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CSUMB reaches out to black community through church visits

Super Sunday encourages more students to enroll

In February, a trio of CSU Monterey Bay administrators will be featured speakers at local churches to spread the word about the importance of going to college.

On Feb. 15, President Eduardo Ochoa will address the congregation at the Seaside Community Seventh-Day Adventist church. On Feb. 16, President Ochoa will visit Greater Victory Temple; Dr. Ronnie Higgs, CSUMB’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment services, will address the congregation at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church; and Dr. Julio Blanco, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will visit New Hope Baptist Church. All four churches are located in Seaside.

They will discuss the importance of getting a college degree for today’s competitive job market, when to start planning for college, programs offered at CSUMB, financial aid and parent involvement.

Following the services, staff members from CSUMB and church education advisers will provide information on the application and admission process, including virtual tours through CSUmentor, the website that helps students apply for college.

One of the publications to be distributed during the visits is the “How to Get to College” poster, which provides middle and high school students and their parents with step-by-step information on the path to college. Members of each congregation also will hear about the CSU’s Early Assessment Program, a program enabling 11th graders to gauge their college readiness in English and math long before applying to the CSU.

As the CSU system's outreach has grown, CSU staff members and church education liaisons have continued meeting to further develop ways to communicate with the African American community. Financial aid workshops, distribution of college materials to sixth through 12th-grade students and their parents, and the development of a how-to-guide for church educational advisers who work directly with families are among the programs that have been implemented.

Now in its ninth year, Super Sunday is part of an educational outreach led by the CSU African American Initiative – a partnership with churches – to increase college preparation, student enrollment and graduation rates among African American students.

Top photo: President Ochoa shakes hands with Elder Ronald Britt of Greater Victory Temple during a visit in 2013