Academic Preparation Programs’ Response to COVID-19
The start of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent safer-at-home order presented various challenges to our traditional delivery models. In response to these challenges, UC Riverside’s Academic Preparation Programs (APP) adapted our delivery of services in order to continue championing the academic success of students throughout the UCR, Riverside, and San Bernardino communities.
APP includes the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), TRIO Pre-College Programs, TRIO Scholars, and the University Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC).
While continuing to uphold the UC fundamental mission of public service in these difficult circumstances, APP is addressing the current challenges by transitioning our resources to virtual opportunities that maintain access, impact, and connection to the students, families, and communities we serve.
Select the buttons below to access a full list of each program's response to COVID-19.
Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP)
EAOP serves over 5,500 educationally and/or economically disadvantaged high school students by advising program participants and their families about how to become eligible for postsecondary education upon high school graduation.
Questions? Contact email@example.com or (951) 827-4739.
Services for Eligibility and Success for Postsecondary Education
EAOP continues to implement student services for academic success and eligibility for postsecondary institutions.
- Virtual Communications – Advised approximately 3,000 students via virtual sessions, phone calls, and texts.
- Emails – Notified families about postsecondary admission requirements from institutions such as the California State University and University of California.
- Phone Calls – Performed student wellness checks and shared resources with 800+ families to address interrupted or nonexistent internet access.
- Text Messages – Reminded 5,000+ students and families about upcoming events and college preparation deadline activities.
- Weekly Office Hours – Offered personal academic advising to students and their families.
- Weekly Webinars – Offered 80 virtual webinars on topics including:
- Campus visits
- Competitive eligibility
- Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
- Financial aid award letters
- First-year college preparation
- Personal Insight Questions
- Selecting a major
- Systems of higher education
Recognition for Academic Accomplishments
EAOP recognized its class of 2020 program participants with a video, featuring the graduates, their high school alma maters, and their postsecondary career plans. EAOP Scholar sashes and participation certificates were mailed to students who attended three or more EAOP events during their high school career.
Summer Academics and Enrichment
Credentialed teachers and UCR faculty will teach EAOP’s summer courses.
- College Connect Program (June 29–July 23) – Virtual academic enrichment in mathematics and language arts for rising ninth graders.
- College Prep Academy (June 29–July 23) – A four-week program for rising sophomores and juniors to develop strong composition skills, review problematic math topics, and get familiar with material for future classes. Subjects include essential mathematics, science, and writing.
- Senior Summit (Aug. 3–13) – A summer intensive workshop to help rising seniors find “best fit” colleges. Topics to be discussed include how to complete college applications, develop impactful responses to the UC Personal Insight Questions, and explore financial aid opportunities. Current undergraduates from various colleges and universities will share their experiences.
- Summer Academy for Advanced High School Students – EAOP and UCR’s Summer Sessions are identifying and assisting eligible students to enroll in university courses and earn course credit on an official UCR transcript.
TRIO Pre-College Programs
TRIO Pre-College Programs (Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound Classic, Upward Bound Oasis, and Upward Bound Rialto/Colton Joint) provide opportunities for approximately 800 high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in their pre-college performance and higher education pursuits.
Note: Educational Talent Search is referred to as ETS, and Upward Bound is referred to as UB.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (951) 827-4749.
Academic Focus, Admissions, and Wellness
TRIO Pre-College is supporting the academic focus, college admissions process, and overall wellness of its participants.
- Virtual Advising – ETS and UB staff transitioned in-person academic advising to other communication platforms: email, phone calls, social media, and online meeting platforms. Nearly 600 academic advising sessions were conducted since campuses closed in March 2020.
- Encouragement and Guidance – Offered guidance to grade 12 students regarding college acceptances and financial award notifications. Continuing to encourage students to maintain academic focus and connect with teachers in order to submit required assignments. Engaging in student/family wellness checks.
Study Hall Sessions
UB and ETS staff transitioned its Study Hall sessions (an integral program resource) to an online meeting platform in order to offer academic support in core subjects and reinforce learning beyond the classroom. One-hour, triweekly sessions took place after school and were led by Study Hall Mentors, current UCR students who have excelled in the subjects they tutor.
The year-end UB Saturday Session in April took place online and transitioned into one-hour, weekly workshops for three consecutive Thursdays. Topics included goal setting (grades 9 and 10), UC/CSU admissions and standardized test updates (grade 11), and a financial award letter workshop (grade 12). These workshops were similar to UB’s Saturday Sessions.
TRIO Pre-College Programs followed best practices shared by the TRIO Pre-College community and its sponsor to ensure program compliance.
- Participated in online webinars to learn new strategies and best practices for delivery of services.
- Applied guidance from the Department of Education (ED) that could affect programming.
- Maintained open communication with Washington, D.C.-based allies, those who work closely with ED, to confirm current activities align with regulations.
Virtual Summer Programs
TRIO Pre-College’s virtual summer programs prepare students for the postsecondary experience and upcoming academic year. Sessions are hosted on virtual meeting platforms.
- ETS’ Summer Programs (June and July) – Three separate four-day sessions for program participants. Rising sophomores and juniors will participate in the Virtual Summer Program, which includes English and math enrichment courses, as well as study skills workshops. Rising seniors will participate in the Virtual Senior Seminar, which will prepare them for the college and financial aid application process.
- UB’s Virtual Summer Program – A six-week program with three academic courses and one grade-appropriate course. Students will prepare for the upcoming academic year and learn what to expect when entering a postsecondary institution.
