About Ascender

What happens in the program?

Ascender is a first year experience program for community college students created to ensure college readiness toward completion and transfer. It combines:


  • Navigational support through holistic advising, counseling, and a Learning Framework course


  • An academic pathway that features a year-long sequence of English and additional core subjects by instructors trained in the model


  • Student Engagement component that includes community mentorship, cultural events, leadership development and internships


Ascender Advisors






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Elissa Gutierrez

As a first-generation college student myself, I am well aware of the challenges faced and how to overcome them. My goal is to empower each student I encounter to see their potential and reach their goals. I have found my purpose in life at Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of guidance, but with many Advisors they will succeed."


Sara Passement

I have 15 plus years of advising experience and have worked in 2 other Alamo Colleges. My personal motto (which I stole from D. Nettles) is “Do the RIGHT thing because it is the right thing to do.” I love to make a difference in the lives of our students.


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Mary Segovia

I came to (SAC) as a student in 2000. I became an employee in 2006. Working in multiple areas has developed my extensive knowledge of the college and the district system. My goal is to serve students as a guide to help them navigate their college path through graduation from SAC and beyond. I'm a servant leader and my purpose is to serve students to help them achieve their educational goals.







Student Internship Opportunities

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Please share!

Catch the Next Ascender Program Student Engagement
The student engagement component of the CTN program addresses the need to focus on student retention and job skills. CTN knows that the quality and quantity of the student engagement component of our program will directly relate to our students’ retention and success. Our internships focus on the following areas: motivation and support, job preparedness, job training, skill building, and career counseling.

John Siceloff Journalism Internship
The Catch the Next John Siceloff journalism internship was created to honor Catch the Next’s founder, a renowned and award-winning journalist. The primary goal of the paid internship is to provide an opportunity for students to gain professional experience while increasing their marketable skills. Interns have the opportunity to enhance their skills of oral and written communication and apply acquired knowledge to real work experiences. In addition to learning the specialized skills of journalistic writing, many transferable and marketable job skills such as teamwork, the responsibility of meeting deadlines, checking sources, organization of materials, and time management are also obtained in this internship. Interns can expect to use these skills in most any chosen field, helping to prepare them to enter the workforce upon graduation.

Every year, an intern is selected from each of Catch the Next’s 11 campuses to be mentored by journalists in a series of professional development sessions that hone their writing and research skills. The 2019-2020 cohort was mentored by Pulitzer-Prize winner Julia Preston, former national correspondent for the New York Times.

As members of the CTN communication team, interns play a vital role in disseminating information about CTN events and achievements on their campuses. In addition, to encourage interns to add their creativity to the communication team, they are asked to submit their ideas for articles.

Please reach out to me Dr. Joan Jaimes jjaimes23@alamo.edu if you have questions.

Are you ready to apply? Here's the application and more details:


About Catch The Next

Catch the Next, Inc. (CTN) is a national, award-winning college readiness and completion organization committed to increasing equitable outcomes in higher education. The CTN mission is to empower faculty, staff, and institutions to increase the educational attainment of Latinos and other under-served communities in order to close higher education equity and achievement gaps. At San Antonio College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, Ascender Learning Communities (ALC) courses enhance the Latinx student experience with support, learning opportunities and motivation needed to complete a degree.

Program Highlights

  • Community building & interdisciplinary learning
  • Increased academic success & student potential
  • Students save time and money as they complete degrees
  • Increased graduation and transfer rates
  • Students register for classes as part of a cohort

The Ascender Program provides academic, emotional-social, and community supports for Latino and other underserved community college students to increase the number of students who successfully complete developmental coursework, increase the number of students who successfully complete first-year college-level coursework in gatekeeper courses such as English and Math, and increase the number of students who graduate from the community college and transfer to a four-year college or university.

Find Us On
Social Media

SAC Ascender Facebook  SAC Ascender Instagram