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Cal State San Marcos guarantees admission for qualified grads of San Diego Unified School District

CSU San Marcos CSUSM
Posted at 11:23 AM, May 15, 2024

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Qualified graduates from the San Diego Unified School District now have a guaranteed spot at Cal State University San Marcos through a new partnership that includes college prep and support for students and families starting in middle school.

Approved by the SDUSD Board of Education on Tuesday, the partnership will allow all San Diego Unified grads who meet certain criteria a spot at the North County institution.

"San Diego Unified is committed to giving every student a path to college, as well as the resources they need to prepare for a successful transition to higher education," Deputy Superintendent Fabiola Bagula said. "We are so grateful to Cal State San Marcos for this partnership, which provides our students with access to a world class university."

To qualify, students must have been enrolled in SDUSD schools from at least ninth grade -- with exceptions for homeless, foster youth, and military dependents -- have completed all A-G course work as required through the California State University system, meet minimum CSU eligibility requirements and graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

To help meet these requirements, San Diego Unified will prepare students with:

-- A Common Core state standards-aligned mathematics curriculum for grades 6-12

-- Additional high school mathematics electives that prepare students with skills to pass college entrance exams or to meet college course requirements

-- Summer school opportunities for basic skills preparation

-- Increased opportunities for 11th and 12th graders to experience university-level academic work at all high schools

SDUSD will also offer expanded intervention and credit-recovery opportunities for students and submit the required Cal Grant GPA Verification by March 2 of their senior year.

"Getting into college often feels like a random lottery for so many students," said Blessyn Lavender Williams, a student Board of Education member and senior at Lincoln High School. "This agreement gives students at every San Diego Unified high school the ability to plan for college without the stress and uncertainty of increasingly competitive college admissions."

According to the district, beginning in seventh grade, students, families and staff will receive notifications about the partnership and how to meet eligibility criteria. The district will also lay out criteria for identifying and supporting incoming seventh graders who are at risk of not meeting the admission requirements.

Tours and orientations at CSUSM -- along with transportation -- will be organized by the district.

"The admission pipeline to Cal State San Marcos provides an incredible opportunity to students at every San Diego Unified high school by providing them with a clear path to college," Board of Education President Shana Hazan said. "This alliance shows the shared commitment of both institutions to enhance and expand educational opportunities that benefit our students, families, and the entire community."

CSUSM has pledged to assign a recruitment and outreach officer to SDUSD schools who will, "among other things, promote college awareness, preparation, and access" to the university.

The class of 2025 will be eligible to apply for admission to CSUSM under the compact.

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