GU4LA Launches Partnership with UC Merced, Counselors Visit Campus

A group of GEAR UP 4 LA counselors recently attended the invitation-only High School Educators Tour program at UC Merced, where they toured the campus, reviewed academic highlights and student services, and heard directly from students about their experiences.

The three-day excursion comes on the heels of Los Angeles Unified School District launching a partnership with the university to provide support for over 5,000 GU4LA students and offer professional development to staff.

“UC Merced has shown us that they know its student body and provide the necessary supports and opportunities to help students thrive and become empowered leaders,” GU4LA counselor Elson Wong said. “I am excited to encourage our students to consider UC Merced.”

The in-person experience included visiting the city of Merced while getting a feel for campus life, academic offerings, including STEM programs, and resources.

“Learning about UC Merced’s program, school culture, admission requirements, financial aid, and all the student support they have to offer gave us a firsthand look at what our students could benefit from. It truly is student-centered. It is a public university with a private school feel!”

Sandra Cruz, GU4LA Counselor

As part of the partnership with UC Merced, the university will support students in the classes of 2024 and 2025 across 35 LAUSD high schools to help increase college and career opportunities. Programs and services that will be offered to students and families include overnight campus visits, a residential program in Yosemite, enrollment coaches, and more.

Visiting the UC Merced campus in person provided the counselors valuable insight into the types of offerings available to GU4LA students.

“Merced gives private school attention and support with UC quality and public-school cost,” GU4LA counselor Jo Duke said.

“I can feel my students thrive at UC Merced due to the support and attention they will receive on this campus,” GU4LA counselor Wendy Bradley added.