Since its founding in 1988, LEAD California (formerly known as 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, LEAD California 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, LEAD California 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.


LEAD California began as California Campus Compact and was a part of the national Campus Compact network. After 34 years in the network, California Campus Compact elected to leave the national organization and relaunched as LEAD California on February 22, 2022. Click here to read our press release or watch the recording of our launch event.

Launching LEAD California

“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