Access Programs

Access Programs are designed to promote academic excellence for middle and high school students and are conducted in partnership with the University of Puget Sound and Tacoma Public Schools.

In partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, University of Puget Sound created Access Programs to offer traditionally underrepresented students in local middle and high schools opportunities to prepare for college. Through interaction with Puget Sound students and professors, visits to campus, and participation in community events and activities, students gain confidence in their abilities and become ready to pursue their academic goals.

Access Programs are open to students in grades 7 through 12 enrolled in the Tacoma School District who are members of one or more of the following groups:
• first-generation college students
• underrepresented minoritized groups
• groups with underrepresented socioeconomic statuses



The goals of the Access to College Initiative are to:

  • Provide exposure to college and thereby expand college opportunities for youth traditionally underrepresented in higher education;
  • Encourage academic persistence for participants of Access to College Initiative;
  • Offer comprehensive programs to Access to College Initiative participants involving a wide range of academic support, academic enrichment and college co-curricular experiences;
  • Encourage parent involvement in academic and college preparation programs. 

To apply for the Summer Academic Challenge please visit our Summer page here.