Supporting Students of Color towards Degree Achievement

The Office of College Access and Transition (OCAT) seeks to further the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through institutional support for students of color. We bring together students, faculty, and staff in a strong network that can last a lifetime. Students can participate in programming at any point in their YSU journey, from before the fall of their freshmen year (through Summer bridge), all the way into graduate school (through STARS) Join us, and get the resources to be a successful college student.

  • Summer Bridge: The Summer Bridge Program is a one week residential program that provides traditional aged incoming freshmen students of color the opportunity to become more familiar with the academic and social experiences most often encountered by first-year students, before fall semester actually begins. Learn more about Summer Bridge and apply!


  • Penguin Ally Collective: The Penguin Ally Collective (PAC) is a network for students of color who plan to be among the first in their families to achieve a bachelor's degree. At YSU we understand that being first is a source of great pride and can come with some challenges. Sometimes it’s hard to know all that’s expected of you as a college student. It takes time to make new friends and build confidence. It may be hard to ask for help – even if every freshman needs it at some point!
    As a member of PAC, you will have a faculty or staff Ally who can help you learn about YSU and feel at home. You will also be part of an Ally Circle, a small group of students in PAC who share similar interests, led by Allies and upper-division students. Circles meet monthly to build friendships, have fun, and enjoy workshops and activities. Learn more about PAC and apply!


  • The Navarro Executive Fellows Program: The Navarro Executive Fellows (NEF) is a mentoring-work experience for incoming freshmen students of color who are matched with YSU’s Executive Leadership. Executives will provide insight and networking as well as help Fellows set goals and stay on track academically, professionally and personally. Learn more about Navarro Executive Fellows Program and apply!


  • YSTAR: YSTAR is part of PAC, with staff dedicated to seeing students from Youngstown City School succeed at YSU. This is funded by the Youngstown Foundation, with the goal of developing strong citizens to build a strong city. Click on the link for PAC to learn more. No application is necessary.


  • STARS (Student Achievement in Research and Scholarship: STARS steers high-academically performing under-represented college students toward graduate education and careers in college teaching and research. STARS links promising college sophomores and juniors with a faculty mentor at YSU. Learn more about STARS and apply!