Our college's Educational Master Plan (EMP) identifies student success, equity, and access as our first mission critical priority. In its simplest terms, we define equity as parity in educational outcomes for all students. This definition includes our understanding that historical and contemporary policies, practices, and discourses have created structural barriers for minoritized students. As such, we operationalize equity as an inquiry-based practice of identifying equity gaps (also called "achievement gaps") and then investing the necessary material and human resources into strategic interventions to close those gaps.

We embrace our identity as a college that is majority Students of Color and are committed to eradicating the equity gaps currently experienced most deeply by our African American and Latina/o communities (EMP A3).

Learn More About Student Equity
  • Dr. Michaela J.L. Mares-Tamayo
    Director of Student Equity
  • mmares5@pasadena.edu
  • 626-585-7553


Along with continued professional development, curricular, and extracurricular activities, Student Equity at PCC has funded the following specialized grant projects since Fall 2015: 

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MAS2 supports the needs of future STEM students, focusing on Latina/o students who are at the beginning of their community college journey and engages the district communities by providing incentivized STEM program activities. This program is geared towards reaching below college level math students thinking of majoring in calculus-based STEM. Activities include college tours, STEM Student Success workshops, peer mentoring and networking, tutoring, referrals to STEM programs and opportunities on and off campus, free Saturday tutoring in STEM for low income district high school students, workshop for families and K-12 students throughout the district, and outreach and recruitment for all PCC-sponsored STEM events and programs.
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First Year Learning Community at Rosemead

This project is a partnership with the PCC Pathways program. A College 1 (First Year Seminar) course will be taught in the Fall term to the 30 students enrolled in the project’s cohort. Participating students will have an assigned coach and access to workshops that support academic, personal and professional development.
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Professional Speaker Series

Closing the Achievement Gap through Culturally Competent Pedagogies & High-Impact Practices along the Chicana & Chicano Educational Pipeline

Community members, students, and educators across all levels and disciplines are invited to attend these engaging and interactive gatherings scheduled throughout the year. Educators from the Southern California region share their expertise navigating diverse grassroots, community-based learning spaces and educational institutions (both public & private) inclusive of high schools, community colleges, and universities. Each educator will offer an individual presentation that emphasizes their use of High-Impact Practices (Association of American Colleges). In addition to individual presentations, educators will also come together for a collaborative panel discussion enhanced by opportunities to be in dialogue with those in attendance.
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Foster Youth Success Initiative


The Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) is a comprehensive program designed to assist current and former foster youth to successfully transition from foster care to college and to provide targeted support services and counseling to current and former foster youth participating in EOP&S/CARE. Program services include outreach and recruitment services to the campus and surrounding community, PCC and FAFSA application assistance, counseling services, personal development workshops, advisement, referral to campus and community resources, tutoring, mentoring, and special events.
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Acrobat Reader IconBlackademia

Blackademia serves as a collegiate hub that empowers Black students with essential resources to achieve educational success. By creating innovative solutions, Blackademia addresses the inequities experienced by historically marginalized groups. Blackademia’s primary goal is to significantly close the achievement gap through additional services, holistic guidance and supportive connections. Blackademia engages Black students in an academic, professional and collective environment that will strengthen their cultural identity and fortify their ability to achieve beyond the classroom.
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Safe Zone Comprehensive Student Support Services Project


This project takes a holistic approach to supporting undocumented and LGBTQ-identified students who are interested in transferring. Counselors and staff throughout the college work with undocumented and LGBTQ-identified students, providing a mentoring component, university visits, cultural events/activities, collaborating with outside agencies that work with undocumented and LGBTQ-identified populations and professional development. The model provides support in every aspect to support their success. Safe Zones Coalition members work with the United Without Boundaries and Queer Alliance student clubs, Admissions and Records office, and Financial Aid to identify and reach out to undocumented and LGBTQ-identified students. This project serves as a one stop shop/liaison by working one-on-one with students and collaborating with all appropriate departments on campus.
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Cross Cultural Center Equity Project


The Cross Cultural Equity Project brings the classroom to life by offering experiential opportunities such as a speakers’ series, field trips, a retreat, and volunteer fair. The Lancer Leaders Program is a campus-sponsored leadership development program that opened to all currently enrolled PCC students in Spring 2016. In partnership with Project LEAP and various faculty & staff associations, the Cross Cultural Center also hosts mixers for African American/Black, Latina/o, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ-identified students in the Fall. The Cross Cultural Center also spearheads efforts to maximize the student engagement platform, Lancer Life, which includes a centralized website and mobile app that the entire campus community can use to look up programs and events.
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