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UC Irvine has joined forces with CSU Fullerton in a new initiative called ¡Adelante!, a program designed to increase the rate of college degrees among Latino high school graduates living in Santa Ana, Calif.

The program was launched May 6, 2011 and offers every Santa Ana Unified School District high school students guaranteed admission at schools such as Santa Ana College and CSU Fullerton provided that they successfully complete the proper course work and applications.

As of Nov. 10, Chancellor Drake announced that UCI would be taking part in this program as well.

“The ¡Adelante! Program builds on the relationships we have developed with our community college and Cal State partners to pave the way for students from Santa Ana to come to UCI,” said Stephanie Reyes-Tuccio, director of the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships. “The ¡Adelante! Program demonstrates UCI’s commitment to educational equity and access and ultimately will enrich our community with the contributions of these students.”

The budget crisis in California has caused countless students to rethink their plan to extend their education past high school. The mission of ¡Adelante! is to increase the number of college graduates in Santa Ana by 2020. It offers many benefits in order to make this happen. The benefits of the program appear as early as sixth grade for Santa Ana students with career and college planning, as well as an “I’m going to college” signed pledge.

Other benefits include outreach and college-bound activities from 9th-12th grade for students and parents, priority registration and financial assistance as needed at Santa Ana College.

“We are so proud UCI has come on board. We see this university as a major success of our students. It gives our students another opportunity to pursue a college of their choice. It expands their possibilities,” said Angela Burrell, Public Information Officer of Santa Ana Unified School District.

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