Empowering college access organizations in our network.

This program seeks to develop a new generation of college access professionals who, in addition to their direct service work, contribute to the development and implementation of effective institutional and public policies. 

Our inaugural cohort brings together college access and success professionals from 12 organizations to explore critical issues impacting educational equity over the course of a 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.

Why systems change?

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!

    Expectations & Key Dates

    Participants are required to participate in four full-day Friday seminars. 

    • Orientation: August
    • Session 1: October
    • Session 2: January
    • Session 3: March 
    • Session 4: June 

    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.

    For any questions or inquiries please contact Alison De Lucca.

    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.