Continuing Education

Early Academic Outreach Program brings colleges and universities to high schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

The Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) at UC Santa Barbara will hold its annual spring Higher Education Week, a four-day event beginning on Tuesday, March 10. Representatives from universities, colleges and other institutions of higher education will visit high school campuses in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to meet with high school juniors and discuss post-secondary education opportunities.

The visits include brief presentations on financial aid and college admissions followed by college fairs. The first will take place at Santa Maria, Righetti and Lompoc high schools on Tuesday, March 10. On Wednesday, March 11, the event will move to Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Carpinteria high schools. On Thursday, March 12, college fairs will be held at Channel Islands, Pacifica and Santa Paula high schools. The week will conclude with visits to Fillmore and Oxnard high schools on Friday, March 13.

In all, more than 3,500 high school juniors will meet with representatives from the UC, Cal State and California Community College systems. A host of other private colleges and universities will be represented, including Westmont College, University of the Pacific, San Francisco Academy of Art University, San Diego New School of Architecture & Design, Point Loma Nazarene University and San Diego Christian College.

Out-of-state colleges and universities represented include Purdue University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Maryville University of St. Louis, University of Massachusetts-Lowell and Grand Canyon University.

Additional event participants include the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation; UCSB’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, Office of Education Partnerships, UCSB Pathways and MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement); and Cal-SOAP (Student Opportunity and Access Program).

“Higher Education Week has proved to be a windfall for those students that may not have thought about what’s next after high school,” said EAOP Director Britt Ortiz. “It’s great for students who have not been enrolled in a pre-college program to help guide them through the college prep process. The program really gives students who are the first in their families to attend college the chance to engage with several institutions of higher education.

“Over a couple of hours they receive a broad overview of higher education in California, financial aid, scholarships, the admissions process, and then participate in a robust college fair that includes representatives from California public higher education, private colleges and universities, and even out of state schools,” Ortiz continued. “Several pre-college programs also join us to let students know about the college prep assistance they provide. We also have community college Career Technical Education programs represented and they help open doors to one- and two-year certificate programs that require additional formal training and pay well as entry-level career paths.”

UCSB EAOP seeks to raise student achievement and close achievement gaps to increase the number of students who have the opportunity to attain a postsecondary education. EAOP focuses on four key strategies — academic advising, college knowledge, academic enrichment and entrance exam preparation — to help students reach college eligibility and participate in higher education.

A variety of pre-college programs offered on an annual basis give students the opportunity to visit UCSB, tour campus labs, meet with faculty members and conduct research or participate in other academic enrichment activities. Among the programs and services are annual transcript evaluation, academic advisement, academic achiever’s receptions, study skills and testing strategies, college readiness seminars, the Education-Leadership-Careers Conference, UC Success Night and college readiness academies.

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