SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today praised the appointment of Eloy Ortiz Oakley as the new Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, the largest public higher education system in the nation.

Oakley currently serves as Superintendent-President of the Long Beach Community College District, where he pioneered the nationally recognized “Long Beach College Promise.”

High school students who participate in the Promise program are guaranteed a tuition-free year at Long Beach City College and receive preferred admission to California State University, Long Beach, after completing transfer requirements. More than 12,000 students have received the community college scholarships since 2008.

“Eloy is a fantastic choice to lead our great network of community colleges,” said Torlakson. “He is a terrific leader and a tremendous proponent of getting high school students excited and energized about pursuing success in college and beyond. I look forward to more great things as he leads the California Community Colleges into the 21st century.”

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors announced the appointment today. The California Community College system serves 2.1 million students at 113 campuses statewide.