Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


Master Plan, higher education, equity, higher education in California


The Master Plan for Higher Education in California is often touted as the pinnacle of success in terms of its contributions to establishing open-access, (nearly) tuition-free higher education for all Californians who wish to pursue it. This perception, though, may be skewed, as it does not take into account the historical context of the Plan, nor its potential flaws and shortcomings. This article provides an analysis and critique of the Master Plan, applying historical and theoretical lenses to frame a more complete picture of the Plan both at its 1960 inception and today. Viability of the Plan in the early 21st Century is also explored, and strategies for mitigating some of its shortcomings are identified.

Author Statement

Joanna M. Oxendine is the Institutional Effectiveness Associate at California State University, San Bernardino and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Her passion for equitable education for all students began as a classroom teacher and continues to be her primary area of focus.