College Nine

College Office
217 Social Sciences 1
(831) 459-5034

Academic Programs

Academic Literacy Curriculum

College Scholars Program

Academic Emphasis

College Nine’s theme of International and Global Perspectives emphasizes the causes and consequences of our increasingly interconnected world. We challenge students to grapple with complex, controversial, and multi-scalar issues, for which there exist vastly differing opinions about the nature of problems and how to solve them. Becoming a global citizen requires critical thinking, cultural awareness, and effective communication, all skills our training provides to our students. Our academic and co-curricular programs analyze economic and cultural globalization, immigration, environmental crises, ethnic conflicts, genocide, and human rights, among other issues. Students interested in these issues either as their major focus or as part of their general education are invited to join the College Nine community.


All new frosh and transfer students who start fall quarter are required to enroll in one of two online orientation courses. Frosh will enroll in CLNI 1A, College Nine 1A: Introduction to University Life and Learning. Transfer students will enroll in KRSG 1T, Kresge 1T: Introduction to Research Universities and the Liberal Arts. CLNI 1A and KRSG 1T integrate introductions to academic skills with the online Slug Orientation process, and begin student preparation for their studies at  College Nine and throughout UC Santa Cruz.

CLNI 1A  Introduction to University Life and Learning (1 credit)

Offered online in summer quarter

KRSG 1T  Introduction to Research Universities and the Liberal Arts (1 credit)

Offered online in summer quarter

Core Course

CLNI 1: Academic Literacy and Ethos: International and Global Perspectives

Offered in fall quarter

First-year students examine current issues pertinent to the college’s intellectual theme. This course challenges students to address what it means to be a global citizen, in recognition of our growing interconnections and interdependencies, and the fact that certain intractable problems cannot be addressed without large-scale collective action. Topics address issues such as globalization, inequities in wealth and poverty across the world, human rights, climate change, and social movements. The seminar teaches foundational concepts for intellectual exploration and personal development within an academic community—analysis, critical thinking, metacognition, engagement with others across difference, and self-efficacy. The instructors work closely with each student throughout the quarter.

College Advising

Contact information:
Phone: 831-459-5034
217 Social Sciences 1

Located on the second floor of Social Sciences 1, our team of dedicated, knowledgeable and caring advisers are here to guide students throughout their journey at UC Santa Cruz, from being admitted to the university through graduation. Our approach is collaborative and student-centered, assisting undergraduates with identifying and exploring their academic interests and capacities, and providing advice as to how to make the most of their time at UCSC. Our advisers answer questions about navigating the policies and life at UC Santa Cruz, course scheduling and selection, degree and general education requirements, qualifying for a major, educational support and opportunities, and much more. Close partnerships with units across campus mean that if we do not know the answer to a question, we usually know someone who does. 

Students who wish to connect with advising should visit the College Nine Academic Advising website for open hours, drop-ins, and appointments.

Other Academic Programs

Optional programs are available to involve College Nine students in academic and co-curricular activities beyond the first-quarter course. They are designed to promote students’ academic achievement and success by connecting them with faculty mentors and helping them pursue leadership experiences.

Global Action

Global Action, CLNI 85, is a peer facilitated course where students learn about current international and global issues through interactive exercises, small group discussions, and faculty presentations. Students will develop an “action plan” to raise awareness about one or more of these concerns and take practical steps to create positive change in the world. Projects in past years have partnered with organizations doing outstanding work in countries like Ecuador, India and Nepal. Students who have taken and excelled in CLNI 85 are eligible to teach the course in a future year, enrolling in CLNI 191: Teaching Global Action, where they gain the skills, techniques and tools to facilitate their own section. Mentoring by our experienced staff is vital to realizing the potential of such peer-to-peer learning.

Apprenticeship in Community Engaged Research

The Apprenticeship in Community Engaged Research (or (H)ACER) is a new program at College Nine and John R. Lewis College designed to teach students qualitative research methods with a focus on community-engaged and participatory methodologies. The objectives of our work encompass student enrichment, uplifting the work of our community partners, and conducting relevant, critical research to solve real-life challenges at the intersections of education, health, economics, immigration, nutrition, labor and the environment. The benefits for students of experiential learning in the community are multiple: abstract academic concepts become more tangible, students expand their web of social connection, and skills such as teamwork and problem solving are heightened. Students reach outside of their comfort zone, have their assumptions challenged, and meet remarkable local heroes.

(H)ACER offers a scaffolded progression of opportunities for students: students can begin by getting involved with Praxis, participating in Alternative Spring Break, or signing up for internships with community partners such as an after-school, garden-based educational program at Calabasas Elementary School in Watsonville. Praxis is a student club for community service in which College Nine and John R. Lewis College students undertake monthly volunteer opportunities throughout Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities. During campus meetings, Praxis participants engage in discussion, reading, and reflection to increase their awareness and knowledge about key issues.

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) in Watsonville centers on issues of food security, sovereignty, and justice. After getting to know each other at a retreat, discussing readings, and hearing from a panel of Watsonville leaders, ASB participants undertake five days of experiential learning with a variety of community partners (e.g., schools, artists, non-profits). After Spring Break, a final gathering is held for students to share their final projects.

These community learning opportunities for students then transition in our (H)ACER class series. The classes train students in research methodologies, support data collection and analysis with our community and university partners, and provide cutting-edge and methodologically rich research experiences for UCSC undergraduate students. These classes set students up to develop their own research projects that can then extend into senior theses and pathways to distinction in Colleges Nine and Ten.

Practical Activism: Tools for Local and Global Change

The annual Practical Activism Conference is a day-long, student-led event featuring keynote speakers, multiple workshops, tabling by on- and off-campus organizations, performances, and a variety of hands-on activism activities. Students gain valuable leadership and organizing skills through developing and planning this exceptional program, which involves collaboration among faculty, staff, and the local community. Visit Practical Activism for more information.

Community Garden Class

In cooperation with the work of the Community Garden Club, this course explores such topics as collaborative garden design, community gardening best practices, building regenerative social and ecological systems, sustainability, and food justice, while also offering hands-on experience in the Colleges Nine and Ten community garden.

Education Abroad

The UC Education Abroad Program places students at a university in another country for one or more quarters. Studying abroad can be a valuable way to expand one’s understanding of the world. Given the international focus at College Nine, students are encouraged (but not required) to develop a second language or to study abroad.

College Nine Pathways to Distinction

Another feature of College Nine is that qualified students may graduate with College Nine Distinction. This recognition is intended to serve as an incentive for students to pursue activities (research, course work, service, leadership, internships, etc.) that are especially apt to help them succeed in college and beyond related to the theme of international and global perspectives. 

College Scholars Program

College Nine participates in the UC Santa Cruz College Scholars Program (CSP), a stimulating home for highly motivated students to have community with like-minded peers during their first and second years as they explore research at a research university. The program recruits and supports a diverse cohort of college scholars across all five academic divisions and all 10 colleges who show potential to cultivate academic and non-academic strengths in a learning community. Between 20 and 25 students are housed in close proximity in each college and together participate in an enriched program of study designed to prepare them to take advantage of opportunities for undergraduate research at the upper division. Across four quarters, students have access to supplementary activities, special courses, small seminars, and a faculty research colloquium to explore what questions drive researchers and what forms research can take. To facilitate participation in these program requirements, CSP students receive priority enrollment during their time in the program.