College Initiative Upstate

CIU's mission is to create pathways to and through college for court-involved and formerly incarcerated people living in Tompkins County.

We focus our services around 3 key areas, all of which are free of charge:

1. College Prep ATI (Alternative to Incarceration):

6-8 week intensive college preparation for new and returning college students.  

2. College Access and Enrollment:

Services include: Academic counseling and guidance through the college application process; access to FAFSA and scholarship support; help with getting student loans out of default; semester-long bus passes; book stipends; laptops/Chromebooks; tutoring; and reentry support in collaboration with a broad range of community partners.

3. Leadership:

In Fall 2019, CIU launched “Voices that Must be Heard”, a new peer leadership arm of CIU. “Voices” brings together a cohort of emerging CIU student leaders preparing to become mentors, leaders, and advocates working for progressive change around issues that have directly impacted them.

"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare today." Malcolm X