Umoja Community Fact Sheet

Umoja, (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a critical resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of our California (CA) Community College students. The Umoja Community serves as an umbrella organization, which provides programming, curriculum, training, assessment and knowledge sharing to colleges across the state in order to close the achievement gap, especially for African American students. Umoja actively promotes student success for all  students, with an emphasis on African  American  student  success,  through  culturally  responsive  curriculum  and  practices. Chancellors and college presidents from across the community colleges act as a consortium to advise the Umoja Governing Board on program implementation and generate strategies for securing additional funding.

History

  • Decade of service to the CCCCO system, from 2006-2015 functioned as an all-volunteer organization
  • Formally recognized as a Student Success Program by CCCCO Board of Governors, Statewide Academic Senate, Statewide Student Senate
  • Largest professional development conference in the California Community College system, over 1,000 attendees, and we include our students

The Numbers

  • 57 Affiliated California Community Colleges and universities, a nearly tenfold increase since our founding in 2006
  • Served over 10,000 students since our founding in 2006
  • Currently serve over 4,000 students annually and growing fast; goal of serving 10,000 students annually by 2019
  • Doubled the number of programs, from 28 to 57, since our initial funding from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) in 2015-16
  • Trained over 1,000 faculty and staff since our founding in 2006
  • Strong outcomes data--retention, success, transfer-directed status (see website), including a large scale project in partnership with the CCCCO and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) to provide system-wide outcomes data that mirrors the CCCCO Student Success Scorecard

Funding

  • Currently finishing second year of five, $1,000,000 per year grant, of Equity funding through Chancellor’s Office
  • Became a $2,500,000 ongoing line item in the California state budget, starting in 2018
  • Awarded a $250,000 California Wellness Foundation grant beginning Fall 2017 to promote African American students to enter the Health and Wellness fields

Umoja Community Programming

Umoja students participate in integrated student services and instructional courses programs, which include:

  • Cohort and Learning Community model course offerings, college orientation and assessment process, individual counseling sessions, intensive transfer preparation and support, intrusive high-touch support services, comprehensive Student Educational Plan, core Umoja-sponsored activities and field trips, and financial aid workshops.
  • Umoja faculty and staff participate in the following Umoja Community professional development activities:
  • Ongoing workshops, Summer Learning Institutes, annual conferences, retreats, regional symposia, UC Umoja Days, regular site visits; as well as access to a web-based knowledge sharing database and member website.

Our Future: The Umoja Community Across California

The Umoja Community has embarked on an ambitious effort to unify and expand Umoja programs system wide. Our three core objectives in the next few years include:

  1. Continue to grow our organizational capacity to increase the number of students served annually from 4,000 to 10,000 by 2019
  2. Expand our guided pathways to include Umoja programming at the high schools in the service areas of our affiliated colleges, beginning with 50 high schools in 2018-19.
  3. Deepen and expand our partnerships, especially with the three transfer systems--HBCUs, UCs, and CSUs