The Colleges

2018-19 General Catalog

Cowell College | Stevenson College | Crown College | Merrill College | Porter College | Kresge College | Oakes College | Rachel Carson College | College Nine | College Ten


The Colleges

UC Santa Cruz combines the resources of a world-class public research university with a distinctive undergraduate experience characterized by our college system. Each college is a vibrant living/learning community supported by faculty and staff who provide academic support, organize student activities, and sponsor events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus. The colleges are committed to fostering a nurturing and academically thriving environment for students of all backgrounds. Each college strives to promote the attributes of a diverse and multicultural community in its own unique way.

In order of founding, the colleges are Cowell, Stevenson, Crown, Merrill, Porter, Kresge, Oakes, Rachel Carson College, College Nine, and College Ten. Self-contained and architecturally distinct, each college is a relatively small community of 30 to 110 faculty members and between 1,500 and 1,800 students, about half of whom live on campus. Each college has its own housing, as well as academic and recreational programming, and each is an integral part of the larger campus. The colleges have their own academic emphases and cultural traditions, although each seeks faculty and students from a variety of disciplines to foster broad intellectual interests. The colleges play a primary role in academic advising and are the center of student life. Students graduate from their college. At the same time, all university academic programs, resources, and student services are open to students of every college.

All undergraduate students are affiliated with one of our 10 colleges, their home within the larger university. During the process of accepting the offer of admission, entering students are asked to list several colleges in order of preference; whenever possible, students are assigned to one of their preferred colleges. The information students need to rank their college preferences can come from a variety of sources—personal acquaintance, a campus visit, literature available from the colleges, campus websites, and the descriptions in this section of the catalog. Students also have the option to indicate “no preference,” meaning they will be fine with any of our 10 colleges, and the Admissions Office will assign those students to one of the colleges.

Similarities and Differences

The colleges are small-scale residential communities, each providing an academically and socially supportive environment and offering special programs designed to help students transition to campus life, build a strong connection with the campus, and get the most out of their UCSC experience.

Each college provides academic advising as well as academic and general campus orientations to help you plan your academic program. College academic preceptors and advisers provide advice on general academic matters outside a student’s major, including general education, choosing a major, and strategies for academic success. Psychological and personal counseling is also available in each college. The faculty, or fellows, of each college come from a variety of academic disciplines; many faculty have their offices in the colleges.

Each college offers a distinctive academic core course for entering frosh. The required course provides a significant bridge between academic and residential life, since all frosh, regardless of major, will be in the course, and most will be in residence as well. The colleges also offer selected courses in their area of interdisciplinary emphasis and host events and speakers that enhance this focus.

Architecturally distinct, each college was planned by a different architect who was encouraged to convey the distinct personality of that college through the design of its buildings and their placement in the natural environment. The particular style of housing varies among the colleges, ranging from residence halls, with a mix of shared and private rooms, to apartment-style housing, where students live together in small groups and may do some of their own cooking. Each college’s residential program is a team effort.  Live-in student and professional staff members provide orientation and support services, organize activities and events, provide referral information about academic or personal concerns, and assist with roommate problems.

Changing Colleges

Most students develop friendships and intellectual attachments within their affiliated college, and remain members of that college throughout their undergraduate years. Some students find that changing academic interests draw them to a different college. During specified filing periods, students may request a change of college with the approval of both college administrations.

Cowell College

Cowell College inaugurated the Santa Cruz campus when it opened with a pioneer class of 600 students in 1965. The founding faculty shaped an educational program that challenged and enriched students through wide-ranging inquiry and disciplined study. Today, Cowell has more than 1,500 affiliated students and over 90 faculty fellows. Its motto—The Pursuit of Truth in the Company of Friends—expresses a continuing commitment to create a serious academic environment within a humane and broadly inclusive community. The college is named for the S. H. Cowell Foundation, which endowed the college at its founding.

Academic Emphases

The academic theme of the college encourages students to pursue their general and disciplinary study with attention to the values of liberal arts education: understanding one’s individual perspectives by exploration of one's historical background and world context. Students affiliated with the college pursue majors from all departments on campus.

In satisfying their general education requirements, first-year Cowell students are required to take the Cowell core course in the fall term. The core course is taught in small seminar sections and seeks to develop critical reading, analytical writing, and seminar discussion skills by reading a selection of classic and contemporary texts focused on the theme of justice.

Enrichment courses are offered every term at the college, and priority is given to Cowell students. Some courses emphasize the development of skills such as public speaking or researching in library collections. Some courses take a broader perspective, examining the role of education in democracy or the epistemological bases of our judicial system.

The college also enriches the intellectual and cultural life of the campus by sponsoring events of various kinds: lectures and presentations by local faculty and visiting scholars, theatrical and musical performances, and forums and debates on topics of current interest.

Students who develop ideas for research, creative projects, community service, or internship experiences may apply to the college provost for financial support. The college also awards several annual scholarships and sponsors prizes for outstanding academic work.

The faculty fellows affiliated with the college represent all academic divisions (arts, engineering, humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences). The faculty fellows guide the college academic programs and often contribute to the college-based advising system.

The college academic buildings house humanities faculty, with notable concentrations in philosophy, classics (study of ancient Greek and Latin language and civilization), and modern foreign languages, especially Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, German, and Japanese. Interdisciplinary faculty groups in visual and performance studies and in pre-and early-modern studies are centered at Cowell College.

College Scholars Program

Along with several other residential colleges, Cowell participates in the College Scholars Program. Some students begin by invitation in the fall. Others apply to start in the spring. In the spring of their first year, the spring-start scholars join the fall-start scholars in a special two-credit class together, which includes special lectures and dinners. The program continues with selected seminars in the second year.

College Community and Facilities

Cowell’s seven residence halls and three apartment buildings are arranged in three quadrangles on a hillside overlooking the city of Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. About 700 students are housed in the college. Most floors are mixed gender with all students sharing common lounges and other facilities, but single-gender floors are provided for those who prefer this arrangement. Apartments house continuing students, mostly juniors and seniors. The residential staff members facilitate diverse educational, social, and recreational programming to enhance the living and learning environment.

Arranged around the college’s central courtyard are the dining hall, the Page Smith Study Library, the Mary Holmes Fireside lounge, the cafe, and conference rooms and classrooms. The Cowell Press, where students can learn the fine technique of hand-operated letterpress printing, is a stone’s throw away from the plaza. Also nearby is the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, including the Ann Dizikes Annex.

Since the college’s founding, regularly scheduled College Nights in the dining hall have offered students, staff, and faculty a special meal and a rich mix of programs. Community life is enlivened by many other scheduled and impromptu intellectual, cultural, and social events.

The Student Senate meets weekly to discuss campus issues and student government. The Senate advises the college on the allocation of funds for student activities and programs. Members of the Senate are selected each year by lot, but any student may become a voting member by steady attendance at meetings. The college’s student groups, staff, and faculty work together to create a supportive community for students from all ethnic groups, all religious traditions, and all sexual orientations and to increase awareness of the many dimensions of diversity in the community.

For more information on the college, see the Cowell College website or call (831) 459-2253.

Cowell Fellows and Staff

Cowell College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

Stevenson College

“We are Stevensonians; we are free agents of history and masters of our own destinies. Every one of us is important, and we cherish our differences as much as we cherish our shared values of love, chivalry, honesty, hard work, and responsibility.”

—Seung Kyun Joseph Mok, Stevenson Alumnus/Regents Scholar

Stevenson College is named after former statesman and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai E. Stevenson. Our faculty, students, and staff take pride in intellectual critical inquiry, academic and civic leadership, and respect for students’ concerns about shared student governance, human rights, and social justice.

