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Nicholas Academic Centers

  • Nicholas Academic Centers
  • 412 W. 4th Street
    1st Floor
  • Santa Ana, CA 92701
  • 714-834-0521
  • 2008

Program Description

The Nicholas Academic Centers is a mentoring college access program that started in Santa Ana, California, in 2008, as a partnership between Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III, Co-Founder, and former Co-Chairman, President, and CEO of Broadcom, and retired Orange County Superior Court Judge Jack K. Mandel. Our program facilitates a holistic approach to the academic, personal, social, and cultural well-being of our students through comprehensive services that includes individual academic guidance, academic tutoring, mentoring, college matching, college application support, therapeutic services, parental support, scholarships and continued mentoring support while scholars attend college.

The Nicholas Academic Centers target first generation and low income students in the Santa Ana Unified School District and neighboring Orange County communities. Over 94% of our student population comes from a Latino background. Students join the Nicholas Academic Centers as early as their eighth grade in intermediate school. Students must complete an application, write two essays and go through an interview prior to being accepted to the program.

The Nicholas Academic Centers has graduated 728 students over the last nine years of service. An average of 75% of alumni enroll directly into a four-year university and the rest enroll in a two-year college. Our alumni attending private four-year universities have a 95% persistence rate and a four-year graduation of rate of 91%.

The Nicholas Academic Centers has three physical locations: A community center in Downtown Santa Ana and two school sites (Valley High School and Century High School). The centers are open year round from 11:00AM to 7:30PM. The NAC has a memorandum of understanding with the Santa Ana Unified School district that enables us to work onsite and have direct access to students and school personnel. Each academic site services a minimum of 220 students annually, 60 of which are graduating seniors.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants


Race & Ethnicity

  • Hispanic/Latino: 97%
  • Other: 3%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 768
  • Middle School: 50
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 728
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students
  • Undocumented Students (80)


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • California State University-Fullerton (1)
  • Chapman University (1)
  • Morningside College (1)
  • University of California-Irvine (1)

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 100%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 79%