Black Academy

In 2016, African American Resource & Cultural Center (AARCC) launched the Black Academy, a summer orientation program designed to provide a network, resource support, and create a seamless process for them to acclimate to college successfully. With student success funding, in 2017 (its second year), thirty-six African/Black/Caribbean (ABC) first year (Frosh and Transfer) students participated in the  6-day residential program held just prior to Welcome Week.

From the outset of the program, families and friends were welcomed and included. They were invited to participate in an early session focused on how to best help them transition their young scholar to college. The Academy also included multiple interactive activities and workshops facilitated by UC Santa Cruz staff to best equip them with the tools to be successful as students. Black Academy participants were also assigned mentees to foster a deeper sense of connection to a continuing student and build relationships within their peer group. The program, once again, was a big success. Student evaluations were positive, demonstrating the profound impact this program has in supporting ABC student transition success.

More about AARC: The mission of African American Resource & Cultural Center (AARCC) is to provide support, resources, and programs for students within the African diaspora to aid in fostering student success, engagement, community building, and academic excellence. 

Collaborators: Aaron Jones, African/Black/Caribbean Specialist (AARCC & EOP), Maya Iverson, Graduate Program Coordinator (AARCC), Sy Simms, Transeducation Specialist (Cantu Queer Center), Manaiya Scott, Undergrad Student, Cristian Zuniga, Undergrad Student, Malik Douglas, Academic Counselor (EOP), Mario Wash, Academic Counselor (EOP), Brittany Young, Graduate Student (SSERC), Saugher Nojan, Graduate Student (SSERC)

Lead Contact Name: Shonté Thomas
Lead Contact Email: sfthomas@ucsc.edu
Theme: Easing the Transition to College