Program aims to create debt-free college pathways for low-income students who commit to serve | News

Gov. Gavin Newsom and the leaders of California’s college and university systems joined Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday to launch the largest state-level investment in a college service program in California history.

California Volunteers announced the 45 colleges and universities selected as inaugural partners for the service-based college opportunity program that is designed to help create debt-free college pathways for low-income students who commit to serve.

“California is a world leader in both higher education and service,” said Newsom in a news release on Jan. 19. “The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians of different backgrounds with enriching service opportunities throughout the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the nation.”

#CaliforniansForAll College Corps will provide up to 6,500 college students over two academic years with service opportunities in critical issue areas such as climate action, K-12 education, and COVID-19 recovery.

Students who complete a year of service will receive $10,000 while gaining valuable experience serving in their communities.

This program will unite young Californians of all backgrounds in service, and, for the first time, specifically creates state-funded opportunities for AB 540 eligible Dreamers to serve their communities, officials said.

A total of 45 campuses representing University of California, California State University, community college and private university systems have been selected as program participants via a competitive grant application process.

The nearby colleges which will be implementing College Corps on their campuses are San Bernardino Valley College, Riverside City College, Cal State San Bernardino, and UC Riverside.

“Today is a historic day in California. The governor, alongside the leaders of the world’s top higher education systems, offered a monumental proposal to the next generation of Californians— if you step up to serve your community, we’ll help you pay for college,” said Fryday.

—– CAL STATE San Bernardino provided some details about its implementation of the program:

• Under the two-year fellowship program, CSUSB will recruit 75 students, including 25 Dreamers each year or a total of 150 undergrads to become fellows in the program.

• The program will have the fellows coach 3,500 K-12 students and tutor 5,000 K-12 students in participating schools and school districts.

• Each fellow who completes one year of service or more than 450 hours of service will receive a $7,000 living allowance and up to $3,000 for education at the end of service.

• The fellows will also have the opportunity to receive academic credit for their service.

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