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Preaching College from Black Church Pulpits

For the past five years, administrators from the Cal-State University system have infiltrated the state's black churches to preach the...


For the past five years, administrators from the Cal-State University system have infiltrated the state's black churches to preach the gospel of higher education to the community's middle school children and their parents. The idea: raise enrollment of black students in the system, which is currently only at 6 percent (contrasted with the 8 percent of students graduating high school who are African-American).

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the effort, which this year will reach upward of 90 churches, is having some positive effect:
Records show a 78 percent increase-from 8,737 to 15,550-compared with a 26 percent increase in the five years before the program.

Undergraduate enrollment of black students has also increased. Between 2004 and 2008, black enrollment grew by 20 percent, to 22,167 students across 23 campuses. By contrast, it grew just 8 percent in the previous five years.


The main goal of the program is to get middle schoolers prepared for college by getting them to enroll in tougher classes. In addition, CSU is recruiting kids for their intensive "algebra institutes," which involve visiting working scientists and engineers.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user brandon_king








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