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CSU Bolsters College Pathways for Underserved Students through Statewide Church Partnerships

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CSU unites with more than 100 churches during CSU Super Sunday to raise the number of college-going African American students

Answering President Obama’s call to increase college opportunity for disadvantaged students, the California State University is partnering with more than 100 African American churches to boost access, achievement and completion of historically underserved populations. During the month of February, CSU officials will speak to nearly 100,000 youth and their families at churches throughout the state about the value of a college degree during CSU Super Sunday.

“We are committed to bolstering the number of pathways to a university education for traditionally underrepresented students and producing highly-skilled graduates that will help meet the nation’s changing workforce needs,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Higher education changes the trajectory of life and by working with our partners throughout the state during Super Sunday, we can ensure that students are ready to enroll and succeed in college.”

Launched in 2005, CSU Super Sunday is an annual event where leaders throughout the 23 CSU campuses work together in a united effort to give underrepresented students the tools needed to successfully enter college. To date, almost 500,000 churchgoers have received information about financial aid, been introduced to the 23 CSU campuses and learned how to achieve academic success at the university.

After the service, parents and students also have the opportunity to engage with CSU representatives, obtain posters on How to Get to College and learn how navigate CSUMentor.edu—a website that helps students explore campuses and majors, as well as apply to the CSU.

White will speak during the 10:45 a.m. service at Saints Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Fresno on February 16. On February 23, he will take the pulpit during the 10:30 a.m. service at Trinity Baptist Church in Los Angeles. In addition to White, CSU trustees, presidents, alumni and students will speak at a total of 113 churches this year.

The event is coordinated by the CSU African American Initiative (AAI), a partnership between CSU campuses and leaders in the African American community dedicated to increasing the number of African American students who attend and graduate from college. In addition to the AAI, the CSU has formed many other partnerships aimed at increasing college opportunity for students of color and of underrepresented populations. These include initiatives for the Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latino and Native American communities.

“The efforts of our Initiatives are helping break down the barriers that the hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged students face every year by creating the community partnerships that guide and support these students to prepare for college, persist in their studies and ultimately graduate,” said White.

In addition to these ongoing initiatives to bolster student success, the Chancellors’ Office will invest $50 million to improve student achievement and four-year graduations rates.  For additional information about the CSU African American Initiative and other community initiatives and programs to address college access for underserved communities, visit CSU External Relations. For a list of participating churches, times of service and locations, visit the CSU Super Sunday website.

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The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 437,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards about 96,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.8 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media. Show how the CSU matters to you and take action.