Nicholas Academic Centers Build Ties with Local Universities


Robert G. Magnuson, 949-290-9382

“Day at the Bay” with UC Irvine is Part of an Effort by the After-School Tutoring and Mentoring Program to Work with Top Institutions

Nicholas Academic Centers students tour the UC Irvine campus.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of an effort to build and expand relationships with top local universities, the Nicholas Academic Centers last Friday participated in its first “Day at the Bay” program with the University of California, Irvine. Activities included a tutorial with UCI staff at the Back Bay Science Center in Newport Beach, kayaking on the bay, and a tour of the university campus led by Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez.

The “Day at the Bay” builds on the relationship between UC Irvine and the Nicholas Academic Centers, which provide after-school tutoring and mentoring support for high-risk, high-potential students in Santa Ana. For the last several months, faculty members from UCI’s Education Department have been conducting research to assess the Centers’ academic performance and growth potential. The Centers have plans to establish collaborative initiatives with other local institutions, such as Chapman University and Cal State Fullerton.

“We are fortunate to be located in a community that is home to some of the nation’s best academic institutions, both public and private,” said Dr. Corina Espinoza, assistant executive director of the Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs). “We want to build on the success we’ve achieved with our students and to collaborate with local universities to sustain our students’ motivation and aspirations. Working with top universities is important to our success.”

The “Day at the Bay” was part of the Centers’ Summer Enrichment Program, designed to complement the NACs' strong academic focus. It included a Career Speaker series, martial arts and music instruction and field trips to art museums, baseball games and local colleges.

The Nicholas Academic Centers serve hundreds of students in the Santa Ana Unified School District on a daily basis throughout the school year and summer. This fall, 66 Nicholas Academic Center graduates will attend colleges, including some of the nation’s best four-year institutions such as Georgetown, Smith, Haverford, UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Irvine. Nearly all of the students have received full scholarships and financial aid.

The Centers are based on a program started by retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel in the early 1990s in an effort to fill an urgent need for after-school tutoring and mentoring in Santa Ana. In 2007, Judge Mandel partnered with Henry Nicholas, co-founder and former Co-Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom Corporation, to create the Nicholas Academic Centers. The first center was established in 2008 and a second center opened a year later.

About the Nicholas Academic Centers

The Nicholas Academic Centers are directed by retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel and higher education expert, Dr. Corina Espinoza, and funded by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation. Located in downtown Santa Ana and on the campus of Valley High School in Santa Ana, the Centers provide free tutoring and mentoring for students, as well as computers and a safe place to study. Become a fan of the Nicholas Academic Centers on Facebook.

UCI Vice Chancellor makes a point to Nicholas Academic Centers students visiting the campus

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Ashley TemmComment