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Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI) 

The Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI) is a yearlong leadership and mentorship program for new UC San Diego freshmen students who are primarily first-generation college students and/or have financial need.

Support. Leadership. Inclusion. Success.

Discover your potential as a student leader at UC San Diego! The program begins with a summer virtual orientation experience (August 31, 2021) which will then be followed up with a one-to-one mentor meeting. Following the summer virtual orientation mentees will be invited to attend the TCLI Fall Welcome event (September 20, 2021) to continue fostering relationships and building community with their TCLI peers and staff on campus. During the Fall quarter, mentees will participate in weekly seminars, which includes interactive sessions on leadership, communication, diversity, and social justice. Throughout the academic year, mentees will participate and engage in one-to-one mentor meetings, individual and group coaching sessions, mentor group gatherings, TCLI Fridays, and will be provided resources for ongoing support during their first year at UC San Diego. 


  • 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
  • One-to-one mentor meeting

Yearlong Hybrid Program

  • Fall quarter weekly seminars
  • 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 and TCLI?


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 program 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 program.

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 and TCLI Fall Welcome experience and continues into a yearlong leadership and mentorship program throughout your first year at UC San Diego.

Important dates:

    • TCLI decisions released via email: August 25 - August 27, 2021
    • Final details for TCLI program sent via email: Monday, August 30, 2021
    • Summer Virtual Orientation: Tuesday, August 31, 2021
  • Participant forms due: Friday, September 10, 2021
    • TCLI Fall Welcome!: Monday, September 20, 2021
  • TCLI Weekly Seminars: Fall 2021; 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Tuesday, September 28th
  • Tuesday, October 5th
  • Tuesday, October 12th
  • Tuesday, October 19th
  • Tuesday, October 26th
  • Tuesday, November 2nd
  • Tuesday, November 9th
  • Tuesday, November 16th


Questions? Email Alina Aleaga