AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: College of San Mateo - Writing in the End Zone

Program Name

College of San Mateo - Writing in the End Zone 


James Carranza 

First Name


Last Name


Contact Title

English Professor 


College of San Mateo  


1700 West Hillsdale Blvd. 

Address 2



San Mateo 









Phone Ext




Program URL


Program Description

Writing in the End Zone is an interdisciplinary student success program at College of San Mateo. The program has greatly increased the completion rates of male African-American and Pacific Islander student-athletes while at the same time reducing withdrawal rates to as low as 4%. English faculty and football coaches work together to facilitate student-athletes' successful course completion, beginning with developmental composition through transfer-level composition. After eight years of the project, male African-American and Pacific Islander student-athletes are outperforming their non-WEZ peers and have matched the success rates of "all CSM students."

Program Services

Tutoring; Academic Advising; College Survival Skills 

Program Start Month


Program Start Year


Current Number of Students


Program Initiated

Two English faculty members decided to create a program in support of the lowest achieving students in English on campus--African American and Pacific Islander males.  We partnered with Football to create the program. What began as a program with two professors and the assistant head football coach has now grown into a program with four English professors and both the head and assistant head football coaches directly involved.

Program Funded

This program requires minimal funding. Division deans provide basic support from their budgets to provide materials and occasionally food for orientation and semester activities or events. Otherwise, the program runs as part of the faculty and coaches' regular teaching loads.

College President and Administrators Involvement

Our college President and administrators actively support the program, attending orientation, activities, and the end of the year banquet. They have allowed the Writing in the End Zone courses to run with fewer students than a class would normally need in order to be offered.

Program Success Story

Many of our students are success stories. The young men we serve often come from impoverished communities, and many must manage chaotic home lives and financial situations in order to succeed in college. Football has been the one constant in their lives. Currently, we transfer about 20 academically prepared young men a year to major division I football programs (averaging $1.5 million in scholarships).

But the true success stories are about young men like Michael Cardona. He was homeless, sleeping on an abandoned couch behind an apartment building when he began at CSM. He attended CSM to play football in the hopes that he would transfer on a scholarship. He wasn't a good enough player to make the starting squad. But he stayed on the team and in school. While participating in Writing in the End Zone, he successfully made the transition from athlete-student to student-athlete and then finally to student. This spring, 2013, Michael Cardona is graduating from UC Berkeley, with a B.A in Rhetoric, and he's on his way to law school. 
Created at 5/6/2013 6:55 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 5/7/2013 3:53 PM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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