Our Campaign Priorities are the result of a campus-wide research and a feasibility study into the most immediate needs of students, the college, the community, and the regional economy.

After careful analysis of the data collected, three high-impact areas for strategic resource alignment and development were identified. Addressing these high-impact areas will provide direct support to students where and when they need it most.

Click on a link below to learn more about these campaign priorities. Or, download the Raising the Game campaign booklet.

Students sitting and talking on campus

I. Student Success Scholarships

Expand scholarships and award amounts that support and advance student achievement, completion,
and transfer with a specific focus on high-achieving students, adult learners, and industry-focused

Students walking on campas

II. Proven High-Impact Programs

Raising the game for student achievement is all about identifying areas of need and supporting students in a way that will lead to better student outcomes. That’s why we’re developing an entire fund to support programs and practices that are proven to boost student achievement.

Arts students performing interpretive dance

III. Performance Funds for the Arts

Support the ability of SAC students to perform and compete at the highest artistic levels by facilitating the purchase of performance-related equipment and supplies in dance, music, theater, TV-video communications, and the fine arts.

 I. Student Success Scholarships

Students sitting and talking on campus

Across the United States, jobs requiring postsecondary education are growing faster than ever. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, by 2025, 1 million jobs that require “some college” education (but not a four-year degree) will go unfilled because there will not be enough educated workers to fill them.

In order to meet these needs, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has set goals of increasing overall rates of degree or certificate completion by 20 percent and increasing the number of career education students employed within their field of study from 60 to 76 percent.

Santa Ana College has the future-focused curriculum and student-centered infrastructure in place to meet these ambitious goals, but we need your help making sure our region’s worthiest students have the financial support they need to succeed.

Pathway Scholarships

As an extension of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office commitment to developing efficient educational pathways that lead directly to in-demand careers, these scholarships will be aligned with specific career pathways that have been developed and are currently being offered at SAC.

Donors can choose to support a variety of programs such as Santa Ana College’s innovative Pathway to Law School program, which improves provides educational and financial resources that are designed to make it easier for students to transfer to a four-year institution, and then into law school. Or, donors can develop their own scholarships to support students pursuing degrees in business administration, engineering, education, criminal justice, manufacturing, or any number of SAC’s industry-focused degree and certificate programs.

Transfer Scholarships

Every year, SAC students are accepted into world-class universities such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, and others. But transferring can be expensive and many students can’t attend due to a lack of financial resources. Increased tuition, books, moving, housing, and living expenses often combine to create insurmountable financial obstacles, turning achievements that should be celebrated into lost opportunities that are regretted.

Unfortunately, not only do the financial challenges associated with transferring mean students lose out on the opportunities that go along with attending prestigious four-year institutions, but so does Orange County.

Supporting transfer ensures that our highest achieving students are able to reap the rewards of their greatest academic accomplishments so that we as a community can benefit from them, too.

Supporting Working Adult Scholarships

Community college students come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, but returning to school can be especially intimidating and difficult for adult learners who are often working multiple jobs and supporting families. Unfortunately, these adults are often the ones who would benefit most from advancing their education. 

This fund seeks to provide real-time, responsive financial support to students who are just starting on a new career path and those who are nearing completion so that more adults can upgrade their skills, their paychecks, and their lives.

President’s Scholars Program

Centered around attracting and backing the best and brightest students so they can continue to make an impact in our community and our world, this prestigious program will create access and opportunity for high-achieving students by supporting their all-around personal and professional development with the following:

  • A $1,000 yearly book stipend
  • One-on-one mentorship
  • Exclusive access to the SAC President’s roundtable
  • Honors society membership
  • A substantial $2,500-$10,000 transfer scholarship.

The President’s Scholars program sets the stage for Santa Ana College to attract the best talent in the region while making sure that SAC remains a college of choice for our region’s next generation of business and community leaders by ensuring that they receive the support that they need.

 II. Proven High-Impact Programs

Students walking on campas

Raising the game for student achievement is all about identifying areas of need and supporting students in a way that will lead to better student outcomes. That’s why we’re developing an entire fund to support programs and practices that are proven to boost student achievement.

