News @ the Beach

Long Beach College Promise Continues to Transform Lives of Students and Families

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley (c) with Long Beach Unified School District eighth grade scholarship recipients. (Photo by Joseph Philipson)

2015 report issued during community celebration

LONG BEACH, Calif. (September 24, 2015) — Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser, Long Beach City College (LBCC) Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) President Jane Close Conoley and Mayor Robert Garcia, City of Long Beach, gathered to issue the 2015 annual report for the Long Beach College Promise during a celebration event at LBCC. At the gathering of more than 500 people, including White House higher education officials, the leaders shared new information about the Promise, next steps for the partnership and awarded 25 scholarships ranging from $50 to $250 to LBUSD eighth graders who have shown academic improvement.

Cited by White House education leaders as a model that helped shape President Obama’s America’s College Promise initiative, the Long Beach College Promise is building a stronger community and economy as graduates become better prepared to join the workforce.

“We’ve long been fans of the Long Beach College Promise,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell who was on hand for the event. “As President Obama was putting together the initial proposal for America’s College Promise, we looked to Long Beach as a model. Long Beach continues to inform the administration’s priorities around America’s College Promise as we work with Congress to secure passage of the act.”

Among the results detailed in the 2015 Long Beach College Promise report:

At the K-12 level:

  • 49 percent of LBUSD students meet University of California and/or California State University admission requirements, an increase of 7 percent over the past four years.
  • LBUSD graduating seniors earned $96 million in scholarships and grants in 2015.
  • Expansion of high quality early childhood programs including universal access to preschool for underserved populations by 2018.

At the community college level:

  • Nearly 12,000 students have received one free semester of college at LBCC.
  • LBCC will expand tuition-free education to one full academic year.
  • Of the LBUSD seniors who go on to enroll at a two-year college, 77 percent enroll at LBCC.

At the university level:

  • Four out of 10 LBUSD graduates choose to matriculate to CSULB.
  • The Promise has increased admission and enrollment of LBUSD students to CSULB by 35 percent.
  • CSULB has increased six-year graduation rates to nearly 65 percent.

At the city level:

  • In 2015, launched the Long Beach Internship Challenge, an initiative to double the number of internship opportunities for students.

The College Promise earned a $5 million prize as part of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Awards for Innovation in Higher Education, achieving the highest score among the state’s applicants. Funding from the award will be used to expand and enhance the College Promise by including the use of new technology to improve counseling and guidance for students across all institutions; reducing remediation through the use of additional interventions during high school; strengthening efforts to build defined career pathways among the partner institutions; and closing achievement gaps by expanding opportunities for students in the city’s underserved communities.

The report also included several policy recommendations to expand access to high quality education. Among them:

  • Support of the America’s College Promise Initiative to provide free or low cost tuition for responsible community college students.
  • Full funding of the federal Pell grant, including expanding the grant to allow students to receive aid during the summer.
  • A renewed commitment to California’s Master Plan for Higher Education through the establishment of a California College Promise.

To review the report, please click here. Broll is available for media use upon request.

Chris Eftychiou, LBUSD
(562) 997-8250
Stacey Toda, LBCC
(562) 938-4004
Terri M. Carbaugh, CSULB
(562) 985-8816
Daniel Brezenoff, City of Long Beach
(562) 570-5027