Admission to CSULB Shows Sharp Increase

The number of Long Beach Unified School District students earning admission to California State University, Long Beach has grown to 1,060, up more than 41 percent since 2003, according to recently compiled data. The significant rise in admissions to the university is attributed in part to the school district’s increased emphasis on college readiness in recent years. Newly released numbers also show more students in the school district taking at least one Advanced Placement honors course and passing it with a grade of C or better. A total of 1,410 students met this challenge last year, up more than 15 percent over the prior year. Another increase is expected this June. "The hard work is paying off," said Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools for the Long Beach Unified School District. "Our schools have launched intensive efforts to help more students achieve their dreams of earning a college education. Students, in turn, are seizing these opportunities. I commend them, our employees and our community supporters for making such tremendous progress." In addition to these higher acceptance rates, students are posting double-digit increases in rates of actual enrollment at CSULB — a 27 percent increase from 2003 to 2006. Nearby California State University, Dominguez Hills showed a 34 percent increase in the admission of LBUSD students from 2003 to 2006, and a 40 percent increase in actual enrollment over the same period. In addition to these admissions and enrollments, local high school graduates also are earning acceptance and scholarships to all California State University and University of California campuses. Still others are pursuing postsecondary education at private universities, community colleges, trade schools and elsewhere. The school district has made a concerted effort to encourage greater numbers of students to take rigorous college preparation courses. More than 4,000 students enrolled in Advanced Placement honors courses for the 2006-07 school year, up from 2,309 in 2000-01. LBUSD was one of the first school districts to pay for and require students to take the PSAT exam in tenth grade, helping to identify more students who have the potential to attend college. The school district also has provided AP Summer Bridge workshops for hundreds of students new to Advanced Placement courses. The overall increase in AP enrollment here has included significant increases for each of the district’s major ethnic and racial groups. Newsweek’s annual ranking of America’s top high schools regularly includes several high schools in Long Beach, based on the number of AP and International Baccalaureate tests taken by students.