“Education in general, and higher education in particular, are essential tools to successfully face the challenges of the modern world and to form citizens capable of building a more just and open society, based on solidarity, respect for human rights and the shared use of knowledge and information. Higher education is at the same time an irreplaceable element for social development, production, economic growth, strengthening the cultural identity, maintaining social cohesion, for the fight against poverty and the promotion of culture peace.” UNESCO (1996)

““Young people who belong to a low-income household have three times less chances to achieve a higher education than young people with greater economic resources.” Crovetto, N. (2001)

College Access Certification



The challenges related to university education go beyond being accepted into a university. While it might be thought that the right to higher education in Puerto Rico is guaranteed by the apparent accessibility of admission, this is not sufficient to guarantee access and retention of lower income sectors in higher education status (Garcia Fanelli, 2005). Admission to the university is “largely determined by the structure of prevailing social injustice and its expression in living conditions, [as well as] by the segmentation of the school system (…)”.

There is a consistent trend in the graduation rate for the college sector: public, private for and non-for profit. According to the latest profile of the Puerto Rican college student:

“For every 100 bachelor’s degree students: in six years, almost 41 from the public sector and 23 from the private sector graduate.”[1]

In other words, 41% of students in public universities are completing their bachelor’s degree and only 23% students in private universities manage to achieve this.

According to the “Longitudinal Model of Student Loss in a Higher Education Institution”, used as a theoretical framework on the latest research on persistence in the first academic year by the University of Puerto Rico, there are several pre-college entrance factors directly related to college dropout. In this model, student engagement with the university they entered, added to the commitment they have with their own academic goals, will be the elements that determine if the student prevails or leaves the institution. The study, by the University of Puerto Rico, concluded by exposing 12 indicators of success for college persistence, of which:

• 5 are directly related with previous school experience
• 2 are directly related with the student’s socioeconomic reality
• the rest are the results of the approach and effective management of the above

There is no doubt that the most important process for the development of college students for been admitted and persisting in school depends on the prior experience of their time as intermediate and high school students. The determining factors for college access in each of the published studies are not limited to one element, but rather as a whole as the Model shows:

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This is how our educational system has the great challenge of becoming an ecosystem consisting of all the determinants for college student success factors. Our schools and their staff are called to promote a culture that goes beyond the academic aspect of development. We cannot prepare students in subjects and academic curricula, without making accessible a reference, applicability and purpose for their lives.

Our young people spend 12 years of their lives in classrooms and academic structures that were not related to their career goals. We know firsthand students, in senior year of high school, that have never visited a college campus. Many of them do not know the basic elements for their personal and professional development, as the difference between a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, and have rarely gone through a process of discernment and accompanied self-reflection to ratify their professional aspiration. Even those, whose idea of what they want to study in college is clear, do not know how many years they must spend in college to achieve your ultimate goal, the cost and consequences. They just lack a plan.

With this in mind, The Kinesis Foundation and the Options Institute at Goddard Riverside Community Center of New York signed, in 2014, a collaboration agreement to develop a comprehensive program of continuing education in college access. For over 27 years, Goddard has worked to increase the representation of students classified as “minorities” in the universities. The Certificate in College Access of the Kinesis Foundation is the product of this alliance. Our proposal is to ensure that each student gets the best college access within their career possibilities. We suggest a formula that we have seen and tested successfully in our Bright Stars college access program and the results of the education system in New York by the Options Institute. It is about creating a school culture based on university access, which involves a change in the nature and motivation of all its members. In it, each component of the school community provides knowledge, vision and calls to put into context the environment of the student, to serve their full potential.

This College Access Certificate is designed to address each of the core aspects of college access. It will enable you to effectively accompany the students in their professional self-discovery, action plan and achieving their objectives.

About the College Access Certificate

The College Access Certificate

• is offered through 5 modules, each lasting 7 contact hours
• is given to everyone who completes the 5 sessions (35 hours) entirely
• each module is validated as continuing education credits by the Department of Health for licensed Professional counselors.


The College Access Certificate will be offered in three campuses of the University of Puerto Rico, Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies (DECEP). These are:

• DECEP, Río Piedras campus
• DECEP, Humacao campus
• DECEP, Ponce Campus


The College Access Certificate consists of five modules or workshops of 7 hours each. The core themes are:
1. Assessing student college readiness and creating the culture of college access
2. Pairing students with post-secondary opportunities
3. Effective college applications
4. The process of applying for college financial assistance
5. Understanding college financial assistance offers


The College Access Certificate has a cost of $650.00. This includes the materials and text books for each workshop.

Payment Options

The College Access Certificate can be paid in full through check, money order, credit and debit card. You can opt for the payment plan in three (3) installments of $217.00. The first installment must be paid before the first workshop. The second installment must be paid before the third and final installment must be paid before the closing workshop.

Continuing Education Credits

The Department of Health approved as continuing education credits each of the workshops that make the College Access Certificate for licensed counselors in Puerto Rico.

Is this workshop for me?

If you work or volunteer in a school, you facilitate growth processes between youth groups, or are a parent worried about college access for their children, then this certificate is for you.


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