In fall of 2016, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a generous grant of 2.59M to the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego in partnership with the San Diego Community District (SDCCD), marking the Division’s largest grant received to date. The San Diego Community College District encompasses three campuses – City College, Mesa College and Miramar College.

With the intention of creating a new generation of thought leaders to reshape the value of the humanities, the grant was set in motion. Faculty and staff at both institutions began a collaborative effort to build connections across the regional higher education system, create new opportunities for students from traditionally disadvantaged communities, and support students studying arts and humanities in the transition from community college to life at the large research university, and in prepare for careers beyond. 

The program was quickly named PATH, an acronym for Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities. Given the interconnection of arts and humanities, the decision was made shortly after to expand the scope of the project to include the arts as well.

The grant had five programmatic areas:

  • A Summer Academy 
  • Student Outreach, Recruitment and Retention
  • Faculty Connections
  • Student Enrichment
  • Digital Commons

  • Serving as leads on the development and implementation of the grants are UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities Dean Cristina Della Coletta and SDCCD Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services Stephanie Bulger.

    “What has been most dynamic in launching the PATH program has been seeing results for each student involved, from initial mentorship at the community colleges to becoming student leaders at UC San Diego. I am confident in saying our partnership with SDCCD and support from the Mellon Foundation is immediately helping diverse, intelligent and engaged students.” Cristina Della Coletta, Dean of Arts and Humanities, UC San Diego

    2019 – PHASE II

    In December 2019, another grant was awarded to continue the programs work. Phase II of the grant will continue to improve upon the effective components of the first phase, while expanding meaningfully upon new initiatives.

    New Initiatives:

  • The Integrated Internship Initiative 
  • Writing for Professional Success
  • Counseling Support
  • New Service Learning Opportunities
  • PATH Passport Program
  • Digital Technology for Collaboration Initiative
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