Basic needs insecurity directly impacts a student’s ability to succeed in college. Basic needs services are part of the non-academic supports that contribute to the third pillar of the
colleges’ Guided Pathways, Help students stay on their path (Chancellor’s Office, 2017). This toolkit is rooted in understanding and acknowledgement that helping students maximize the resources available to them is an essential strategy for promoting their educational achievement.
This toolkit can be used by a wide range of individuals and groups in the campus community,
• College leaders and decision-makers
• Basic needs task forces
• Basic needs coordinators
• Student support services leadership, staff, and administrators
• College counselors, health services staff, and mental health providers
• Staff who support relevant student programs (e.g., NextUp, EOPS, CalWORKs, MESA)
• Financial aid staff
• Food pantry organizers and staff
• Residential life staff
• Leaders and staff engaged in equity work
• Student-run associations and organizations addressing basic needs
• Staff members who work with community-based organizations
• All campus leaders, staff, faculty, and administrators who are invested in promoting
student success and equity by addressing barriers to meeting basic needs
Please note that although this toolkit includes many recommendations, it does not endorse
any one program or model. Each college and its surrounding community is unique.
Strategies that are effective at a large, urban campus in Southern California may not work as
well at a small, rural campus in Northern California, and vice versa. Colleges are encouraged
to use their own local data—including listening to direct input from their students—to
determine what services and supports to offer.