Stevenson College has a long-standing reputation for excellence in liberal education. The college strives to provide an academically, culturally, and socially supportive environment for all its members, fostering social responsibility and academic achievement. Stevenson alumni can be found in legal, political, educational, engineering, medical, computer and information sciences, business, and public administration careers, among others. Stevenson has brought to the campus distinguished individuals such as Senator George McGovern, Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Chief of the Miwok Tribe Greg Sarris, Producer Lourdes Portillo, and Associate Director-Counsel Theodore M. Shaw of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The college’s faculty and staff offer professional and personal service for the diverse needs of students. Faculty and staff assist students in all areas of their academic and social experience at Stevenson College, and are committed to instilling respect for the diverse backgrounds of Stevenson students.

Academic Emphases

  • Faculty drawn from social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences

  • Two-quarter frosh core course

  • Writing assistants

  • Junior Fellows Program

The faculty at Stevenson, drawn from a variety of disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and physical and biological sciences, share a common concern for the study of social processes that shape modern society and determine the quality of our individual lives throughout various global regions and periods of world history. Linguistics, history, sociology, politics, psychology, biology, chemistry, and computer science are strongly represented in the college.

Stevenson distinguishes itself as the only college with a two-quarter core course intended to provide all first-year students with a common academic experience. The core course allows for more rigorous development of students’ critical, reading, and analytical skills. It provides a unique learning environment and a supportive intellectual community for all Stevenson first-year students. Those admitted as transfer students are exempt from the core course requirement but may take the core course at their option pending available space.

The Stevenson core course, Self and Society, enables students to examine the nature of the self and the relationship of the individual to society. It teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic community—analysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. In addition, the course fosters an intellectual commitment to the general philosophy that has helped to define Stevenson College since its inception: preservation of human dignity, the social cultivation of individual creativity and citizenship, and a belief in ethical responsibility. The core course reflects the college’s long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary and culturally diverse readings, while at the same time affording students an opportunity to develop research interests, to acquire greater understanding of the role of research universities in contemporary societies, and to acquire the requisite skills to engage in increasingly more sophisticated intellectual work while at UCSC.

Students have the opportunity to apply for funding for special research projects each quarter. Stevenson also provides several annual scholarships and service awards, including the Josh Alper Marines Memorial Award, the Michele Guard Memorial Scholarship, the Matthew Graviano Memorial Scholarship, the John Halverson Scholarship, Davis Art Makers Funding, the Sandor Callahan Scholarship Award, and the Robert Dodge Service Award.

The Stevenson College Junior Fellows Program offers juniors and seniors an opportunity to serve as instructors in Self and Society. Junior fellows, who must have completed outstanding work in Self and Society during their first year, undergo a rigorous application and selection process. Junior fellows (enrolled in Stevenson 120, Teaching Practicum) earn five course credits.

Stevenson provides writing assistance for all of its students. Stevenson Writing Assistantships are paid student positions open to juniors and seniors with excellent academic records.

College Community Programs

  • College Nights

  • Stevenson Student Council

  • Social and Multicultural Programs/Activities

  • Cultural Arts and Diversity Rainbow Theater

  • Stevenson Finals Study Breaks at the Provost House

Stevenson holds regular College Nights, a long-held tradition where Stevenson faculty, staff, and students to get together for a special, themed dinner followed by entertainment.

The Stevenson Student Council meets on Thursday evenings. This group is responsible for allocating college membership fees to student activities. The council also serves as a forum for the discussion of college and campuswide issues and appoints student representatives to college and campuswide committees.

Facilities

  • Eight small residence halls, four of which are themed houses:
    • Outdoor Adventure House
    • Sustainability House
    • Diversity and Social Justice House
    • The Rosa Parks African American Theme House (R. PAATH)
  • Three apartment buildings

  • Stevenson Coffee House

  • Wagstaff Fireside Lounge

  • Writers’ Center

  • Stevenson Library

  • Stevenson Event Center

  • Silverman Conference Room

  • Recreation room

  • Stevenson Garden
  • Stevenson Music Practice Rooms

Stevenson has a wide variety of facilities and activities to appeal to many tastes. The college, designed by San Francisco architect Joseph Esherick, has won many architectural awards. The buildings are situated amid redwood trees and sprawling lawns, and the main quad overlooks Monterey Bay. Stevenson is situated close to the campus bookstore, restaurants, McHenry Library, gym, and pool. There are eight small residence houses at the college providing a choice of single-gender or mixed-gender floors; each house accommodates about 90 undergraduates. The apartments provide space for continuing students. Nearby are a picnic area, playing fields, and a garden.

The Stevenson Coffee House, which has become the gathering place in the college, is a friendly and inviting spot to enjoy lunch or an espresso and pastry—indoors or out on the patio. It is the scene of lively conversation, occasional musical entertainment, and chess matches. Adjoining the Coffee House is the recreation room, with Ping-Pong, a pool table, and televisions. This area is also the site of much socializing and spontaneous group activity.

In contrast, the Stevenson Library is a striking building designed for quiet reading and study. The Wagstaff Fireside Lounge, a retreat for relaxed discussion, is also used for recitals, special lectures, meetings, and residence house activities. Art exhibits (both student and professional) are on display throughout the year in the lounge, library, and coffee house.

For more information on the college, see the Stevenson College website or call (831) 459-4930.

Stevenson College Fellows and Staff

Stevenson College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Stevenson College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

Crown College

Crown College seeks to provide our students with a living and learning environment in which they can positively develop intellectually and socially. Crown is traditionally viewed as the “science college,” and the majority of our affiliated faculty fellows teach in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. However, half of our students major in the social sciences, arts, and humanities.

Crown is located on a hilltop surrounded by a redwood forest. The core buildings consist of an administration office, dining commons, lounge spaces, study spaces, faculty offices, and classrooms built around a large patio and central fountain. The award-winning architecture with its white walls and high-pitched tiled roofs suggests a hillside Mediterranean village. The college’s residential facilities house approximately 800 students. The facilities at Crown College were built through a partnership of public funds and a gift from the Crown Zellerbach Foundation.

Academic Emphases

From the time of its founding in 1967, issues pertaining to the role of science and technology in society have been a focus of special interest at Crown College. We approach these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective that recognizes the influence of social and cultural factors on the scientific enterprise, as well as the ways in which science and technology influence our society.

More recently, Crown is adding an entrepreneurship and innovation component through its partnership with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED). This partnership includes co-sponsoring talks and slams as well as a summer class in entrepreneurship.

Crown College’s entering frosh enroll in our core course, Crown 1 (begins fall 2018), which explores the theme, Ethical and Societal Implications of Emerging Technologies. Students work individually, in small groups of four to five students, and in sections of 25 to 30 students, thereby modeling and embracing the diversity found across campus. The course looks at how technological revolutions happen, how they transform societies, and how these changes in turn generate new ideological narratives. Deeper goals of this course include fostering a sense of belonging, and ensuring that our students achieve college-level reading, critical thinking, and effective communication skills.

A central component of the course is a group project, in which students place a technology of their choice in its societal context, while learning strategies for effective group work. The core course is enhanced through events such as the “Meet the Author” series, which gives students opportunities to meet notable writers and hear them speak in the intimacy of the provost house. We also organize a science fiction short story contest, and students are encouraged to attend and/or present at Crown’s Social Fiction Conference, which features keynote speakers, movies, cosplay, debates, and presentations in a variety of formats around science fiction, fantasy, and gaming topics and how they are relevant to our current society.

Crown College emphasizes experiential learning and facilitates the establishment of internships with faculty fellows through advertising of individual projects and by providing funding to support them.

Crown, in collaboration with Merrill College, offers a Leadership Development Program, which combines leadership theory with a variety of opportunities to connect theory to real-world experiences, including field studies and student leadership positions.

In addition, Crown College offers the College Scholars and the Science Learning Community programs. The College Scholars Program provides a congenial and challenging academic home for a select group of well-prepared students at UC Santa Cruz. This enriched program of study includes special courses, seminars, colloquia, and other events into the fall of the sophomore year. Admission to the College Scholars Program can be by invitation during the admissions process based on high school academic performance (early entry) or in winter of the freshman year based on academic potential shown during the first quarter at UCSC (late entry).

