The Long Beach College Promise



INTRODUCTIONThe Long Beach College Promise is an innovative,award-winning partnership among Long Beach’snationally recognized public school district, communitycollege, state university and city government. Thishighly focused partnership is transforming the lives ofstudents and families throughout Long Beach by helpingstudents set and achieve their educational goals for alifetime of success.Established in 2008, the Long Beach College Promiseoffers a clear pathway for Long Beach students startingwith high quality early childhood education, transitioningseamlessly from grade school to higher educationby providing incentives, services and support whileremoving barriers. These measures include college visitsand college planning for elementary and middle schoolstudents in the Long Beach Unified School District(LBUSD), tuition-free semesters at Long Beach CityCollege (LBCC), preferred admission to Long Beach StateUniversity (LBSU), and professional work experiencethrough internships. Internship opportunities forstudents are on the rise under an initiative – the LongBeach Internship Challenge – launched by the City ofLong Beach in 2015 as a component of the CollegePromise. Commitment to program goals, regulardialogue, sharing data and shared accountability arehallmarks of this partnership.The student-focused commitment of the Long BeachCollege Promise begins at an early age. Starting in earlychildhood with access to high quality programs andpreschool, the Long Beach Unified School District helpsstudents and families embrace the idea that higherPage 2LONG BEACH COLLEGE PROMISE 2015education is within reach for all. As students progressthrough the K-12 years, college preparation andguidance increases.Raising the student success bar and addressingeducational achievement gaps is a difficult challengein California’s 7th largest city, a highly diverse, complexurban environment of nearly 500,000 people – but it isone that the Long Beach College Promise embraces.The initiative is building a stronger community andeconomy as graduates become better prepared tojoin the workforce.Having earned a place in the national spotlight, theLong Beach College Promise has inspired other citiesand school districts throughout California and the nationto build similar partnerships rooted in the concept andpractice of shared responsibility for student success.A major focus of the Long Beach College Promise isclosing achievement gaps among demographic groups.Due to these efforts, the graduation rate at Long BeachState University for Latinos has increased 20 percent,the rate for African Americans has increased 22 percent,and graduation rates for Asians has increased23 percent in recent years.To build upon this success, Long Beach City Collegelaunched Promise Pathways in 2012. The initiativeensures new students who belong in college-levelclasses are appropriately placed by looking beyondstandardized test scores to evaluate them based ontheir overall high school achievement. The impact hasbeen significant: Promise Pathways has increasedthe number and percentage of students who havesuccessfully completed coursework needed to transferto a four-year undergraduate degree program acrossall ethnic groups.

Thanks to the Long Beach College Promise, more high school graduates are completing foundational coursework atLBCC and advancing to Long Beach State University or other four-year colleges and universities.One goal of the Long Beach College Promise isensuring students finish their education in a reasonabletime frame. Reducing extended stays increases capacityat Long Beach State University and makes room fornearly 300 new admissions a year at no additionalcost to the state.Record numbers of students have applied to LBSU forfall 2015. Even with this high demand, the university hashonored its commitment under the College Promise tooffer admission to all Long Beach Unified high schoolgraduates who meet eligibility standards for theirintended major. LBUSD graduates who are CSU eligiblebut do not meet admission requirements have anexpedited and guaranteed path to a bachelor’sdegree at the university through community college(the Beach Pathways program).The College Promise serves as a national model ofcollaboration for cities, school districts, colleges anduniversities. By sharing data and expertise, workingtogether to develop pathways, and tracking studentoutcomes, Long Beach Unified, LBCC, Long Beach StateUniversity and the City of Long Beach are ensuring morestudents than ever are reaching their full potential.Today, the Long Beach College Promise is woven intothe very fabric of the community.LONG BEACH COLLEGE PROMISE 2015Page 3

Pathway to SuccessPRESCHOOLThe Long Beach Unified School District is expandinghigh quality early childhood education programsand will be providing universal access to preschoolfor underserved populations by 2018. The schooldistrict has provided access for nearly 800 additionalpreschool students since 2014 and will increaseaccess and professional development opportunitieswith a new facility set to open in 2017.ELEMENTARY SCHOOLField Trips: Long Beach City College and Long BeachState University have each hosted more than 36,000visits by Long Beach Unified students since 2009, withLBCC opening its doors to all fourth-grade students andLong Beach State University welcoming all fifth-gradestudents. These half-day visits include workshops thatcelebrate the college experience and plant the seed thata college degree is attainable for all students.MIDDLE SCHOOLCollege Pledge: All Long Beach Unified middle schoolstudents and their parents are actively encouragedto make the College Promise Middle School Pledge, acommitment to prepare students for college and career.Since 2009, Long Beach Unified students and theirparents have signed 63,275 pledges.HIGH SCHOOLCollege readiness: The number of Long Beach Unifiedgraduates prepared for college-level math and Englishclasses continues to grow.High School Internships: Through the Long BeachInternship Challenge, Long Beach Unified high schoolstudents have greater opportunities to gain real-worldwork experience in their field of interest.AP Exams: Long Beach Unified’s efforts to increaseaccess to Advanced Placement courses and tests arepaying off. Students signed up for more than 10,000 APcollege-level exams in 2015, a two-year increase of morethan 41 percent. The school district is also subsidizing,through rebates, the high cost of AP exams. Each testusually costs 92, a sum many families struggle toafford and one that can block students of low-incomefamilies from taking the exam. With the rebate, allLong Beach Unified students pay just 5 per test foran unlimited number of exams.Scholarships: Long Beach Unified graduating seniorsearned a record 96 million in scholarships and grantsin 2015.COMMUNITY COLLEGEFree semester: The first semester at LBCC is free toall Long Beach Unified graduates enrolled as full-timestudents for the fall semester following graduation. Thisincentive, funded by donations to the Long Beach CityCollege Foundation, saves each participating studentmore than 600. For the 2015 fall semester, LBCC isexpanding the tuition-free offer to cover the first fullyear for students in good academic standing.Page 4LONG BEACH COLLEGE PROMISE 2015

