By the California College Guidance Initiative
CaliforniaColleges.edu is the State of California’s official college and career planning platform, managed by the California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI). CaliforniaColleges.edu provides students with a one-stop shop for all the tools they need to set goals for life after high school and make plans to achieve them. The platform also serves as a crucial component of the state’s Cradle-to-Career System tools for students and parents.
Through CaliforniaColleges.edu, students can access tools that include:
- Career assessments to help students discover their strengths and interests, learn how they connect to fulfilling careers, and understand the steps they’ll need to take to realize their goals.
- A built-in academic planner that allows students to track their high school coursework and grades, as well as plan out their A-G courses, as early as the seventh grade.
- Career, college and major search tools that allow students to identify potential careers that match their interests, find what majors will help them achieve their career goals, and explore what colleges best meet their needs.
- The ability to launch and track applications to California Community Colleges, California State University, or the University of California.
- Self-guided financial aid lessons that help students understand the costs of going to college, types of financial aid, and how to complete and submit their financial aid application to secure the money they need to pay for college.
- Tracking tools that allow students to see the status of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA), as well as the Cal Grant GPA submission status associated with their FAFSA or CADAA.
AB 132 and the Cradle-to-Career System
California’s Cradle-to-Career System, established by Assembly Bill 132, is intended to be a suite of user-friendly resources focused on early learning through K-12 and higher education, as well as on the financial aid and social services that help students reach their goals. It will include:
- Planning and application tools for students, families, and educators to streamline the college and financial aid processes and monitor student progress.
- Dashboards, query tools, and an analytical data set for researchers, policymakers, educators, and community members to inform research, advocacy and policy analysis.
- Community engagement and training to raise awareness of the data system and ensure it can be used by students, families, educators, researchers and policymakers.
The long-term goal for CaliforniaColleges.edu is to provide the infrastructure through which the Cradle-to-Career System will streamline the high school-to-college segment of the educational pipeline.
What does AB 132 require?
AB 132 outlines specific steps that must be taken in order to implement the Cradle-to-Career System and realize its objectives. These include:
- Make CCGI’s tools and services free to all California school districts serving grades 6-12, with a goal of full participation by June 30, 2026.
- Require the California Department of Education to:
- Collect and provide data to support student accounts on CaliforniaColleges.edu.
- Encourage K-12 districts to work with CCGI to improve the quality of their transcript data, so that students applying to four-year colleges receive proper credit for A-G coursework they completed in high school.
- Designate CaliforniaColleges.edu as the preferred starting point for all applications to California public colleges, along with the FAFSA and CADAA. This streamlines the process by ensuring:
- All applications can be launched and tracked from a single platform.
- Components of applications can be pre-populated using data from CaliforniaColleges.edu.
- Key data points, including pre-verified A-G course data, can be provided to ensure accurate and timely decisions about admissions, placement and financial aid.
- Require an annual “Student Experience” audit of the processes and tools (such as application platforms) that students must use to apply for college and financial aid.
Focus on equity
The future of California depends on the success of all students. However, we know that we can’t improve educational outcomes for all California’s students until we acknowledge that students come from different circumstances. Students of color, English learners, those in the foster care system and those who are the first in their family to attend college face more complex challenges than their peers. These include language, socioeconomic and/or health barriers.
Meeting students where they are and offering targeted support creates more equitable educational journeys and ensures that all students can reach their chosen destinations. CaliforniaColleges.edu provides students with a seamless, guided experience from the very beginning of their college and career journey.
CaliforniaColleges.edu provides districts and educators with easy-to-navigate lessons that streamline the college and financial aid application process, while allowing educators to monitor students’ progress and intervene as necessary. College and career planning tools are remotely accessible and can be used within small or large group classroom settings, for distance learning or independently by students wherever they have access to the Internet.
As a school board member, we understand that you may be interested in whether your school district is already using CaliforniaColleges.edu. We encourage you to check out our list of K-12 partner districts to see if your district already has access. If your district is not on the list, it may be a district using Basic Accounts. We recommend you fill out a Contact Us form so our team can confirm that information for you.
Learn more about the platform and the free tools: CaliforniaColleges.edu Resource Hub.