Program Details


The High Potential Program community includes 160 undergraduate students supported by two full-time Success Coaches, a Faculty Director, a KSOE graduate student Programming Assistant, and eight student Peer Mentors. It is funded in part by a five-year, $1.5-million dollar Federal Student Student Services (SSS) TRIO grant.



Success Coaching – All HP students are assigned a dedicated Success Coach in the High Potential program for monthly (mandatory) individualized coaching sessions to help ensure steady progress toward academic, social, and personal goals. Our Coaches are first-generation college students and graduates of SMC’s Masters in Counseling program.

Workshops/Trainings HP students are invited to participate in on- and off-campus workshops and trainings that support their academic, professional, and personal growth. These opportunities change each semester based on the current needs of HP students, but including graduate school info sessions, mental health practices, career planning and professional development training.

Priority Registration – All HP students who continue to make academic progress and are in good standing with the program will receive priority/early registration.



Summer Academic Institute for Leaders and Scholars (SAILS) – All incoming first-year HP students are invited to participate in an intensive two-week summer residential program, gaining an opportunity to meet professors, coaches, and peer mentors. The activities and classes focus on academic, psychosocial and cultural development, as well as forming a close bond with peers. SAILS is an extremely popular college transition experience, but it is not a requirement for students to participate in SAILS to be eligible for the academic year programming. 

Peer Mentor Program – First-year and transfer HP students are assigned an HP Peer Mentor. HP Peer Mentors offer academic, personal, and professional support - in the form of regular check-ins - throughout the students’ first year at Saint Mary’s (Transfer students also receive support through a dedicated transfer advising cohort). Students who will be entering their second, third, and fourth year are invited to apply to this paid leadership position. Peer mentors also host “town hall” events to give HP students the opportunity to be involved, learn about offerings, and provide feedback to the program, as well as facilitating biweekly study groups tutoring sessions and monthly socials.

HP First Year Advising Cohort – Incoming first-year HP students enroll in HP FYAC, a partial credit course for both fall and spring semesters of their first year. This course, taught by the student’s faculty advisor, provides academic support and guidance to set a solid foundation for high academic and personal achievement. Faculty assist students with essential academic skills such as time management, study habits, using campus resources effectively, and tracking self-progress.



FAFSA Guidance & Financial Literacy – All HP students receive support filling out the FAFSA, advocacy from the Office of Financial Aid, and annual financial literacy education workshops.

Tuition Scholarships – HP Students that demonstrate financial need are eligible for grant aid of up to $2,500 per year. Students must be Federal Pell Grant eligible and this award amount is subject to change depending on the students' financial circumstances. This scholarship money is renewable as long as students remain in good academic standing and are taking advantage of all required HP supports. 

Moonlight Scholarships - Each year, eight High Potential students - four first-year students and four rising Seniors - are selected to receive Moonlight Scholarships, courtesy of private donors, HP alumni, and two-time Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali ‘96. Moonlight Scholars receive $2,500 (first-years) or $5,000 (rising seniors) in tuition support. Learn more about our current Moonlight Scholars here.

Material Resources - In addition, High Potential students have access to book scholarships, technology loans (iPads, calculators…), school supplies, snacks, professional clothes lending library, and emergency funding through the program.


Contact Us

High Potential Program
1928 St. Mary's Road
Assumption West Room 100-105
Moraga, CA 94575-3260