Educational Partnership Center’s Educational Access Program

The Educational Partnership Center comprises ten, long-standing outreach and academic prep programs and is the first point of contact for K-12 schools and community colleges with UC Santa Cruz. With student success funding, EPC launched the Educational Access Program (EAP) with the aim to increase the college application and enrollment rates of low-income, first-generation, underrepresented students.

The program built upon the solid foundation that already existed with Local Control Funding Formula Plus (LCFF+) high schools, providing targeted services to UC-eligible students whose programs did not have the capacity to support them through the UC application, admission, and enrollment process. EPC staff worked with targeted LCFF+ schools and, in conjunction with appropriate departments at UC Santa Cruz, college facilitators served UC-eligible high school seniors and juniors through advising, workshops, and on-campus college visits. EAP UC-eligible 11th grade students got a “taste” of college life and met successful college students from similar backgrounds.

Additionally, EAP worked alongside GEAR UP and EAOP to create a digital resource center that contained webinars for students. These resources are accessible online via a web page and YouTube channel, covering topics like next steps, drug/alcohol counseling/prevention strategies, healthy lifestyles, financial aid, career guidance/resume workshops, time management, networking, and study skills.

YouTube EPC High School Senior Resources Link:   

EPC High School Senior Resources Webpage Link:  


An unduplicated total of 301 high school UC-eligible students participated in the EAP program during the winter, spring, and summer of 2017. That number represents every student who applied to UC Santa Cruz at the participating schools. The three schools with the highest number of applications to UC Santa Cruz were Alisal High School in Salinas and James Lick and Yerba Buena High Schools from the Eastside School District in San José. 

Five hundred and twenty-two high school students participated in all activities combined. The busiest months for participation were March and May in 2017. In March, the work with students focused on UC Santa Cruz admissions information and follow up, financial aid, and the EPC Career Day. The work in May focused on financial aid, waitlist and housing questions, and preparing for summer visits. By June and July 2017, the college facilitators were working exclusively with students who were planning to attend UC Santa Cruz.

EAP served underrepresented, low-income, and first-generation students at the following LCFF+ schools: Alisal, James Lick, North Monterey County, Pájaro Valley, Overfelt, Seaside, Watsonville and Yerba Buena High Schools.  At the schools EAP worked at, 656 students were admitted to at least one University of California campus and 77 were admitted to UC Santa Cruz. The vast majority of students (80.07%) are Hispanic or Latino. Most of the additional students who participated in EAP were Asian (18.6%). 

Collaborators: UC Santa Cruz collaborative partners included targeted school staff and administrators; Mario Wash, Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) Adviser/Summer Bridge Coordinator; Aprí Medina, Associate Director, Financial Aid; Glenn Gumin, Assistant Director, Financial Aid; Julianne Craig, Senior Admissions Evaluator, UC Santa Cruz Admissions Outreach; and Josh Ruiz, Customer Service/Assistant Accounts Adviser, Campus Housing.

Lead Contact Name: María Rocha-Ruiz
Lead Contact Email:
Theme: Easing the Transition to College