“GO East LA” program opens pathways to college and careers for local students

May 8, 2014

The “GO East LA: A Pathway for College and Career Success” program, developed to foster long-term educational and career success for East L.A. students, was announced today at Garfield High School in Los Angeles.

Modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zones initiative, GO (Great Outcomes) East LA was developed by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Mónica García, East Los Angeles College (ELAC) President Marvin Martinez, and California State University, Los Angeles President William A. Covino. At the press conference, Garfield High School Principal Jose Huerta welcomed attendees after the school’s ROTC Color Guard performs.

“Great Outcomes for East Los Angeles is an incredible opportunity for our students!” said García. “Our partnership with East Los Angeles Community College and Cal State L.A. will have a tremendous impact on our families and the greater Los Angeles region.  In East Los Angeles we are ready to lead and achieve.”

GO East LA currently offers all Garfield and ELAC students who meet minimum requirements for enrollment and transfer guaranteed admittance at Cal State L.A. and ELAC. The program will later include Belvedere Middle School, Griffith Middle School, and Stevenson Middle School, which are all in East Los Angeles.

“The GO East LA Program creates the environment for developing a college-going culture; a culture where all students—starting in the first grade—will be on the path to college and to achieving success,” said Martinez. “At East Los Angeles College, this program has the potential to increase transfer and graduation rates by wide margins.”

The partnership is working with several local businesses and civic groups to expand Go East LA’s effectiveness. Grifols Worldwide, the global healthcare giant that is based adjacent to the Cal State L.A. campus, is the first business on-board and has already donated $50,000 toward scholarships for the program.

The GO East LA program serves students in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Providing guaranteed enrollment into Cal State L.A. and ELAC for freshman and ELAC transfer students who meet minimum requirements;
  • Developing advanced career opportunities through programs designed to help students earn a college degree or certificate in preparation for careers;
  • Working to ensure college completion through specialized programs;
  • Developing college preparation and high school partnerships utilizing college courses and programs to accelerate college readiness;
  • Building college awareness through outreach to middle schools, and through partnerships with community groups and parents to promote college attendance and college-ready skills; and
  • Promoting guaranteed college entry to middle and elementary school students.

East L.A. education rates are generally low. More than half the children have less than a 9th grade education (53.5 percent), and of those ages 25 and up, only 27 percent have a high school diploma. While Garfield High School's population closely reflects the East L.A. averages, graduation rates are now at 87%, indicating that the school is clearly on the right track.

“Our goal is simple – when we educate and empower students, we strengthen entire communities,” said Covino.  “GO East LA harnesses existing resources and identifies new opportunities to engage and encourage young people to graduate from high school to college, and on to meaningful careers. This is a powerful collaboration with great potential to change lives in East Los Angeles and beyond.”

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Working for California since 1947:  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 230,000 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 the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu