Access | Community | Equity

ACE graphic 

A Cal Poly Learn by Doing education presents an array of opportunities for students to explore, create and grow as future leaders. Opportunities include undergraduate research, global learning, service learning, internships and special projects. High-impact experiences like these are shown to improve a student’s overall success, including likelihood of graduating and career readiness. The positive impact is especially true for first-generation college students or those from families with lower incomes.

However, these students often have the hardest time accessing such opportunities. The Access, Community and Equity (ACE) Program helps remove barriers and improve access by providing stipends of up to $1,000 to first-generation or lower-income students specifically so they can participate in high-impact Learn by Doing experiences. In addition, recipients receive mentoring and a community of support to help them take full advantage of their experience. 

Questions about the ACE Program? Please email Dr. Kelly Bennion, Interim Associate Dean for Diversity and Curriculum.

Students - Apply for the ACE program

Faculty - Provide a Letter of Support (PDF)

Funding Opportunity

A stipend of $1,000 can put a deeper Cal Poly experience within reach. Our initial annual goal is $25,000 (or an endowment of $750,000) to provide financial support and mentorship to 25 students each year. To support Learn by Doing through Access, Community and Equity, contact the College of Liberal Arts Development office at 805-756-6246 or

Currently, this program is supported through the Dean's Excellence Fund. Any amount to the Dean's Excellence Fund could help support students in the same way.

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