City Joins in Expanding, Fulfilling Long Beach College Promise

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In an event Monday at Ernest McBride High School, Mayor Robert Garcia, LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, LBCC President Eloy Oakley, and CSULB President Jane Conoley announced a sweeping educational initiative that enhances the Long Beach College Promise by bringing the City into partnership with the three major educational institutions in Long Beach and expanding the mission of the College Promise. In a brief ceremony, surrounded by LBUSD students, the four signed a new College Promise agreement and spoke to reporters about the importance of education.

The College Promise has been a highly successful joint effort of LBUSD, LBCC, and CSULB, and offers a semester of free tuition at LBCC to all LBUSD graduates, gives priority admission at CSULB to LBUSD students, and provides strong support services to LBUSD students who enter CSULB.

The expansion of the College Promise will incorporate the City into the collaboration with the three educational institutions, and also expand the mission of the College Promise to include a goal of universal pre-school enrollment for Long Beach, an effort to double the number of internships in the city for Long Beach high school and college students, and expand scholarships and student support for LBUSD students at both colleges.

Beginning during his campaign for Mayor, Garcia, who is an educator and has worked in college administration as well, announced that education would be the top priority for his administration, and that he views education as the foundation of a prosperous economy and engaged citizenry.

The Mayor and the three educational leaders released this joint statement about the College Promise expansion:

“The foundation of a strong community and healthy economy is education. The City of Long Beach can boast some of the top school in the state and in the country, and the Long Beach College Promise has been an indispensable support to our students. Expanding the College Promise will provide critical support at the most important stages of young people’s education.

Research has shown that quality preschools provide educational gains to students that can still be measured at the secondary and college level. Moving towards universal enrollment is one of the most important means of developing lifetime learners who are well-prepared for today’s specialized global economy.

Moving on from secondary education to higher education is often a challenge not just academically, but financially. Students who do not believe they can succeed in college often drop out of school before graduation, and adults who lack a college degree meet with significant wage gaps. Expanding the financial and academic support for LBUSD students entering our city’s colleges translates into better jobs and higher wages for our young people, and will help keep graduation rates high.

Internships are an essential element in the transition from school to career. Providing internships that offer the opportunity to move directly into full-time paid employment will help our residents achieve economic security and boost the City’s economy. The Long Beach College Promise will not only facilitate more of those opportunities, it will also provide support to prepare students for the world of business, and prepare businesses to receive student interns and create a valuable internship experience for them.

The four entities now collaborating in the Long Beach College Promise are united in our desire to strengthen and expand the Promise and to provide support to all LBUSD students at these critical stages of their educational development, and we look forward to a fruitful relationship between the City and our local schools.”

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