CalState Takes Black Student Outreach to the Pulpit

There are approximately 405,000 students enrolled on the 23 campuses of the California State University system. Only 20,000 of these students, or less than 5 percent, are African Americans.

In an effort to boost black enrollments, Charles B. Reed, a white man who is chancellor of the system, and the presidents of several CalState campuses took their recruitment message to pulpits of seven black churches in Southern California on a recent Sunday morning. The speakers urged the predominantly black congregations to push their children and grandchildren toward college at an early age. After the services, university officials were available to answer questions and to hand out literature about CalState. The university printed and made available a poster with a year-by-year college planning guide for students beginning in the sixth grade. Postcards were distributed, which students could use to sign up for a mentoring program that would help guide them through the college admissions cycle.

A similar “Super Sunday” outreach program is planned for northern California later this year.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.