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“The grant awarded to the UCLA Center for Community Learning by California Campus Compact gave us the opportunity to build on previous relationships and to collaboratively engage with community partners. Within the past three years, we have had the opportunity to further develop relationships with community partners to address our shared goal of improving access to higher education. The mentoring, trainings, workshops and events that were implemented as part of the Youth to College Initiative have been pivotal in deepening UCLA’s K-12 service-learning partnerships.”

Kathy O’Byrne
Director, Center for Community Learning
University of California, Los Angeles

“The number one goal of my mentee in Youth to College was to attend college at California State University, Fresno. On the day that she told me she got into Fresno State, I couldn’t help but be excited. We had our ups and downs, but we had fulfilled and accomplished our number one goal – Fresno State is coming her way! – and she plans to join Fresno State’s Youth to College Program to mentor a student from her high school.”

Dolores Gonzalez-Flores
Junior, Liberal Studies
California State University, Fresno

California Campus Compact’s three-year Youth to College Initiative (2006-2009) was designed to help raise the percentage of lower-income and underserved youth preparing for and succeeding in college in California. California State University, Fresno; Humboldt State University; University of California, Los Angeles; and University of San Diego served as the lead institutions in their region based on their deep commitment to youth and communities; their academic, civic engagement and service-learning leadership; their wide networks of community partners; and their ability to train and organize faculty, students and community volunteers. Each of the regions includes K-12 schools that serve high concentrations of students who are less likely to follow a college preparatory track.

Key activities across all four campuses included:
• Involving at least 3,000 students and youth per year for three years;
• Implementing a minimum of four to six new service-learning courses at their institution or on college partners’ campuses;
• Working with at least three other colleges in their region to provide service-learning and community partnerships training and technical assistance;
• Collaborating with on-campus and community programs that are targeting the same populations as Youth to College;
• Planning or collaborating on activities that involve college students and/or youth for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service; and
• Educating state and federal government representatives about Youth to College activities.

California State University, Fresno’s program addressed the need for services that advance the personal, social and academic competencies of underserved youth in the Central Valley. The program also fostered an increased desire to attend college and a commitment to community service. A combination of tutoring and mentoring, college literacy training, community service and higher education service-learning generation was used to promote the goals of the project and the success of the youth involved.

Humboldt State University’s program provided tutoring and mentoring for youth as well as campus tours for students and parents. Through community and campus collaborations, Humboldt State held workshops on service-learning and community partnerships and involved college students and youth in Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service activities.

University of California, Los Angeles’s program involved working with other campus partners to provide mentoring services, information on college applications, joint community service projects and Buddy Days for high school youth in Los Angeles and Pasadena. College and high school students also collaborated on special service projects related to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Regional partnerships were strengthened through service-learning leadership institutes for faculty from colleges and universities in the area.

University of San Diego’s program was designed to work with youth from underrepresented groups who do not know that higher education is a viable option for them. The program helped build interest in and prepare students from underserved populations for college through tutoring, mentoring and joint service-learning projects.

Over the three-year period of the Youth to College Initiative, 22,075 college students participated in service-learning projects involving
23,630 youth.

An external evaluation report on the three-year Youth to College Initiative confirmed its “overwhelming project success” with nine out of ten college students reporting improved attitudes for academic learning and nine out of ten at-risk youth participants reporting an increased likelihood of their now earning a college degree. In particular, the service-learning experience significantly increased plans for pursuing a college education by students and youth of color. Nearly 80 percent of African American youth strongly agreed that after participating in service-learning they now are more likely to go to college.

Download a brochure about the 2006-2009 Youth to College Initiative

For more information on the Youth to College program model and future plans for the Youth to College Initiative,
please contact Piper McGinley.


Learn and Serve logoCalifornia Campus Compact gratefully acknowledges the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America Higher Education for its significant support in making the Youth to College grant initiative possible.