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CSUSB President to Speak at Fontana Church on Importance of College

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SAN BERNARDINO – Cal State San Bernardino president Tomás D. Morales, along with other members of the CSUSB family, will speak on the value of a college education and early college preparation as part of the annual CSU Super Sunday events at several area African American churches on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Morales will speak at the Principles of Faith Christian Center, 17977 Merrill Ave., in Fontana at 9:30 a.m.

The presentations focus on preparing elementary, middle and high school students for college and are part of Super Sunday, one of the California State University’s outreach efforts to promote higher education and the importance of early academic preparation.

On Sundays in February and March, California State University Chancellor Tim White, along with university presidents and other representatives from all 23 CSU campuses, will speak at nearly 100 predominately African American churches throughout the state about preparing for college, applying to a CSU campus and financial aid.

Morales stressed the importance of the event.

“This will be my first opportunity to be part of Super Sunday, but I have been a longtime advocate for early college preparation,” Morales said. “It’s critical that we partner with K-12 school systems throughout the region to increase the number of students who are ready to enroll in college-level courses after high school.”

In addition, Milton Clark, CSUSB associate vice president for undergraduate studies, and Jean Peacock, a CSUSB professor of psychology, will speak at separate services at the Ecclesia Christian Fellowship Church in San Bernardino. CSUSB Athletic Director Kevin Hatcher previously spoke at Temple Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino on Feb. 10.

Since 2006, the Super Sunday event has brought CSU leaders to churches throughout California to educate students and families about the requirements to successfully get into college and ultimately earn a degree. Participants at the services receive information about financial aid and the CSUMentor.edu website that provides the tools to plan and apply to CSU campuses.

“I have also spent my entire career as a strong proponent for increased diversity in higher education. For many Inland Empire students and families, the thought of going to college is only a dream,” Morales said. “That is changing, but we need to do more to encourage and motivate students of all backgrounds to prepare for college early, because education is the key to a better future.”

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.

More than 70 percent of CSUSB graduates come from families in which neither parent has a college degree, Morales added. Cal State San Bernardino is also the most diverse university in the region, and there is no majority ethnic group on campus. Further evidence shows the achievement gaps among the various ethnic CSUSB student groups are narrowing.

Cal State San Bernardino ranks first in the CSU system for first-to-second year retention for Hispanic students, with 90.5 percent of first-time Hispanic freshmen enrolled at CSUSB in fall 2010 returning in fall 2011. The first-to-second-year retention rate for African-American students on campus also ranks among the leaders in the CSU and is far above the system average.

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.

For more information about Super Sunday, visit http://www.calstate.edu/supersunday/

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