Office of Student Equity & Success

The Fresno City College Office of Student Equity and Success is housed under Educational Services and Institutional Effectiveness. The Office of Student Equity and Success provides leadership and direction on college-wide student equity inquiry and research, planning, and implementation with a heightened focus on racial equity. A primary goal of the Office of Student Equity and Success is to help facilitate critically conscious learning and reflective opportunities for faculty, classified professionals, and administrators to equip them with the schema, tools, and resources necessary to embed equity-mindedness into the cultural and structural fabric of the College with help from Fresno City College to normalize equity in experiences and outcomes for racially minoritized and marginalized students.


Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm


LI -201

Our Guiding Framework: Equity-Mindedness

To normalize equity in experiences and outcomes for racially-minoritized and marginalized students requires equity-mindedness because “change must happen individually before it can happen collectively" (McNair, Bensimon & Malcolm-Piqueux, p.1 2020).

Terms & Concepts that Guide our Work

FCC defines Student Equity as the act of identifying and removing barriers that have prevented the full participation of historically marginalized and underrepresented student populations with the goal of eliminating identified differences in outcomes between those populations and the student population as a whole (FCC Definition of Terms).

While equality ensures that access is available to all students, equity addresses outcome disparities. Equity is the work it takes by the institution to assure that, whatever the students' background, it provides the resources, support and practice needed to achieve students’ educational goals and outcomes.

Diversity encompasses and values all the characteristics that make individuals or groups alike or different. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender, but also age, national origin, religion, ability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. To value diversity is to welcome frank and open dialogue amongst all individuals and groups (FCC Definition of Terms).

Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity (FCC Definition of Terms). 

Programs for Students

Visit the Housing Opportunities Promote Education (HOPE) Webpage

Please email Natalie Chavez for HOPE Inquiries at

All referrals are tracked via email

The Rising Scholars Program is funded by the Formerly Incarcerated Students Reentry Program Grant. The program is designed to establish or support formerly incarcerated students enrolled in community college. We focus on the students' successful reentry into the community. 

Services Provided:

  • Peer Mentor Support
  • Activities designed for formerly incarcerated student success
  • Academic Counseling
  • Tutoring
  • Community resource connections
  • Fresno City College Resource connections 

Connect with a Rising Scholar Counselor Virtual or In Person! 

2024 Rising Scholars Students Symposium - Friday, April 12th, 2024, 8:00am - 4:00pm at Fresno City College

REGISTER for the 2024 Rising Scholars Student Symposium

Watch the Rising Scholars Symposium 2022 Virtual Sessions!

Rising Scholars Symposium Virtual Session Recordings

Family Advocacy Program

The Family Advocacy Program is here to encourage family participation in all levels of care. To help families navigate the mental health system and find the right door the first time. To help families find the right services for themselves and to link them to community resources. The Family Advocate does not provide therapy services nor make decisions for your family. The Family Advocate will not disclose any confidential information without written consent


Kristi Williams
Phone: 559.600.6734
Cell: 559.341.5547

Fresno County Dept. of Behaviorial Health

Fresno County Dept. of Behavioral Health

General Information: 559.600.5956 | 1.800.742.1011

Suicide Prevention Line: 1.800.273.8255

Help with opioid or other substance use disorder: 1.800.654.3937

If you are in crisis, call 911

Multi-Agency Access Program (MAP)

MAP stands for Multi Agency Access Point, funded by Fresno County MAP is available to all Fresno County Residents, without regard to socioeconomic status, ethnicity or other factors. nty Dept. of Behavioral Health, providing linkages at no cost. MAP assists clients with linkages to government resources that will enable them to access: housing, behavioral health, physical health, food linkages, & transportation.

WARM Line: 559.600.9276 


Emergency: 911

Project Rebound – Fresno State

If you have been involved in the Criminal Justice System and feel education is the tool you want to use to change your pathway in life, please contact us. We are a student support services program that assists with those already taking courses at Fresno State as well as those who wish to attend. We can assist you in many ways as you navigate the higher education system. 

Project Rebound – Fresno State


Jennifer Leahy, Program Director

Arnold Trevino, Outreach Coordinator


Reading and Beyond  

The mission of Reading and Beyond is to empower children and families to live productive, self-reliant lives. Reading and Beyond offers a two-generation program that works with children and parents together to build education, economic assets, social capital, and health and wellbeing to create economic security that passes from one generation to the next.

