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Triton Community Leadership Institute - TCLI

Learn about the Triton Community Leadership Institute (TCLI), a summer residential program for first-generation UC San Diego first-year students.

TCLI Participants
Support. Transition. Understanding.

TCLI is a summer residential program for new 1st year students who are the first in their family to attend college and/or have financial need. The institute includes inspiring and interactive sessions on leadership, communication skills, diversity, and social justice. Participants also attend monthly meetings throughout the first year of college to strengthen bonds and continue growth as a supportive community of student leaders.

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  • Meet and network with peers, established student leaders, and key administrators
  • Get the inside scoop on navigating and getting involved in your first year in college
  • Learn valuable communication and leadership skills
  • 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

  • Round-trip chartered bus transportation for participants residing in the Los Angeles/North Orange County area
  • 2 night accommodation in a UC San Diego residence hall, including all meals & snacks
  • T-shirt, water bottle, and other program materials
  • Certificate of completion

Leadership Session

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 take advantage of both programs if they choose to do so. For more information on Summer Bridge dates, click here. If you get 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, it would be up to you decide depending on your summer availability.
  • Can I participate in both CASP 101 and TCLI?
    Unfortunately no, the dates of the programs overlap this year. If you are a CASP scholar, please refer to the CASP 101 website for more information on the dates.
  • Can I attend UCSD Summer Session and TCLI?
    No. Since TCLI is only 2 nights and 3 days, selected participants are expected to be present throughout the entire institute. Summer Session requires class and study time that conflict with the TCLI program.
  • How was a student selected to apply?
    The selections were based an what you listed on your application to UCSD such as your parents/guardians education level and the high school you attended. TCLI is geared towards first generation college students, meaning your parents/guardians did not go to college or had some college.
  • Are students, who received nominations, the only ones who can apply?
    Yes, due to limited funding this is currently an invite-only program. However, UCSD 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.
  • When will I have to pay the $25?
    If selected to participate in TCLI, you will receive a welcome email to the Institute with directions on how to pay the $25 registration fee.
  • Are the showers and toilets private?
    You will live in a suite and with shared toilets and showers that are semi-private. You can access a sample layout here. If you have concerns or questions please contact the TCLI coordinators. 

Sample Schedule

Wednesday, July 27

10 a.m.:  Check-in begins
11:15 a.m.:  Welcome Session 
Noon:  Lunch
1:15 p.m.:  Session I - Group Beginnings
6 p.m.:  Dinner
7:15 p.m.:  Team Building/ Evening Activities

Thursday, July 28

8:00 a.m.:  Breakfast
8:45 a.m.:  Activity
9:15 a.m.: Session II - Who Am I?
Noon:  Lunch
1:15 p.m.:  Session III - Get Involved
3:30 p.m.:  Free time/Optional Activities
6 p.m.:  Dinner
7:15 p.m.:  Session IV - Conflict Management
8:30 p.m.:  Session V - Equity Minded Leadership

Friday, July 29

8:00 a.m.:  Breakfast
8:45 a.m.:  Pack up/Check-out 
9:15 a.m.:  Session VI - Creating Change
Noon: Closing Luncheon
2:30 p.m.:  Program Concludes

FAQ for Transgender, Genderqueer/Gender Nonconforming and Different Identity Students

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.  For housing accommodations during this upcoming fall, contact the Housing*Dining*Hospitality Student Engagement, Accommodations, and Appeals Manager, at (858)822-1782, reslifeliaison@ucsd.edu. For housing accommodations during TCLI, please contact the program coordinators: Briseida Elenes at belenes@ucsd.edu or Antonio Valero at avalero@ucsd.edu.

  • 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 coordinators, 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 find out and are upset or angry by this?

Parents 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 http://lgbt.ucsd.edu/education/transgender.html 

Apply for TCLI

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