Making Democracy Work

Higher Education Study

Public Higher Education in California is at a crossroads.  Almost  daily,  there  are  news   articles  about  public  higher  education, student loan debt, and the economic consequences for students, parents, the state of California, and the nation. What does the League of Women Voters plan to do?

Higher Education Committee completes it's yearlong study

In October 2015 our local League began its committee meetings and year long study with the guide and consensus questions provided by our state League (LWVC). In May 2016 the results were submitted to the board and also to LWVC to be combined with the other counties in California that participated.

Higher Education Committee Members

Higher Education Executive Summary

Higher Education Study Results

LWVSLO HIGHER EDUCATION STUDY-- Exploring Funding, Preparedness, Affordability, Equity and Barriers/Opportunities

Forty-three local Leagues throughout California have joined with the League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County to participate in this very important state-wide study. Our goals are two fold: to educate our membership about the issues facing Public Higher Education in California; and, to gain as much feedback as possible from a broad base of our participating Leagues in order to develop a policy statement that will allow LWVC to advocate both pro and con on issues impacting higher education in our state.

Cindy Marie Absey, Chair, LWVSLO Higher Education Study
Members of the LWVSLO Higher Education Study Committee include: Cal Poly President Jeff Armstrong, Cuesta President Gil Stork, Cuesta Dean of Academic Affairs Jason Curtis, Cal Poly ASI President Joi Sullivan, Cuesta ASCC President Scott Chedester and LWVSLO members Boyd Horne (Study Research), Sharon Whitney, Emily Penfield, Eric Greening, Kris Barnes, Carol Parente, Sue Nash, Carrie Pardo and Bud Hankins.

Complete List of Background Study Resources

Study of Public Higher Education in California Resources released from League of Women Voters of California

Please review these two files when participating in our study. Please click on link to preview file.

Study Guide

Consensus Questions

A League of Women's study process is comprehensive in its pursuit of facts and details. There is a continuing discussion of pros and cons. The League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County has a committee of volunteers ready to receive the information that will be coming from the state committee. The following references can be used as background study and preparation. These include:

1. Beyond the Master Plan (Original publication 2010) by Saul Geiser and Richard C. Atkinson, UC California, November, 2010. The abstract is one page; the full report is quite long. You can read it here:

2. The Campaign for College Opportunity: The State of Higher Education in California, The Latino Report: April 2015: (Click on the article or infographic)

3.The Campaign for College Opportunity: The State of Higher Education in California, To the US Commission on Civil Rights, June 2015.

4. Little Hoover Commission: A New Plan for a New Economy: Reimagining Higher Education (October 2013) here:

5. California Budget Project: Budget Brief + From State to Student: How State Disinvestment has Shifted Higher Education Costs to Students and Families here:

6. California's Future: Higher Education (Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), 2015) accessible at:

7. California Competes: The Road Ahead: Higher education, California's promise, and our future economy (2013) available here:

LWVSLO's 2014 Opening Meeting Begins State Study

LWV SLOCo's Opening Meeting key speakers focused on the accessibility and affordability of higher education.

Dr. Gil Stork president of Cuesta College and Jeffrey D. Armstrong Cal Poly's ninth president, ASCC president, Scott Chedester of Cuesta, and ASI president Joi Sullivan of Cal Poly, discussed "Can Our Kids Afford College? Accessibility and Affordability of Higher Education" in San Luis Obispo County.

Cindy Marie Absey, Chair of the Higher Education Study Committee for the 2015 program year, stated that formal study sessions and discussions will commence in August or September, 2015 when the state issues the study guides. Ms. Absey invites participation from the faculty and students of Cal Poly and Cuesta to join local League members in this important study. Read about the latest assessment of California's higher education performance. The League of Women Voters California want to know: what can we do to bring back California's former standards of excellence?

How and Why the League Conducts a Study

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause. Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be national, state, or local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

For more information about the League's study process see: LWVCEF Study Process: Study Committee Responsibilities available here: