The mission of the student equity project is supported by the Pasadena City College (PCC) Educational Master Plan (EMP). The main tenets of the EMP and the college mission center around the goal of achieving student equity. The opportunity to explore student equity through the assignment given by the Chancellor’s Office with the generous support of the state, provides us with further data to address student equity gaps.

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

Who We Serve

The Pasadena City College student equity project proudly serves African-American, Asian, Caucasian, Latino, male and female, Veteran, Foster Youth, DSPS, and Low-Income students.


Second Year Experience


The Second Year Pathway (SYP) builds upon Pasadena City College’s successful First Year Pathway (FYP) by incorporating the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ high impact practices of common intellectual experiences, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, learning communities, internships, and capstone projects. The application of these practices will address several achievement gap areas including access, course completion for both internet-based and non-distance education courses, transfer, and degree/certificate completion. SYP All students who successfully transition through the FYP are eligible for SYP. This diverse group of students allows SYP to effectively serve multiple groups identified in the Student Equity Achievement Areas. Additionally, embedding SYP into the existing Pathways program utilizes existing infrastructure while enabling PCC to offer the necessary wrap-around services that are missing for students as they enter their second year of college.

Funding Amount: $139,600
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MAS2 supports the needs of future STEM students, focusing on Latino 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.

Funding Amount: $100,000
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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.

Funding Amount: $40,000Acrobat Reader Icon

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 will be invited to attend this engaging and interactive gathering scheduled for early September. Six educators from the Southern California region will 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 their individual presentations, the six educators will also come together for a collaborative panel discussion enhanced by opportunities to be in dialogue with those in attendance.

Funding Amount: $13,000Acrobat Reader Icon

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.

Funding Amount: $100,000Acrobat Reader Icon

Online Student Success Initiative

The goal of the Online Student Success Initiative is to provide additional support and services to impacted student populations taking online courses at PCC as well as to support the faculty teaching these courses through outreach and professional learning. This project focuses on the development and implementation of High Impact Practices and proven retention measures to be piloted in the PCC Online Model Course Program.

Funding Amount: $70,250Acrobat Reader Icon


Blackademia will serve as a collegiate hub that empowers Black students with essential resources to achieve educational success. By creating innovative solutions, Blackademia will address 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 will engage Black students in an academic, professional and collective environment that will strengthen their cultural identity and fortify their ability to achieve beyond the classroom.

Funding Amount: $118,000Acrobat Reader Icon

Safe Zone Comprehensive Student Support Services Project


This project takes a holistic approach to supporting undocumented Latino students who are interested in transferring. An adjunct counselor will be assigned to work with undocumented students, providing a mentoring component, university visits, cultural events/activities, collaborating with outside agencies that work with undocumented populations and professional development, the model provides support in every aspect to support their success. The counselor will work with the United Without Boundaries student club, Admissions and Records office, Financial Aid office and the Safe Zone Coalition committee to identify and reach out to undocumented Latino students. Essentially, the counselor will serve as a one stop shop/liaison by working one-on-one with students and collaborating with all appropriate departments on campus.

Funding Amount: $18,000Acrobat Reader Icon

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 will be open to all currently enrolled PCC students in Spring 2016. In partnership with Project LEAP and various faculty & staff associations, the Cross Cultural Center will also host mixers for African American/Black, Latino, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ students in mid to late September 2015. The Cross Cultural Center is also spearheading efforts to purchase a student engagement platform, which will include a centralized website and mobile app that the entire campus community can use to look up programs and events.

Funding Amount: $80,000Acrobat Reader Icon