Student Equity and Achievement

Improving student equity and achievement is the chief mission of Cerro Coso Community College and is reflected in our Strategic Goals:

  1. Maximize Student Success by Improving Onboarding and Momentum to Students' End Goals
  2. Narrow Equity Gaps
  3. Ensure Student Access by Optimizing Student Enrollment

Cerro Coso is committed to improving processes to increase retention, persistence, course success, program completion & transfer while closing equity gaps.


We recognize the many obstacles and challenges our students face in being able to complete their academic goals.

55% Students Lost

In spring 2019, 1520 students applied to Cerro Coso using CCC Apply. Of those, 835 were lost by Census day.

7.5 Years to Transfer

It takes on average 7.5 years for a Cerro Coso student to transfer. (And think of all the students we lose who are not able to persist that long!)

5 Years to Earn Degree

It takes on average 5 years for a Cerro Coso student to earn an Associate's degree or Associate's degree for Transfer. For Native American/Alaskan Native students, it takes 6.5 years to reach this same goal.

21% Equity Gap

While college-wide success rates have increased from 68% in 2013 to 75% in 2019, success rates for our non-incarcerated African American males are 21% lower than the college average.

These are just some data suggesting there is much more work needed to improve student equity and achievement outcomes.

Data is from the Office of Institutional Research

According to Cerro Coso Students, there are many obstacles to their success

"Sometimes they provide snacks and drinks, which is great because I can barely afford school."

"I took a bunch of classes that I didn't need because I didn't know they didn't transfer."

"I want to know more about the student and academic resources available up front.
Especially in online classes."

"I just couldn't take a class one semester because I couldn't afford the textbook,
which was a big setback."

"Our website is difficult to know what to click on, even if you know what you're looking for."

"With the way the classes are scheduled,
I couldn't make a full time schedule relevant to any offered degree."

"We need more career outreach planning so students know what to major in."

"I needed to work so I dropped out."

Equity and Achievement is Part of our Funding

The California Community College Chancellor's Office recently introduced a new Student-Centered Funding Formula that compels colleges to focus on equity and achievement. Part of our allocation is "…based on outcomes that include the number of students earning associate degrees and credit certificates, the number of students transferring to four-year colleges and universities, the number of students who complete transfer-level math and English within their first year, the number of students who complete nine or more career education units and the number of student who have attained the regional living wage."

What is Cerro Coso Doing About It?

Like other California Community Colleges, Cerro Coso has been focusing on improving student achievement and success for many years using models and initiatives such as Basic Skills Transformation, Student Success and Support Program (SSSP), Achieving the Dream, Strong Workforce Program, and California Promise. Guided Pathways offers a framework that integrates the best of these initiatives with a clear directive to improve the student experience through the lens of equity.

What is Guided Pathways?

Guided Pathways provides our students with clear program and career pathways that include high-touch, just-in-time, wraparound student supports to guide them toward successfully completing their educational goals on schedule. Guided Pathways provides our institution with a structure of inquiry and accountability to better implement and scale our efforts to improve the student experience through the lens of equity.

Learn more about Guided Pathways