The Crown Science Learning Community (SLC) is an innovative program that provides extra support to first-year students who are interested in pursuing a major in the sciences or engineering. Students enrolled in this program live together, forming a supportive community that promotes collaborative learning and group problem solving. To facilitate this process, SLC students are placed in a special section of Chemistry 1A or Math 3 and participate in a residentially based study group. The program often acts as a bridge to the ACE Program in the physical and biological sciences and engineering.

Similar to the Science Learning Community, Crown’s Baskin Scholars Community focuses on underrepresented student success in engineering. Participants are housed together and receive tutoring, mentoring, and other assistance.

College Community and Facilities

Crown sponsors a wide variety of co-curricular events spanning cultural, educational, and social areas of interest. One popular series is the Science/Public Affairs Tables, informal dinners at the Provost House offering students an opportunity to socialize with a faculty member outside the classroom and learn about their research interests.

Students become involved in Crown life by both initiating and participating in a wide range of activities. Social activities vary each year according to the interests of students. Typical events include College Nights, themed dinners with special menus and entertainment that are open only to the Crown community; dances, including the Glow Dance and the Crown/Merrill Semi-Formal; and study breaks and stress relievers. Unique to Crown, and a collaboration between student and academic life, the Social Fiction Conference examines issues of social justice in the ever-changing context of science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and anime.

Outdoor activities organized by the student senate, the College Programs Office, or residential staff range from whale watching on the Monterey Bay to visiting the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and from backpacking to stargazing.

Crown Student Senate (CSS), the elected student government at Crown, holds open weekly meetings to determine funding allocations for student activities and to discuss issues of concern to students and the college. CSS also sponsors events to entertain, including the very popular Casino Night.

At Crown College, we believe that the experience of living in our on-campus residence halls and apartments offers students not only support for their academic experiences, but also unique opportunities for learning about the concept of community. When college students feel connected to a community during their studies, they experience a smoother transition to university life, greater academic success, and higher satisfaction with their college experience. The Crown Residential Education team understands community not as a product we can deliver to our students, but as an experience that they are responsible for creating for and with each other. Even so, we do not ask our students to undertake this weighty task on their own. The Residential Education team partners with students, striving to be “good companions” on their journey by facilitating experiences that help them to cultivate and apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to create, participate in, and lead caring and socially just communities.

Crown offers two types of residential facilities: residence halls and apartments. Eight traditional residence halls each house approximately 80 students in single and triple rooms in a coed environment (single-gender bedrooms with all gender bathrooms) or on a few all-female floors. For students interested in living and learning in a special-interest environment, Crown provides the Gaming House, Outdoor Pursuits House, and College Scholars and Science Learning Communities.

The college also has apartments for approximately 270 continuing students. Like the residence halls, the apartments are built on a small scale. Each three-story building has two or three apartments per floor that house four to six students in a combination of single, double, and triple rooms and include a kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, and outside deck.

Other facilities in the college include the Crown Library study space; a computer laboratory with Mac workstations, which provides students with access to several kinds of systems and an array of applications and instructional software selected to support academic coursework; the Fireside Lounge with a piano and a television; and the Music Practice Room. The Crown-Merrill Community Room, with a television, pool table, foosball, and ping-pong table, provides an informal place to study or just visit with friends. Dining facilities boast continuous dining and Banana Joe’s take-out and quick mart.

For general information, call the College Office at (831) 459-2665 or visit the Crown College website. For residential information, call the Housing and Residential Education Office at (831) 459-5689.

Crown Fellows and Staff

Crown College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Crown College staff are listed hn the college's staff page.

Merrill College

Merrill College seeks to expand its students’ awareness of their own heritage and of the diversity of cultures around the world, past and present. Merrill faculty specialize in a number of different areas of study, concentrating especially on social theory, international affairs, and social change, and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including history, the social sciences, literature, and foreign language study. The college makes a special effort to be a home for students from different cultural backgrounds and for international students; it presents unique opportunities to those who value multicultural perspectives.

Merrill houses the departments of politics, legal studies, and Latin American and Latino studies. It also hosts KZSC, the campus radio station; the Chicano Latino Research Center (CLRC); UCSC’s Cantú Queer Center; the student-run Pottery Co-op (the only one of its kind at UCSC); and the Ming Ong Computer Center, a computer facility with more than 40 personal computers.

College Theme and Core Course

Cultural Identities and Global Consciousness is the ethos of Merrill College. This pairing signals the college’s commitment to drawing on the “funds of knowledge” brought by individual college members to the community of scholars, and a corresponding commitment to understanding these identities within a larger global context.

Merrill’s new core course is titled Academic Literacy and Ethos: Reading Ourselves, Reading the World. Like all college core classes, this course introduces students to analytical reading and critical thinking at the university level. It is the required first part of a larger program of study, the Academic Literacy Curriculum, which includes formal instruction in university-level writing. Core offers students a foundation for intellectual exploration and personal development as members of an academic community. It teaches reading and thinking processes essential to success at the university, and “habits of mind” that demystify academic work and promote independent, self-reflective, and collaborative participation in campus culture. It focuses on Analysis, Critical thinking, Metacognition, Engagement with others across difference, and Self-efficacy—“ACMES” for short—and assigns carefully chosen readings designed to teach these concepts.

Students also read a range of texts specific to Merrill’s intellectual traditions. These focus on historical or political flashpoints, particularly those illuminating social, cultural, and economic change in relationships between the developed and the developing world. Students read the daily New York Times, which provides an unfolding narrative about events around the world and offers a valuable opportunity for students to analyze how these events are represented for a U.S. audience. They also read selections from several book-length texts—recent readings have included Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy—and accompanying secondary literature. These works show individuals and groups dealing with critical issues of nationalism, globalization, war, economic underdevelopment, and social and gender differentials, and encourage students to examine critically their own underlying assumptions and positions. By closely examining these readings in discussion with others, students develop strategies for effectively engaging different kinds of texts, formulate their own analyses in relation to these readings, and share their ideas in course projects and seminar discussions. The course thus emphasizes skills central to intellectual life at the university: critical reading, analytical writing, and oral presentation of ideas.

Those admitted as transfer students are exempt from the core course requirement but may take it at their discretion if there is room.

Other Courses and Academic Initiatives

Merrill sponsors a variety of two-, three-, and five-credit courses on topics that change from year to year. A key characteristic of Merrill’s academic program from its founding has been the importance of experiencing the world, not just studying it. Thus Merrill’s academic programming focuses especially on theory-backed experiential learning. For instance, our new leadership course, shared with Crown College, teaches the “social change” theory of leadership and leads to practical application in the form of Resident Assistantships for some students and off-campus internships for others. We also offer a field study practicum that teaches methods of responsible participant observation and helps students arrange internships in local agencies and organizations. An education-focused service-learning course, Classroom Connection, addresses current issues in educational theory and arranges for students to volunteer in local public schools. Merrill also provides experiential education in the academic world. Our paid Merrill Undergraduate Research Mentorships prepare advanced undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies and provide invaluable research experience and personal and professional development for Merrill students. We also encourage students to apply for college special projects funds and campus-backed research funds.

In keeping with Merrill’s spirit of community-mindedness, we now offer a Careers in Public Service course that features Merrill alumni as weekly speakers. Continuing the college’s long history of involvement with Africa studies, Merrill also offers a series of alumni-led courses that focus on Africa. Merrill offers an upper-division class on the research university for recent transfer students, and, for eligible first-year students, we participate in the College Scholars Program (a merging of the Honors and Challenge Programs), which provides a series of stimulating research-based opportunities (a speaker series, seminars, and research funding opportunities).

Recognizing the increasingly rigorous requirements for science majors, Merrill—in collaboration with the Academic Excellence Program—coordinates the Science Learning Community to support students majoring in the sciences. Students participating in the program enroll in small discussion sections that encourage a collaborative learning approach.

