Chancellor's Recent Speeches
Hispanic/Latino Education Policy Forum
(Introduction and Answers to Five Panel Questions)
Thank you for that introduction, Sara (Lundquist), and thanks to Santa Ana College for hosting us. I also want to express my gratitude to the Kellogg Foundation for the ENLACE initiative.
The CSU takes pride in offering access to excellence. It is one of the most diverse higher education institutions in the country, with 370,000 students, 23 campuses, and six off-campus centers.
That said, we are constantly looking for new ways to reach the many students who could benefit from higher education. We have developed an extensive network of partnerships with K-12 schools, with the intent of helping more students become better knowledgeable and prepared for college.
I look forward to continuing this conversation with Tom (Nussbaum) and
Alex (Saragoza) about how our institutions can all work together on these
First, as I already mentioned, ours is a university that is rich in diversity. Other important attributes include:
Accessibility/Proximity to Population Centers: Fifty-six percent of Californians live within 10 miles of a CSU campus. The CSU specializes in flexible programs that allow students to pursue degrees in the evening, on weekends, and from a distance.
Affordability: At $1,428 per academic year, CSU has the lowest system-wide fees of any four-year public university in the country. The CSU's system-wide student fees are 10 percent lower than in 1996.
Outreach: The CSU has an extensive network of collaborations with K-12 schools, especially with those schools sending us the most students needing remedial education. In many cases, the students for whom English is a second language need some kind of remedial English language assistance.
Articulation with Community Colleges: California's Master Plan for Higher Education directs the CSU to make admitting community college transfer students a priority. For every first-time freshman we admit, two transfer students are admitted.
Mission: We are a teaching institution that is student-focused.
Our professors are in the classroom, teaching courses and supporting students.
Our faculty and staff members put the needs of students first.
First, I want to mention the fact that we have several important partnerships with other segments of higher education. Along with the UC, we are working to provide high-quality professional development in mathematics, English, and technology for California's teachers. We have also signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the community colleges, through which we have agreed to improve articulation and to increase by five percent annually the number of students who are eligible to transfer from community colleges to the CSU.
Our other important efforts include:
College Preparedness: There is still a gap between what high schools are teaching and what our universities expect students to know. We need to emphasize the basics, especially reading, writing, and general English language skills.
We also need to start this work earlier: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) "Report Card" issued last week showed that only 16 percent of Hispanic fourth-graders read at or above proficient levels.
Community College Articulation: The community college transfer process is still not as smooth as it needs to be. Students needlessly duplicate efforts and spend time tangled in bureaucracy. This is costly to students and the state.
Awareness of College Affordability: Many talented students may still think they cannot afford college. California has a ground-breaking new financial aid program, the Cal Grant program, which essentially grants an entitlement based upon need. There is simply not enough awareness yet of this program.
Continuing Need for High-Quality Teachers: A recent EdSource
report on California's teaching workforce highlighted the need for more
qualified teachers in California's schools, especially in low-performing
schools that serve predominantly poor and minority students. We need to
recruit more high-quality teachers for these schools.
We need to:
Community College Articulation: We need to keep working with the community colleges to align our requirements and ease the transfer process. The CSU is looking at an effort to align our universities on a semester calendar (some are on quarter calendars) in order to ease the transfer process.
Awareness of College Affordability: We need to keep up the effort to get the word out about Cal Grants and other financial aid. We need to bring financial aid information in to middle schools, when students are first hearing about college, so they know that college is achievable and affordable.
High-Quality Teachers: We need to keep up our recruitment
efforts like CalTeach, and we need to expand efforts like the Governor's
Teaching Fellowships that help potential teachers earn their credentials
and then teach in low-performing schools.
GEAR-UP grants: Ten of our campuses are currently working with federal GEAR-UP program grants (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). This program partners middle schools with universities to provide disadvantaged students and their families the support they need to prepare for college. These kinds of outreach programs do great work for the students that need this kind of help the most.
CalStateTEACH: This program gives elementary school teachers who hold emergency permits an opportunity to earn their full credentials without leaving their jobs. It combines independent study with online support using Internet, video, and print materials. It also offers mentoring and support from qualified faculty at CSU campuses.
The program has enrolled 800 participants, and graduated its first 133 teachers this spring. We now need to think about how we can get more teachers interested in this program.
Governor's Teaching Fellowships: This teaching program, administered by the CSU, funded 250 potential teachers this year and will fund 1,000 each year from now on. Successful applicants will be awarded $20,000 fellowships for one-year full-time enrollment in a post-baccalaureate teacher education program.
After receiving a credential, participants will be expected to teach
at least four years in a low-performing school (lower half of State Academic
Performance Index rankings).
As President Clinton said last summer - "The choices and decisions we make about Hispanic education in the U.S. today are choices we make about the future of the United States itself."
California is out ahead of the rest of the country with its changing demographics. Eventually our country will start to look more and more like California.
The rest of the country will be watching closely to see how we address these educational issues.
We need to keep reaching out to the community and building more partnerships. We need to create awareness and preparedness for higher education among more Latino students. And we need to keep building high quality into our educational system along every step of the way.
I hope that we can continue to work together to build on the strong momentum we already have. Thank you very much.
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