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California Impact

Cal Poly Students — Including Dreamers — Can Soon Earn Cash for Education Through State Service Program

Three students wear green graduation robes and hats and look at the camera during fall commencement.

Cal Poly has been selected as one of 45 higher education institutions to implement the statewide #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program on its campus.

#CaliforniansForAll College Corps is an initiative by Gov. Gavin Newsom that aims to provide 6,500 college students statewide with service-learning opportunities over the span of two academic years to tackle statewide challenges in climate action, K-12 education, and food insecurity.

All told, the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program is the largest state-level investment in a college service-based program in state history and includes state-funded opportunities for AB 540 eligible Dreamers. The implementation of the program on Cal Poly’s campus will be a collaborative effort between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

“I am proud to see Cal Poly create new opportunities for students through this innovative statewide program,” said Keith Humphrey, Cal Poly’s vice president for Student Affairs. “This is a natural fit for our university, as this program truly embodies the Learn by Doing spirit we are known for at Cal Poly and allows our talented students to tackle some the state’s biggest challenges.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for students to engage in hands-on, Learn by Doing opportunities while making an impact on our local community and the state more broadly,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Cal Poly’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are appreciative of our partners across the Central Coast who will be providing these opportunities to help students further develop their community service experience and be Ready Day One to tackle the issues facing California and the world.”

Cal Poly will serve as the lead institution for the Coastal California Civic Leadership Consortium, which also consists of CSU Long Beach, Cuesta College, and Allan Hancock College. The consortium will receive an initial grant award of $5,924,999 to implement the program on their respective campuses and collectively offer 315 fellowship opportunities to students — including 165 at Cal Poly and 50 at each of the others. Pending a successful first year, the program will receive another $4,725,000 to support another cohort of 315 fellows.

The consortium will focus its service-learning model on K-12 education, climate action, and food insecurity. Climate action efforts will include partnerships with regional organizations such as Ecology Action, Community Climate Solutions, SLO Climate Coalition, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, Ecologistics, Community Environmental Council, and the CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology.

“We are excited to participate in this program, as it has the potential to drive real action in these three key areas, while providing financial support to students to support their educational goals and get engaged in meaningful work,” said Jason Mockford, Cal Poly’s director of leadership and service. “This program will provide more access to higher education for students who may not otherwise be able to attend, including our Dreamer students.”

“Cal Poly’s Initiative for Climate Leadership and Resilience has developed partnerships with a variety of educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and governmental entities,” added Dr. Erin P. J. Pearse, professor of mathematics and director of the Initiative for Climate Leadership and Resilience. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to engage students in working with these partners to tackle the biggest challenges of the next generation.”

The statewide effort also aims to address college student debt. To that end, participating students will receive $10,000 (including monthly stipends and an educational award at the conclusion of service) that they can apply toward their college education, while providing them with valuable service-learning experiences and skills along the way.

For additional information about the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program, visit


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