The Merrill Society, an alumni-led organization, helps support Merrill’s curriculum and cultural events.

College Community and Facilities

At Merrill College, we believe that the experience of living in our on-campus residence halls and apartments offers students not only support for their academic experiences, but also unique opportunities for learning about the concept of community. When college students feel connected to a community during their studies, they experience a smoother transition to university life, greater academic success, and higher satisfaction with their college experience. The Merrill Residential Education team understands community not as a product we can deliver to our students, but an experience that they are responsible for creating for and with each other. Even so, we do not ask our students to undertake this weighty task on their own. The Residential Education team aims to partner with students, striving to be “good companions” on their journey by facilitating experiences that help them to cultivate and apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to create, participate in, and lead caring and socially just communities.

Located on a hilltop between UCSC’s famed Chadwick Garden and Santa Cruz’s Pogonip parkland, Merrill’s recently renovated, award-winning buildings thread upward through the edge of a redwood forest. Four residence halls house approximately 600 students in two high-rise structures and two smaller buildings. The Merrill Residence Halls offer a coed environment (single-gender bedrooms with all gender bathrooms) as well as a few all-female floors and trans-inclusive housing options.

Glass curtain walls provide views from the A & B Buildings of the reconstructed college center and new restaurant building. Merrill’s plaza, complete with Vivas Organic Mexican Restaurant and a large lawn, makes excellent use of the ample sunshine and provides common space for students living in the residence halls and other housing options.

The apartments, located a short distance from the central area of the college, house approximately 200 continuing Merrill students. Grouped amid winding pathways and redwood trees, these three-story buildings have two or three apartments per floor. Each apartment houses four to six students in a combination of single, double, and triple rooms, and comes fully equipped with a kitchen and a bathroom, a large living area, and an outside deck. Residents of the apartment complex share a large community room, two laundry rooms, and plenty of outdoor space.

Facilities at Merrill include the Cultural Center, where large events (including “Merrill, the Musical” and the Crown/Merrill Semi-Formal) take place; the Baobab Lounge, which provides study space, informal gathering space, a piano, and a television; and Casa Latina and Merrill Academic Success (MAS), which provide Merrill students with quiet places to study. Finally, at the student-run pottery co-op, students can throw, fire, and glaze their pieces in the workshop space.

The physical facilities of Merrill College were provided through a partnership of public funds and gifts from the Charles E. Merrill Trust and the family of Ming Ong, a student in the 1980s.

For more information, visit the Merrill College website or call (831) 459-2144. For residential information, call the Housing and Residential Education Office at (831) 459-5689.

Merrill College Fellows and Staff

Merrill College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Merrill College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

Porter College

Porter College was founded in 1969 as the fifth of UC Santa Cruz’s residential colleges and was later renamed in honor of a generous grant from the Porter-Sesnon family. Its mission is to foster achievement in all areas of study. Porter is especially dedicated to achievement in the arts, believing that creative inquiry is an essential part of a rigorous and broad-minded education, a flourishing society, and a happy life.

Academic Emphases

The Porter campus is the administrative home of the Arts Division and the History of Art and Visual Culture Department, but Porter College faculty fellows hail from every academic division on campus and from many non-academic professions. All of them share the philosophy of education that the college’s curriculum embodies: first, discover how to learn; then, learn by doing; and finally, let your learning make a difference in the world.

The Porter College curriculum encourages students to explore unusual topics and provocative ideas, to test and revise hypotheses about the meaning of their experiences, to learn from the failures that are an inevitable part of new learning and discovery, and to assume responsibility for the decisions they make in their studies.

The Porter core course, Academic Literacy and Ethos: Arts of Reading (Porter 1) teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic community—analysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. The course also engages Porter’s intellectual tradition of investigating the contributions the arts and humanities make to a good life, a just society, and a flourishing world.

In addition to the core course, Porter offers a variety of smaller interdisciplinary seminars that combine historical and theoretical approaches to the arts, humanities, and sciences with practical experience conducting scholarly research and making creative work.

The college provides fellowship funds each year to talented students pursuing original research and creative projects.

College Community and Facilities

The traditional residence halls and apartments play an important role in bringing the college community together. Students are encouraged to spend their beginning years in residence in the college, where housing is available for 1,300 students. The residence halls are divided into smaller units or “halls,” with from 30 to 35 students sharing a wing and restroom facilities. Theme or hall options include Single Gender, LGBTQIA+, Gaming, and Substance-Free (just to name a few). The six-person apartments are reserved for upper-division students.

Porter College is also home to the Transfer Community at Porter, a transfer student living/learning community. All on-campus incoming transfer students reside at Porter regardless of their college affiliation. Special programs are designed to help new transfer students adapt to life at UCSC.

In addition to traditional classrooms, Porter has many specialized facilities, such as student art galleries, a study center, and a dining hall that converts to a theater space. Porter College also features a MakerSpace Co-op dedicated to promoting Porter’s creativity, building community, and providing a constructive positive outlet. Additionally, the MakerSpace has tools and materials available to use for personal crafting projects or even class assignments. The Arts Instructional Computing Laboratories, located at Porter College, consist of two high-end labs oriented toward the arts.

Porter provides many opportunities for relaxation and recreation to balance the intellectual demands of a university education. The Residential Life and Activities Office staffs organize formal and informal events, including open-mic nights, dances, recreational activities, and the mural painting program.

Many students and faculty perform or exhibit their work at Porter. The Sesnon Gallery, the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall, the Quad, and the faculty gallery host a wide range of artistic, cultural, and academic events each year.

For more information, call (831) 459-2273 or visit the Porter College website.

Porter College Fellows and Staff

Porter College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Porter College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

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Kresge College

Kresge was the sixth college to be built on the UCSC campus. The college was founded on principles of participatory democracy and experiential education, with a vision of profound social and individual empowerment within an active living and learning community. Its motto is Independence, Creativity, Community.

Academic Emphases

Kresge’s academic life is centered on the integration of living and learning in a community that values self-determination, consensus-building, intellectual freedom, sustainability, and justice. These principles take shape in a curriculum that emphasizes participatory learning, hands-on experience, and conscientious academic inquiry that transcends the walls of traditional classrooms. Ranging from agroecology to photography, writers' workshops to natural history, and journalism to service learning, Kresge’s courses offer varied ways for Kresge students to fulfill GE requirements while broadening their educational experience in the company of dedicated and imaginative faculty.

Kresge’s core course, Academic Literacy and Ethos: Power and Representation (Kresge 1), prepares students for engagement with university discourse. Students read a selected range of contemporary nonfiction and creative work in varied media, developing a practice of interpretation and dialogue that serves as a model for future academic endeavors. Power and Representation emphasizes texts that reflect on the struggles of individuals and communities to represent and constitute themselves in the United States. In contemplating those struggles, students are encouraged to think beyond easy answers, to express themselves clearly, to reflect on their own thinking and learning styles, and to think critically about their place in a larger world of knowledge and experience. In addition to their seminar meetings, all students in Kresge 1 meet periodically with academic mentors—fellow Kresge students who model successful learning styles. The entire core cohort also meets five times during the quarter for the required evening Plenary Series, guest lectures that deepen engagement on specific topics of the course.

Kresge is a rich and multidimensional academic community. Known as “the writers’ college.

Kresge is home to City on a Hill Press, as well as the Kresge Writing Center (a west-campus home of the UCSC Writer’s Society, Matchbox Press, Red Wheelbarrow, and the Creative Writing Archives). The Common Ground Center at Kresge College promotes social and environmental change through undergraduate-focused action-education, research, advocacy, and civic engagement. Our Service Learning courses prepare students to become innovators and activists, through community service projects and grant-writing workshops that connect students’ academic lives to the world outside the university. Kresge College also hosts courses related to our student cooperatives: the Kresge Garden Co-op, Photo Co-op, Music Co-op, and Food Co-op.

Residential Life

The architecturally renowned Kresge campus offers apartments rather than residence halls. The Kresge apartments attract students with a sense of independence and community participation.

Distinctively designed, the apartments at Kresge Proper are configured for five to nine people. Kitchen and living areas look out onto the street, with other rooms facing the surrounding redwood forest. J and K Building’s three-person apartments are reserved for continuing upper-division students. These two-bedroom apartments have a kitchen and combination dining and living area.

Kresge is home to the Writer’s House, a living/learning community for students interested in creative writing and journalism (regardless of major), and the Ecovillage, a community for students who want to actively create a new world based on cooperation and sustainable living.

The Residential Life and College Programs staff at Kresge work to bring students of similar interests together academically and socially by designing fun and unique programs based on student interest. Programs that focus on celebrating the diversity of the residential community, and on enhancing academic success through music events, mural painting, and food-centered events are common.

Community Life

A wide variety of events and activities shape community life at Kresge. Lectures, workshops, dances, and concerts are a regular part of student life at the college. The nature and tenor of these events are a reflection of the diverse interests of students and staff, who are committed to providing voice and opportunity for all community members.

Students actively shape the college community through participation in Kresge Parliament, an openly structured student organization responsible for voting the allocation of all college membership fees in support of activities and events. Parliament and Town Meetings also serve as a forum for the discussion of college and campuswide issues with college staff and faculty. Additionally, students can get involved in the Kresge Multicultural Education Committee (KMEC), Music Co-op, Food Co-op, Photo Co-op, or the Kresge Garden.

Transfer Students

In recognition of the wealth of diversity that transfer students bring to the community—in terms of culture and experience—Kresge is the home of the STARS program (Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students). This is a staffed facility where students can gather to relax, socialize, hold meetings, and obtain campus information and resource support in a central location regardless of college affiliation. The resource center offers workshops, social evenings, and special events tailored to meet the needs of transfer students.

STARS also offers special advising workshops and two- and three-credit courses designed to help transfers in the process of entering the university and moving forward in their careers.

Facilities

At the entrance to the college is the restful Piazzetta, with a beautiful, architecturally designed fountain, and the Kresge Garden, the largest student-run garden on campus. Leading off from the Piazzetta are STARS, the Seminar Room with a kitchen, the Commuter Lounge, and a student lounge equipped with television and DVD player. In addition to STARS, as a unique facility on the campus, the Commuter Lounge is a place for off-campus students who want to use a kitchen, shower, or lockers while on campus. Kresge’s Photo Lab Co-op is above the Piazzetta and offers 24-hour accessibility to darkroom equipment. Adjacent to the nearby meadow is an outdoor basketball court. The college includes a study center with soaring ceilings and walls of glass overlooking the forest, which also houses a writing center, a computer lab equipped with PCs for student use, and a student-run Food Co-op, where organic produce is sold and working memberships are available. At the top of the college are the Town Hall, the Music Co-op, and the Owl’s Nest Cafe.

For more information, call (831) 459-2071 or visit the Kresge College website.

Kresge College Fellows and Faculty

Kresge College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Kresge College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

Oakes College

Oakes was founded in 1972 to provide high-quality education to students from diverse cultural and social backgrounds. Students, staff, and faculty associated with the college believe that learning takes place not only in the classroom, but also in residential settings. For that reason, they work hard to create a multicultural community whose members strive to achieve ambitious goals—including equal access to educational opportunity and freedom from oppression—while simultaneously affirming and celebrating their distinctive cultural backgrounds.

Academic Emphases

The Oakes College faculty represents a wealth of expertise from the natural sciences to the humanities, and we are proud to have some of the top scholars in the world among our faculty fellows. Our students major in nearly every discipline at UCSC—from economics and computer science, to theater arts and Latin American and Latino studies—and they are well supported by the depth and breadth of the Oakes College faculty and the extensive knowledge of our advising team. Oakes graduates have gone on to successful careers in fields such as medicine, law, education, medical research, and community service.

The Oakes core course, Communicating Diversity for a Just Society, is required of Oakes students. Most students take the course in their first year. The course examines individual and collective responses to issues of culture, gender, sexuality, race, and class. Those who are admitted as transfer students are exempt from the core course requirement but may take the core course at their option pending available space.

At Oakes College, we are committed to fostering student engagement and leadership within and beyond the classroom. To this end, we encourage students to develop the knowledge, skills, and cross-cultural understanding necessary to become active citizens and future leaders in their own communities, workplaces, and academic disciplines as well as in the larger U.S. society and the world as a whole. We also provide a range of resources and programs that will enable all students to succeed in their academic endeavors. Such resources include:
  • The Learning Center and the Westside Writing Center at Oakes College provide space for study groups as well as tutoring and advising programs. Special assistance in writing and tutoring in a variety of subjects is offered to Oakes students and EOP students.

  • The Oakes Computer Lab provides access to 20 PCs for Oakes students.

  • Co-curricular programs like Oakes 4.0, Oakes Core Café, and the residential Science Community at Oakes College all offer living-learning opportunities to enhance student success and to provide students with unique opportunities for interacting with faculty in small group contexts.

  • Community-based Advocacy and Research for Action (CARA), the Oakes Service Learning and Community Justice Program, brings together rigorous academic concepts with significant applied research and collaborative work on social issues on campus and off. Oakes 76 (Social Geography and Justice in Santa Cruz) is offered each spring. Oakes 151A and 151B (Community Literacies Seminar and Field Study supporting the Corre La Voz after-school program) are offered each quarter by application only. Oakes 153 (Community Mapping) is offered each winter, and is cross-listed with Community Studies. Topical projects seek to develop organization and inclusionary policies on housing issues, community gardens, the development of youth mentoring networks, and more. Oakes students may earn a CARA certificate by completing several courses before graduation.

  • Student services at Oakes include academic advising and psychological counseling.

College Community and Facilities

Oakes College, located on the west side of the UCSC campus, commands a sweeping view of Monterey Bay. Students may choose between apartment and residence hall living. The residence halls have attractive courtyards, and views of the ocean and the city of Santa Cruz. Students can also share an apartment-style living space, which includes a common living area and small kitchen. Full-time coordinators for residential education and neighborhood assistants help residents develop cooperative ways of living together. As one student put it, “Oakes is a community where people of many different backgrounds, interests, and goals form a friendly neighborhood. We share our cultures and adapt to the different lifestyles of our neighbors.” The residential program is designed to assist all students in integrating their academic and social lives. The residential staff host activities sponsored through its wellness, academic success, leadership, and social justice and diversity committees.

The college staff seek to nurture and sustain a community in which mutual respect, understanding, and concern for others are the norm. Within that atmosphere of community expectations, students are also supported and encouraged to find room for their own creative personal expression.

The other facilities at Oakes further support the special programs of the college and provide recreational opportunities for the students. College facilities include the Learning Center, a multipurpose room for lectures, movies, and small theater productions; a college study center that is a quiet space for individual study, and a dining facility shared with Rachel Carson College. Adjacent to the Oakes Café is the Guzman Room, a social and group study space. Oakes is also home to the Underdome, a small outdoor basketball court great for friendly three-on-three competition. Additional recreational facilities located close to the college include tennis courts, a large recreational field, and an indoor basketball court.

Oakes is named after Roscoe and Margaret Oakes in recognition of their generous philanthropy through the San Francisco Foundation.

For further information, call (831) 459-2558 or visit the Oakes College website.

Oakes College Fellows and Staff

Oakes College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Oakes College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

Rachel Carson College

Rachel Carson College is dedicated to environment and society, and the college has organized a vigorous intellectual life around this theme. The college examines environmental issues from multiple perspectives, through the social and natural sciences, engineering, public policy, and science and technology studies. Rachel Carson College offers students a sense of community and opportunities to augment academic work with a wide range of extracurricular activities. These include events such as Earth Week, sustainability internships, and a minor in sustainability studies.

