News Release

Rancho Santiago Community College District Honors Santa Ana College’s Pathway to Law School as Excelencia’s 2022 Program to Watch


August 19, 2022

Media Contact:
Nhadira Brathwaite, M.P.A.
Interim Chief Communications Officer | 714-480-7503​

(Santa Ana, CA) – The Rancho Santiago Community College District is proud to recognize Santa Ana College for their program Diversity Champion, Pathway to Law School for being selected as a Program to Watch for 2022 examples of Excelencia.
Since 2017, Excelencia have identified innovative programs that are making a positive impact on the success of their Latinx students as Programs to Watch. As a 2022 Program to Watch, Santa Ana College's Pathway to Law School have increased Latinx student success by providing increased engagement, awareness, and promotion of Excelencia's 2022 What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education Compendium.

“We are excited about this phenomenal recognition, says Dr. Annebelle Nery, Santa Ana College President. “This is an opportunity for us to highlight the difference that our Pathway to Law School is making for our Latinx students—many of them are first generation to attend college and now they are forging ahead to a career in law. We are helping to change generational outcomes and I'm very proud of that significant contribution."

Excelencia in Education recognizes 10 Programs to Watch from 4 states that are close to being finalists, or are up-and-coming programs that have already positively impacted the success of their Latinx students and are growing their evidence of effectiveness.

“This program gives students a unique opportunity to enter the legal field and prepare for law school. I am inspired by our students' continued success, and I can't wait to see what they do next," says Kristen Robinson, Santa Ana College professor of Legal Studies.

The Santa Ana College's Pathway to Law School focuses on providing community college students with a streamlined transition into law school. Students receive exposure to law schools, advisement and mentoring from law school advisors, financial aid counseling, LSAT preparation, and waived application fees for admission in participating law schools.

Santa Ana College's Pathway to Law School has partnered with 10 law schools for priority admission. In the past five years, course success rates have increased from 77% to 86.2% and the program boasts a 70% job placement rate for program participants.

Santa Ana College is one of two community colleges in Orange County to offer this program. The college continues to recognize that programs need to evolve from one-size-fits-all into ones that can recognize the unique needs of students, specifically Latinx students. Some of the common practices found throughout this year's Programs to Watch include leveraging shared culture and language to build a sense of belonging and improving academic success, using targeted programs and peer support to strengthen educational transitions, and building strong employment partnerships to support a more diverse workforce.

The fall semester at Santa Ana College began on Monday, August 22nd.
Visit Pathway to Law School to learn more information.


About Rancho Santiago Community College District
Rancho Santiago Community College District is home of one of the state's oldest community colleges, Santa Ana College, and also one of its newest, Santiago Canyon College. Centered in a growing and dynamic area, the district serves a population of more than 571,000 residents in the communities of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Santa Ana, Villa Park and portions of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove and Tustin.

Encompassing 24 percent of Orange County's total area (193 square miles), the district maintains eight facilities. In addition to Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College, these include the Centennial and Orange Continuing Education Centers, the Digital Media Center, the Orange County Regional Fire Training Center, the Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Academy, the College and Workforce Preparation, Remington Adult Education Center and the District Operations Center.