College of Education

Department of Education and Leadership

Project REACH


Grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Project REACH—Responsive Educators and Advocates Committed to Mental Health--combines strong master degree programs in School Social Work (SSW) and School Psychology (SPSY), established partnerships with local schools and organizations, and the best available research into a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addressing the critical problems undermining the mental health of youth in our service area.

Partner Schools

  • Alisal Union School District
  • Gonzales Unified School District
  • Greenfield Union School District
  • King City Union School District
  • Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
  • North Monterey County Unified School District
  • Salinas Union High School District
  • Santa Rita Union School District

Grant Goals

  • Increase the number of high quality, fully credentialed school psychologists and school social workers who effectively address the mental health needs of children, including English Language Learners (ELL) and Migrant Youth. 
  • Improve the quality and capacity of the preparation of diverse, highly qualified, fully credentialed school psychologists and school social workers by providing interdisciplinary, evidenced-based, and mentored opportunities.
  • Implement, in collaboration with partner districts and the Monterey County Office of Education, an innovative partnership to train prospective and in-service school psychologists and other mental health professionals that includes individualized high-quality mentoring, structured observations, instructional rounds, and continuous, sustained, and practice-based professional development inclusive of the reform elements.

Scholarship Program

Program will provide:

  • Scholarships to current School Psychology (SPSY) and School Social Work (SSW) graduate students who commit to provide school social work/school psychology and related services to children with and without disabilities in a high-need school(s) (any district). Project REACH Scholars will be awarded up to $25,000 (depending on their financial aid eligibility) for one academic year.
  • Peer Coaching and Faculty Mentorship, with mentors and coaches trained in evidence-based, effective practice to deliver an integrated suite of support.
  • Opportunities for SSW and SPSY graduate students to develop essential practical skills. A grant-funded in-school supervisor will be trained to further expand field experience opportunities for graduate students by supporting them through their clinical internships. 
  • Interdisciplinary training between SPSY and SSW programs, which means graduate students will be placed in interdisciplinary cohorts at internship sites. 

If you have any questions regarding the scholarships, please contact Gina Lopez at

For more information, please contact: 

Project Director: Dr. Cathi Draper Rodríguez, NCSP, LEP (

Project Coordinator: Gina Lopez (

This project is funded under the U.S. Department of Education, authorized PL 114-95 (20 U.S.C. 7281) and 115-245 Title IV and Title III The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of  1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Department of Defense and Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019.