Rachel Carson College students major in nearly every discipline offered at UCSC, while sharing a strong commitment to environmental stewardship. We teach our students and graduates to become environmentally aware green citizens, with the capacity to evaluate sustainability policies and strategies and with the skills needed for hands-on engagement in the many projects and activities that will be required to ensure the future of the planet and human civilization.

Academic Emphases

Rachel Carson College’s academic classes focus on the theme of environment and society. The college sponsors a number of educational initiatives and courses aimed at furthering its theme and mission, as well as programs offering experiential learning for students. Carson 1 is the required first-year college core course, part of the Academic Literacy Curriculum that introduces students to critical and analytical reading at the university level. The core course is mandatory for all incoming frosh.

The core course focuses on the college theme through examination of California's environmental history and how the contemporary landscape has been shaped by capital, labor, technology, and politics. In addition, practicum internships, research projects, and a minor in sustainability studies all enable students to acquire skills that they can apply to their career at UC Santa Cruz, including service-learning work with campus and community-based agencies and organizations. Additional college courses include garden internships, academic and STEM preparation classes, student-facilitated classes in sustainability, a class on peregrine falcons, and a seminar on environment in film. For more information about academics in Rachel Carson College, see https://rachelcarson.ucsc.edu/academics/index.html.

College Community and Facilities

Rachel Carson College is located on a sunny, terraced hillside on the west side of the UCSC campus, offering a spectacular view of Monterey Bay and the coastline as well as the redwood-covered hills. The college is designed to encourage interaction among resident and commuter students, with outdoor spaces for relaxing and informal opportunities to socialize. These include small residence hall patios, grass quadrangles, and a large plaza—the heart of the college—where pedestrian traffic converges. Adjacent to the college are recreational facilities that include the West Field House, tennis courts, basketball and sand volleyball courts, and playing fields. The Theater Arts and Music Centers, McHenry Library, and Porter and Oakes Colleges are a short walk from the college. Other parts of the university are easily accessible by foot, bicycle or frequent shuttle buses.

Rachel Carson College’s facilities include an academic building that accommodates the college and faculty offices, the Sociology Department, associated research centers, classrooms, and a computer lab with printers. Approximately 500 students live in the college’s community of two-and three-story residence halls, which provide single, double, and triple rooms as well as suites. The residence halls include laundry facilities and lobbies that serve as living rooms—favorite places where residents gather to relax, watch television, and catch up on the news of the day. A number of these are themed residences that focus on special programming related to the respective theme. Another 300 students are housed in Rachel Carson College’s two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments.

The college’s residential staff includes both coordinators for residential education, who are full-time live-in professionals, and undergraduate resident assistants. The residential staff plans a variety of educational and recreational events, including community barbecues, outdoor movies, and student-initiated events that celebrate the diversity of our community. More intimate gatherings include study breaks, coffee talks, and potlucks. The residential staff is available to ease the transition to college life, making the college a comfortable new home for our residents.

The Student Commons building containsthe Student Life Office, the office of Rachel Carson College’s college programs coordinator, the office of the Student Environmental Center, and a large meeting room for student use. A study center is located across the plaza. The Rachel Carson College Café is a favorite haven and gathering place for students, faculty, staff, and other members of the campus community.

In conjunction with the student government and student organizations, the Rachel Carson College Student Programs Office plans social, multicultural, and educational events for the college community. Weekly programs including open mics, music, art shows, and guest speakers accommodate the diverse spectra of cultural and artistic interests of the students. College Night, a quarterly cultural event, provides an opportunity for students to learn about a variety of cultures through entertainment, education, and delicious cuisine. In addition, the Student Programs Office works closely with the Student Environmental Center to bring programs that educate and build long-lasting networks, which aim to address the environmental issues affecting our world today.

Above all, Rachel Carson College seeks to create a community of inclusion, in which each person is encouraged to share and explore beliefs, worldviews, values, and ideas in an atmosphere of mutual support and trust.

For more information, contact the college at (831) 459-2361, email 8housing@ucsc.edu, or visit the the Rachel Carson College website.

Rachel Carson College Fellows and Staff

Rachel Carson College faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
Rachel Carson College staff are listed on the college's staff page.

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College Nine

“From climate change to inequality, the commonality of problems facing all of the planet’s inhabitants requires an understanding of our growing interconnections and interdependencies. In College Nine, we challenge students to grapple with complex, controversial and multi-scalar issues, for which there exist vastly differing opinions about the nature of problems and how to solve them. Becoming a global citizen requires critical thinking, cultural awareness, and effective communication, all skills our training provides to our students.”

—Flora Lu, College Nine Provost

Academic Emphases

College Nine’s theme of International and Global Perspectives emphasizes the causes and consequences of our increasingly interconnected world. Our academic and co-curricular programs analyze economic and cultural globalization, immigration, ethnic conflicts, genocide, and human rights, among other issues. Students interested in these issues either as their major focus or as part of their general education are invited to join the College Nine community.

Core Course

In the first-quarter frosh core course, Academic Literacy and Ethos: International and Global Perspectives, students examine current issues pertinent to the college’s intellectual theme. This course challenges students to address what it means to be a global citizen, in recognition of our growing interconnections and interdependencies, and the fact that certain intractable problems cannot be addressed without large-scale collective action. Topics address issues such as globalization, inequities in wealth and poverty across the world, human rights, and regional conflicts. The seminar teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic community—analysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. The instructors work closely with each student throughout the quarter.

Special Academic and Co-curricular Programs

Optional programs are available to involve College Nine students in academic and co-curricular activities beyond the first-quarter course. They are designed to promote students’ academic achievement and success by connecting them with faculty mentors and helping them pursue leadership experiences in particular contexts.

Global Action

In this workshop facilitated by peer instructors, students learn about current international and global issues through interactive exercises, small group discussions, and faculty presentations. Students will develop an “action plan” to raise awareness about one or more of these concerns and take practical steps to create positive change in the world.

Community Engagement and Experiential Learning 

“I liked how many opportunities we had to work with community members or interact with them. I also liked getting to work with other UCSC students. Doing hands-on work was my favorite; I was able to get a new perspective.”

“My favorite part of this experience was being pushed out of my comfort zone. The different tasks everyone was assigned or was willing to take on expanded my understanding of the community.”

These are just a couple of the reflections from College Nine and College Ten students who have participated in our many opportunities for experiential learning in collaboration with community partners. While these opportunities address pressing issues such as social, economic, and environmental injustice, it is often the case that our students benefit equally, if not more, from the experience of collaborating with local residents in projects that matter. For example, abstract academic concepts become more tangible, students expand their web of social connection, and skills such as teamwork and problem solving are heightened. Students reach outside of their comfort zone, have their assumptions challenged, and meet remarkable local heroes.

Our community engagement programs include Alternative Spring Break (ASB) in Watsonville, which centers on issues of food security, sovereignty, and justice. After getting to know each other at a retreat, discussing readings, and hearing from a panel of Watsonville leaders, ASB participants undertake five days of experiential learning with a variety of community partners (e.g., schools, artists, non-profits). After Spring Break, a final gathering is held for students to share their final projects.

PRAXIS is another way for College Nine and College Ten students to undertake monthly volunteer opportunities throughout Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities. During campus meetings, PRAXIS participants engage in discussion, reading, and reflection to increase their awareness and knowledge about key issues. Our courses prepare students in the topical and ethical aspects of community engagement for global citizenship.

Students as Teachers and Mentors

College Nine students have special opportunities to become course assistants, tutors, and student mentors for course credit. Students gain independent experience as teachers leading their own discussion sections of a College Nine course. They receive close supervision that emphasizes a collaborative approach to developing and enhancing teaching, communication, and leadership skills. The College Nine academic advisers can also direct students to other opportunities for student teaching and peer-mentoring programs on campus. These are excellent opportunities to work closely with a faculty member and to develop skills as a teacher and a leader.

