Imperial Valley University Partnership

Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Community Partnerships / Collective Impact,


The Imperial Valley University Partnership (IVUP) is an innovative higher education initiative that began in May 2011 as a collaboration between San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley Campus (SDSU-IV), Imperial Valley College (IVC), and the Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE). The program offers students a seamless, accessible, affordable, and high quality education with a clear path to a Bachelor’s degree in four years. It also includes the option of earning an Associate’s degree integrated into their degree pathway. IVUP is an accessible and affordable program that combines the part-time CSU fee with community college tuition and significantly reduces the overall cost of tuition. IVUP accepts approximately 100 students each fall. Students enrolled take a minimum of five classes each semester. The program currently serves more than 190 students, 179 of which are Latino/a students.

Program Description

IVUP aims to support first generation, low income Latino students in successfully enrolling, persisting, and graduating from SDSU-IV in four years with the option of completing an Associates degree. The IVUP focuses on four strategies to recruit and retain students: 1) access to priority registration at SDSU-IV and IVC; 2) adhering to a cohort structure; 3) close mentoring and advising; and 4) the opportunity to complete a four-year degree locally.


  • Retention rate for students in year one was 93%.
  • Of the 2012 cohort, 72% is graduating with an associate’s degree in just two years, compared to just 9% of students enrolled exclusively at IVC.
  • 13% of students completed a study abroad in their first two years of college.
  • 21% of students have a 3.7 or above GPA which makes them eligible for a scholarship that covers tuition and fees that are not already covered by other resources such as federal, state, institutional grant, scholarship, or other gift-aid programs.
  • The program offers the following majors: Criminal Justice, Liberal Studies and Psychology, History, Public Administration, and Spanish.