7th-Grade College & Career Summit

Hosted By: 
7th-grade students, UCSC, S4C, CSUMB
Annually: UCSC-March and CSUMB-April

Students will find connections to the school work they are doing now to future college and career possibilities. They will gain an understanding of their college and career aspirations, confidence to achieve goals and specific steps for their pathway to success. Students will arrive on campus prepared for the day’s activities and will leave the campus and enter eighth-grade with a clearer sense of intention, a plan, options available to pay for college and excitement for their future.


Vision:  Provide an exciting curriculum and an inspirational and transformational College and Career Exploration Summit for all Santa Cruz County seventh-grade students in collaboration with California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB); Cabrillo College; the School Districts of the City and County of Santa Cruz and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Schools will split between CSUMB and UCSC on an annual basis.

History:  On May 21st 2013 the first UCSC/S4C Middle School Summit took place. In its first year, selections of middle schools from across Santa Cruz County were welcomed to the UCSC campus. The visit began with a speech by Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant. Following the welcome, students were led to classrooms throughout the campus where they learned about Crime Prevention, Game Design, Robotics and Engineering, Social Justice and Astronomy. The goal of the pilot was to provide an opportunity for students to explore the college majors most relevant to their interests, and to see first-hand what their future studies might look like.

There was pre- and post-event curriculum that generated robust involvement and allowed measurement of the impact. Student outcomes in the pilot were positive, and the event was subsequently expanded to include every single seventh grader.

In Spring 2014, the full program launched and all 3,000 seventh-grade students in Santa Cruz County visited either UCSC or CSUMB. In preparation for their visits, students studied the UCSC Partnership Center's College is My Future curriculum. While on the college campuses, students, teachers, and parent volunteers learned about admissions requirements and way to prepare for college, and engaged with current college students in a panel format before attending a closing session to review what they had learned throughout the day.


Among a number of positive outcomes, pre- and post-event survey results showed:

  • A 9.6% increase in students who know they must take and pass A-G courses to attend a California public university
  • A 13.7% increase in students knowing the steps needed to accomplish their career goals
  • Students overall perceptions of college were improved, or as one student put it:

"College is cool, College is important, College is useful"