CSULB officials reach out to African-American community with ‘Super Sunday’

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Seventeen-year-old Jordan High School senior Kiara Martin (left) said she was encouraged by CSULB President F. King Alexander’s (right) address at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.

Demonstrating their commitment to encourage more African-American students to enroll in college, Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander and Vice President for Student Services Douglas Robinson addressed local church congregations on Feb. 22 during the fourth annual CSU “Super Sunday.”
Alexander spoke at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Long Beach during the 11am service. Robinson delivered his address at Christ Our Redeemer Church in Irvine at 10:30am.
In all, nearly 40 CSU speakers addressed congregations at 68 churches during three weekends throughout California to promote higher education, as well as highlight the role of parental involvement and early preparation in facilitating successful access to college for African-Americans.
“Over the past four years, ‘Super Sunday’ has proven to be an increasingly important component of California State University and Cal State Long Beach’s overall commitment in reaching out to local and regional underserved communities. Because of our, CSU’s and the churches’ efforts, tens of thousands of students and their families learn that planning for college should start as early as the sixth grade,” said Alexander. “We believe that good information drives good decisions for children, students, and families. Therefore, it is our responsibility to reach beyond the confines and comfort of our own campuses to put important college-bound information about what students should be studying and learning in order to prepare adequately. It is also pleasing to know that these kinds of unique outreach efforts have been so successful that they are being duplicated in other states throughout the nation as we speak.”
Since the launch of Super Sunday in 2005, system-wide college applications at CSU from African-American students have increased 15 percent. Enrollment for fall 2008 alone increased 8.5 percent. Now, nearly one in every 15 CSU students is African-American, roughly matching statewide population percentages.
“President Alexander’s speech was encouraging,” said Kiara Martin, a senior at Jordan High School. “He said that we are part of a growing journey of students who are attending college. He also encourages us to help those younger than us to realize that college is possible,” “With me attending Cal State Long Beach this coming fall semester, I will be part of a school that is truly reaching out to the community, and I want to do my part when I get there. I am even more excited about going to college after hearing President Alexander’s speech. I can’t wait to start my first year at CSULB.”

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