Black Achievement Success and Engagement

The Black Achievement Success and Engagement (BASE) initiative creates an academically challenging, personally supportive, and empowering educational experience for black-identified students.

By offering high-impact academic and extracurricular programs for undergraduate and graduate students that center on the unique and yet varied experiences of students of African descent, the BASE Program will provide black students with a critical sense of belonging, opportunities for engagement in all aspects of university life and in the broader Bay Area community, and the resources, skills and support necessary to achieve academic excellence and pursue rich and rewarding careers after graduation.

USF's mission calls us to identify ways to alleviate the marginalization and isolation experienced by black students and ensure their academic and co-curricular success. The Black Achievement Success and Engagement Program aims to do just that by building a more accessible, inclusive, and empowering campus for our black students.

— Julie Orio, Vice President, Student Life


  • To build a more inclusive, equitable and diverse University by increasing the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of black students.
  • To create an institutional climate in which black students feel valued, included, supported and empowered to reach their full academic and human potential.
  • To strengthen the relationships between black students and their peers, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators.
  • To strengthen the engagement of black students at the University and in the surrounding Bay Area community.
  • To create pathways for black students to move successfully through their University careers and into rich and rewarding professional careers.

BASE Components

Black Scholars Program

The Black Scholars Program is a rigorous and competitive academic program, grounded in Jesuit values, that seeks to provide high-achieving Black students with the resources, skills, and support necessary to achieve personal and professional excellence.


Marshall-Riley Living Learning Community

The Marshall-Riley Living Learning Community offers a fun and engaging learning environment for freshman and sophomore students who share an interest in the historical, intellectual, and political traditions of Black Americans, and want to engage more deeply with the local Bay Area Black community through service-learning coursework.


Black Resource Center

The Black Resource Center provides a safe, supportive space for undergraduate and graduate students of African descent to connect with each other to receive academic, spiritual, mentoring, and emotional support services.