CSU Reaches Out to African-American Leaders to Increase College-Going Rates

In an effort to increase the number of African-American students who are eligible for college, the California State University system will meet with African-American leaders Tuesday, Nov. 1, from 8-10:30 a.m., at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland.

The CSU's mission is to provide access to quality higher education for California's students. The CSU grants more than half of all undergraduate degrees to students of color. Nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees are granted to African Americans.

“This number is not high enough,” says CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “America's educational system is losing most of its black males between 6th grade and 12th grade. We want to build partnerships with the community to increase the number of high school graduates who are eligible for college and earn college degrees.”

More than 100 African-American leaders representing business, religious, political, education, and community organizations are expected at the event.

Speakers include Reverend Alfred J. Smith Sr., pastor at Allen Temple Baptist Church, CSU Chancellor Reed, CSU Trustee Herbert Carter, and CSU Foundation Board of Governors' member Matthew Jenkins.

KTVU anchor Dennis Richmond will moderate a panel composed of the following CSU presidents:

  • Robert A. Corrigan, President, San Francisco State University
  • Milton A. Gordon, President, Cal State Fullerton
  • Don W. Kassing, President, San Jose Stat University
  • Horace Mitchell, President, CSU Bakersfield
  • Norma S. Rees, President, Cal State East Bay
  • Rollin C. Richmond, President, Humboldt State University
  • James M. Rosser, President, Cal State L.A.
  • Hamid Shirvani, President, CSU Stanislaus

The CSU will hand out a “How to Get to College” poster that gives information to parentsand students from the 6th grade through the 12th grade about classes, financial aid, grades, tests and deadlines.

“We send these posters every year to thousands of schools throughout the state,” Reed says. “We need your help so that it hangs on every bedroom wall of every middle and high school student.”

The CSU can send the college poster to any parent or teacher who wants it. Those interested should call the CSU Public Affairs Office at (562) 951-4800 for copies.

The CSU is the most diverse higher education system in the country, with more than 54 percent students of color. In fall 2004, nearly 400,000 students were enrolled at CSU campuses.

The CSU also provides a bridge to other higher educational opportunities such as a forgivable loan program to promising doctoral students who intend to teach at the CSU.