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Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI)

Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI) participants pose on the UC San Diego campus for a group photo wearing matching t-shirtsThe Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI) is a yearlong program launched with a summer virtual orientation and weekly meetings for new UC San Diego freshmen students who are primarily first-generation college students and/or have financial need.

Support. Leadership. Inclusion. Success.

The program begins with a half day summer virtual orientation experience (August 4, 2020) and weekly meetings, which includes interactive sessions on leadership, communication, diversity, and social justice. Following the summer virtual programming, workshops, peer mentoring, and resources are offered to provide the TCLI community with ongoing support.

Application notes:

  • Upon applying, you will receive an automatic email confirmation if your application is successfully received.
  • If you are encountering issues submitting your application, we would kindly suggest using a different internet browser such as Google Chrome.
  • If you continue to experience any issues, please contact our staff using the information at the bottom of this page.

Spring 2020 TCLI Update:

  • Due to the campus response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, TCLI will be transitioning into virtual programming. All TCLI related events such as TCLI Fridays, TCLI Group Coaching and TCLI Peer Mentoring will be virtual. Current TCLI students in 2019-2020 Cohort are encouraged to reach out to their TCLI Peer Mentors for more information and continued support. Our goal is to ensure we are actively supporting our TCLI students and providing opportunities to build on the rich experience of the TCLI community. 


  • Meet and build relationships with peers, established student leaders, and key administrators
  • Learn valuable communication and leadership skills to effectively collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Develop an understanding of the dimensions of diversity and social justice.
  • Gain the inside scoop on navigating and getting involved in your first year in college.
  • Be empowered to make a difference at UC San Diego.


  • All program expenses will be covered by TCLI

What's included

Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI) students at UC San DiegoSummer Virtual Programming

  • Virtual Orientation with TCLI staff
  • Workshops and activities on campus resources, diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Weekly smaller group check in's

Yearlong program

  • Monthly workshops on stress relief, campus resources, and community-building
  • Monthly peer mentor meet-ups
  • Frequent workshops to develop your communication and leadership skills
  • Occasional off-campus trips to engage with the San Diego community

Past participant testimonials

"In only three short days, I was able to connect with people that I hope will be in my life for years to come."
   –Miguel A.


“The one thing I will forever remember about TCLI is the lasting friendships I have made and the effective communication skills I learned in the program!"
   –Nataly A.


“TCLI helps individuals strengthen their personal identity and motivates students to take action in order to change the community. Not only do students learn useful information and resources, but they develop a sense of belonging and attachment to the school. I personally feel a lot more confident and eager to start my new school year at UCSD."


“I was finally able to connect with other individuals who share similar goals to mine, and I had the privilege of meeting leaders who have dedicated numerous hours to making this an amazing experience. Seeing these leaders be so transparent and vulnerable in front of a room mostly full of strangers opened my eyes to the significance of this program."
   –Bella N.

Frequently asked questions

Can I attend both Summer Bridge and TCLI?

Unfortunately no, both programs are scheduled during the same time. We acknowledge that both programs offer a wealth of resources, experiences, and information that will help you with your transition to UCSD. However, due to time constraints, commitment, and workload we want to ensure students will be fully prepared and engaged in each program. For more information about the Summer Bridge Program please visit their Summer Bridge web page.

Can I participate in both CASP 101 and TCLI?

Yes, TCLI is scheduled the week following CASP. If you're a CASP scholar, please refer to the CASP 101 web page for more information on the dates.

Can I attend UCSD Summer Session I and TCLI?

Students can participate in Summer Session I, which begins June 29. However, TCLI participants cannot participate in Summer Session II which requires class and study time that conflict with the TCLI program. Selected TCLI participants are expected to be present throughout the entire summer virtual programming.

How are students selected to apply?

The selections are based on the information provided on your UC application such as your parents' or guardians’ education level and the high school you attended. TCLI is geared towards first generation college students, meaning your parents or guardians did not go to college or had some college. Additional information provided in the TCLI application such as the free-response questions are taken into consideration.

Are students who received nominations the only ones who can apply?

Yes, due to limited funding this is currently an invite-only program. However, UC San Diego offers various transition programs over the summer for first-year students and they are encouraged to apply and take advantage of these opportunities. They should contact their college and major department to learn about these opportunities.

Does participating in TCLI affect my financial aid award?

This program does not affect your financial aid award. If accepted to the program all fees for the program will be covered.

Can I participate in the summer virtual programming and opt out of the activities throughout the year?

Participants who accepted to participate in TCLI are expected to participate in the summer virtual programming and the academic year activities. TCLI is a year-long program and the activities coordinated throughout the academic year are intended to foster a sense of community and support and promote growth beyond the summer virtual programming.

Sample schedule

  • Icebreakers & Energizers
  • Community Building Activities
  • Values Certification
  • Talents and Strengths
  • Leadership Style
  • Identity Exploration
  • Power, Privilege and Oppression
  • Equity, Equality, and Liberation
  • Staff Networking Session
  • First-Year Action Plan

Apply for TCLI

Discover your potential as a student leader at UC San Diego! This program begins with a summer virtual orientation experience on August 4, 2020 and continues into weekly meetings with TCLI Staff. Following summer virtual programming, you will continue into a yearlong leadership and mentorship program throughout your first year at UC San Diego.

EXTENDED Application deadline and link:

  • Submit your application by 11:59 PM on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
  • The application takes 30–45 minutes to complete. Once the application is started, it must be completed in one sitting since you won't be able to save your progress and return to complete your application at another time.


  • Upon applying, you will receive an automatic email confirmation if your application is successfully received. If you are encountering issues submitting your application, we would kindly suggest using a different internet browser such as Google Chrome. If you continue to experience any issues, please contact our staff using the information at the bottom of the page.

Important dates:

  • July 15-17, 2020: TCLI decisions released via email
  • Monday, July 20, 2020 by 12 PM (noon): Participant forms due
  • July 20, 2020: Final details for summer virtual programming sent via email
  • Friday, July 24, 2020: Final details for summer virtual programming sent via email
  • Tuesday, August 4, 2020; from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM: TCLI summer virtual orientation
  • Tuesdays; 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM; 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1, 9/8, 9/15 & 9/22: Weekly Mentor and Mentee pod meetings
  • Thursdays from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM:  8/13, 8/20, 8/27, 9/3, 9/10 & 9/17: Weekly TCLI Mentee workshops
  • Thursday, September 24, 2020 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Closing TCLI Summer Virtual Reception

Apply for the 2020-2021 Triton Community Leadership Institute Student Program

Questions? Email Alina Aleaga