Promise Pathways: This signatureLBCC initiative ensures incoming full-timestudents who belong in college-level mathand English classes are appropriatelyplaced. Participating students areevaluated based on their overall highschool achievement, not just standardizedtests, and they start college with firstsemester success plans and priorityregistration. Since its inception in 2012,Promise Pathways has significantlyincreased the overall success rate ofstudents across the board, as measuredby the growing numbers of thosecompleting foundational coursework.UNIVERSITYAdmissions: Long Beach State University has becomeone of the most competitive universities in the nation,with about 90,000 applicants for 8,200 openings infall 2015, while continuing to provide access for localhigh school graduates. LBSU guarantees admissionfor Long Beach Unified graduates who meet eligibilityrequirements for their major and offers an expeditedpathway for students who meet California StateUniversity requirements (Beach Pathways at LBCC).Improved Preparation: Long Beach Unified studentswho attend LBCC and then transfer to Long Beach StateUniversity graduate at higher rates than other transferstudents entering the university.College Internships: In 2015 Long Beach Mayor RobertGarcia launched the Long Beach Internship Challenge todouble the number of internships in the city. Creatingopportunities for more high school and college studentsto gain hands-on experience in the workplace betterpositions them for success in a competitive job market.Access: Long Beach State University continues toserve increasing numbers of students from low-incomefamilies: 66 percent of LBSU students receive financialaid and more than 50 percent are low-income byfederal standards.Improved Graduation Rates: Through its HighlyValued Degree Initiative, Long Beach State hasimproved its six-year graduation rates from below45 percent to 60 percent. The goal is to speedgraduation rates by an entire semester for about50 percent of LBUSD graduates and about 25 percentof LBCC transfer students.LONG BEACH COLLEGE PROMISE 2015Page 5

Honors for the LongBeach College PromiseState of California Award for Innovation in HigherEducation (2015): The Long Beach College Promiseearned the highest score among the state’s 58applicants, and LBCC was awarded a 5 million prize– one of only five granted statewide – to expand theinitiative. The award recognizes California CommunityCollege, California State University, and University ofCalifornia campuses that change policies, practices,or systems to significantly increase the number ofbachelor’s degrees awarded, allow students to completebachelor’s degrees within four years after beginninghigher education, and ease transfer through the state’seducation system.Clinton Global Initiative (2015): The Clinton GlobalInitiative Commitments to Action has recognized theLong Beach College Promise as a strategic partnershipfor its success in closing achievement gaps andremoving barriers to educational access. The ClintonGlobal Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation,convenes global leaders to create, implement andsupport innovative solutions to the world’s mostpressing challenges.U.S. Conference of Mayors/USA Fund NationalPathways with a Purpose Initiative, 1st PlaceHonors (2015): The award recognizes best practicesdeveloped and supported by mayors to modernize theeducational system and training programs and improvethe connection between education and employment.Judge and former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory praisedMayor Garcia’s focus on preschool-through-collegeaccess to education. “Mayor Garcia clearly understandsthe cradle-to-career system and guarantees thesuccess of youth in Long Beach.”James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award (2014):The Long Beach College Promise and Promise Pathwayswere recognized for making dramatic gains in thenumber of first-year LBCC students achieving educationmilestones. The mission of the James Irvine Foundationis to expand opportunity for the people of California toparticipate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society.Page 6LONG BEACH COLLEGE PROMISE 2015President Obama’s White House OpportunitySummit (2014): The Long Beach College Promisewas featured in the President’s event with collegepresidents from across the nation. The summit focusedon expanding opportunities for students.HONORS AWARDED BY THE LONG BEACHCOLLEGE PROMISE2015 College Promise Champion Award: The Hon.Darrell Steinberg, former California Senate President proTem and Assemblyman, for his unwavering support ofthe Long Beach College Promise throughout his tenurein the state Legislature and advocacy at the state andnational levels.2014 College Promise Champion Award: Rep. AlanLowenthal (D-Long Beach), for his steadfast legislativeefforts during his tenure as a California State Senator toensure more students finish college.Leaders of the partnership renew the Long Beach College Promisein 2014: From left, Christopher J. Steinhauser (LBUSD), Eloy OrtizOakley (LBCC), Jane Close Conoley (LBSU), and Long Beach MayorRobert Garcia.

