
    • Short-term certificate programs
    • Two-year associate’s degrees
    • Opportunity to transfer to a four-year university
    • Four-year bachelor’s degrees (in certain high-demand fields, select colleges only)
    • Career Technical Education (CTE)

In addition to degree programs, community colleges offer Career Technical Education (CTE), also referred to as vocational education. These short-term certificate programs in a particular field (for example, as a Medical Assistant, Auto Mechanic, Early Child Development Specialist, Landscape Designer, etc.) can quickly provide you with the skills and tools you need to find a job in your field of choice.

Consider attending a community college if:

  • You don’t qualify yet for a four-year university (because your GPA is not high enough or you haven’t taken the necessary classes in high school)
  • You are not sure of your career goals
  • You can’t afford to go to a four-year university right away (make sure you know about all the financial aid available). Community colleges are a proven stepping stone to a California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), or private four-year university. More than half of all CSU graduates and 28% of UC graduates were community college transfer students.
  • You are interested in short-term CTE certificate programs

Community College Benefits and Resources for Foster Youth

  • Campus Support Programs (CSP) for Foster Youth
    Many campuses have on-campus programs specifically to support foster youth scholars.
  • Community College Foster Youth Liaisons
    As a part of the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI), every community college campus has a foster youth liaison. Liaisons can assist you in accessing financial aid, scholarships, student services, and resources as well as helping you set goals to complete programs, transfer, and attain certificates and degrees.
  • Priority Registration for Foster Youth
    As a current or former foster youth in California, you may be eligible to receive priority course registration at California’s community colleges, which makes it much easier to enroll in the classes that you want to take. Getting the right classes at the right time makes a big difference in your ability to earn a degree and continue to receive financial aid.

Community College Tools for Students