Pacific selected for esteemed college service program

Pacific student reads to K-12 student

The Californians For All College Corps is focused on critical issues such as climate action, K-12 education, and COVID-19 recovery.

University of the Pacific is one of only four private universities in California selected to take part in #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, a program with high-impact community service that also helps students pay for college. 

Pacific will receive up to $3.2 million over two years to support 100 students who will participate in community service combined with classroom learning. Students who complete a year of service will receive $10,000 for college. 

In total, 45 public and private universities were selected through a competitive grant process. The state is investing $146 million into the program—the largest in California history. Other universities selected include University of California Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis and the University of San Diego.

“We're making it clear here in California, like the GI Bill, if you are willing to serve your community and give back in a meaningful way, we are going to help you pay for college,” said Josh Fryday, California’s chief service officer. 

Edie Sparks, Pacific’s vice provost for undergraduate education and program director, noted Pacific’s yearly progress.

“We are absolutely thrilled with our selection,” she said. “To go from a pilot of 10 students (in 2020), to 27 the next year, and now up to 100 is tremendous.”

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Pallavicini, who was instrumental in bringing the pilot program to Pacific, says it not only helps students pay for college but provides valuable leadership skills. 

“We are providing them the skill sets that will help to prepare them for future positions or future jobs with non-profits,” said Pallavicini. 

Some of the funding will also be used for new positions, which Pacific is planning to fill with students who have completed the program. 

“To have this unprecedented level of state and federal funding help to student outreach and learning is an amazing opportunity. We are scaling up more than three times what the program was last year. There are many local non-profits out there that can use help, and I know we will recruit some great partners,” said Dari Tran, professor of political science and co-manager of the program.

The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps is focused on critical issues such as climate action, K-12 education, and COVID-19 recovery. 

“When I was a Pacific student, I loved being able to serve and learn in the community,” said instructor Marylou Bagus-Hansen, co-manager of the program. “There is something about service learning that you can't always get in the classroom, and I am excited that more Pacific students will be able to have that opportunity through this expansion of the program.”

Pacific President Christopher Callahan applauded the expansion of the College Corps program.

“The cornerstone of a Pacific education is experience-based opportunities for our students that accelerate learning in real-life settings while serving our communities,” Callahan said. “The major expansion of the College Corps program builds significantly on that great tradition of experiential learning and public service at Pacific. We are very grateful to the governor and his team for their leadership on this important program.”

Eligible AB 540 Dreamers are also being included, the first time for a state service program. 

Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, said Pacific will place fellows in Stockton schools to serve as tutors. 

“This program will make a profound difference for all who are involved,” said Soares.

The program will be implemented in the fall of 2022.