Becoming College Ready

Early Academic Outreach sponsors College Readiness Academies for incoming high school seniors

For many high school seniors, getting — and keeping — themselves on track for college can be an overwhelming endeavor. Even more so for those who are the first in their families to look toward higher education.

And that’s where UC Santa Barbara’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) comes in. For the seventh year in a row, EAOP is sponsoring its College Readiness Academy (CRA), a series of intensive college prep camps hosted at EAOP partnership schools in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern counties.

From today through August 11, EAOP will reach more than 300 students at nine high schools across six school districts.

The academies help incoming high school seniors prepare for the application and matriculation process to higher education. In addition to researching their top college choices, participants have an opportunity to develop a first draft of the personal statements that are part of UC and private college and university admission applications, and address a variety of important considerations to prepare themselves for the matriculation process.

“These intensive academies put our EAOP seniors in ready position before the school year begins in the fall,” said EAOP director Britt Ortiz. “The fact that they attend voluntarily during their summer vacation speaks to their commitment and willingness to do the extra work it takes to pursue their higher education dreams.”

Over the past seven years, EAOP has honed the academies to make them as valuable and effective as possible. Participants will get an up-close look at the entire process they will complete over the course of fall application cycle. The holistic approach includes not just the application itself, but also financial aid and scholarships, team building and communication, virtual tours and more. “These bring our seniors closer together as a team aiming at the same goals: getting ready for and into the colleges of their dreams,” Ortiz said.

In Santa Barbara County, the College Readiness Academy series takes place June 26-July 7 at Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria; July 17-28 at Ernest Righetti and Santa Maria high schools; and August 7-11 at Carpinteria High School.

Ventura County academies will take place June 26-July 7 at Fillmore High School; July 31-August 11 at Santa Paula High School; July 17-21 at Rio Mesa High School; and July 24-August 4 at Channel Islands High School.

The date of the Kern County academy, which will be held at South High School in Bakersfield, has yet to be announced.

Questions about the EAOP College Readiness Academy series may be directed to Mikayla Molinaro at

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