Each year at this time, thousands of San Diego seventh graders converge at San Diego State University. For many of them, it is the first step toward a future college education.
Saturday, Oct. 20, marks the 13th annual Compact for Success visit to SDSU for the Sweetwater Union High School District and the San Ysidro School District.
Students from these districts and their families sample a taste of university life through a series of workshops, an information fair, a campus tour and entertainment. They are encouraged to begin their journey to college through the Compact for Success.
This coming weekend, nearly 3,300 seventh graders are expected to attend.
A history of success
The compact was introduced in 2000 as an agreement between SDSU and the SUHSD that guarantees admission to the university for those students who meet specific benchmarks.
Since 2006 when the first class of SUHSD compact students was admitted to SDSU, more than 2,000 compact students have been enrolled at SDSU under the guaranteed admission agreement.
“Sweetwater District’s proficiency exam scores have increased by nearly 600 percent since the program’s start,” said Lou Murillo, director of the Compact for Success program. “These exams represent gateway courses that assure these students can perform at the college level.”
Compact for Success not only focuses on preparing students for college-level classes, it also works to ensure their success once they get to college.
The Compact Scholars Program, a postsecondary component of the Compact for Success, supports students by connecting them to resources that help them actively engage in “high impact” educational experiences, including undergraduate research, service-learning, leadership development and study abroad. In May 2012, the Compact Scholars program celebrated its third graduating class, bringing the total number of graduates since the program’s inception to 276.
Learning college culture
On Saturday, visiting seventh graders will hear from district and university administrators, including a special address from SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.
They will take campus tours and be able to visit booths and workshops that will educate on admissions, financial aid and the more than 80 majors and programs offered at SDSU.
The Compact Mentors, current SDSU students who work with Sweetwater District students to help them reach their goal of higher education, will serve as guides throughout the day.
This year, the entertainment includes a DJ, a hip-hop dancer and a performance from Mariachi Chula Vista, a Chula Vista High School mariachi group. Additionally, the SDSU Army ROTC will rappel from the Viejas Arena ceiling.