Slugs reaching out

Photo of UCSC students

It's almost decision time for admitted students. Each spring I am impressed by the way our current students reach out to prospective Banana Slugs, hosting them for overnight visits and giving them a real glimpse of what it's like to be a student at UC Santa Cruz.

Our student-initiated outreach programs, including A Step Forward, Destination Higher Education, and Oportunidades Rumbo a la Educacion, focus on reaching out to students of color. They play a key role in building the diversity of our student body, because 60 percent of admitted prospective frosh who visit UCSC as part of these programs end up enrolling. That's extraordinary. What a difference our students' personal approach makes!

Finding the right college is all about "fit," and I know high school seniors and prospective transfer students appreciate these visits. I've also heard that a lot of participants who enroll at UCSC end up joining one of these outreach programs to "give back" and share their enthusiasm about the campus. We even have an alumna staff member working in outreach now who first visited campus through one of these programs. This year's cohort arrives today, and I look forward to meeting them tonight.

Closer to home, students like Thomas Gelder and Will Brotherson are working with another, even newer, student-led program that helps high school students with the college application process. Check out this story about the University and College Access Network.

Great work, Slugs!

Comments or questions? Write to and put "Outreach" in the subject line.