Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The State of Pregnant and Parenting Students in California: Lessons Learned From Implementing AB 2881

March 21 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

The State of Pregnant and Parenting Students: Lessons Learned From Implementing AB 2881

Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PST
Register for the event

The passage of AB 2881, authored by Assembly Member Marc Berman and co-sponsored by the Michelson Center for Public Policy, represents major progress toward serving over 480,000 student parents across California’s higher education systems. As a result of the bill, student parents can: 

  • Easily view services available to them via the newly required student parent webpage, which is clearly visible and easily accessible from the homepage of their campus website. 
  • Learn more about the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children through campus orientations, student portals, and basic needs centers.
  • Participate in priority registration if they have a dependent minor living with them. 

Given that student parents are more likely to experience “time poverty,” a larger debt load, and employment demands, AB 2881 promises to be an important hand up for this often forgotten student population. 

How is implementation of this consequential policy going across California? How have decisions been made on what priority registration looks like? Has AB 2881 sparked a movement toward improved data collection on student parents across the states’s higher education systems? 

Join us on March 21, 2024, as we consider lessons learned and highlight bright spots on the roll out of AB 2881.

Opening Speaker

Assemblymember Marc Berman
23rd District, California State Assembly

Marc Berman was first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016. He currently represents the 23rd District, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley. In the Assembly, Marc serves as chair of the Committee on Business and Professions. He also serves on the following Assembly Standing Committees: Governmental Organization; Insurance; and Transportation.

Marc has had one of the highest rates of success in the Legislature, having sent 73 bills to the Governor in his first six years in office. Most recently, he championed legislation that requires elections officials to mail voters a ballot before every election. He wrote the law to phase out the sale of new gas-powered landscape equipment, authored landmark legislation to reform the college transfer process from a student perspective and legislation to make it easier for Californians to cancel their subscriptions online.

In the past, he authored legislation on education, youth mental health, sexual assault, firearm safety, deepfakes, housing, and the environment. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Marc served on the Palo Alto City Council while working for the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, Marc was an attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP and Merino Yebri, LLP. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of Southern California.

Marc lives in Menlo Park with his wife Aimee Gildea and their puppy Maven.


Heather King
Project and Policy Analyst for Basic Needs, University of California Office of the President

Heather King is the inaugural Project and Policy Analyst for Basic Needs at the University of California Office of the President and currently leads the UC systemwide Parenting & Pregnant Students Community of Practice in collaboration with campus co-chairs. King has been working in college student basic needs programming and research since 2013, focusing on inequities and disproportionate impact. Earning her Master of Social Work from California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, in 2015, she was a founding member of the California basic needs movement as a parenting student and was also among the first in her field to conduct community centered policy research on college student CalFresh eligibility barriers. King went on to work for basic needs centered non-profit organizations and higher education programs; conduct intensive case management and educational counseling services for houseless students and low-income parenting students; teach undergraduate courses on social inequities and social work methods; serve on equity and resource board committees; and conduct advanced research on critical basic needs issues.

She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy from Oregon State University with a concentration in Social Policy and a focus on inequities in higher education. Her dissertation centers on the coping and resiliency strategies of parenting and pregnant students, with particular attention to how public and higher education programs and policies create “tipping points” in student parents’ educational journeys.  

Kelly King
Executive Director, Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges; Chief Advancement Officer, Los Angeles Community College District

Kelly King went back to college in 2022 to serve as Executive Director of the Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges and Chief Advancement Officer for the Los Angeles College School District (LACCD). King leads strategic programs and philanthropic partnerships that support success for the 200,000+ students served annually across LACCD’s nine colleges.

Most recently, King served as Senior Program Officer for Education at the California Community Foundation, where she managed large-scale grantmaking efforts to advance a more equitable education system in Los Angeles County with a special focus on grants to advance postsecondary access and attainment.

Before joining CCF in 2015, King served as Executive Vice President at Focusing Philanthropy, where she led a national portfolio of philanthropic investments that included education, health access, and workforce development. King began her career in the education and nonprofit sector at the Scripps College Academy, leading the college-access program to national recognition.

King received a bachelor’s degree in politics and public policy analysis from Scripps College and a Master’s in Education Policy, Evaluation, and Reform from Claremont Graduate University.

Liz Reed
Assistant Director of Enrollment Management Technology in Academic and Student Affairs, California State University Office of the Chancellor

Liz Reed has over 25 years’ experience in higher education and is passionate about helping all students achieve their dreams through research, innovation, collaboration, and leadership. As a parenting student herself, she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education at Fresno State University and received her Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business in August 2022. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Enrollment Management Technology in Academic and Student Affairs at The California State University Office of the Chancellor. As part of her role, Reed supports and leads the State University Registrars constituency group and has taken the lead on implementing the priority registration aspects of AB 2881 across the CSU system. She is currently serving on the Data-to-Action Campaign for Parenting Students led and organized by The Urban Institute and passionately supports this work. Connect with Liz on LinkedIn.

Marissa Weiss
Transfer Retention Specialist, University of California Davis (UC Davis)

Marissa Weiss (she/they) is a Transfer Retention Specialist in the Transfer and Reentry Center at UC Davis. Weiss joined the team at UC Davis in June 2020, after more than 12 years at Rhode Island College (RIC) where her responsibilities spanned multiple areas including Student Activities, Women’s Centers, Crisis Intervention, and Leadership Programs. Some of her accomplishments at RIC included implementing a spring break camp for the children of student parents and advocating to the RI State Legislature for the need to include student parents in the state’s child care subsidy. 

At UC Davis, Weiss oversees the process for student parents to receive priority registration, co-directs the CCAMPIS program, and works closely with the Women’s Resources and Research Center to maintain a virtual hub for student parent resources. Weiss currently serves as Co-Chair of the University of California Office of the President Community of Practice for Pregnant and Parenting Student Support. She also convenes a monthly meeting of colleagues at higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations across the country who support student parents.

Weiss holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Rhode Island, an M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University, and a B.S. in Family and Community Services from the University of Delaware (UD). Weiss also attended Ithaca College and Mercer County Community College, eventually transferring to UD to complete her undergraduate degree. Her doctoral theses, The College Experience of Commuter Students and the Concepts of Place and Space, focused on the interaction between the lived experience of commuter students and concepts of campus ecology. Weiss loves riding her bicycle, learning American Sign Language, and spending time with her spouse and two girls—nine year old Rosie and eight year old Ruby.

Laura Yager
University Registrar and Director of Veterans Services, California State University, Fresno

Laura Yager currently serves as the University Registrar and Director of Veterans Services at California State University, Fresno.  Yager received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fresno State and is currently enrolled in the Ed.D. program, expecting to earn her Doctorate in Education in May 2026. As University Registrar, Yager assisted with several aspects of the implementation of AB 2881 on her campus. She is a passionate collaborator, invested in policy interpretation and implementation, with over a decade of experience in higher education.  



March 21
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


Michelson 20MM Foundation
View Organizer Website