Pipeline Through College


  • Empowering first generation, low income and vulnerable youth to be successful after high school.
  • Inspiring a new generation of leaders & change makers.
  • Increasing the number of under-represented applicants going into post-secondary training & higher education institutions and graduating in California.

Changing the odds for vulnerable youth who often fall into a school to prison pipeline

Pipeline Through College, a joint project of the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC) and AES, is a youth development, mentoring, college access program supporting first generation, low income, and minority students in their quest to pursue post-secondary training and improve their life circumstances.

Group in opening circle hands claspedThe Program

A two year program, Pipeline is coordinated and facilitated by CCLC staff and college paraprofessionals. Providing high school students with a college mentor and a school based advisor (usually a teacher), Pipeline begins working with students in their junior year, before they begin thinking about life after high school, and follows them through their senior year to graduation.

Research demonstrates that working with students before they enroll in college and pairing them with older mentors who help them prepare for the college experience significantly improves their ability to stay in school and graduate.

How it works

Matching the experiences and talents of college students with the needs of high school students who want to dream big, but don’t know how to; Pipeline pairs high school students with college students from Chico State who come from similar low-income or under-represented areas.

Mentors meet with students monthly throughout the school year, either at Chico State or the high school, where they facilitate a range of personal development and skills based workshops that engage students in interactive activities, and thoughtful reflections, that will support them in making the best decisions for their future beyond high school. The program culminates in a graduation at Chico State in April of the second year.

“Empowerment is Empowering others, no one gets left behind or forgotten. This is Pipeline.”  -Michel, Pipeline student

pipeline tag line

Site mentors and college mentors work as a team to support students by monitoring and discussing challenges the student might face.

The first year focuses on self-reflection and self-empowerment, helping students “dream big” about their future. This includes an intensive 3 day orientation training which focuses on building relationships and starting the conversation about life after high school, college and what success would look like for that student.

The second year continues the monthly workshops and weekly contacts, but focuses on admissions testing (SAT and ACT), applications, scholarships and formal contact with admissions counselors.

By building trust, support and providing knowledge about college life, college mentors in partnership with school based advisors mentor students and help prepare them for the rigors and challenges of college life.

femaile students lsitening to trust line instructions close up

The Results

In May of 2015, 90% of Pipeline’s first group of seniors from San Juan High School graduated from the program with admission into college, post-secondary training or the military. Many of the students credit their affiliation with Pipeline and the help and support of their college mentors and school site advisors, for their success.

“Through Pipeline I have seen the power of mentorship and the power of someone, even if it’s just one person, believing in another person. Believing that that person can succeed, often that’s all it takes to change someone else’s life.” -Pipeline Student, San Juan High School

For more information, download the Pipeline to College Brochure

For information about the program please contact Krystle Tonga at the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center by phone (530) 898-4101 or email at [email protected].

Pipeline Through College – Graduation 2016