Counselor FAQs

Your questions, answered!

What is the High Potential program?

The High Potential (HP) Program provides individualized support services to first-generation college students who enroll in the program. Operating since 1973, the HP program admits an average of 40 students to participate in the Summer Academic Institute for Leaders and Scholars (SAILS) program and an average of 90 students for the HP First Year Advising Cohort (FYAC).  HP students receive intensive support services in the first year at Saint Mary’s College and ongoing support throughout students' sophomore, junior and senior years.

What are the benefits of the High Potential program?

HP students receive additional support services while enrolled in the program. Students will participate in a two-week SAILS program and a FYAC with special attention paid to furthering students' academic and personal skills. The two-week SAILS program includes taking college-level courses and workshops for .50 credits. HP students also attend a .25 credit HP FYAC weekly class during the fall AND spring semesters, earning an additional .50 credits with no additional costs.

What are the criteria to become eligible for the High Potential program?

Applicants for the HP program must be admitted to Saint Mary’s College through the traditional application process prior to being considered for the program. Students eligible for the program must be first generation college students (neither parent has completed a college-degree).

How does a student apply for the High Potential program?

Once students are admitted to Saint Mary’s, prospective HP candidates may submit the HP application, found HERE, for consideration. The application may be downloaded here (to be posted). The application will require information regarding family income, family’s educational background, the student's educational goals and responses to short essay questions.

Is there a fee for the High Potential program?

The cost for participation in SAILS is $300.00. Should a candidate require additional support to meet this need, please contact the HP program Director.

For information about the High Potential Program please contact:

(925) 631-4349

[email protected]

Tarik Scott
Director, High Potential Program
TRiO Student Support Services

Lien Truong
Assistant Director, High Potential Program
TRiO Student Support Services

Gloria Aquino Sosa
Faculty Co-Director, High Potential Program
Assistant Professor and Coordinator College Student Services
and Career Specialization, Graduate Career
Counseling Program
Kalmanovitz School of Education 

Pedro Ramirez
Senior Admissions Counselor
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment