About the SDSU Pre-College Institute

The SDSU Pre-College Institute (PCI) promotes college access and completion for underserved students, implements innovative programs to enhance excellence in teaching and learning in multicultural settings, and studies their outcomes. Founded in 1983, by our Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Park, PCI provides an invaluable service to our communities’ multicultural low-income, underrepresented, and underserved students. Our goal at PCI is to extend an invitation to life to our students, and to support them as they make their way through the K-career pipeline. Using multiple grants and sources of funding, PCI has implemented a variety of ongoing programs and initiatives to achieve that mission. 

Our Vision, Mission, and Values

PCI Mission and Values

We Stand in Solidarity with our Students Black Lives Matter

View the SDSU Pre-College Institute's full statement here.

We stand in Solidarity with our APIDA students 

Read the SDSU Pre-College Institute's full statement here


We believe

The faculty and staff of PCI believe that students can achieve their potential by enrolling in and completing a postsecondary program of their choice. PCI promotes this potential through multiple federally funded grants, our students receive academic advising, mentoring, personal and financial counseling, personalized college preparation, summer supplemental instruction, and tutorial assistance throughout their high school career.

PCI, operating from the university’s historic strength in teacher education and its proximity to Mexico, believes in working closely with parents, principals, school counselors, teachers, and SDSU undergraduates to decrease the achievement gap between high- and low-performing schools. The institute supports continuous growth of its faculty and staff through a systematic professional development program.

Building Partnerships 

PCI works with K-12 schools across San Diego as an early-outreach, college-access program. Below are the partner schools by district, and program funding. 

Grossmont Unified School District:  El Cajon Valley High School (UB STAR), Mount Miguel High School (UB Classic).

Lemon Grove School District:  Lemon Grove Academy Middle School (donor sponsored). 

Sweetwater High School District:  Castle Park High School (UB Classic, Educational Talent Search), Mar Vista High School (UB Classic), Southwest High School (UB Classic, Educational Talent Search), Montgomery High School (Educational Talent Search).

San Diego Unified School District: 
Crawford High School, (UB STAR, Educational Talent Search), Hoover High School (UB STAR, Educational Talent Search), Lincoln High School (Talent Search Mentoring), Morse High School (UB Classic, Educational Talent Search), San Diego High- Business and Leadership (UB STAR), San Diego High- Science and Technology (UB STAR), Twain High School (Educational Talent Search- Crawford site), Twain High School (Talent Search Mentoring- Morse site), O'Farrell High School (Talent Search Mentoring).

Middle Schools: Clark, Mann, O'Farrell, Wilson (Educational Talent Search). Bell (Talent Search Mentoring). 

Elementary Schools:  Carver, Euclid, Marshal, Rosa Parks (America Reads).
Angier, Chesterton, Dewey, Jones, Mason, Sessions (Operation STEM Discovery DoDEA subcontract)

The institute also offers services through its partnerships with the Hoover Community Connection, College Avenue Compact, Sweetwater Compact for Success, the Division of Faculty Advancement and Student Success, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, the Colleges of Engineering, Health and Human Services, Sciences, and the UCSD School of Medicine.

Additionally, PCI's Pathways to Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics maintains strong partnering relationships with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships that provide current SDSU students with Federal Work-Study funding to serve students through America Reads and America Counts. Tutors enroll in a service-learning course (Teacher Education 362, GEN S 280, ED 201) to develop a learning community that offers opportunities to apply course knowledge, reflect on their field experiences, practice transferrable skills that deepen their knowledge and growth as individuals.