California State University and Churches Call for College Preparation

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White, trustees, and campus presidents are among the officials who will speak at CSU Super Sunday events held at nearly 100 predominantly African American churches throughout the state in February and March.

This will be Chancellor White’s first Super Sunday since being appointed to head the CSU system, and he will be participating in events at churches up and down the state. On Feb.17, he will speak during the 11 a.m. service at Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Bakersfield. On Feb. 24, White will take to the pulpit during the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. services at West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles. On March 10, White will address the congregation of Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ in Hayward during the 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services.

“Education is the key to a better future for California,” said White. “The CSU’s commitment is stronger than ever to motivate and encourage African American students to prepare for college and earn a university degree.”

The events, reaching more than 100,000 churchgoers, are part of CSU’s outreach to educate students and families about the requirements to successfully enter college and obtain a degree. Participants also receive information about financial aid and the web site that provides the tools to plan and apply to CSU campuses.

After the church service, parents and students will have the opportunity to talk to CSU representatives and receive a How To Get To College poster – a practical guide about how to prepare for college. The guide – available in several languages as both a printed and electronic document – provides the list of classes that students need to take in grades six through twelve to qualify for admission to the CSU. It also provides tips for parents and mentors to help students succeed.

The annual Super Sunday event is produced by the CSU African American Initiative – a partnership between CSU campuses and African American religious leaders with the goal of increasing college going rates among African American students. Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. Reed founded the initiative eight years ago with the support of CSU trustees, presidents, faculty, staff, students and alumni.

“From those very first town hall meetings that inspired the CSU African American Initiative, to now our eighth year in this effort, our success is more than apparent; it is applauded and serves as a model for educational outreach and change across the nation,” said Cal State L.A. President James Rosser in a posting on CSU Voices and Views. “When I again stand in front of a congregation to discuss the Road to College and the life-enriching benefits of a college degree, I look forward to making meaningful connections with the young people and those for whom this information is so critical.”

Over the years, CSU Super Sunday has grown in both size – it started in 2006 with eleven churches – as well as impact on students. For next fall, the number of applications CSU received from those self-identifying as African American jumped by almost six percent.

For more information about the list of participating churches, times of service and locations, go to the CSU Super Sunday website.

Visit the CSU External Relations website to learn more about the CSU African American Initiative and other community initiatives and partnerships to address college access for underserved communities.

For more California State University news: Visit the CSU newsroom.