Long Beach, News

Long Beach City College students get a unique ‘Promise’

Transfering to Long Beach State from a local community college just became that much easier. A late night brainstorming session between Long Beach City College Superintendent President Reagan F. Romali and Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser turned into what is now the possible future for LBCC students — the Guaranteed Admission Program.

“We all knew that what we’d envisioned in that room, at that moment, was going to change lives forever,” Romali said.

Romali and other partners of the Guaranteed Admission Program, also known as the Long Beach College Promise 2.0, met Wednesday at the college to discuss updating the program and the benefits it will bring to students beginning in spring 2019.

The newest version of the College Promise program will provide students who have successfully completed lower division courses at LBCC with priority class registration at LBCC, a guaranteed transition from LBCC to Long Beach State, free tuition for their first year at LBSU, reduced tuition thereafter and a student ID card from both colleges.

According to LBSU President Jane Close Conoley, the benefits of the program, such as the LBSU ID card, are to provide a welcoming environment for incoming LBCC students.

“You belong here, we want you here,” Conoley said.

College Promise 2.0 will apply to all majors and students at LBCC can join the program provided that they meet LBSU’s minimum GPA and transfer requirements. Long Beach Unified School District students graduating in the spring of 2019 will also receive informational and enrollment letters for this program.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who has been teaching a class at LBCC for the past year, believes that the program is vital not only to community college students receiving the benefits, but to the Long Beach community as a whole.

“It is our best economic development tool; it is our best violence prevention tool; it is our best public safety tool — it really touches every aspect of living in this community,” Garcia said.

This program has been put into action with the goal to make higher education more accessible in the Long Beach area. According to Conoley, only an estimated 24 percent of people living in the region have a bachelor’s degree but this program is set to make higher education more attainable.

Romali and others working on the project hope that after completing the program and graduating from LBSU, local students will be more inclined to stay in Long Beach to help boost the community.

“This allows them to stay at home in Long Beach with their families, with their children, and be able to get an education here,” Romali said. “Then after they are educated, they’re going to be more likely to stay here, make a family here, get a job here, pay their taxes here and to provide prosperity for their families, so we’re not exporting our educated students.”

According to Romali, it is not yet known how many students from LBCC will benefit from this program, but it aims to bring in as many students who are interested.

More information can be found at longbeachcollegepromise.org.

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