The Long Beach College Promise and a partnership with two LBUSD high schools were cited as key programs that earned Long Beach City College the 2020 Seal of Excelencia. The seal is a certification from the national not-for-profit Excelencia in Education that celebrates an institution for intentionally serving Latino students and other students of color.
Two LBUSD schools, Cabrillo and Jordan high schools, partnered with LBCC to help every senior apply to the college. Both schools were selected by LBCC after being identified as having the highest percentage of Latino and African American students in the district. The Promise offers Long Beach students two years of free tuition at LBCC.
Every week, LBCC staff visited Cabrillo and Jordan students to help them learn more about their educational options, financial aid and application requirements. Staff also assisted with creating an educational plan that outlined the courses required to achieve educational goals.
LBCC has since seen a 36% increase in Latino enrollment overall and a 42% increase from both high schools.
LBCC is one of five institutions nationally to be recognized with the Seal of Excelencia. Also recognized are California State University, Sacramento; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Texas at Austin; and University of Texas at San Antonio.
“Accelerating Latino student success requires institutions go beyond enrollment and show intentionality and impact in serving students,” said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education. “These certified institutions set the pace for much needed institutional transformation and are confronting structural barriers and inequities of longstanding.”
The Promise has earned national recognition for increasing educational and employment opportunities for Long Beach students since its inception in 2008. LBUSD’s partners on The Promise include LBCC, Cal State Long Beach, the City of Long Beach and the Port of Long Beach.
Elements of The Promise have included increased access to early childhood education; college tours for 4th and 5th graders; a middle school pledge by students and parents committing to college readiness; a tuition-free first and second year at LBCC; and guaranteed admission to CSULB for qualifying students.