Appendix E: California State University Systemwide Initiatives for Underrepresented Communities

In 2004, Chancellor Charles B. Reed initiated a series of meetings with leaders from the African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander and tribal communities that resulted in a number of non-traditional partnerships with community, faith-based and educational groups. Their purpose was to bring community, civic, business and education leaders together to develop ways to educate students and parents about early preparation for college and to get the message out that a college degree was the minimum entry for a good job and stable future. The following is a summary of these initiatives

CSU African American Initiative

Key leaders developed an action plan with several initiatives to reach African American students and their parents/guardians. As a result, the following activities have been implemented and are ongoing:

  • CSU Breakfast with Church Partners: Chancellor Reed, CSU campus presidents, select members from the CSU Board of Trustees and Board of Governors meet annually for breakfast at the CSU Los Angeles campus with CSU church partners/pastors in the Los Angeles basin. The goal is to further expand the partnerships with pastors/bishops and to demonstrate the level of commitment from the CSU.

  • CSU Super Sundays: During the month of February--Black History Month--California State University leaders take to the pulpit in some of the largest African American churches throughout the state to deliver the message that college is possible and is the key to future success. This event is known as “Super Sunday.”

  • In February 2010, the CSU’s fifth annual “Super Sunday” reached over 100,000 people (100 churches) in Northern and Southern California. Following church services, CSU outreach directors and volunteers disseminate information on the application and admissions process, scholarships, financial aid, and more. The CSU’s partnership with the African American community has helped contribute to an 8 percent increase in African American freshmen enrollment.

  • Train-the-Trainer Workshop: Developed by a group of CSU outreach directors based on recommendations from church partners, the workshop trains education advisors from partnering churches about the CSU admissions and application process, financial aid, working with parents, disabled student services, student resources and much more.

  • Super Saturday College Fair: The purpose of this event is to provide students and parents with information and workshops on admissions, financial aid, Early Assessment Program (EAP), Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), scholarship programs and housing. All 23 campuses are represented at the college fair.

  • CSU Counselor Conferences and Quarterly Meetings: All Super Sunday church education advisors are invited to attend the Fall CSU Counselor Conferences, and designated church educational advisors attend quarterly meetings with CSU outreach directors and Chancellor’s Office and CSU Los Angeles staff.

  • Summer Algebra Institutes: Building on successful pilot projects, the California State University-based Summer Algebra Institute (CSU-SAI) is a California standards-based math course. The curriculum is designed to enhance the academic performance of underserved and vulnerable middle school students and accelerate math skills.

CSU Native American Initiative

In March 2006, the CSU held a summit with leaders representing 40 tribes in California to focus on college eligibility and how to build a college-going culture. This summit led to further discussion and legislation and the development of the American Indian Education Oversight Committee.

Recommendations from the March 2006 summit included:

  • Review the status of American Indians as interpreted by the CSU Chancellor’s Office under Proposition 209.

  • Review the CSU policy on self-identification of American Indian students.

  • Conduct regional meetings to discuss educational partnerships with and for tribal communities.

  • Review teacher training programs to ensure truthful Indian history and culture is taught.

CSU campuses now hold regional meetings with tribal leaders from local districts. The CSU’s goal is to increase the percentage of Native Americans eligible for college, which is among the lowest of any underserved community. To stay engaged, the CSU participates every year at several conferences including:

  • The National Congress of American Indians

  • The California Indian Education conference

  • The National Conference on Racial Ethnicity

  • Northern California Tribal Leaders Summit

CSU Asian Pacific Islander Initiative

  • The CSU held a town hall meeting with members of the Vietnamese community to develop ways to increase access to college, as well as to identify issues unique to Vietnamese students. The discussion centered on how to integrate cultural awareness into the CSU’s curriculum. Individual campuses are conducting follow-up activities with the Vietnamese community to develop and sustain relationships. More recently, President Mildred Garcia at CSU Dominguez Hills initiated and brought to the forefront representatives from the Filipino and American Samoan communities in Carson.

  • The CSU supported AB37 (Furutani). This bill allows the CSU to confer an honorary degree upon each person, living or deceased, who was forced to leave his or her postsecondary studies as a result of federal Executive Order 9066, which caused the incarceration of individuals of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

  • In addition, the CSU’s How to Get to College poster is available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Hmong and Vietnamese so that native speakers can be informed and help their children prepare for the university.

CSU Latino Initiative

The CSU is actively involved with the following Latino organizations:


The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities is a national group with strong relationships in Washington, D.C. The CSU’s engagement with HACU has produced federal dollars for several of its universities designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). The CSU is by far the largest system in HACU with 12 HSI and 8 associate members.

The CSU participates at the annual conference in October and at the legislative conference in March (in Washington, D.C.). As a result of its presence five years ago, the CSU persuaded HACU to open a West Coast office in Sacramento. CSU Fullerton President Milton Gordon was named chair of the HACU Governing Board in October 2008.


The CSU has partnered with the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), an organization that teaches parents how to help their children prepare for college. This is a nine-week parental involvement program that is intended to help parents create a home learning environment, navigate the school system, collaborate with teachers, counselors and principals, encourage college attendance; and support a child's emotional and social development. The program culminates with a graduation ceremony for parents who complete the course. The PIQE program works in partnership with all 23 CSU campuses and reaches over 120 middle schools where the parent training classes are conducted.

The course content is customizable for each parent and includes curriculum such as home/school collaboration, motivation and self-esteem, communication and discipline, drugs and gang awareness, and college and career election.

Déjà Huella: Educate

CSU Dominguez Hills hosted Déjà Huella: Educate, coordinated by Univision and over 60 community partners, to reach out to Latino parents to inform them on how they can help their children learn. The program was conducted in Spanish and attracted almost 20,000 parents and students in 2009. The success of the Déjà Huella: Educate program will be replicated in October 2010 at CSU Dominguez Hills in hopes of attracting 30,000 attendees. The CSU is a major sponsor along with Univision, Chivas USA, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and most of the CSU’s Latino partners.

Es el Momento

This is a three-year project conducted in collaboration with Univision that focuses on disseminating the message of academic preparation, high school graduation, and university education. The project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was developed after research and recommendations from a Univision Education Initiative Advisory Committee. The committee included a CSU representative and two Latino partners, PIQE and Alliance for a Better Community (ABC). The project will reach the Latino community via television, radio and social networks.


The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education is in its third year and the CSU has been a partner since its inception. This organization is the largest meeting of Hispanic PhDs as they attract over 600 participants that include faculty, staff and administrators. CSU presidents, trustees and staff have historically attended.

The CSU Engineering Initiative

This initiative brings the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) issue, as it relates to the underrepresented, to the engineering deans. This is accomplished by campus connections with underrepresented organizations including:

  • The Mexican American Engineers in Science (MAES)

  • The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

  • The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)