Members of ASUCD are in the process of forming a new committee that aims to provide outreach efforts to students who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to attend college especially first-generation and underrepresented students.
The Aggie Bound Outreach Committee (ABOC) will be a collaborative effort between the committee itself and four already-established programs on campus. These organizations are the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Upward Bound and the Student Recruitment and Retention Center (SRRC).
“The great thing about collaborating with so many different outreach organizations on campus is that they already have an abundance of resources,” said ASUCD Senator Mayra Martín, who authored the senate bill allowing the formation of ABOC. “And so we could potentially use those, or even make an ASUCD outreach curriculum one day.”
ABOC will strive to help first-generation students from middle school, high school and community college who lack the resources they need to get into UC Davis. Providing resources to these students can mean anything from informing them about the “a-g” course requirements to the basics of UC admissions criteria. It can also mean helping them to identify as college-bound students.
According the University of California StatFinder, 4,275 first-year students enrolled at UC Davis during the 2009-2010 academic year, including 1,867 first-generation students.
“The purpose, simply put, is to increase the amount of underrepresented students that we have on campus currently,” said ASUCD Senator Tatiana Moana Bush.
According to the senate bill, underrepresented students can include students of color, low-income students, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender students and undocumented students. ABOC will function as a resource to these students a resource that provides them with the tools they need to succeed in higher education through outreach.
Providing resources through outreach can be as simple as going to high schools and talking to kids, but EAOP, EOP, Upward Bound and SRRC do a lot more than that, Bush said. It’s about the conversations that are built.
“Outreaching efforts provide a resource to younger individuals,” said Sergio Cano, internal affairs commission chair, in an e-mail interview. “In this day and age, where the education funds provided by California are reduced every year, after school programs, educational materials and quality of learning is heavily impacted. By increasing our outreach efforts, I feel it’s our way of counterbalancing the discrepancy of learning.”
A representative from each of the already-functioning outreach programs on campus EAOP, EOP, Upward Bound and SRRC will be a voting member on the committee once it is officially formed. Other voting members will include six unaffiliated UC Davis students and a chairperson.
ABOC postings for positions will go up this week, Cano said. Hiring the six unaffiliated UC Davis students and the chairperson will take a minimum of three weeks. By the ninth week of this quarter, the committee should be fully formed, begin having its first meetings and be fully functional by Fall 2011 in time to begin providing outreach to students applying for the 2012-2013 academic year.
“Personally, I was in an outreach program in high school,” Martín said. “I’m a first-generation student. I definitely know that one of the biggest reasons why I’m at this university is because of that outreach program that opened so many doors for me, and showed me how to apply for college . . . without them I don’t think I would be here.”
ABOC will not have it’s own budget for the first year it will function on a trial basis, Bush said. However, once ASUCD allocates the committee its own budget, it will continue to collaborate with EAOP, EOP, Upward Bound and SRRC in its outreach efforts.
TRISHA PERKINS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.