About California Campus Compact

Since its founding in 1988, California Campus Compact has worked to build the collective commitment and capacity of colleges, universities and communities throughout California to advance civic and community engagement for a healthy, just and democratic society. Through innovative programs and initiatives, grant funding, training and technical assistance, professional development and powerful research studies and publications, California Campus Compact each year invests in and champions more than 500,000 students, faculty members, administrators and community members involved in diverse and ground-breaking activities that support and expand civic and community engagement throughout California.

As the only coalition that brings together the diverse collection of California colleges and universities together around a common commitment to higher education’s civic purposes, California Campus Compact is a powerful ally in making the case for civic engagement, public service and student involvement in campus-community partnerships – and for sustaining the momentum for higher education’s public service role in California.

History of Campus Compact and California Campus Compact

California Campus Compact is part of the national Campus Compact network and is one of 16 state and regional Compact offices nationwide.

In the mid-1980s, a group of higher education leaders came together based on a shared concern about the future of American democracy.  Motivated by their conviction that amid the pressures toward personal acquisition and personal advancement, their students were not learning to think, speak, and act in the service of the public good, they resolved that higher education must reclaim its historic mission of preparing the next generation of citizens to achieve public goals and solve public problems.

This group – a handful at first, and more than 100 within a year – decided to take action.  They became the founders of Campus Compact. Their chosen language – a compact – signified a commitment to each other to work together to advance the public purposes of higher education on their campuses and in their communities.  It also signified a commitment to honor the longstanding compact between higher education and the public good. Today, there are more than 700 member campuses nationally. They are supported by the place-based work of 16 state and regional Compact offices nationwide, including California Campus Compact.

Thirty-three years ago, in 1988, California Campus Compact became one of the first two state Campus Compact offices formed (along with Pennsylvania) to provide member campuses with local, state and regional support. Charles Young, who was then Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Donald Kennedy, who was then president of Stanford University, led the group that founded California Campus Compact based on California-specific higher education goals. California Campus Compact has grown from 17 member campuses at its inception to 47 campuses today.

CACC is currently hosted by California State University, East Bay. CACC was previously hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, and Sofia University.

“At California State University, East Bay, we take pride in our commitment to serve students first, by expanding access and enhancing each student’s educational experience and prospects for success as a graduate and life-long learner. That is why we are proud to not only be a member of the California Campus Compact (CACC), but to also host the organization on our campus. The university hosting CACC creates a synergy between Cal State East Bay’s commitment to enrich student engagement and learning with CACC’s rich history of leadership in supporting state, regional and national civic engagement in higher education.”

Leroy M. Morishita, Former President
California State University, East Bay


“As a new and growing research university, we at UC Merced know how complex and ever-changing the public higher education landscape in California can be. To thrive in such an environment requires us to be nimble, innovative and collaborative, and California Campus Compact helps to bring us all together as educators to fulfill both our individual and shared missions.”

Dorothy Leland, Former Chancellor
University of California, Merced


“California Campus Compact is at the forefront of the national dialogue on experiential learning, civic engagement and service learning. By collaborating with California Campus Compact, the University of San Diego is better equipped to prepare students to be ethical leaders and compassionate citizens who build partnerships for positive change and reinvigorate higher education for the public good.”

James T. Harris, President
University of San Diego