Students best prepared to succeed in college usually don’t start preparing during their senior year in high school.
That’s why each year San Diego State University invites thousands of seventh graders to campus to introduce them to university life, as part of the innovative educational reform program, Compact for Success.
Ten years of success
This past weekend, nearly 4,000 seventh graders and their families from the Sweetwater Union High School District converged on SDSU to learn about the 10-year-old Compact for Success, an agreement between SDSU and the Sweetwater District that guarantees admission to those students who meet specified benchmarks.
Despite current cutbacks in enrollment, Compact Scholars from the Sweetwater District who follow the educational “roadmap” laid out by the program, are guaranteed a spot at SDSU, formalized by the signing of an extension to the memorandum of understanding between the two entities this weekend.
Since the compact was introduced 10 years ago, the number of Sweetwater students admitted to and enrolled at SDSU has more than doubled. At the same time, district students attending SDSU are more prepared for college-level classes than ever before.
What it takes to be the Class of 2015
“We’re going to be here in 2015,” said Reggie Blaylock, director of SDSU’s 40 year old Educational Opportunities Program, addressing the crowd that would be the graduating class of 2015. “The question is, are you going to be here with us? I can’t wait until you get here!”
Throughout the day, the families, including those of some of the Little League World Series champion Park View Little League team, heard from district and university administrators, professors and Compact for Success counselors.
They took campus tours and visited booths and workshops to learn about everything from admissions, to financial aid to specific areas of interest in which they can study. And many of the students signed a banner symbolizing their personal pledge of participation in the program.
More than anything, those involved in the program want to create a college-going culture for Sweetwater students, encouraging them to work hard to prepare them for success at SDSU or any other college of their choosing.
“Esta universidad es su universidad,” SDSU President Stephen L. Weber told the crowd gathered at Viejas Arena. “This university is your university. You all have a guaranteed seat.”
More photos from the Compact for Success 7th Grade Visit to SDSU can be seen in this photo album.