Prospective UC students and their parents got together for some dinner, information and motivation for Achieve UC, the University of California’s annual outreach event that targets talented and hardworking high school students for whom a university education may not be a priority. These high schoolers, many of whom would be the first in their families to attend a four-year institution, were encouraged to get going on the application process, while their parents were assured that financial assistance, such as UC’s Blue + Gold Opportunity Plan, were available to defray the cost of tuition.
UC Santa Barbara’s Achieve UC effort, which took place at the campus’s Loma Pelona Conference Center, paid particular attention to high school juniors, said Micaela Morgan, K-12 programs director for UCSB’s Office of Educational Partnerships (OEP). “You can never start early enough,” she said.
To get the students motivated — and to maintain their enthusiasm — program coordinators were dispatched to Santa Barbara area high school campuses on a regular basis. Their aim was to make the high school students aware of the application process and guide them in strengthening their chances of getting accepted to one of the nine UC campuses that offer undergraduate degrees. This year, UCSB OEP’s Pathways college readiness program and Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program were major players in preparing these pioneering and often underrepresented students for a university education.