SF Promise in The News

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San Francisco Unified School District Press Release

SF Promises


SF Promise Confirms First Cohort of ^th Graders.

Feb. 3, 2009



SF Promise is a new program that guarantees a spot at San Francisco State University for all 6th Graders of the San Francisco School District that meet eligibility requirements

February 3, 2009 (San Francisco) – Today, as part of the Partnership for Achievement between the City and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Mayor Gavin Newsom was joined by Superintendent Carlos Garcia and San Francisco State University (SFSU) President Robert Corrigan to honor the first class of SF Promise, the Class of 2015. SF Promise is a new program that guarantees a spot at San Francisco State University for all 6th grade students in San Francisco’s public schools.

“At a time when the California State University system is cutting funding and admissions, San Francisco is doing its part to ensure that our city’s children are guaranteed a college education,” said Mayor Newsom. “Moving forward, the City and School District will work to provide students and families with the tools and supports to make higher education a reality.”

If SFUSD students meet eligibility requirements upon high school graduation, they are promised admission to San Francisco State University, and if necessary, financial aid. There are approximately 3,500 sixth grade students in the San Francisco Unified School District. Each one of them will be informed of SF Promise, but the program is designed to target the sixth grade students who are the first in their family to graduate from college, underrepresented in college, low income, or are doing below average or average in school. The City and School District’s goal is to get all 6th graders’ GPA up to 3.0 so they will be eligible for SFSU.

“SF Promise is our shared commitment to prepare our students for 21st century citizenship,” said Superintendent Garcia. “At SFUSD we are changing our graduation requirements for the class of 2015 so that all graduates meet the A through G requirements to get into SF State or another California State University. College should be a choice for all students and this partnership is a great way to support our students in setting their sights on college from a young age and helping them every step of the way.”
The goals of S.F. Promise are to increase state university admission eligibility and graduation rates, increase the number of students who receive post-secondary education, and increase the number of students who attend California universities from traditionally underrepresented groups.

SF Promise is jointly funded by the City, School District, and San Francisco State University, with scholarships funded privately by donations.

Today, 250 6th graders from Horace Mann, A.P. Giannini, and Martin Luther King Middle Schools received ceremonial “certificates of guarantee,” formalizing their admission to San Francisco State University as part of the Class of 2015.

San Francsico State University Press Release

SF State's 107th Commencement this weekend
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to address the University’s largest graduating class.

May 23, 2008

San Francisco State University’s Commencement on Saturday, May 24, 2008, promises to provide exciting and inspirational presentations for 8,178 graduates, the largest in SF State history. More than 20,000 guests are expected to attend the exercises, which will feature speeches by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Alumnus of the Year Joseph White and graduating senior Andrew Hines.

The gates to Cox Stadium open at 10 a.m. on May 24. Graduates will line up by noon in the stadium for the processional at 12:15 p.m. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

Keynote address
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will deliver the keynote address. Mayor Newsom has partnered with SF State on a variety of initiatives and programs since becoming San Francisco's 42nd mayor in 2004. Among these partnerships is SF Promise, a program that guarantees acceptance to SF State for San Francisco high school students who qualify for college. Now serving his second term, Mayor Newsom enjoys an international reputation for innovative solutions to problems ranging from homelessness and healthcare to climate change, and was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders.

Honorees during the ceremony include a pioneer in black psychology and three honorary degrees for distinguished public figures who have contributed greatly to their professions and society.

SF Promise

On Sept. 17, SF State President Robert Corrigan was featured on ABC 7 news discussing SF Promise, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's proposal to help middle school students prepare for college. SF Promise would guarantee a spot at SF State for all 6th graders who complete the program and qualify for admission. "For San Francisco State it means we're really able to honor our priority, which is to serve the students of San Francisco," Corrigan said.

Other Media Coverage on SF Promise

New program puts sixth-graders on fast track to college

By Beth Winegarner

Examiner Staff Writer 12/22/08

SAN FRANCISCO – While The City’s high-school seniors are just receiving their college-acceptance letters, a batch of sixth-graders already know where they'll go to college.

City and school leaders launched SF Promise this year, a program that aims to guarantee spots at San Francisco State University for 700 students from the class of 2015 — currently in sixth grade — as well as financial aid for those who need it.

While middle-school students are already learning the college-bound mentality, fundraising for a SFSU-based scholarship will formally kick off in February.

"The whole concept is to create a college-going culture in our schools," said Hydra Mendoza, Mayor Gavin Newsom's education advisor and a member of the San Francisco Board of Education. "We're working with kids with a 2.0 grade-point average and helping them become college-ready."

Studies show that by 2025, 41 percent of jobs in California will require a bachelor's degree or higher, while just 32 percent of students will complete a four-year degree by then, according to Lee Blitch, vice president of university advancement at SFSU.

Although the pilot program is working with more than 10,000 middle-school students in the San Francisco Unified School District, efforts are focused on classes at Horace Mann, Martin Luther King, Jr., and A.P. Giannini middle schools, where dozens of students are now taking a special college-prep class during the school day, according to program director Maureen Carew.

Such classes help students understand not only the importance of college, but how to keep up in school and take the courses in high school that will get them there, Mendoza said.

The Board of Education recently enacted new rules that would require high-school graduates to take courses required by the UC and CSU systems in order to receive their diplomas, starting with the class of 2014.

But educators are also working on a more basic level, starting with college lingo.

"Some students aren't having conversations about college at the dinner table, and sometimes it's as simple as explaining what a major is," Carew said.

Mayor Gavin Newsom gave SF Promise $500,000 from his budget this year; additional funds came from Wachovia Bank and the school district, according to Mendoza.

Carew hopes to expand the college-prep classes to more schools next year — and aims to bring more corporate sponsors on board to bankroll the initiative.

Among graduating seniors in 2008, 351 are attending SFSU this fall, according to Carew. SF Promise could almost double that number — while also boosting the number of graduates who transfer to San Francisco City College and the University of California system, she said.