UB hosted a graduation ceremony via a virtual meeting platform for graduating seniors. A UB alumnus shared his college experience and professional transition into the film industry.
TRIO Scholars, also known as Student Support Services, is dedicated to improving retention and graduation rates of first-generation and income-qualified students as well as students with disabilities. Each year, about 140 UCR students receive academic, social, personal, and career advising.
Questions? Contact email@example.com or (951) 827-3888.
Academic Support and Resources
TRIO Scholars is maintaining academic support and resources with the services below.
- Individual Student Meetings – Conducted 200+ meetings. Topics included navigating distance-learning, processing COVID-19 stresses, and preparing for job applications.
- Tutoring – In-person tutoring sessions transitioned to a virtual format. Tutors received materials, supplies, and training to boost their teaching skills.
- Student-Designed Workshop Curriculum – Tutors presented academic skill building, techniques, and success tips for distance-learning.
- Graduate Mentor Program – A new program to connect students with graduate students in the Graduate School of Education. Topics included the application process and first-generation graduate student experience.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Preparation Courses – Collaborated with UCR’s Academic Resource Center to provide GRE preparation courses.
- Guaranteed Acceptance – Collaborated with the Future Physician Leaders program in UCR’s School of Medicine to provide students with guaranteed acceptance into the program. Services included skill-building workshops, leadership lectures, and community health projects to support the Inland Empire community.
Basic Needs and Academic Supplies
TRIO Scholars provided basic needs and academic supplies to ensure student success.
- Food Resources – Used Emergency Crisis Response Team resources to provide students with meal vouchers and grocery cards — thanks to a partnership with UCR’s Basic Needs program. Also hosted a virtual CalFresh workshop to share food security resources.
- Mobile Devices – Loaned iPads to students in need of distance-learning devices and supported their application process to borrow laptops through UCR’s Loan2Learn program.
Virtual Spring Workshops
TRIO Scholars transitioned its in-person spring workshops to virtual experiences. Topics included financial literacy, academic resources for distance-learning, wellness, and job search skills.
TRIO Scholars strengthened its structure of community support.
- “Kick It With Staff” Meetings – Biweekly meetings maintained a sense of community. Students were invited to process their experiences, vent frustrations, and seek support to navigate barriers. Two forums were held to discuss the pandemic’s impact on society and critical issues affecting students and their communities.
- Social Media Connections – Engagement and resource utilization increased due to the addition of motivational and call-and-response posts, as well as shared self-care activities and shelter-in-place routines from the staff.
- Peer Mentor Program – Upper-division students helped lower-division students navigate life at UCR.
TRIO Scholars held a virtual celebration for 36 graduates. Included were student speakers, video messages to loved ones, graduate recognitions, and a message from the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services and Director of Undergraduate Admissions. Celebration packages were mailed, which included a TRIO Scholars stole, UCR alumni sticker decal, padfolio, recognition certificate, and congratulatory card from the staff.
Professional Development Webinars
TRIO Scholars staff attended webinars to learn how to convert programmatic support services to virtual environments. Topics included technology utilization, student assessment, policy and legislature, and student support programming.
TRIO Scholars increased its support of staff wellness. Time was dedicated each day to process the effect of the pandemic and decompress from stress onset by providing student support during the pandemic.
University Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC)
University Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC)/AmeriCorps recruits over 85 college students to become AmeriCorps members who mentor and tutor over 850 youth from Riverside’s Eastside and university neighborhoods to increase academic achievement and become engaged in community service.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (951) 827-2514.
Undergraduate Retention, Learning, and Graduation
UECC worked quickly with the AmeriCorps state commission, California Volunteers (CV), to keep UCR students in service as AmeriCorps members. Services to the community continued and students progressed toward earning their Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (a federal scholarship for use with Title IV Educational Institutions and is critical to fund academic studies and repay student loans).
AmeriCorps members reflected on their community service experience and how it provides long-term societal benefits and advances knowledge to align with the UC’s mission.
- Virtual Meetings and Trainings – Helped members adjust to and maintain a remote connection to UECC and UCR. Topics included study/service environments, community service opportunities, and ways to stay connected with UCR and Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) staff.
- Member Trainings – Addressed adjustments needed to serve those in remote environments.
- Year-End Recognition Ceremony – Thanked members for their dedication to the community and to their academics while observing safer-at-home orders.
Mobilization to Provide Public Service
With CV's approval, UECC AmeriCorps members engaged in tele-serve and alternative service activities related to COVID-19. These included:
- Assisting the Riverside and Orange County’s 2-1-1 Resource Hotlines to connect residents to resources and update the resource database.
- Engaging in food distribution efforts in Riverside.
- Participating in blood drives.
- Identifying COVID-19-related resources across 12 counties. Members identified 1,200+ resources, logged 556 phone calls, and served 916 hours of community service.
Collaborations With RUSD and City of Riverside
UECC coordinated with its partners, RUSD, and the City of Riverside to address the community’s needs in the current pandemic environment.
- Members supported RUSD’s distance-learning activities and community wellness checks.
- In coordination with the City of Riverside, members will:
- Engage community children with a virtual summer camp.
- Provide wellness support to residents at cooling centers.
- Assist with adapting community services during Riverside’s reopening phases.
UECC maintained frequent communications with its state commission, California Volunteers (CV), to ensure program compliance as services were modified because of COVID-19.
- Participated in biweekly technical assistance webinars to learn about updated regulations and additional service opportunities.
- Applied guidance from CV and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that could affect programming.
- Maintained communication with Sacramento-based program officers who work closely with CNCS to confirm activities align with revised regulations.