Impact of the Long BeachCollege PromiseNational: U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchelland other White House educational leaders have citedthe Long Beach College Promise as one of the modelsthat helped shape America’s College Promise, PresidentObama’s initiative to make community colleges moreaffordable and accessible.State: Numerous cities and school districts throughoutCalifornia are using the Long Beach College Promise asa blueprint for partnerships in their own communities,including Fresno, Los Angeles, San Francisco,Sacramento, El Monte, Humboldt County, and theInland Empire.Southern California: Sixty-five percent of approximately300,000 Long Beach State University alumni live andwork within 35 miles of the university. This groupprovides a wealth of knowledge to every segment ofthe greater Los Angeles and Orange County economiesby contributing to innovation, artistic accomplishment,health care services, civic engagement and otheractivities that enhance the region’s quality of life. Muchof the local workforce comes from the local schools,making partnerships like the Long Beach CollegePromise critical to upward mobility, community stabilityand economic growth in Southern California.underrepresented students for doctoral programs in thebiomedical and behavioral sciences. The federal initiativeis called Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity(BUILD). Long Beach State University is one of only 10BUILD Award recipients nationwide.The Long Beach College Promise educational partnershave created a pipeline that produces 70 percent of allnew Long Beach Unified teachers. The university, collegeand school district work together to design preparatorycoursework for teachers. Long Beach Unified teachersand administrators also teach classes at Long BeachState University’s College of Education. The teacherattrition rate at Long Beach Unified, the state’s thirdlargest school district, is nearly two-thirds lowerthan the national average. Long Beach has increasedteacher retention and reduced annual attrition rates to7 percent, a full 13 percentage points below the nationalaverage for urban school districts.Greater Long Beach: LBCC’s Promise Pathwaysinitiative has expanded beyond Long Beach Unifiedand now includes four neighboring public schooldistricts and one private high school: Bellflower Unified,Paramount Unified, ABC Unified and Los Alamitos Unifiedand St. Joseph High School.Long Beach State University is preparing more studentsthan ever for careers in science, technology, engineeringand mathematics (STEM) that are vital to the future ofthe region, state and nation. In 2014, Long Beach StateUniversity received its largest award ever – about 24million over five years from the National Institutes ofHealth – to establish a research program that preparesLONG BEACH COLLEGE PROMISE 2015Page 7

The Future of the PromisePolicy RecommendationsIn 2015 the Long Beach College Promise earned a 5 million State of California Award for Innovation inHigher Education – one of only five awards of thiskind in the state by Governor Brown to recognize andexpand proven regional partnerships. The funds will beused in Long Beach to advance the College Promise inthe coming years through:To expand access to high quality public education, theLong Beach College Promise partners support: System Alignment: Using new technology toimprove counseling and guidance for studentsacross all institutions and remove barriers totheir progress. Reducing Remediation: Increasing interventionefforts in high school, including on an individualbasis, to reduce the need for remedial courseworkin college. Career Pathways: Strengthening efforts to builddefined career pathways among the partnerinstitutions, align pathways with industry needs,and increase work-based learning opportunities. The America’s College Promise initiative to providefree, or low cost, tuition for responsible communitycollege students. Full funding of the Pell Grant, including expandingeligibility to allow students to receive financial aidfor the summer session. A renewed commitment to California’s Master Planfor Higher Education through the establishment of aCalifornia College Promise. Funding for future rounds of California’s Award forInnovation in Higher Education. Philanthropic efforts that match public funding insupport of College Promise partnerships throughoutthe state. Ensuring students finish college in a timelymanner: Expanding opportunities for students tomeet their higher education goals without delays. Continued support of the Career Pathways TrustFund that bolsters programs designed to helpstudents stay in school and become college andcareer ready. Public Engagement: Increasing outreach, particularlyin underserved communities, to students, parentsand community leaders about the Long BeachCollege Promise and its benefits. Building upon the success of the Local ControlFunding Formula, California’s formula fordetermining the level of state funding providedto school districts. Closing Achievement Gaps: While the CollegePromise has helped close achievement gapsamong all ethnic groups, more must be done. TheInnovation Award will help expand opportunities forstudents in Long Beach’s underserved communities,particularly Latino and Cambodian, and furtherreduce achievement gaps.THE LONG #LBCollegePromise

Field Trips: Long Beach City College and Long Beach State University have each hosted more than 36,000 visits by Long Beach Unified students since 2009, with LBCC opening its doors to all fourth-grade students and Long Beach State University welcoming all fifth-grade students. These half-day visits include workshops that