Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales urged congregants at Church of God in Christ Church to encourage African-Americans students entering high school to focus on taking college preparatory classes so that when they graduate as seniors they will be eligible to attend college.
“I’m here to ask you to join CSUSB to increase the number of students who complete the A through G curriculum because they have to do that starting in the ninth grade,” Morales said. “We can’t wait for them to be seniors. From the ninth grade they need to take this prescribed curriculum so that they’re eligible for the CSU or the UC system — otherwise they’re out of the game.”
Morales’ talk at the church was part of the California State University’s 12th annual Super Sunday higher education initiative to encourage young people to go college. More than 100,000 congregants, students and their families received the Super Sunday message when CSU leaders, including Chancellor Timothy P. White, spoke at more than 100 churches across the state on Feb. 12 in Northern and Central California, and Feb. 26 in Southern California.
Morales, along with other CSUSB faculty and administrators spoke at several Inland Empire African-American churches.
Super Sunday is part of the CSU African-American Initiative, which seeks to increase the college preparation, enrollment and graduation rates of African-American students from underserved communities.
Congregants also received information about the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, the system’s plan to increase graduation rates and to eliminate the achievement gap for the university’s 475,000 students across all its 23 campuses. CSU resources will be provided to help them foster a college-going culture at home, including information about preparing for college, applying to a CSU campus and applying for financial aid.
Morales, now in his fifth year as CSUSB president, spoke during two services at Life Church of God in Christ.
“We’ve had this tradition for over a decade to really emphasize the need to increase the African-American student body, increase the number of African-American faculty and staff who are employed by the university,” Morales said. “You know, sometimes people say that black and brown people don’t value higher education, but the fact is that the Pew Research Center has stated very clearly that African-American parents value higher education and want their children to attend higher education.”
Morales said the university is working very hard with all 56 school districts in Riverside and San Bernadino counties to encourage all children — in particular, African-American and Latino children — to complete the A-G curriculum so that they’re eligible to apply to the California State University system, and hopefully will also see CSUSB as an institution that will meet their needs.
The outreach is starting to show positive results, the president added.
“This past year, we have turned around a 10-year decline in the number of students, African-American students, who applied. Applications were up 11 percent. Admissions for freshmen is up 24 percent from 2015,” Morales said. “There is also a significant increase in the number of transfer students.”
Along with Morales, the other CSUSB officials who spoke Feb. 26 were:
- Francisa Beer, dean of graduate studies and research and a professor of accounting and finance, spoke at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fontana;
- Brian Haynes, vice president of student affairs, spoke at Cathedral of Praise International Ministries in San Bernardino; and
- Olivia Rosas, associate vice president of enrollment management, spoke at Ecclesia Christian Fellowship in San Bernardino.
Visit the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 website for more information on the program, as well as the CSU Super Sunday website.
For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, visit news.csusb.edu