Stanford and Cal Admission Leaders Speak Out

WACAC’s Government Relations Committee has long lobbied for increased access to high quality college counseling resources for all students in California and Nevada. This was, once again, a featured talking point at WACAC’s 11th Annual Legislative Conference in Sacramento, CA, which took place less than one month ago in February 2014. A recent Op Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by Amy Jarich of UC Berkeley and Richard Shaw of Stanford University shows that WACAC is not alone in recognizing the critical role counselors play in the transition to college. For the past two years, the Government Relations Committee has also emphasized how important it is for legislative leaders to increase access to high quality college counseling resources at the community college level, in addition to K-12 schools. The Op Ed by Jarich and Shaw states that cuts to college counseling resources in schools are short-sighted and will ultimately backfire. We agree. The legislative challenge in response … [Read more...]

How I Got Involved with the Government Relations Committee

I’ve always been a bit of a nerd about the law. It started my sophomore year of high school, when my honors history teacher witnessed me arguing with a fellow classmate. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a meeting for the high school mock trial team. I loved it enough to continue it at the collegiate level.  Four years of arguing cases, learning case law, and competing in courtrooms later, I was a college graduate, working a real job, and I started having withdrawals for everything legal. In November of 2012, my colleague emailed me the information for the 2013 Legislative Conference provided by the Governmental Relations Committee. I signed up immediately because it sounded fascinating. I later worried about my rash registration, since I didn’t know much about what was going on in the legislature in our state, but I figured it would at least be a two-day binge of college counselor networking! Once at the hotel and settled in, we jumped right into training for our lobbying … [Read more...]

The Shakeout

Many of us in California recently participated in “The Great Shakeout,” an annual state-wide earthquake drill. It’s an event that helps raise awareness of the challenges of living in a place where the ground below us can shift at anytime. At the risk of tempting fate, I can say much the same about the transfer process from California Community Colleges to four-year universities. Recent years have seen seismic shifts in the transfer process as classes and support services were cut, and impaction levels reached new highs. This environment of reduced resources was fertile ground for those advocating the completion agenda and an overhaul of the once lofty Master Plan for Higher Education. To stretch my metaphor a little more, I liken the Master Plan to a classic building, a beautiful monument that has inspired many, but one that is in need of seismic reinforcing. The ground has shifted beneath it, and this structure that was meant to offer access and opportunity to everyone now sits on … [Read more...]

Governor Signs Controversial Community College Bill

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that allows six community colleges to charge more for some high demand classes. The controversy, according to some, includes the potential for the unequal access to necessary course work for students.  While the bill is new and the true consequences are not known, the Government Relations Committee will be monitoring its implementation. For more on this click here:,0,5737329.story By Steven Mercer, Co-Chair (California) Government Relations Committee … [Read more...]

WACAC ACTION ALERT: Oppose Legislation That Would End Important Protections for Students and Taxpayers

Urge your legislator to vote no on the Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act today! Recently Representatives Foxx (R-NC-5), Kline (R-MN-2) and Hastings (D-FL-20) introduced The Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2637), which would repeal and prohibit specific regulations that protect students and taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse by unscrupulous colleges. Specifically, the legislation would: Resurrect loopholes that allowed for-profit colleges to pay bonuses for increasing admission numbers at the expense of students. Amend the incentive compensation regulation to allow third-party service providers to enter into tuition sharing agreements and allow colleges to use incentive pay to compensate individuals for enrolling higher numbers of students. Repeal regulations designed to reign in abuses at schools that waste taxpayer dollars and leave students with unmanageable debt and worthless degrees. H.R. 2637 would put students and … [Read more...]