(Santa Ana, CA) – One of 32 campuses across California to receive funding from the new California Campus Catalyst Fund, Santa Ana College (SAC) is at the forefront of helping its students reach their full potential.
The fund, which to date has raised nearly $10 million for its first three-year initiative, was founded by educators, funders and advocates to increase support for undocumented students and their families in the California Community Colleges, California State University and University of California systems.
“We believe in supporting our students, their family members and the Santa Ana community,” said SAC President Dr. Linda Rose. “Approximately 55 percent of our students identify as Hispanic – some of whom are undocumented - and we embrace the opportunity to help those students realize their full potential. Having the support, resources and environment available to help our undocumented youth through this program will not only improve their lives, but enrich and strengthen the community.”
SAC’s Undocu-Scholars program will allow the college to continue striving to be a safe haven for undocumented students and family members. Students enrolled in the program must meet with an academic counselor once per semester and attend monthly workshops to remain eligible. In return, they will receive a program counselor, financial aid application assistance, access to free legal clinics, peer support, and participate in informative workshops on legal rights and advocacy, emergency family planning and workplace protections.
Catalyst Fund programs are designed to support undocumented students and their families. “Undocumented young people and their families are integral to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of California, and as such support for them needs to be woven into our state’s higher education system,” said Victor Garcia of Immigrants Rising, a San Francisco-based nonprofit association that is administering the fund.
In recent years, California has expanded in-state and state-based financial aid. Undocumented immigrants now qualify for career licensing in law, medicine, real estate and 37 other professions. Programs like SAC’s Undocu-Scholars pull undocumented students out of the shadows by providing them with the resources they need to succeed.
Supporters for the Fund include the Chavez Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Grove Foundation, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ginnie and Peter Haas Jr. Fund, Heising-Simons Foundation, Hellman Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, NextGen America, and Weingart Foundation.
For more information, contact Liset Llerenas at Llerenas_liset@sac.edu or (714) 564-6165.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.