Many of these high-touch, high-impact programs, such as SAC Honors, Students for Students Peer Mentoring, and the Summer Scholars Transfer Institute (SSTI) have already proven themselves to be highly effective. For instance, SSTI students transfer to four-year institutions at a rate that is 20 percent higher than similarly qualified, non-SSTI students!

These are successful programs that can be challenging to maintain and expand due to their hands-on approach, high student-to-staff ratio, facilities, and institutional demands. Additional resources in these areas will allow SAC to continue to maintain and develop programs like these that are proven to enhance student success.

Learning Communities

By giving students a space to expand their intellectual engagement and fostering the social aspects of learning, academic learning communities have been shown to increase retention, improve time to degree or certificate completion, and enhance the overall intellectual development of our students. The impact of these programs is even greater for disadvantaged students, students of color, and non-traditional students.

The proven success of these communities provide a broad range of support options for donors interested in having a direct impact on student engagement and achievement.

By encouraging students to build support networks, form friendships with like-minded peers, and connect with Santa Ana College faculty and staff, learning communities like these support academic achievement by providing a missing link that often gets overlooked when colleges talk about student success.

Programs Promoting Transfer

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, California “will need 1.1 million additional workers with bachelor’s degrees by 2030 to remain economically competitive.”

Unfortunately, the hidden costs associated with transferring can be significant. This, coupled with a lack of academic confidence and misunderstandings about what transferring entails, discourages many capable students from making the leap to the university of their choice.

This fund seeks to change that by developing and implementing more transfer-oriented programs like the highly successful Summer Scholars Transfer Institute (SSTI), a ten-day, residential, summer institute at UC Irvine that gives high-achieving but economically-challenged students a chance to live on campus, take a class, earn transferrable credits, and get real-world university experience.
By supporting programs like these, donors can make sure that deserving students and our regional economy reap the rewards of more four-year degrees.

Career-Based Experiences

In order to help students receive the training they need to meet employer demand, businesses across a broad range of industries are collaborating with community colleges like Santa Ana College. By working together, these industry-driven partnerships help provide innovative educational and professional development experiences to individuals looking to get hands-on experience while building marketable skill sets.

Not surprisingly, data suggests a strong link between direct industry exposure and student retention. Opportunities like the Student Professional Development Institute, the annual Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) conference, and other internship and field experiences provide an important compliment to SAC’s academics.
This fund will support motivated students looking to participate in experiences like these while building SAC’s capacity to develop new partnerships with regional businesses, the community, alumni, and other friends of the college.

 III. Performance Funds for the Arts

Arts students performing interpretive dance

Whether it’s the 40-plus galleries that call Santa Ana’s Arts Village home, or the vibrant colors of Santa Ana’s legendary murals, the arts play a key role in expressing our community’s identity. They inspire its flavor. Its sound. And its culture.

If Santa Ana College is to truly raise its game to become the premier provider of regional education and career training, it needs to take its fine and performing arts programs to the next level. Not just so we can continue to attract and train the best and brightest creatives in the region, but because of the real careers arts education provides.
Given the proven impact of the arts on student success and Santa Ana’s own flourishing art scene, support in this area will help Santa Ana College meet the challenges of providing its students and Santa Ana as a whole with the kinds of shared, artistic spaces, and opportunities that all communities and cultures need to thrive.

Program Performance Fund

In the arts, it is not enough to be average. It is not enough to almost get the pitch correct when playing a note. It is not enough to remember most of your lines when acting in a play. And it is not enough to get half the colors correct in a painting.

In the arts, success doesn’t come to those who are pretty good. It only comes to those who have raised their craft and creativity to the highest levels. But excellence requires practice. It requires learning new skills, applying them in a professional setting, refining one’s techniques, and practicing them again and again.

Just like fire technology students need to be able to practice fighting fires with real fire and real water, so performers of all types need the opportunity to put their skills to the test. Without this critical component, their skills will never reach the level of professionalism required to succeed in the arts.

By offsetting the cost of performance-related expenses and equipment in dance, music, theater, TV-video communications, and the fine arts, will provide a critical compliment to the instruction students receive from Santa Ana College’s award-winning fine and performing arts faculty.