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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 overnight retreat 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 4-day, 3-night summer residential experience (July 29 to August 1, 2019), which includes interactive sessions on leadership, communication, diversity, and social justice.

Following the institute, 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.


  • 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 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.


  • Registration fee: $25
  • All other program expenses will be covered by TCLI

What's included

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

  • Overnight accommodations in a UC San Diego residence hall, including all meals
  • Activities and program materials
  • Round-trip chartered bus transportation for participants residing in the Los Angeles/ North Orange County area

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?

Yes, TCLI is scheduled the week prior to Summer Bridge so that students can apply to both programs. If you are accepted into Summer Bridge we would highly recommend you attend OASIS Summer Bridge in addition to TCLI as a wealth of information is distributed that will help you with your transition to UCSD. While TCLI is an amazing program it can only cover so much in 3 days. If you cannot attend Summer Bridge, TCLI is a great option. If you are admitted to both programs, you have the option of participating in both programs or just one. Read more about Summer Bridge.

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?

No. Since TCLI is only 3 nights and 4 days, selected participants are expected to be present throughout the entire institute. Summer Session I requires class and study time that conflict with the TCLI program. Students can participate in Summer Session II, which begins August 5.

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 with the exception of a $25 registration fee.

Do I have to stay overnight?

Yes, this is a residential overnight program and all participants must stay overnight and remain with the program for the entire duration.

When will I have to pay the $25?

If selected to participate in TCLI, you will receive a welcome email to the program with instruction on how to pay the $25 registration fee.

What if I cannot afford the $25 registration fee?

The registration fee may be waived for a select number of participants upon request and based on financial need.

Are the showers and toilets private?

You will live in a suite and with shared toilets and showers that are semi-private. See this sample layout. If you have concerns or questions, please contact the TCLI coordinators.

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

Participants who accepted to participate in TCLI are expected to participate in the summer retreat 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 retreat.

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

Housing for transgender, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming students

Important terms:

Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Genderqueer: A term used by some people who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman.

Gender Nonconforming: A term used to describe some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity.

Questioning: An individual who is unsure about or is exploring their own sexual orientation or gender identity

Gender Identity: One's internal, deeply held sense of one's gender. For transgender people, their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. Most people have a gender identity of man or woman (or boy or girl). For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of those two choices.

What does GIH stand for?

GIH stands for Gender Inclusive Housing. Gender Inclusive Housing allows continuing (non-first year) residents of all genders to live together in on-campus apartments. TCLI cannot guarantee GIH but will try to accommodate need/interest on a case-by-case basis. During the academic year the six colleges offer GIH and we would encourage you to reach out to your college’s residential life office to learn more about the process for your second year. In addition to GIH Housing, LGBTQIA+ theme housing is available at Muir College.

For housing accommodations during this upcoming fall, contact the Housing*Dining*Hospitality Student Engagement, Accommodations and Appeals Manager at (858) 822-1782, or email

For housing accommodations during TCLI, email interim program coordinator Diana Hernandez at

What does LGBTQIA stand for?

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual.

Is there a non-discrimination policy regarding gender identity and expression?

Yes. On December 18, 2003, the University of California nondiscrimination policies were revised to clarify that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited.

What if my roommates find out my gender identity and are upset or angry by this?

If students have a conflict with a roommate because of their gender identity or expression that they cannot resolve, students should see their assigned TCLI mentors first. If talking with the TCLI mentors brings no resolution, a student can discuss the matter with the TCLI Program Coordinator, the Campus Ombudsperson, or the Director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center. At no time will the University or the Summer Program change your room assignment because of your gender identity and expression.

What if my roommates' parents / guardians find out and are upset or angry by this?

Parents and guardians are often deeply concerned about their student’s success in all aspects of their time at UC San Diego, including their experiences living on campus. These concerns might include fear, discomfort or anger towards their student being housed with someone who is transgender, gender queer and/or gender nonconforming. The University and Summer Programs are committed to your success, and to the success of your roommates, and will focus on your relationship to ensure a positive learning environment for all people.

UC San Diego’s Principles of Community guide all of our work at UC San Diego, and include respect for gender identity and expression. At no time will the University or the Summer Program change your room assignment in response to concerns from a roommate’s parents.

For more information about transgender issues at UC San Diego, please refer to the LGBT Resource Center's Transgender Information.

Apply for TCLI

Discover your potential as a student leader at UC San Diego! This program begins with a 4-day/3-night summer residential experience from July 29–August 1, 2019 and continues into a yearlong leadership and mentorship program throughout your first year at UC San Diego.

Application deadline and link:

  • Submit your application by 11:59 PM on June 23, 2019.
  • 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:

  • June 24-29, 2019: TCLI decisions released via email
  • July 3, 2019 by 12 p.m. (noon): Participant forms and registration fee due
  • July 19, 2019: Final details for summer retreat sent via email
  • July 29–August 1, 2019: TCLI summer retreat
Questions? Call Diana Hernandez, Center for Student Involvement: (858) 822-2090 or email