ACCESS is an academic bridge program for community college students interested in pursuing a career in research science. Its mission is to provide students with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills that will increase their transfer eligibility and academic success, and lead to greater diversity among university undergraduates in the biomedical sciences. The program focuses on students whose academic goals and potential have been affected by disadvantageous circumstances and/or students who belong to groups with below-average UC enrollment rates.
The ACCESS program is designed to offer two broad areas of support services to Cabrillo, Gavilan, Hartnell, and Monterey Peninsula College students. For all interested students, regardless of eligibility criteria, the program provides enrichment activities and Mini Research Camps that strengthen academic skills, increase university transfer and retention rates, and promote interest and participation in scientific research. Students who meet the ACCESS eligibility criteria, and who are highly motivated, are offered opportunities to serve as Study Session Leaders and participate in the ACCESS Summer Research Institute. The ACCESS Program also works closely with the STEM Diversity Programs and the Research Mentoring Institute at UC Santa Cruz and ACCESS students have a greater opportunity to transition into a STEM or RMI program when they transfer. Through this approach the ACCESS program seeks to establish a diverse student body within the University's science programs that is representative of local community demographics.