The 2020-21 school years shows a 74 percent increase in student scores 

CENTRAL COAST — People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)’s Camino Scholars program has published its end-of-year data showing students’ grades and skill-based improvements during the past school year.

The report reflects a significant increase in final scores across all subjects. At the start of the school year, only 35 percent of students enrolled in the program were reading at grade level, and 32 percent were two or more grade levels behind in reading. By the end of the school year, 61 percent of students are now reading at their grade level or higher, and only 13 percent need greater assistance. Overall, the program has seen a 74 percent increase in student scores compared to the start of the academic year.

“Upon school closures due to the pandemic, we kept working with students and took what would have been a bad situation and turned it into something positive resulting in growth for the program and our students despite COVID,” said PSHH Director of Education Joanna Dominguez. “For nearly two decades, we have provided a wide range of site-based services, addressing the opportunity gap and supporting educational dreams. COVID resulted in us continuing to provide just that in more creative ways.”

Camino Scholars, PSHH’s nationally recognized education program, has been serving hundreds of students this past year using a hybrid learning curriculum. Students have benefitted from small learning cohorts, supported by in-person instruction personalized to their individual needs, offered at specially developed Academic Support Centers. PSHH educators provide free programming and services for students year-round, including all school breaks. Developing numerous partnerships with local school districts, access has been broadened to include students not living at PSHH properties.

Under ordinary circumstances, Camino Scholars serves over 600 students per year at its 11 onsite learning centers, which are located throughout San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. The program also helps prepare college-bound students with application assistance, financial aid navigation, career exploration workshops, campus visits, and mentorship. This relationship continues through graduation of the terminal degree; the program just saw its first student enrolled in Ph D. studies.

To learn more about Camino Scholars, visit

About People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)

Founded in 1970, PSHH is the longest-serving nonprofit affordable housing organization on the Central Coast. 

With a mission of building homes and providing services to strengthen communities and change lives, PSHH serves low-income households, working families, seniors, veterans, farmworkers, those living with disabilities, and the formerly homeless. It also provides homeownership opportunities through self-help, “sweat equity” program that has seen over 1,200 homes successfully completed. 

PSHH has a presence in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Monterey counties, manages over 2,000 rental units, and employs over 200 staff members. 

PSHH acknowledges the indigenous people of the organization’s territories, including the Chumash, Salinan, Yokuts, Kitanemuk, and Tataviam people. 

To read the full land acknowledgment, visit For more information about the organization, visit, email or phone (805)781-3088.