A program that guarantees admission to Cal State San Marcos for students in the Vista Unified School District is expanding. The program is catered to students as young as 7th grade and so far, more than 400 students have been admitted into the university through this program. NBC 7’s Sherene Tagharobi reports.
A new program aims to make it easier for students in the Vista Unified School District to go to college.
On Tuesday, the district signed an agreement with California State University, San Marcos. According to the agreement, Vista students who meet a set of guidelines will be guaranteed admission at CSUSM.
“What we hope to do is have a big impact on the college going rates in the communities that we serve,“ said Patricia Prado-Olmos, a professor in the School of Education.
The guidelines for admission are:
“We believe that the guaranteed admission program gives students and families a concrete target to work toward,” Prado-Olmos said.
Six other school districts are already part of the program, including San Marcos Unified since 2006. About 400 students who came through the program are currently enrolled at CSUSM, according to school officials.
The university hopes to attract first-generation students and those who are socio-economically challenged.
“I think the issue these programs address is making college more attainable for a broader and larger number of students, for students who don’t think they’re college material, but they really, really are,” Prado-Olmos said.
School officials said high school students in the program tend to have higher GPAs. High schools introduce the program in either the 7th or 9th grades, depending on the district.
Freshman biology major Adrineh Keshishian remembers touring the campus as a 7th grader.
“It was really reassuring just to know that it was a backup plan,” Keshishian said. “If I applied to all these ABC colleges and I didn’t get in, Cal State would always be available.”