This new program seeks to develop a new generation of college access professionals who, in addition to their direct service work, will contribute to the development and implementation of effective policies!
This fellowship program brings together college access and success professionals from 15 organizations to explore critical issues impacting educational equity over the course of the academic year.
Why college access programs?
This is an exciting time to continue the movement for educational equity. In response to persistent inequities in higher education, students across California are pushing for initiatives and programs that ensure college access, participation, and completion are available to underserved populations. The door is wide open for direct-service organizations to partner with California’s student leaders – to listen to their challenges support their causes and work with them to drive lasting, statewide systemic change. We only need to step through it. College access and success direct-service organizations work with hundreds of thousands of students. We know what it takes for underrepresented students to access and complete their post-secondary goal; we see trends in what systemic barriers stand in the way of student success. It is our responsibility to reconfigure our work and shift our power to equip students with skills to become engaged in advocacy, as well as to equip ourselves with skills to amplify their voices.
As direct service providers, we play an important role in supporting the educational aspirations of our students. SoCal CAN members provide one-on-one advising and support to more than 150,000 students and families in the region. While our work is yielding tremendous results, there are systemic barriers that stand in the way of student success. And if our students are facing these obstacles it is very likely that other low-income, first generation college goers are facing them, too. As a network, we believe that college is a public good and to reach everyone, we need to extend beyond our direct service work to influence policies that can help us achieve the greatest good for the greatest number possible!
Who can apply?
Member organizations of SoCal CAN are eligible to apply. The application needs to be completed by the Executive Director of the organization and each organization has the option to assign two staff members to the fellowship. For the inaugural year of the Fellowship, the two assigned staff members must be Executive Directors or Program Directors. While it is not required, we prefer that two individuals from each organization participate in the program. Thanks to the College Futures Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation, each participating organization will receive a $1500 scholarship for the investment of the organizations time.
Expectations & Key Dates
Participants are required to participate in four full-day Friday seminars. The dates for the quarterly sessions are:
- Orientation: Thursday, August 22, 2019
- Session 1: Friday, October 11, 2019
- Session 2: Friday, January 17, 2020
- Session 3: March 6, 2020
- Session 4: June 12, 2020
Involvement in SoCal CAN’s Rapid Response Policy Committee is also required. This will be a 2 hours/month commitment on average. Finally, participants are expected to share their experience and knowledge with other fellows through group discussions.