Root & Rebound Reentry Advocates

If you have an arrest or conviction history, Root & Rebound Reentry Advocates can help you access lawyers, community advocates, and other resources you might need to navigate employment, housing, family law, parole, probation, and more.


WestCare Foundation

WestCare Foundation is proud to offer programs and services across the continuum of health and human services. Every doorway into a WestCare program is designed, not only to lead to solutions for the presenting issue, but, also, to be a first step toward identifying what may be other complicating and co-occurring factors impacting the life of a whole human being. WestCare creates a continuum of person-centered and trauma-informed care within each and every one of its programs that is recognized for clinical excellence, coordinated access and collaborative innovation.

Chelsey Ramirez-Hernandez, CES Program Manager


David Bethea

Opening Doors Program Manager


Workforce Connection – Fresno Regional WDB  

Workforce Connection One-Stop Centers is the place that brings everything together! Their diverse menu of services are designed to connect you with job search, assistance with writing your résumé, retraining for a new position and/or referrals to partnering agencies and community resources throughout Fresno County. They are there to help! Participants come from all walks of life, so whether you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, been recently laid off, or at a point in your life where you’re ready to start or change careers.

Contact: Annette Watkins, Outreach/Workshop Facilitator


Professional Development and Learning Opportunities

  • Unconscious Bias
  • Racial Microaggressions  
  • Teaching Men of Color in the Community College  
  • Supporting Men of Color in the Community College  
  • Black Ally Program – “Dismantling Anti-Blackness on Your Campus: Core Competencies for Allies” Course information: "Anti-Black sentiments are evident in society and within our nation's schools, colleges and universities. Participants will learn how Anti-Blackness manifests in these arenas and the impact this has on the climate experienced by Black students and educators. Participants will explore pro-Black frameworks and strategies to create transformative environments that actively demonstrate that Black lives and minds matter." Register now
  • Course Design for Racial Equity  

Register for any CORA Program - How to Register for CORA Courses

The purpose of the New Employee Equity Academy is to provide a support team for you in your first year and guide some of your professional development activities based on equity-minded principles and practices. NEEA is available to faculty, administrators, and classified professionals. 

NEEA Registration is required | NEEA 2023 Registration 

Summer/Fall 2023 Dates: 

  • NEEA Introduction to Equity-Minded Syllabus Review (faculty only) | Recording (once you register, you will be given access to the video)
  • NEEA Day 1 | Monday, July 31, 9:30am - 12:30pm in OAB 251
  • NEEA Day 2 | Tuesday, August 1, 9:30am - 12:30pm in FH 103

Ram REL will be on hiatus during the fall 2023 semester.

Ram REL is the Ram Racial Equity Lab (REL). It is professional development devoted to the topic of racial equity. Ram REL offers 6 - 7 three-hour courses each semester.   

Participating in Ram REL provides you the opportunity to engage in equity-focused professional development throughout the semester with the same small group of colleagues. The cohort model allows for in-depth conversations about equity. We define equity as "... the removal of barriers that have prevented the full participation of historically marginalized and underrepresented student populations with the goal of eliminating identified differences in outcomes between those populations and the student population as a whole."   

The overarching goal is to create an equity-minded culture. We need wide-spread participation to fulfill this lofty goal. We need you! Your participation will be compensated within the parameters of your contract. Compensation is available for full- and part-time faculty. Overtime pay is available for classified professionals, unless the sessions are during your regular scheduled time or if the hours do not exceed a full-time schedule.  

Topics that will be discussed include: 

  • Equity vs. equality
  • Deficit-mindedness vs. equity-mindedness
  • State of equity at FCC and surrounding area
  • Microaggressions
  • Stereotype threat
  • Peer observations
  • Data analysis
  • Facilitating equity discourse inside and outside the classroom

The participant learning outcomes are:

  • Differentiate equality from equity, and articulate reasons why racial equality does not result in racial equity.
  • Understand how data is used to identify equity gaps.
  • Understand that all spaces (e.g., the classroom, the library, your office, the cafeteria) are racialized spaces, and more comfortably engage in conversations about race and racial equity.
  • Identify areas where instructors, classified professionals, and managers have agency over the state of equity, and create interventions with the goal of eliminating racial equity gaps.
  • Demonstrate ability to facilitate equity-minded conversations, including how to respond to common obstacles to racial equity.

For more information and/or to get on an Interest List, please email Celia Martínez and the Office of Student Equity at &

The Fresno City College Rising Scholar Symposium (formerly known as the Fostering Success for Formerly Incarcerated Students Symposium) is an event that provides a platform for formerly incarcerated, systems impacted students, Educations, Academic Personnel, and Community Advocates to support formerly incarcerated/systems impacted students in higher education.

2022 Rising Scholars Symposium Recordings

Email us if you have questions:

Resources & Links

The California State Legislature requires the SCCCD Board of Trustees to adopt a Student Equity Plan for each college in the district as a minimum condition to receive funding from the State. According to AB 1809, the Student Equity and Achievement (SEA) Program funding and the Student Equity Plan must be used pursuant to the California community colleges guided pathways grant program and for activities and practices that advance the system-wide (Vision for Success) goal to eliminate equity gaps for students from traditionally underrepresented groups.

At FCC, we do not view the Student Equity policy solely as a regulatory requirement. Instead, we view the Student Equity policy as an opportunity to bring awareness to the cause and effect of inequities and provide administrators, faculty, and classified professionals with the information and resources necessary to mitigate outcome disparities.


AB 1809 (2017-18): Student Equity and Achievement (SEA) Program 

The Student Equity and Achievement Program was established in Education Code (EC) 78222 with the intent of supporting Guided Pathways and the system wide goal to eliminate achievement gaps. As a condition of receiving funds, a district shall comply with the following: maintain an equity plan per EC 78220; provide matriculation services per EC 78212; adopt placement policies per EC 78213 (AB 705} and provide all students with an educational plan.

  • Chapter 33, Currently and formerly incarcerated Students Reentry Program:  One-time funding of $5,000,000 to establish or support programs serving formerly incarcerated students enrolled in community college, or providing face-to-face instruction to community college students in prison or jail. 

AB 504 (2017-18): Measuring Equity Gaps 

This bill requires colleges to use the percentage point gap methodology for measuring and reporting local equity gaps. This will help create consistency in programs and develop a common language around equity gaps.

AB 1018 (2017-18): Student Equity Target Populations

This bill adds homeless, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students to the group of students required to be addressed in Student Equity plans. This bill is supported by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges.

AB 705 (2017-18): Changes in Matriculation & Assessment

This bill requires a community college district (CCD) to maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete coursework in Mathematics and English within a one-year time frame by utilizing multiple measures.

AB 19 (2017-18): The California College Promise

This bill establishes the California College Promise, which shall waive fees for one academic year for first-time students who are enrolled in 12 or more semester units. Students must submit either a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or a California Dream Act application.

AB 2 (2019-20): Enhancement to the California College Promise

This bill would authorize a community college to use California College Promise funding to waive fees for two academic years for full-time students taking at least 12 units per semester. A student enrolled in fewer than 12 units may be deemed “full time” at the discretion of the institution, if the student has been certified as “full time” by a staff person in the disabled student services program at the institution who is qualified to make such a designation. As with AB 19, students must submit either a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or a California Dream Act application.

AB 302 (2019-20): Enhancement to the California College Promise

This bill, until December 31, 2022, would require a community college campus that has parking facilities on campus to grant overnight access to those facilities, on or before April 1, 2020, to any homeless student who is enrolled in coursework, has paid any enrollment fees that have not been waived, and is in good standing with the community college, for the purpose of sleeping in the student’s vehicle overnight. The bill would require the governing board of the community college district to determine a plan of action to implement this requirement, as specified.


Equality vs. Equity Graphic

Staff Directory

Melissa Flores
Interim Director, Student Equity and Success 
Educational Services and Institutional Effectiveness 
559-442-8200 ext. 8779
Location: LI-201

Jorge Vargas
Office Specialist, Student Equity and Success 
Educational Services and Institutional Effectiveness 
Location: LI-201

Budget Technician, Student Equity and Success 
Educational Services and Institutional Effectiveness 
559-442-8200 ext. 8134
Location: LI-120

Natalie Chávez 
Foster Kinship Care Education & HOPE Program Coordinator

Adriana Durán
Counselor, HOPE Program

Rene Moncada, M.S., P.P.S.
Counselor, HOPE Program

Hugo Olague, M.S. 
Counselor, Rising Scholars Program
559-442-8200 ext. 8001

Victoria Rocha
Lead Peer Mentor, Rising Scholars Program

Mia Burrell
Peer Mentor, Rising Scholars Program
559-442-8200 ext. 2043

Diego Rivera
Peer Mentor, Rising Scholars Program
559-442-8200 ext. 2079