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Reviving a Tradition

Professor Brings Back Outreach Program for Future College Students

Isaac Cardenas

“I’m Going to College Day!” is back.

The program, which will bring 105 third-graders to Cal State Fullerton Thursday, March 5, was created in 1990 by Isaac Cardenas, emeritus professor of Chicana and Chicano studies, and Arlene Cardenas, a university alumna who teaches at Hurley Elementary School in La Puente.

Isaac Cardenas said the event, which is similar to Cal State Fullerton’s Kids to College program, “encourages and motivates children to plan for college.”

He said the last time Hurley students visited the campus was in 2001. The students are coming this year, thanks to volunteers and funding from the school’s Parent Teacher Association.

“Arlene and I have been coordinating the program since its inception and this year Christopher Sandoval, a Cal State Fullerton student and vice president of MESA Cooperativa, has been involved in organizing the event,” Cardenas said. “Arlene does a lot of the ground work at Hurley, getting the school PTA to pay for buses and arranging for T-shirts, parent involvement, etc. On our campus, it is an all-volunteer effort from various areas of the university to make sure the kids have a meaningful experience.”

Wearing “I’m Going to College!” T-shirts, the children are scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. Their itinerary includes:

  • 9:10-10 a.m. — Science assembly in the Titan Theatre of the Titan Student Union
  • 10-10:20 a.m. — Cultural performance by the Ballet Folklorico de CSUF in Titan Theatre
  • 10:30 a.m.-noon — Campus tours
  • noon — Lunch in the Fullerton Arboretum

“Hurley Elementary School has a predominantly Latino student enrollment and, if we are successful with our message, the students will most likely be the first in their family to attend college,” Cardenas said.

Media Contacts:
Isaac Cardenas, Chicana and Chicano Studies, 657-278-3732 or
Mimi Ko Cruz, Public Affairs, 657-278-7586 or