Senator Bradford’s legislation to create a designation for Black-Serving colleges passes Senate committee

April 17, 2024

SACRAMENTO – Senator Steven Bradford’s legislation to establish a state-level designation recognizing institutions of higher education that excel in educating and serving Black students has passed the Senate Education Committee 6-0 with bipartisan support.

Black students in California and nationally are historically underrepresented in higher education. SB 1348 would create a way to recognize public and private colleges and universities that are making significant commitments to promote Black student success.   

“SB 1348 will focus attention on the disparities that exist for Black students in higher education,” Senator Bradford said. “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.”

SB 1348 would establish criteria for institutions to receive the designation of a Black-Serving Institution including setting enrollment thresholds, requiring Black student success programs and robust African American studies program.

Supporters of SB 1348 explain the critical importance of passing this legislation.

“Compton College and the Compton Community College District support Senate Bill 1348,” Dr. Keith Curry, President of Compton College said. “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.”

“Senator Bradford should be applauded for his vision and courage in advancing this initiative,” Dr. Thomas A. Parham, President, California State University, Dominguez Hills said. “A designation as a Black-Serving Institution of Higher Education would certainly reflect our California State University, Dominguez Hills student body, but more importantly, help to advance critical support networks for Black students highlighted by our African-centered curriculum, faculty composition in African American studies and other academic departments, campus services, and programs. The movement of SB 1348 through this committee, in my opinion, is a critical step in creating a blueprint for what a Black-Serving institution should look like and a mechanism to recognize those universities and colleges who are moving beyond merely counting demographics to a broader landscape of support services and resources that enhance the Black experience and elevate Black excellence on a particular campus. Those of us committed to this effort celebrate this progress in moving this bill forward”.

“SB 1348 is a monumental stride towards equity and excellence in higher education,” Sacramento State President Luke Wood said. By establishing the California Seal of Excellence for Black students, we not only recognize campuses for their dedication, but also affirm our commitment to fostering inclusive environments where every student can thrive. Thank you to Senators Bradford and Ashby for their leadership on this legislation.”

SB 1348 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.


Senator Bradford is Vice Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications, and represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.