News Release| CSU Super Sunday 2011; Cal State L.A.

Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser to take to the pulpit twice during CSU Super Sunday

Sixth annual event calls for college planning as early as the 6th grade

 Los Angeles, CACal State L.A. President James M. Rosser will reach out to hundreds of church parishioners to educate students and families regarding the requirements to successfully enter college during California State University’s sixth annual CSU Super Sunday.

During the last three Sundays of February (African American Heritage Month), CSU officials will visit more than 100 predominantly African American churches throughout the state. Rosser will speak at two churches: on Feb. 20 he will address the congregation at Allen Baptist Church in Oakland (services begin at 11 a.m.), and on Feb. 27 at City of Refuge Church in Gardena (services are at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.).

CSU’s nationally-renowned Super Sunday events also communicate the need for students to begin preparing for college early, and for their parents or guardians to be active partners in the children’s education.

“Families and guardians need to know, especially today, that college is not just an option, but a rite of passage to opportunity—a privilege they need to take seriously,” said Rosser. “So our message is one of advocacy. We tell young African American men and women that they need to start considering, aspiring to and preparing for college as early as the sixth grade. We advise them that they need to sharpen their mathematics, reading and writing skills as soon as possible.”

Also speaking at churches on Feb. 27 will be Keith H. Moo-Young, dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, who will speak at Grant AME Church in Los Angeles. Bryant Alexander, acting dean of the College of Arts and Letters, will speak at Worship Center Community Church in Long Beach.

After each church service, parents and students will have the opportunity to talk to CSU representatives and receive the How To Get To College poster – a practical guide about how to prepare for college beginning in the sixth and seventh grades. The guide—available in several languages, in print and electronic form—provides the list of classes that students need to take grade by grade to qualify for admission to the CSU. It also provides tips for parents and mentors to help students succeed.

Super Sunday reaches more than 100,000 churchgoers and is part of CSU’s outreach to educate students and families about what it takes to successfully enter college and obtain a degree. Participants also receive information about financial aid and the web site that provides the tools to plan and apply to a CSU campus.

“The message is being heard. The CSU has experienced a major increase in African American student applications, enrollment and success since Super Sunday began in 2006,” added Rosser. “But we need to do more, especially for our young men—our most threatened and challenged—whose enrollment numbers continue to remain low.”

The annual Super Sunday event is produced by the CSU African American Initiative—a partnership between CSU campuses and African American religious leaders with the goal of increasing college going rates among African American students. The initiative is led by Chancellor Reed and engages CSU Trustees, campus presidents, executives and staff.

#  #  #  

Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.