College Track Launches 10-Year Integrated Program, Equipping First-Generation and Underserved Students On Their Path to College and Career Success

College Track's new program offers a seamless and transformative experience from ninth grade through college graduation.

Oakland, CA (January 31, 2024) – College Track, the leading organization dedicated to supporting the academic and personal growth of first-generation and underserved students, is thrilled to announce the launch of its transformative 10-year integrated program. With 25 years of experience in college access and success, College Track’s interdisciplinary approach provides a clear pathway from ninth grade to college graduation and beyond. 

“Major systemic barriers exist for learners who dream of being the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Understanding—and circumventing—these interconnected challenges is critical to a first-generation college student’s ability to thrive and succeed in higher education,” said Shirley M. Collado, Ph.D., President & CEO of College Track and President Emerita of Ithaca College. “The launch of College Track’s new 10-year integrated program represents a significant step forward in shifting the landscape of education in America toward inclusion and equity.” 

College Track’s 10-year commitment is designed to surpass conventional approaches, nurturing the holistic development of students. The program includes a range of innovative programs with academic institutions, including “Semester Zero” at Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University’s Career Catalyst and Universal Learner Courses. A partnership with Khan Academy, an education technology nonprofit, will enable College Track scholars to leverage Khanmigo, an AI tool, to access individualized learning. These partnerships will provide students with exclusive, one-of-a-kind opportunities that enhance their learning, inspire innovation, and equip them with the skills needed to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of higher education and tomorrow’s workforce.

An extensive support network lies at the heart of the College Track program. Students have access to a dedicated team of College Track staff, mentors, and alumni who will guide them every step of the way. 

“This program marks an incredible milestone in our journey towards equipping the next generation of leaders. It is the embodiment of our belief in the immense potential of every student, especially those who are the first in their families to pursue a college education,” said Rosanna Ferro, Ed.D., College Track’s Chief of Education. “For 10 years, College Track, fueled by the passionate dedication of staff, will provide comprehensive and holistic support, guiding our scholars from ninth-grade to college graduation and beyond. Through this program, we are not just building a bridge to higher education; we are building a foundation for success that will resonate for generations to come. I am humbled and inspired by the perseverance and determination of our scholars and cannot wait to witness their incredible achievements as they rewrite the narrative of what is possible for themselves and their communities.”

Understanding success extends beyond college, College Track’s integrated approach will provide comprehensive career readiness. Students will be connected with a strong network of College Track alumni and partners, ensuring they have access to invaluable tools and connections to navigate the post-college landscape with confidence and to thrive in their chosen fields.  

The new program represents the pinnacle of College Track’s commitment to breaking barriers and transforming lives. It exemplifies College Track’s belief in the transformative power of education and it celebrates the accomplishments of first-generation college students, recognizing both the challenges they face and the immense potential they possess. 

“Our program leverages College Track’s 25-year history and the experiences of our scholars and alumni, while featuring innovative collaborations with powerhouse partners like Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and Khan Academy. I look forward to how this program will transform our scholars, the communities we partner with, and the face of higher education in this country,” Collado reinforces. 

About College Track

College Track’s mission is to democratize potential by equipping students confronting systemic barriers to earn a bachelor’s degree in pursuit of a life of opportunity, choice, purpose, and power. Today, more than 4,000 College Track high school and college students from underserved communities in California, Colorado, Louisiana, and the D.C. Metro Area are moving toward their goal to become the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Across the nation, our 1,100 alumni embody a vision of equity rooted in possibility and progress. Ninety percent of our students are first-generation college students, and 84 percent are from underserved communities. They earn their bachelor’s degrees at more than two and a half times the rate of their first-generation peers.

To learn more about College Track and the impactful work being done to support first-generation and underserved students, visit