Governor-signed LB College Promise Act expected to increase transfer, retention rates

Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 650, the Long Beach College Promise Act, authored by State Senator Alan Lowenthal. The legislation was sponsored by both Long Beach City College and the Long Beach Unified School District to support the Long Beach College Promise– a seamless education program designed to increase college success for students in the greater Long Beach area.
“The passing of the Long Beach College Promise Act is a historic moment for Long Beach City College and the Long Beach Unified School District,” said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, president of Long Beach City College. “This bill will give our institutions more flexibility to ensure that our students are adequately prepared to enter higher-education institutions and to transfer in a timely fashion. We are extremely thankful to Senator Alan Lowenthal for his leadership.”
“We commend Gov. Brown for signing this important legislation,” said Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of Schools for the Long Beach Unified School District. “SB 650 will allow our schools to further implement the Long Beach College Promise, a nationally recognized collaboration with our community college and state university. Together we’re preparing more students for success in higher education and in the workplace.”
SB 650 establishes an innovative model that provides participating LBUSD students with an aligned sequence of rigorous high school coursework leading to capstone college courses while students are still in high school. These capstone courses count for LBCC course credit. The bill also gives the Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees the authority to create a specialized LBUSD cohort of students and assign them priority enrollment and course registration.
The goals of the College Promise Act include:
• increasing the percentage of school district students who attend college directly from high school
• increasing the percentage of school district students who are determined, by assessment or other means, to be prepared for college-level English and mathematics by the commencement of their first regular semester at the college
• increasing the number of students who successfully complete college-level English and mathematics in their first year
• increasing the number of school district students who earn a degree or certificate at the college, or successfully transfer to a four-year university, within four years of graduating from high school

The Long Beach College Promise will allow the public education institutions in Long Beach to move their partnership to a new level and to help create a model through which California can begin to increase college completions at a scale and pace to meet President Obama’s 2020 completion goals.

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