Practical Activism: Tools for Local and Global Change

The annual Practical Activism Conference is a daylong, student-led event featuring keynote speakers, ten workshops, various on- and off-campus organizations, performances, and a variety of hands-on activism activities. Students gain valuable leadership and organizing skills through developing and planning this exceptional program, which involves collaboration among faculty, staff, and the local community. Visit practicalactivism.ucsc.edu for more information.

Community Garden Class

In cooperation with the work of the Community Garden Club, this course explores such topics as collaborative garden design, community gardening best practices, building regenerative social and ecological systems, sustainability, and food justice, while also offering hands-on experience in the Colleges Nine and Ten Community Garden.

Education Abroad

The UC Education Abroad Program places students at a university in another country for one or more quarters. Studying abroad can be a valuable way to expand ones understanding of the world. Given the international focus at College Nine, students are encouraged (but not required) to develop a second language or to study abroad.

Research Opportunities

The faculty at UC Santa Cruz are highly ranked for the quality of their research. College Nine students are encouraged to take advantage of the many excellent opportunities available to work closely with faculty as research apprentices. Students will find many internship, independent study, or senior thesis programs in the departments of most majors. The College Nine academic advising teams (including preceptor and provost) will help link students with these programs.

College Nine Pathways to Distinction

Another feature of College Nine is that qualified students may graduate with College Nine Distinction. This recognition is intended to serve as an incentive for students to pursue activities that are especially apt to help them succeed in college and beyond. Two pathways are possible:

  • Research and Scholarship. In this pathway, students pursue research with faculty by completing three quarters (15 credits) of work on a senior thesis or a research internship. Students may be recognized with College Nine Distinction if they do a thesis or a research internship in their major on a topic related to international or global issues.

  • Language and Culture. Students who enroll in at least three quarters (15 credits) in either Education Abroad or a foreign language (or a combination) may qualify for College Nine Distinction.

College Community

Founded in 2000, College Nine is one of the newest colleges at UCSC. College Nine creates an integrated living and learning environment through engaging academic and extracurricular programs focusing on the theme of International and Global Perspectives. Students and staff collaborate to develop an array of programs exploring the many aspects of the college’s theme. Some of the programs include faculty presentations, guest speakers, conferences, debates, films, arts events, and interactive workshops. These programs unite community members in an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which important contemporary and controversial issues are discussed.

College Nights

College Nights are community programs that feature a special dinner menu, entertainment, and activities that relate to the college theme of International and Global Perspectives. College Nights provide an opportunity to gather as a community several times a quarter to enjoy a meal and share conversations. Planned by students and staff, past College Nights have focused on Earth Day and sustainability, music and dance from around the world, and global popular culture. College Nights are held in the Dining Commons and are open to all College Nine students, staff, and faculty.

Student Government

The College Nine Student Senate serves as the student government for College Nine and represents its students to the college and campus administrations and to the Student Union Assembly (SUA), the campuswide student governance board. The Senate appoints students to campus and college committees, consults with college administration on policy development, and provides monetary support to student organizations.

International Living Center

The International Living Center (ILC) at College Nine offers a unique living environment fostering understanding, cooperation, and friendship among upper-division students from different nations, cultures, and backgrounds. Half of the residents are students from the United States, and the other half are students from various countries around the world. Students reside in the Colleges Nine and Ten Apartments. Based out of the International Living Center, the International Affairs Group (IAG) offers all Colleges Nine and Ten community members the opportunity to engage in lively discussions about important current international issues with one another through guest speakers, film, literature, media, and personal experience.

iFloor

The iFloor is a mix of international first-year students and U.S. first-year students who apply to live in this intentional intercultural community housed within the College Nine residence halls. This unique community offers residents opportunities to make meaningful, lifelong friendships and connections that extend beyond borders.

Co-curricular Programs and Opportunities

Getting involved in co-curricular activities is a predictor of college success. Not only do college activities help students make friends, they foster leadership and group cooperation skills. There are many opportunities at College Nine for student involvement. These include the following groups as well as many other programs, activities, and clubs.

Global Leadership Development (GLAD)

GLAD meets weekly throughout the fall quarter and provides a wide range of exercises, guest speakers, and programs designed to foster and develop participants’ efficacy as world citizens and leaders of College Nine.

CREATE

CREATE (Cultural Resources to Educate and to Empower) offers a community at College Nine for students of color to find support and empowerment through mentorship and friendship.

Community Garden

The Community Garden Club meets weekly to discuss sustainability issues, integrate the themes of our colleges into the garden design and practice, and work together on soil preparation, planting, and harvesting. Members of the Garden Club learn about opportunities to work with our sister garden at Calabasas Elementary School in Watsonville.

Intercultural Community Weekend

This two-day retreat provides international and U.S. students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to explore various components of intercultural communication. Through a series of structured exercises and small-group discussions, students share perspectives on intercultural issues, values orientation, and cross-cultural communication. The goal of the workshop is to build community and friendship between international and U.S. students as well as to increase students’ understanding of the complexity of communicating across cultures.

Physical Surroundings

College Nine is situated in a redwood grove next to the Social Sciences 1 and 2 Buildings near the heart of campus. One of the campus’s Instructional Computing Labs is conveniently located in the Social Sciences 1 Building. A nature preserve serves as College Nine’s “backyard.” College Nine students have immediate access to hiking, running, and mountain bike trails in the adjacent forest.

Residence halls offer approximately 600 single and triple bedrooms. These fully furnished residence halls include adjacent student study spaces, recreational areas, and Internet connections. In addition, there is a state-of-the-art dining hall with an adjoining multipurpose room and recreation lounge for both College Nine and College Ten.

College Nine and College Ten also house approximately 400 upper-division students in apartments, with single, double, and triple bedrooms. All apartments have full kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, and Internet connections. Ground-floor apartments have decks, and most upper apartments have private balconies.

For more information about academic or general college programs, call (831) 459-5034, email 910capc@ucsc.edu, or visit the College Nine website.

College Nine Fellows and Staff

College Nine faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
College Nine staff are listed on the college's staff page.

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College Ten

Understanding the contemporary United States requires knowledge of histories and social theories that address concepts including racialized and gendered social hierarchies, the construction of marginalization and difference, the impacts of class differentials, and many manifestations of unequal power relationships. A flourishing society that progresses toward more social and environmental justice depends on informed, critical, and empathetic people willing to make the efforts necessary to create social change. At College Ten, we strive toward the goals of analyzing, embodying, and implementing ideas that help our students become knowledgeable and critical social actors who recognize and practice the principle that all people possess equal intrinsic worth.

—Flora Lu, College Ten Provost

Academic Emphases

College Ten’s theme of Social Justice and Community addresses a range of social problems and their impacts on society. In particular, the academic and co-curricular programs consider the injustices that many people confront in their lives, and possible policies for addressing social, political, and economic inequalities. In addition, the college provides students with opportunities to make their own positive contributions to social change through community involvement or scholarly research.

Core Course

In the first-quarter frosh core course, Academic Literacy and Ethos: Social Justice and Community, students examine current issues pertinent to the college’s intellectual theme. The college curriculum explores the causes and consequences of social injustice in several ways. Students examine the roots of prejudice, discrimination, and violence directed toward groups based on their ethnicity, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or political views. They also consider the causes and consequences of economic inequality both within the United States and around the world. In addition to articulation with the college theme, the seminar teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic communityanalysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. The instructors work closely with each student throughout the quarter.

Special Academic and Co-curricular Programs

Optional programs are available to involve College Ten students in academic and co-curricular activities beyond the first-quarter core course. They are designed to promote students’ academic achievement and success by connecting them with faculty mentors and helping them pursue leadership experiences in particular contexts.

Social Justice Issues Workshop

College Ten students have the option of enrolling in the Social Justice Issues Workshop in winter quarter. This two-credit course meets once per week and can be taken in addition to a regular 15-credit academic load. The workshop offers a small, dynamic learning community in which members explore important issues of personal and cultural identity; social, political, and environmental concerns; and community-mindedness. The class emphasizes small-group experiential learning through structured exercises and group activities, and also includes discussions, film presentations, and guest speakers.

