Community college students account for roughly half of American undergraduates, and more than 100,000 community college students live in the Bay Area. ACCESS recognizes that most community colleges do not have natural history museums or other resources like those at UC Berkeley, but we at Berkeley believe our mission as a public institution is to provide for the educational needs of our local area and state. We hope that by engaging students with life history, paleontology, and geoscience disciplines early in their academic career, more community college students may develop a sustained interest in our field. And finally, we believe in the value of community college students coming to the UC Berkeley campus, meeting UC Berkeley students and scientists, and engaging in lab activities of the same rigor as UC Berkeley undergraduates. Research has shown that community college transfer students at top universities outperform non-transfers, and the ACCESS program aims to emphasize this fact.