Story Voices and Views

The CSU Is Our University




By Deacon John Wilson, III
West Angeles Church

Outreach professionals from Cal State L.A. prepare to answer questions following CSU Super Saturday at West Angeles Church

Outreach professionals from Cal State L.A. prepare to answer questions following CSU Super Saturday at West Angeles Church

California State University’s Super Sunday is an incredible partnership program where the CSU is invited into churches to talk about reaching and graduating from college. As important as this program is, it is simply the beginning of an effort that continues far beyond February.

Here at West Angeles Church we have the West Angeles Education & Enrichment Program – with increasing affordable college access for youth in the church and surrounding community as one of the goals. We mold this program in the educational vision of our Pastor and Bishop by matching youth and families to colleges of all types across the country. Every year, 45-55% of these youth place in a CSU. This year, nearly all our 12th grade students applied to CSU campuses.

Much of this is due to the great partnership we have with CSU via direct contact and through the CSU African American Initiative. The initiative has heightened our ability to show parents and families the great advantages of the CSU.

This year, as always, we communicate the advantages of applying to and attending a CSU through a series of meetings that start with Super Sunday. Here are the three major advantages of CSU enrollment which we emphasize:

(1) Quality: We are highly blessed to be in a state in which the state college system is the most diverse, has the most majors and educational programs and has the greatest variety of campus settings and choices in the nation. These choices and variations make CSU a perfect place in which to start a career path. Indeed, several of our CSUs are rated as among the top public colleges in the region and/or nation.

(2) Convenience: Every student is not ready to leave the state to go to college. They may need more family support during college – particularly in the first 2 years. In addition, some students’ business, artistic or career connections and opportunities are in their home town. With a great CSU nearby, students are more likely to secure financial stability through their existing contacts or customers.

(3) Cost: The CSU is among the lowest cost universities in the country. With financial aid, many students’ tuition and fees are fully covered – generally for those from families earning less than $70,000. These realities make the CSU a great value!

In conclusion, CSU Super Sunday is a great opportunity to start informing our 9th thru 11th grade parents and youth about the importance of including CSU in their college options. This leads to much needed conversations and efforts to help suitably prepare students for college early in their education.