Cal Poly was selected as one of 45 higher education institutions to implement the statewide #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program, an initiative by Gov. Gavin Newsom to create service-learning opportunities for thousands of California college students.
The program is expected to launch fall quarter of the 2022-2023 academic year. Applications will open to students prior to the program’s launch, though a date has not yet been set.
The #CaliforniansForAll program is California’s largest investment in a service-based program to date. It is expected to provide 6,500 students with service-learning opportunities over the course of two academic years. The program is also the first of its kind to include state-funded service opportunities, specifically for AB 540 eligible Dreamers.
The program’s service opportunities will address statewide issues such as climate action and K-12 education.
The program also aims to tackle student debt by providing participating students with $10,000 to be applied toward their college education. This includes a $7,000 stipend living allowance and a $3,000 education award after the completion of their service.
Cal Poly is still waiting on instruction from California Volunteers, the office running the #CaliforniansForAll initiative, before developing the application process for the program. An online information page for interested students is expected to be posted in the coming weeks, according to the Cal Poly director of leadership and service Jason Mockford.
The program will be open to full-time, undergraduate students of all years and majors.
Students accepted into the program must complete 450 hours of service throughout the academic year at a #CaliforniansForAll-approved site in order to receive their academic award.
“True to our Learn by Doing nature, a lot of students are going to benefit from being able to explore areas of interest in a professional setting and be able to make an impact in the field they’re connecting with,” Mockford said. “It should be a really meaningful experience that results in fantastic professional development and skill-building.”
The program will be implemented on the Cal Poly campus as a joint effort between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, according to a Cal Poly press release.
Cal Poly will also lead the Coastal California Civic Leadership Consortium, which also includes CSU Long Beach, Cuesta College and Allan Hancock College. This group will receive a $5,924,999 grant award to implement the #CaliforniansForAll program on their respective campuses and create fellowship opportunities for students.
Cal Poly will offer 165 fellowship positions. The other campuses will each offer 50 positions. The Consortium will receive another $4,725,000 to support an additional 315 fellows the following academic year, pending the program’s first year success.
Cal Poly had the option to apply to the program as a single campus or as a consortium and ultimately chose to apply alongside the other universities to maximize the potential impact of the program, Mockford said.
The consortium will focus its service-learning model on K-12 education, food insecurity and climate action.
Cal Poly will be collaborating with the Initiative for Climate Leadership and Resilience to create service-learning opportunities in climate action, according to Mockford. The group will help connect the university with reputable climate action groups throughout the Central Coast.