Sen. Bradford’s Bill Establishing Black-Serving Colleges Designation Clears Senate Committee

Bo Tefu, Joe W. Bowers Jr. and Tanu Henry | California Black Media

In a significant bipartisan move, legislation proposed by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) aimed at acknowledging institutions excelling in educating and serving Black students has passed the Senate Education Committee with a unanimous 6-0 vote.

Historically, Black students in California and nationwide have been underrepresented in higher education. Senate Bill (SB)1348 seeks to rectify this inequity by introducing a state-level designation, spotlighting public and private colleges and universities actively prioritizing Black student success.

“SB 1348 will focus attention on the disparities that exist for Black students in higher education,” commented Sen. Bradford in a recent press release. “By creating a seal of excellence that recognizes the colleges and universities in California that are doing the most to support Black student success, we can recognize their important efforts and encourage others to take similar steps to improve overall outcomes.”

In addition, according to Bradford, “This legislation will also provide a simple way for the prospective students or their parents to know which colleges and universities have created environments where Black students are holistically embraced, enriched and empowered.”

The legislation outlines criteria for institutions to qualify as a Black-Serving Institution, including enrollment thresholds, mandatory Black student success programs, and robust African American studies offerings.

Advocates for SB 1348 underscore its significance. Dr. Keith Curry, President of Compton College, voiced support, saying, “It is important that we, as institutions of higher education, make bold statements and commit ongoing resources to improving student outcomes for all post-secondary education students, but most notably Black and African American students.”

Dr. Thomas A. Parham, President of California State University, Dominguez Hills, applauded Bradford’s initiative, recognizing the potential impact of a Black-Serving Institution designation in advancing support networks and elevating Black excellence on campuses.

Also supporting the bill are the California Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO, California State University, Office of the Chancellor, and the Campaign for College Opportunity. 

SB1348 has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further deliberation.

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