The large West Coast university system attributes the gains to its outreach to African-American churches.
The California State University system is having success in their efforts to attract African-American students, with applications increasing for the third consecutive year, university officials said.
The university system, one of the largest in the United States, attributed the gains in part to an outreach program known as “Super Sunday.” It is a seven-year-old program that takes the system’s top administrators to African-American churches throughout the state.
The university system said that 17,663 African-American students applied for admission in the fall 2013, an increase from 16,588 applicants in 2012. Also, nearly 174,000 freshmen and 109,000 transfer students applied to one of Cal State's 23 campuses, increases of nearly five percent and 17 percent, respectively.
“One of the key things is trying to get students prepared for college, but also the idea is to have students and people who influence students like parents and grandparents join together in a voice that says you can go to college, that is a goal you can reach,” said Eric Fallis, a spokesman for the California State system.
The Super Sunday events are being conducted this year in February and March and will take administrators from more than 100 predominantly African-American churches in various urban areas in California. They are expected to address more than 100,000 church members.
The recruitment of African-American students in California comes as the nation is re-examining policies and practices to attract minority students to college. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this year affirmative action, looking specifically at the action admissions policy at the University of Texas. It is a case that is expected to have far-reaching implications nationwide.
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