PCF Scholars is an education grant program funded by the Pasadena Community Foundation to provide responsive, impactful support to Pasadena’s vulnerable and at-risk students as they graduate from high school and enroll in Pasadena City College. In partnership with College Access Plan and Pasadena City College’s Pathways program, PCF Scholars combines need-based financial assistance and long-term support from counselors and mentors to help Pasadena Unified School District students achieve their college education goals.
We will welcome eight PCF Scholars this year, and every year for the next four years, as we build the program, study the impact, and support our Scholars throughout their time at PCC. Success is defined not only by timely graduation or transfer, but also by persistence, progression, and motivation to set and meet goals.
The majority (75%) of PUSD students enter PCC with the goal of a bachelor’s degree, however only 25% transfer to a four-year college. The financial assistance and comprehensive counseling provided by the PCF Scholars program is designed to help students complete their studies. Unlike many traditional scholarships, the PCF Scholars program is tailored to meet the needs of each student and open to those who may not be eligible for merit-based aid.
We want to reduce the number of hours students need to work at outside jobs, offset unexpected financial burdens, and cover the costs of books, computers, fees, and other expenses associated with earning college credit, leaving Scholars with the time and capacity to focus on their school work. The Scholars will work with CAP and Pathways to set and meet personal education goals, complete a transfer to a four-year college, or graduate with an Associate’s degree.
The PCF Scholars program is an integrated partnership among the Foundation, CAP and PCC Pathways. PCF’s support will amplify the work of both CAP and Pathways as they provide direct services to Pasadena students. Together we provide a consistent through-line of support for students graduating from PUSD schools and attending college at PCC, with the hope that a combination of financial assistance and social-emotional support will ease the transition to college and empower students to complete their coursework and transfer to a four-year college or university.
CAP provides free college counseling to students through drop-in centers at all six PUSD high schools. Counselors guide students through the college application and enrollment process, and maintain relationships after graduation through their “I Heart College” alumni program.
Pathways provides PCC students with coaches, counselors, and tutors to help them stay on track and reach their academic goals. Participants receive priority registration and on-campus guidance services, including course planning, career counseling and financial literacy.