Congratulations to all of the class of 2011! After the celebrations are done and the summer comes to an end, one question that should have been on the students’ mind throughout their senior year was, “Where am I going to school next year?”
There have been many people in Long Beach working on making the education system one with a seamless transition from high school to college. A very important program that was put in place to help make this a reality is called the Long Beach College Promise.
On March 20, 2008, education leaders from theLB Unified School District, LBCC and Cal State Long Beach signed the Long Beach College Promise. They said that the Promise was to LBUSD students and it would give them the opportunity to receive a college education. Since the fall of ‘08, the Promise has provided a number of educational benefits and services including:
With such a great program going on, it was a surprise to me that many of those that I asked who graduated in the class of 2011 did not know what the Promise was. “What is that?” asked Karina Gomez, a graduate of Lakewood High School (part of the LBUSD), she said it would have been great to hear about and that she was going to tell all of her friends. Karina will be attending a Cerritos Community College in the fall.
There were at least a dozen others that had no clue what it is. Sam Juarez didn’t know what the Promise was, “[It is] helpful to know about…if there is any cost issue, they will go to LBCC or another JC,” he said in regards to whether he thinks the first semester tuition waiver affects the decision to keep going to school after high school. Sam will be attending CSULB in the fall.
Jessica Valenzuela was one of the few that was aware of the Promise. She was informed at the career center in Millikan High School and she heard more about it at an orientation at LBCC. “I wouldn’t go to a different college and pay for my courses when I can go to LBCC and have them pay,” said Jessica.
There are too many kids out there that can take advantage of this and don’t know about it. For a program that is supposed to begin making an as early as the 6th grade, it doesn’t seem like they’re doing everything they’re supposed to. Did you know about the Promise? How do you think it is going to impact the future graduating classes? Do you think that this program would have been nice to have had back when you graduated?
562CityLife is in part funded by a Long Beach Community Foundation Connected Corridor grant supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Transformation Initiative.