The University of California, San Diego Extension announced a partnership with both the Sycuan Education Department and the Viejas Tribal Education Center to provide college preparatory programs as part of a larger effort to boost college enrollment among young adults in underrepresented communities.

The partnership is designed to enhance the programs that the tribal education centers already offer by providing middle and high school students the opportunity to explore the UC San Diego campus as well as attend UCSD Extension’s innovative college-prep summer courses in Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii and Washington D.C.

Councilman Gabriel T. TeSam of the Viejas Tribe said both tribes are working on a strategic plan to help Native American students enter college and graduate school, and this partnership will go a long way to further its goals of increasing college enrollment in his tribe.

Ed Abeyta, assistant dean for community engagement and director of pre-collegiate and career preparations for UC San Diego Extension, said working with the Sycuan and Viejas tribes is part of UC San Diego’s larger goal to reach out to communities throughout the region to ensure the campus is a true reflection of what makes San Diego unique.