Ecology Action Engaging With Local College Students Through College Corps

A new State of California program, #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, will help create debt-free pathways to college graduation while engaging students across the state in solving problems in their communities. This first of its kind initiative is being launched in partnership with California colleges and universities. Over the next two years, 48 partner campuses will deploy more than 6,000 College Corps Fellows to tackle statewide challenges, including climate change. And for the first time, AB 540 eligible Dreamers will be included in a state service program.

The program will pay students $10,000 in the form of a stipend and education award for 450 hours of service in the 2022/23 academic year to work on climate, K-12 education, and food security issues. Locally, CSU Monterey Bay was awarded funds as part of a consortium of SF Bay Area California State Universities to support 70 students focusing on service in K-12 education.

Regionally, Ecology Action facilitated a collaboration that has led to support for a cohort of over 100 students slated to engage the community in climate action with our in-development Resilient Central Coast campaign. We already have 552 applications from students who will be enrolled next Fall at California Polytechnical University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly), Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, and Allen Hancock College in Santa Maria toward an overall placement goal of 350 students.

Our Resilient Central Coast student cohort will receive technical climate action and community engagement training from our national partner Community Climate Solutions and then organize their campus and community networks to take action to reduce emissions and prepare for climate change. Participants will track their actions and emissions reductions on the Resilient SLO and Resilient Santa Barbara County action platforms, similar to the action platforms that Ecology Action and public agencies are working to launch in the Monterey Bay Area this year.

Ecology Action will provide central project management to the cohort and directly lead a team of students doing service in the Monterey Bay Area. Student teams will also be trained and supported on the ground by our local community partners SLO Climate Micro Community Collaborative and Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara.

Dr. Erin J.P. Pearse, mathematics professor and director of the Initiative for Climate Leadership and Resilience, was a catalyst who led to CalPoly securing the $5.4M in funding for over 300 students’ paid service. “We’re optimistic that this opportunity will draw students from a wide variety of disciplines,” said Erin, “and broaden their understanding of how important it is for people in ANY career or background to take an active role in the fight against the climate crisis.”

We encourage all students who will be enrolled in or entering college next year to apply to be part of this big dream, big impact, multi-benefit California program: