Our goals: 

  1. Latine/a/o learners from modest means: 

  • have a clear and well-worn path to increased postsecondary success in STEM 

  • are supported in greater and greater numbers to attain STEM degrees, transfer to university and become the next generation of STEM innovators. 

  1. OC STEM cements model articulation and transfer agreements in STEM with four-year institutions to reflect the growing reach of our STEM alums. This broadens the access points to STEM careers. 

Our guiding principles: 

  1. We believe Latine/a/o STEM students carry courage and resiliency from their ancestors. This guiding light leads to breakthrough innovation that will change the world. 

  1. Eternal kindness and endless optimism are critical components of everything OC STEM does to increase a sense of belonging and value.  

  1. STEM innovation is: 

  • driven by a diversity of thought, backgrounds,cultural and content expertise amongst collaborators. 

  • stewarded by individuals working together creatively.  Stories of STEM innovators often point to: opportunities for inspiration and engagement; mentors; support systems and timely guides and signposts revealing a path forward. 

  1. We lean on our expert compas (valued colleagues-Gina Garcia, Tara Yosso and Linda Darling-Hammond among others) to provide the best research and data available to guide our strategies in increasing retention, success, transfer, and degrees.  

  • Multilingual and multicultural learners who have been historically marginalized harbor community cultural wealth: aspirational capital, linguistic capital, familial capital, social capital, navigational capital, resistant capital, narrative capital, and resiliency capital. 

  • A transformative, culturally-affirming, and empowering environment is filled with safety and belonging, integrated support systems, positive developmental relationships, rich learning experiences and knowledge development, and development of skills, habits, and mindsets. 

Our key strategies:

  1. Develop and refine existing and new model articulations between OC, University of California system, California State University system and private four-year institutions.
  2. Create a STEM transfer and career counseling and advising position.
  3. Broadly and comprehensively communicate existing and new transfer and career pathways, including earnings.
  4. Leverage OC Alumni connections for increased transfer and career success.
  5. Embed transfer awareness, career exploration and industry student learning outcomes (SLOs) in STEM courses, labs, and experiences.