Community Engagement and Experiential Learning

“I liked how many opportunities we had to work with community members or interact with them. I also liked getting to work with other UCSC students. Doing hands-on work was my favorite; I was able to get a new perspective.”

“My favorite part of this experience was being pushed out of my comfort zone. The different tasks everyone was assigned or was willing to take on expanded my understanding of the community.”

These are just a couple of the reflections from College Nine and College Ten students who have participated in our many opportunities for experiential learning in collaboration with community partners. While these opportunities address pressing issues such as social, economic, and environmental injustice, it is often the case that our students benefit equally, if not more, from the experience of collaborating with local residents in projects that matter. For example, abstract academic concepts become more tangible, student expand their web of social connection, and skills such as teamwork and problem solving are heightened. Students reach outside of their comfort zone, have their assumptions challenged, and meet remarkable local heroes.

Our community engagement programs include Alternative Spring Break (ASB) in Watsonville, which centers on issues of food security, sovereignty, and justice. After getting to know each other at a retreat, discussing readings, and hearing from a panel of Watsonville leaders, ASB participants undertake five days of experiential learning with a variety of community partners (e.g., schools, artists, non-profits). After Spring Break, a final gathering is held for students to share their final projects.

 

PRAXIS is another way for College Nine and College Ten students to undertake monthly volunteer opportunities throughout Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities. During campus meetings, PRAXIS participants engage in discussion, reading, and reflection to increase their awareness and knowledge about key issues. Our courses prepare students in the topical and ethical aspects of community engagement for global citizenship.

Practical Activism: Tools for Local and Global Change

The annual Practical Activism Conference is a daylong, student-led event featuring keynote speakers, 10 workshops, various on-and off-campus organizations, performances, and a variety of hands-on activism activities. Students gain valuable leadership and organizing skills through developing and planning this exceptional program, which involves collaboration among faculty, staff, and the local community. Visit practicalactivism.ucsc.edu for more information.

Community Garden Class

In cooperation with the work of the Community Garden Club, this course explores such topics as collaborative garden design, community gardening best practices, building regenerative social and ecological systems, sustainability, and food justice, while also offering hands-on experience in the Colleges Nine and Ten Community Garden.

Students as Teachers and Mentors

College Ten students have special opportunities to become course assistants, tutors, and student mentors for course credit. Students gain independent experience as teachers, leading their own discussion sections of a College Ten course. They receive close supervision that emphasizes a collaborative approach to developing and enhancing teaching, communication, and leadership skills. The College Ten academic advisers can also direct students to other opportunities for student teaching and peer-mentoring programs on campus. These are excellent opportunities to work closely with a faculty member and to develop skills as a teacher and a leader.

Research Opportunities

The faculty at UC Santa Cruz are highly ranked for the quality of their research. College Ten students are encouraged to take advantage of the many excellent opportunities available to work closely with faculty as research apprentices. Students will find many internship, independent study, or senior thesis programs in the departments of most majors. The College Ten academic advising teams (including preceptor and provost) will help link students with these programs.

College Ten Pathways to Distinction

Students are recognized with College Ten Distinction upon successful completion of three quarters (15 credits) of experiential coursework in Service and Leadership and/or Research and Scholarship focused on social justice and diversity issues. Applicable College Ten courses and research opportunities with faculty can fulfill the criteria for distinction. This recognition is intended to serve as an incentive for students to pursue activities that are apt to help them succeed in college and beyond.

College Community

Founded in 2002, College Ten is the newest college at UCSC. College Ten creates an integrated living-and-learning environment through engaging academic and extracurricular programs focusing on the theme of Social Justice and Community. Students and staff collaborate to develop an array of programs exploring the many aspects of social justice. Some of the programs include faculty presentations, guest speakers, debates, films, arts events, and interactive workshops. These programs unite community members in an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which contemporary and controversial issues are discussed.

College Nights

College Nights are community programs that feature a special dinner menu, entertainment, and activities that relate to the college theme of Social Justice and Community. College Nights provide an opportunity to gather as a community several times a quarter to enjoy a meal and share conversations. Planned by students and staff, past College Nights have focused on Earth Day and sustainability, music and dance from around the world, and global popular culture. College Nights are held in the Dining Commons and open to all College Ten students, staff, and faculty.

Student Government

The College Ten Student Senate serves as the student government for College Ten and represents its students to the college and campus administrations and to the Student Union Assembly (SUA), the campuswide governance board. The Senate appoints students to campus and college committees, consults with college administration on policy development, and provides monetary support to student organizations.

Rumi’s Field

Named after a renowned peace-seeking Sufi poet, Rumi’s Field offers a space for students who wish to learn, live, and interact using the skills of Nonviolent Communication and exploring social justice through the lens of nonviolence. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) strengthens one’s ability to inspire empathy from others and respond compassionately even under difficult circumstances. This mixed community of College Ten first-year and continuing students offers the opportunity to engage in dialog and resolve conflict using NVC consciousness as a tool for personal and societal transformation.

Co-curricular Programs and Opportunities

Getting involved in co-curricular activities is a predictor of college success. Not only do college activities help students make friends, they foster leadership and group cooperation skills. There are many opportunities at College Ten for student involvement. These include the following groups as well as many other programs, activities, and clubs.

CREATE

CREATE (Cultural Resources to Educate and to Empower) offers a community at College Ten for students of color to find support and empowerment through mentorship and friendship.

ENGAGE

ENGAGE (Explore New Growth and Gain Experience) offers students the opportunity to explore and develop their own beliefs, values, and feelings about current issues and social concerns. Students gain leadership skills through collaborating on a community action project, and develop relationships and experience to become leaders in the College Ten community. ENGAGE meets weekly throughout fall quarter.

Multicultural Community Weekend

This two-day retreat provides students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to explore aspects of social justice, diversity, and community through a series of exercises and discussions (both structured and informal). Participants explore issues impacting our individual identities (e.g., race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion), increase their understanding of the complexities of communicating across diverse experiences and backgrounds, build communication skills, and share in celebrating and deconstructing the diversity of our community. Students apply for this opportunity in the fall.

Terry Freitas Café

Located at College Ten, the Terry Freitas Café is a student-run lounge with a long legacy as a favorite gathering place among students. It is open daily for social justice performances, music, and social interaction. Café student baristas serve coffee and various snacks for a small donation. The café is named after former UCSC student Terry Freitas, who dedicated his life to making the world a more socially just place.

Community Garden

The Community Garden Club meets weekly to discuss sustainability issues, integrate the themes of our colleges into the garden design and practice, and work together on soil preparation, planting, and harvesting. Members of the Garden Club learn about opportunities to work with our sister garden at Calabasas Elementary School in Watsonville.

Physical Surroundings

College Ten is situated in a redwood grove next to the Social Sciences 1 and 2 Buildings near the heart of campus. One of the campus’s Instructional Computing Labs is conveniently located in Social Sciences 1. A nature preserve serves as College Ten’s “backyard.” College Ten students have immediate access to hiking, running, and mountain bike trails in the adjacent forest.

Residence halls offer approximately 600 single and triple bedrooms. These fully furnished residence halls include student study spaces, recreational areas, and Internet connections. In addition, there is a state-of-the-art dining hall with an adjoining game room and Freitas Café, a coffee lounge for both Colleges Nine and Ten. Colleges Ten and Nine also house approximately 400 upper-division students in apartments, with single, double, and triple bedrooms. All apartments have full kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, and Internet connections. Ground-floor apartments have decks, and most upper apartments have private balconies.

For more information about academic or general college programs, call (831) 459-5034, email 910capc@ucsc.edu, or visit the College Ten website.

College Ten Fellows and Staff

College Ten faculty fellows are listed on the college's faculty directory.
College Ten staff are listed on the college's staff page.

Revised: 07/15/18