Campus: San Diego - October 10, 2007

SDSU Compact for Success Receives National Excellence in Education Award

Program named Example of Excellence at the baccalaureate level by ¡Excelencia! In Education

San Diego State University’s Compact for Success has been named a 2007 Example of Excellence by the national education non-profit organization ¡Excelencia! In Education.

The award is given each year to three higher-education programs as a national initiative designed to identify, celebrate, and promote models, programs, and institutional departments that significantly contribute to improving educational achievement for Latino students in higher education. SDSU received the only award given at the baccalaureate level.

SDSU’s Compact for Success is a unique partnership between San Diego State University and the Sweetwater Union High School District through which all Sweetwater students who enter the district by the ninth grade are guaranteed admission to SDSU upon completion of program requirements.

“Knowing you will go to college is a birthright for many students, but unfortunately not for many Latino students,” said Serita Brown, president of ¡Excelencia! in Education. “By breaking down barriers that have traditionally prevented many Latino students from making it to college and earning degrees, the Compact for Success offers a model for bridging the secondary/postsecondary divide and for expanding college opportunity. Educators and administrators from Sweetwater Union and SDSU have forged a powerful partnership to serve their students well. California¬and the nation¬would benefit by having more programs like Compact for Success.”

In California more than one-quarter of the U.S. college-age population is Latino, but nationally only 12 percent of Latinos over the age of 25 have earned a bachelor’s degree, according to ¡Excelencia! in Education.

In fall 2006, 628 Sweetwater graduates made up the first class of Compact for Success students to start classes at SDSU. That was a 104 percent increase compared to the number of Sweetwater graduates who enrolled as freshmen at SDSU during fall 2000, when work in the district began. This fall, 695 Sweetwater graduates enrolled at SDSU.

SDSU will receive the award on October 9th in Los Angeles at the annual ¡Excelencia! In Education symposium “What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education: Compendium of 2007 Examples of Excelencia.”

The number of students applying and being accepted to SDSU has also increased substantially. In fall 2000, 639 Sweetwater graduates were accepted to SDSU compared to 1,286 this fall, a 100 percent increase.

The Compact for Success guarantees admission to SDSU for any student from the South

County district who meets program benchmarks through the class of 2013.

Beginning in seventh grade, the Compact promotes educational “roadmaps” of college requirements to students and their parents. It also includes programs to enhance the college-prep curriculum at district schools. The goal is to increase the number of college-bound students from the district, one of the most diverse in California, with Latinos making up 78 percent of the student body.

Launched in Washington, D.C., in June 2004, ¡Excelencia! in Education - a 501(c) (3) organization – aims to accelerate higher education success for Latino students. When it was launched no other organization focused on Latino achievement in higher education, and Excelencia remains the premiere organization in this area.

Contacts: Gina Speciale, Media Relations, (619) 594-4563 office; (619) 813-3581 cell, speciale@mail.sdsu.edu


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