Occidental Expands Admissions Outreach Through New Community Partnerships

The Communications Office

Occidental College has launched two new partnerships that will expand the college’s admissions outreach to underserved populations. 

The two partners, IDEA Public Schools and Service to School, will provide college search resources and support to students in low-income and rural communities as well as U.S. military veteran students, respectively.

“Occidental College has a longstanding practice of recruiting talented students from a wide range of backgrounds,” says Maricela L. Martinez, vice president of enrollment at Occidental College. “We look forward to partnering with IDEA Public Schools and Service to School to help their students navigate the college admission process and to share how Occidental’s liberal arts education can prepare them to lead lives of impact.”

The partnerships are among several initiatives by Occidental to recruit and enroll a diverse student body in light of recent Supreme Court rulings that prohibit the consideration of race as a factor in the admissions process.

Although the College has conformed its policies and practices to comply with the court decisions, the College remains firmly committed to supporting campus diversity through other legally available means, which include expanding student recruitment efforts to a larger population.

IDEA Public Schools is a network of K-12 charter schools in Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Ohio. The network educates 80,000 students, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds, groups historically underrepresented in higher education, or are among the first in their families to attend college.

The partnership allows Occidental to support students in the college search through in-person visits to IDEA Public Schools, virtual information sessions, and with visits to the Occidental campus through the College’s Tiger Access Program.

“These partnerships are a testament to our commitment to make sure every student is successful on their path to and through college” says Phillip Garza, chief schools officer of IDEA Public Schools. “The collaboration between IDEA and universities across the country allows our students to walk onto a college campus with a built-in network for support and growth.”

Service to School is a nonprofit organization that provides free college and grad school application counseling to U.S. military veterans and servicemembers. Through the partnership, Occidental will participate in events and individual counseling with veterans and service members to share information about the College’s veteran support program, advising and student housing.

As a Yellow Ribbon school, Occidental will cover the cost of tuition for qualifying veterans, making a world-class education highly affordable.

“Veterans come from varied backgrounds with rich life experiences that enhance our campus diversity and enrich the intellectual discourse,” Martinez says. “With a robust offering of veteran-specific services, programming and housing, Occidental is well-positioned to support the needs of this unique population and welcome them into our close-knit community.”