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California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy

The Challenge

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In 2012, California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy contacted FCP to assist them with the release of a report titled “The Road Ahead – Higher Education, California’s Promise, And Our Future Economy.” The report focused on the number of college degrees and technical credentials necessary for California to stay economically viable in a global economy. With budget cuts looming for California’s colleges and universities and with the November elections receiving most of the media’s attention, FCP had to help California Competes break through the political noise with strong, defined messaging and relentless execution of our strategy.

Our Work

FCP worked with California Competes and its allies to release the “Road Ahead” report into the public discussion in May of 2012. We assisted the organization in creating a consistent message that resonated with their target audience and with the media. Through a teleconference, targeted media call-downs and consistent follow-up, FCP helped California Competes spread the message that the state needed to increase the number of degrees it was on track to produce by 2.3 million by 2025 to remain economically competitive. Additionally, FCP helped California Competes communicate about solutions to the degree crisis, including by having all allies consistently call for a streamlined and improved higher education system.

The Result

Our efforts received significant statewide and even national media coverage. In one month alone, the report was featured in 22 print stories, nine radio stories, three broadcast stories and on nine influential education blogs. The report continues to receive national and international media attention, with media outlets like the UK’s Times – Higher Education publishing in-depth stories about California’s higher education system as a result of the report. As important, the 2.3 million degree and technical credential number has now become part of the higher education dialogue in California, with civic and education leaders referring to it when advocating for strengthening and improving the state’s colleges and universities.