Student Access & Engagement

Here’s the basics on how it works: Students can sign up for a year-long, free membership to Lookout. Upon registration students will receive full access to Lookout’s robust local news coverage and newsletters.

  • UC Santa Cruz students: Sign up here, enter your .edu email address to complete your registration.
  • Cabrillo College students: Sign up here.
  • Santa Cruz County High School students: Sign up here.

*Are you a high school educator: Click to our educator page for more information.

Want to support this initiative?

Donors make free student membership possible. They know that both old-fashioned civics and modern media literacy have never been more essential, and they support getting fact-based, trustworthy local news to students with their tax-deductible donations.

If you are interested in donating to this program or a specific school, reach out to Ken Doctor,

About Lookout’s Student Engagement Program

You, the readers of Lookout Santa Cruz, support Santa Cruz’s County’s biggest and fastest growing newsroom every day with your memberships. It is you who pay our growing roster of journalists to do their reporting for you. We know, though, that some people can’t afford to pay, so we have launched a major Student Engagement program in Santa Cruz County. We have asked donors to pay for student access, as Lookout provides a 90% discount for qualified students. Our call has been answered with great generosity, and we’d like to thank our initial donors:

Rowland & Pat Rebele, Linda Peterson, Carol & Doug Melamed, The UCSC Foundation Board Opportunity Fund, Google News Initiative, Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, Turnip Top Foundation

Each has generously supported delivering the news -- local news -- to Santa Cruz County’s students. Yet, our work is just beginning.

* * * *

How and Why Lookout is Launching Our Student Engagement Initiative

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Jamie Keil, Lookout’s new Director of Student Engagement & Membership. An alum of six years of wide-ranging student and community outreach at Santa Cruz’s Museum of Art & History, Jamie now leads this model program.

“We want to deliver the great work of my Lookout colleagues to all the students in the county, and we’d like to see it used in the classrooms, week by week,” says Jamie. “I’m reaching out to students, student groups, faculty and staff as fast as I can to spread the word about our new program. We want to see students get the news and use it to better understand, and get involved, in our community.”

Jamie -- who is reachable at -- is now focusing on both the UCSC and Cabrillo campuses. But, she’s got an eye on the wider goal: Getting Lookout to all college and high school students -- that’s 42,000 in total, one of every seven Santa Cruz County residents -- in the county.

“We’re halfway funded to provide all Pajaro Valley Unified School District students with Lookout, and we hope to complete that soon,” says Jamie. Then, we plan to complete the student program throughout the county.

Already, one PVUSD school is using Lookout every week.

When Santa Cruz Community Credit Union’s (SCCCU) Katie Fairbairn, its Vice President of Communications and organizational development, heard about Lookout’s program, she seized a new opportunity. The credit union has supported the charter Diamond Tech Institute in Watsonville, and Katie offered new support for the Lookout membership. SCCCU CEO Beth Carr had established support for Diamond Tech years ago and is one of its strongest advocates.

Diamond Tech principal Marci Keller immediately saw its value and within two weeks, Diamond Tech students and teachers are already finding multiple ways to integrate local news into their curriculum.

That’s the model that Lookout intends with our ambitious new program: First student access. Then, curriculum integration as educators see fit. Then, a range of programs, involving students in media creation and incorporating student voices into the fabric of Lookout.

How you can help: We’d love to talk with additional individuals and businesses enthusiastic about the Student Engagement program. Support of the program can be tax-deductible as well. Please contact either Jamie or me to get more information and share ideas on how to further enlarge the program.

Ken Doctor, CEO & Founder

Latest education news

California State University Monterey Bay jumped up several spots in new college rankings from U.S. News & World Report...

The tuition increases were forecast earlier this year, when a Cal State task force concluded the system needs at least...

After a lengthy and heated discussion Monday night, Cabrillo College’s governing board voted 6-1 to delay any talk of...