Equity and Social Justice

Without access to community college, there is no equity in higher education.

College is becoming increasingly out of reach for most Americans. For far too many, historical, financial, physical, and developmental barriers make attending college feel like an insurmountable goal. For those who feel that they don't belong, the door to collegiate success seems closed.

Highly inclusive community colleges like West Valley and Mission are key to knocking down these barriers and opening the door for everyone.

social justice table

Community College is the proven path to equity and social justice.

If you’re committed to supporting equity and social justice in your community, giving to West Valley and Mission Colleges just makes sense.

From the diversity of our student body to our well developed and implemented Antiracism and Inclusion Plan to the accessibility of our classes to accommodate all incomes, ages, abilities and backgrounds, we are committed to advancing and embodying equity and social justice. We embed equitable practices in all that we do, meeting students where they are. We offer classes at night and on weekends so that our students with full-time jobs can be successful.

Students with children can access priority registration, on-campus work study and free childcare. Foster youth receive support in completing their applications and financial aid packages, textbook and school supplies assistance, access to our nutrition program, and academic counseling. Students with language barriers, first-generation or low-income college students, undocumented students, and those with disabilities can access a rich network of support, from individualized counseling and tutoring to skill-building workshops and professional events.

The hard truth is that without access to community college, there is no equity in higher education. College is becoming increasingly out of reach for most Americans. Nationwide, 69% of community college students work while they attend school, and 33% work more than 35 hours per week.

Transformational power of education for justice-impacted students

As part of its mission to support positive change and improve the lives of those impacted by the justice system, Mission College offers courses to students at Elmwood Jail. In Spring 2023, Mission College professors taught courses in psychology, sociology, social justice, and food service & restaurant management. This powerful program is part of the college's commitment to making higher education accessible to all.

Elmwood Jail Course

The Study of Social Justice

With its Associate in Arts in Social Justice Studies for Transfer degree (AA-T), West Valley College creates a path for students to turn their passion for change, human rights, and the ideals of justice into an interdisciplinary focus area of study for transfer. The program gives students choices in their coursework, so that each individual can focus on the issues or areas that most appeal to them. Coursework includes themes of race ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sex identity, culture and diversity, gender, and sexuality. The goal of the program is not to engender a singular approach to social justice issues but rather to present students with a dynamic academic framework for thinking creatively and pragmatically about contemporary social issues.

Mission College Champions NOH8 Campaign

In support of its members of the LGBTQIA+ Community, Mission College is a proud partner of the NOH8 Campaign, an international organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest. While inspired by the fight for marriage equality, the scope of the NOH8 Campaign has grown to stand against discrimination and bullying of all kinds.

At Mission College, we celebrate inclusivity and work every day to ensure all our students feel a sense of belonging on our campus and promote a culture of acceptance and respect. 


NOH8 Photo