Campus: CSU, Los Angeles -- November 24, 1999

Cal State L.A. Participated in National College Week

LOS ANGELES, November 24 -- As part of National College Week, California State University, Los Angeles President James M. Rosser spoke to a class of more than 30 eighth graders at Griffith Middle School last week to encourage them to prepare early for college.

Dr. Rosser emphasized the affordability of a Cal State education and the strengths of Cal State L.A. He shared his background with the students, noting that he was the youngest of eight children and the first in his family to go to college. Reciting the names of his elementary school teachers, Dr. Rosser explained that these and other teachers were the role models whose examples he followed when he chose to go on to college. He spoke about the scholarship that enabled him to attend Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and added that he was recently honored among SIU's outstanding alumni.

After the talk, Dr. Rosser distributed posters that provide "A Step by Step Checklist" for young students to prepare for a California State University education.

Griffith Middle School is one of the Los Angeles schools with which Cal State L.A. has established major outreach partnerships. Through a five-year GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant totaling $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Education, Cal State L.A. provides mentoring and outreach to Griffith students, and allows the University to track and assess student progress from the seventh to eleventh grade, to ensure students have the preparation and support they need to succeed in college.

Through the CSU Chancellor's Office, Cal State L.A. also administers the state-funded Precollegiate Academic Development (PAD) program, in which trained upper division and graduate students provide tutoring at Griffith, eight other middle schools, and numerous area high schools. The federally-funded Educational Talent Search is a third Cal State L.A. outreach program active at Griffith and other local middle schools, which emphasizes college awareness and provides reading and math skill development.

National College Week, a project of the U.S. Department of Education, was celebrated November 15-19. The event's kick-off was timed to coincide with the release of a Department of Education report on the "Baby Boom Echo," which showed a significant increase in the number of students seeking higher education nationally.

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