Promising Practices: Additional Considerations for Successful Implementation of EC 76140

Themes/Topics: Higher Education

Geography: California

Audience: Educator

This resource is part of the Building Pathways to AB 540 resource series that discusses opportunities available for different educational institutions to build pathways for individuals who do not yet meet the eligibility for AB 540.

Every community college school district working towards implementing Education Code 76140 (EC 76140) will need to develop its own set of strategies that navigate a unique set of challenges such as its political landscape, funding streams, and demographics within its communities and feeder schools. This section provides promising practices for school districts to ensure a successful implementation of EC 76140.

Build campuswide and districtwide support.

  • Aim to grow and expand your sphere of influence within your institution and across all campuses, including your school district. This effort may develop within a few months or over several years. Students should receive the same support from every campus they attend within the district. Thus, it is imperative to develop allies across all campuses so that you can voice the concerns of students and streamline services across the entire district once the policy is approved.

Engage key allies at multiple levels, including higher-level executives.

  • Develop a set of key trusted executive-level administrative allies who are willing to take on a significant leadership role, including taking the lead on developing the proposal and fiscal impact, providing public comment, building connections with and influencing the board of trustees at their campus, providing guidance on the best timing to submit the proposal, collecting data, and providing relevant approvals during the process. Administrator advocates can utilize their positions of power to access restricted financial information and provide overall direction. Reference the Implementation Team Roles and Responsibilities for guidance on key allies.

Prioritize student-centered and data-driven advocacy.

  • Safely access the number of nonresident students who apply, enroll, and complete six units or less each semester. Work with the administrators on the implementation team to access this data. With this data, quantify the fiscal and educational impact of current and future students.
  • Take a student-centered approach to advocacy. Invite students to participate throughout the entire process. They can provide invaluable insights as part of the implementation team meeting. Share their personal story during the BOT meeting and be instrumental in developing effective outreach strategies for their community. Student voices, lived experiences, and leadership should be honored and centered throughout the process. The BOT and Administrators need to hear directly from the students regarding how tuition barriers affect them. Even if EC 76140 does not succeed right away, that level of advocacy is a win because students have a safe space to make the campus aware of issues that need remediation for them to have more equitable access to education.

Provide additional support for students through braided funding and current programming.

  • Resources should be made available through the undocumented student center or programming, such as counseling, book loan programs, legal services, additional funding (if available), and a sense of community.
  • Students who qualify for EC 76140 and are unable to pay the state tuition rate should be offered additional financial support through AB 1645 Dreamer Liaison Funds, foundation funds, or the bursar’s office payment plans.

Develop strong connections with current and prospective students.

  • Support the creation of effective outreach and marketing materials and include current student leaders throughout the process. Always keep incoming students in mind and consider how these new and improved processes will benefit them in the long run.

Be thoughtful about implementation.

  • Once EC 76140 is implemented, make the application process easy and student-friendly.
  • Develop administrative practices that facilitate success.
  • Actively outreach to campus and community partners. Establish a working group or coalition that includes student leaders, high schools, adult schools and noncredit programs, and community organizations to develop an outreach plan to reach incoming students.

What’s Next?

Integrating these promising practices into your effort to get board passage of EC 76140 will elevate your ability to successfully build pathways to AB 540 on your campus. Be sure to use the case studies of community colleges that recently adopted EC 76140 for additional support.


The Building Pathways to AB 540 resource series was co-created by Nancy Jodaitis and Gladys Puente Valentine, who collaborated on the research, writing, and envisioning. Gladys served as a community researcher with Immigrants Rising and formally was the Undocumented Student Coordinator at Sierra College. The layout and design is by Grace Yeo, with copyediting support from Keziah Aurin.

We’d like to thank Bronwyn Moreno, formally of Hartnell College, whose initial research kickstarted our efforts; Hilda Rivera, formally of North Orange Continuing Education, who elevated pathways from noncredit to credit programs; and the powerful team supporting undocumented students at San Mateo Community College District. We’d also like to thank all the innovative changemakers across the state who are actively building pathways toward AB 540 at CA Community Colleges, Adult Schools, and Noncredit programs.

Immigrants Rising helps you make decisions based on your potential, not your perceived limits. Visit our website so you can see what’s possible: Published 3/2024.

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