On Sept. 27, Fullerton College joined partners from Anaheim Union High School District, California State University, Fullerton, the University of California, Irvine, and the city of Anaheim, Cypress College, North Orange Continuing Education and North Orange County Community College District in unveiling the Anaheim Union Educational Pledge.
Spearheaded by the Anaheim Union High School District the pledge introduces a comprehensive community partnership designed to ensure that students have the support they need for college, career, and life readiness and success.
Nearly four years in the making, the Anaheim Union Educational Pledge includes Fullerton and Cypress colleges, Cal State Fullerton, UCI, and the city of Anaheim, in partnership with the high school district to ensure that AUHSD graduates achieve their post-secondary goals.
According to Chief Academic Officer Manuel Colón, the pledge—which was developed with funding support over the past three years from the Orange County United Way—calls for AUHSD to help students develop a six-year academic and career plan, beginning in seventh grade.
The community colleges will provide academic and counseling support for students while still in the AUHSD, and after they enroll in either college. The community colleges will also be offering expanded dual enrollment courses that allow for more college credit upon high school graduation.
Meanwhile, UCI will provide guaranteed admission to all graduates of Anaheim Union High School District who enroll at Cypress College or Fullerton College and who meet the eligibility requirements of the Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. Through TAG, students who have a cumulative GPA that meets or exceeds the minimum requirement and complete the online TAG application are guaranteed admission for most majors. Students must also meet any additional criteria for eligibility, including: meeting major prerequisites, auditions, timelines, deadlines, etc. Students are also advised to choose an alternate major if applying to impacted academic programs (i.e. majors in Engineering, ICS, Business, and Nursing Science).
“UCI is recognized as the leading campus in the country for doing the most for the American dream, by providing access to a world-class education to all qualified students regardless of their background,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are committed to serving the local community and are proud to be an engine of upward mobility for some of the best and brightest young people in Orange County and across the state.”
At Cal State Fullerton, the university will consider, on an annual basis, the option of providing an Admission Advantage for AUHSD students who apply directly to CSUF and AUHSD students who attend Cypress College or Fullerton College and who apply directly to CSUF. Additionally, the university will provide all Anaheim Union High School District graduates who enroll at CSUF with support onto graduation.
CSUF will also support students from AUHSD who attend the campus by:
- Tracking and monitoring the retention and graduation rates of AUHSD graduates to support their success.
- Creating future teacher summer programs that support AUHSD graduates, including parent events, collaborations with campus resources centers, Center for Careers in Teaching events, advising, and future teacher student support.
“Orange County’s diverse and vibrant academic community does not begin and end at the physical borders of our many respective campuses,” said Mildred García, president of Cal State Fullerton. “We are all part of the same community and this collaborative partnership is a testament to our collective efforts to ensure every child has equitable access to the transformative power of higher education.”
Finally, the city of Anaheim is promising to offer mentorships, as well as resources for summer internship scholarships for high school juniors through Anaheim’s Innovative Mentoring Experience (AIME).
To date, AIME has provided approximately 2,000 students with comprehensive corporate mentoring and summer internship opportunities in Orange County. This summer, 120 juniors earned scholarships and college credit while interning at 19 corporations and non-profits such as Kaiser Permanente and Orange County Transportation Authority.
AIME is proving transformational not only for the students, but for the business and community leaders, too.
“All of us have had someone who served as a mentor and changed our lives,” Mayor Tait said. “That is an invaluable role we can play for the next generation. But the real beauty is that the city and Anaheim’s business community gain as much from those we mentor as they get from us.”
AIME is poised for even more growth, with the establishment of the Anaheim Union Educational Pledge, said Superintendent Michael Matsuda.
“Our goal through the pledge is to eventually have every AUHSD student participate in AIME, making the real-world connections that will help propel them to future success,” the superintendent said.
AIME helps set the Anaheim Union Pledge apart from others, Matsuda said.
“After studying other ‘Promises,’ including the Long Beach Promise and the El Monte Promise, I believe the Anaheim pledge takes student support to a higher level,” he said.
“There is more focus on developing transferrable skills such as the 5 Cs (creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and compassion, or kindness) which are needed for success in adult life. Our goal is to develop better workers, better parents, better spouses, better neighbors, and better citizens dedicated to building a more vibrant and interconnected America.”
“We are united with the common goal of ensuring our students’ success, and each pledge partner is bringing significant resources to bear under a systematic, comprehensive approach,” Mr. Colón added.
In 7th and 8th grade, AUHSD students will pledge to commit to activities such as exploring college options and attending the annual AUHSD College and Career Fair. In high school, students will promise to accomplish activities such as going on college field trips, taking the PSAT, and ensuring they are on track with the A-G courses needed to enroll in the CSU or UC systems. Meanwhile, parents will pledge activities including enrolling in workshops focusing on college awareness and access, the admissions process, and financial aid.
In addition to offering dual enrollment courses, Cypress and Fullerton colleges will offer students the opportunity to participate in summer enrichment programs and, like all partners, provide summer internships for high school juniors through AIME.
Dr. Cheryl Marshall, Chancellor of the North Orange County Community College District, said “developing clear, easy pathways from high school to higher education is crucial to our mission to serve our community. The Anaheim Pledge reflects our commitment to enabling students to achieve their educational and career goals. This partnership with fellow educators is a prime example of working together to remove silos and have a broad impact on the region. Congratulations to the leadership team at Anaheim Union High School District for the role they have played in bringing the Pledge to reality.”
Students from Fullerton and Cypress colleges who gain admittance to UCI will also have:
- Access to retention advisor for 1-to-1 consultation and guidance.
- Priority registration for success workshops, leadership training, and professional development.
- Opportunity to apply for a book scholarship program.
- Linkage to specialized resources and advisement for Dreamers and undocumented students.
- Access to food pantry and food access and security resources.
Cal State Fullerton will work with AUHSD staff to provide resources and services for students and parents on A-G, financial aid, and the admission process for entering CSUF. A CSUF staff member will attend the school site College and Career Access Team meetings to provide resources and support.
The pledge was developed in a four-year period through the Anaheim Collaborative, which included representatives from the AUHSD, the higher education institutions, the community, and Orange County United Way.
“Orange County United Way is proud to stand with great partners in Anaheim and to invest in our future leaders through the venture in the Anaheim Collaborative,” said Sergio Contreras, Director of Education and Work-Based Learning at Orange County United Way. “This Collaborative is rooted in opportunities that will create positive, lasting impacts in the lives of our local students and future generations to come. This initial investment will continue to grow and give another reason for the city of Anaheim and its residents to stand proud among a trailblazing district.”
Mr. Contreras said his organization will continue to work with its traditional partners, such as Cal State Fullerton and the University of California at Irvine, to ensure educational access to those who seek a path to their future.
Following today’s official signing ceremony by the pledge partners, students will have the opportunity to participate in the signing during Educational Pledge Days at their schools this fall.