University Economic Development Association


Community Scholars

Award Category: Talent
Project Site: Community Scholars
Submitted By: California State University, Long Beach
Contact: Michael Solt , 562.985.5307


Community Scholars is a program at California State Univeristy, Long Beach in which College of Business Administration students mentor inner-city public high school sophomores identified by counselors as having college potential but are at risk of dropping out of school. The purpose is to help the students understand that if they make the effort, going to college is possible. But the students must begin now because if they wait until they are seniors, or after graduation, they might not meet college entrance requirements.

CBA students create workshops focused on college readiness topics and present them at the high school. The students are also brought to the university campus to experience a day in the life of a college student.

Community Scholars is a partnership between the Student Center for Professional Development (SCPD) and Jordan High School, a large inner-city school. In 1999, Jordan counselors realized their sophomores did not have a real understanding of college or what it entailed, nor were students clear on the benefits of a college education. Statistics indicate that most students decide in their sophomore year whether to attend college. In the 2016/2017 academic year, the program was extended to a second large inner-city high school, Long Beach Polytechnic. This expansion has been successful.

Community Scholars persuades high school students that college is attainable, affordable and worth the effort. Over the years, hundreds of participating high school sophomores have gone on to graduate and meet the minimum admission requirements for the UC and CSU systems.

Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Long Beach on October 2-3, 2017. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.