SCUSD joins with local colleges to create roadmap to higher education

e-Connections Post
President Gonzalez, President Jeffery and Superintendent Raymond

SCUSD, Sacramento State and Sacramento City College formally joined forces today to launch “Sacramento Pathways to Success” a partnership aimed at giving students and families a clearer, simpler roadmap to college and career success.

The partnership, announced before students and area dignitaries at John F. Kennedy High School, will help Sacramento students more easily transition to and succeed in college or gain a career technical education that will allow them to pursue employment and enter the workforce.

“This partnership is about keeping local talent local,” said Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez. “The best way to help Sacramento is for graduates to go to school here and get jobs here. We need to do everything we can to prepare our young people for higher education and higher paying jobs.”

Gonzalez was joined on the JFK Little Theater stage by Sacramento City College President Kathryn Jeffery and SCUSD Superintendent Jonathan Raymond.

“Sacramento Pathways is a commitment by our three institutions to lock arms and do whatever it takes to make sure children can achieve their dreams,” said Superintendent Raymond.

 The new partnership has three main goals: Boost the graduation rates of students at all institutions; improve retention and persistence rates; and support and improve college and career readiness programs.

Initial groundwork was supported by a grant from the Sierra Health Foundation. The educational chiefs today pledged to engage business and community leaders in this effort.

“With this initiative, we are making our expectations for the children of Sacramento crystal clear: We expect every student can and will learn to the highest of their abilities and can and will be prepared for college and 21st century careers,” said Superintendent Raymond said.

The impetus for the plan began in 2010, when leaders from SCUSD, Los Rios Community College District and Sacramento State visited Long Beach to learn more about the “Long Beach College Promise” — a notable program launched in 2008 in which parents and students signed a pledge to stay on track for college and to take the courses required for college admission.

Sacramento Pathways to Success partnership is based on that model.

“Through this partnership we are inviting business and community leaders to join us in helping students successfully navigate an increasingly competitive job market,” says Sacramento City College President Kathryn Jeffery. “Community involvement is critical in linking students to their future careers, and will help educators in the vital quest to promote education 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Kennedy alumna Jasmine Murphy, a Sacramento State graduate and admissions counselor, said she struggled to keep up her grades in high school and did not graduate with her class, making up the credits later to earn a diploma. After high school, she only half-heartedly attempted community college, she said.

“Three years later, I was pregnant and working at a menial job,” she said. “It was at that moment that I decided to be the first in my family to achieve a college degree, which I received at Arco Arena in front of my friends and, most importantly, in front of my daughter.”

Murphy continued on at Sac State, earning her master’s degree. Now she counsels others on reaching their goals. “I may not change the world,” she said, “but I guarantee you I will spark the brain that will change the world.”

For more information on Sacramento Pathways to Success, click here.