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Voice and Style

Our Voice

Fundamentally we are driven by our mission to serve California Community College students. We approach challenges as innovative problem-solvers and are associated with concepts like support, collaboration, and partnership. The Foundation's voice is optimistic, enterprising, and knowledgeable while also being humble and inclusive. 

Our Style

The Foundation written style is formal and professional without being overly academic. Evidence and accurate data are important, but the Foundation also demonstrates a willingness to take measured risks to test new ideas and strategies. Whether featuring a community college student in a video or cultivating funder relationships, the Foundation aims to tell a compelling story that is human and relatable, and always within the scope of our mission and the goals and commitments of the Vision for Success.

We seek to be relevant, informed, inclusive, and strategic with communication reflecting our commitment and dedication to achieving the goals and upholding the commitments of the Vision for Success

Use of Acronyms

This rule also pertains to the usage of acronyms and abbreviations. The Foundation avoids using these wherever possible in order to be inclusive to all audiences. However, abbreviations can be used when writing within a specific character count, like in grant or contract proposals or on social media, or if communicating with subject-matter experts. Follow this rule to use acronyms if needed:

Use a full name first to spell out acronyms, then subsequent references can use just the acronym (ex. California Community Colleges (CCC), then CCC….)

How the Foundation Style Guide Differs from the Chancellor’s Office

The Foundation’s tone is similar to that of the Chancellor’s Office, though there are a few variances between our writing styles. Following are several key differences to keep in mind if/when you are writing on behalf of the Chancellor’s Office:

  • The Foundation follows AP Style for press releases, whereas the Chancellor’s Office uses AP Style for nearly all of its published content
  • Oxford comma usage: the Foundation uses it, the Chancellor’s Office does not.
  • When writing about the system, the Foundation often uses California Community College system, whereas the Chancellor’s Office omits the word system, using just California Community Colleges. Alternative Chancellor’s Office conventions include “community college system” or “system.”
  • The Foundation uses commas to separate institutions from their city locations (i.e., California State University, Channel Islands and University of California, Santa Cruz), whereas the Chancellor’s Office uses hyphens (i.e., California State University - Channel Islands and University of California - Santa Cruz).

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