San Jose State University will guarantee admission to students who graduate from the East Side Union High School District in San Jose and meet the university’s minimum admissions requirements under a new partnership that will be announced Friday.
Through a local partnership — the Spartan East Side Promise — officials are trying to increase access to the university to qualified high school graduates from the campus’ surrounding communities.
The program comes as San Jose State and other California State University schools continue to reject record numbers of qualified applicants as the 23-campus system struggles to keep pace with increased enrollment demand.
San Jose State is one of CSU’s five entirely “impacted” universities, meaning that the number of qualified applicants it receives each year across all majors far exceeds the number of available admission spots. Last fall, San Jose received a record 30,586 applications for freshman admission and admitted only 16,891 students.
To secure admission into San Jose State, East Side Union students will need to have a grade of C or higher in A-G coursework, the sequence of 15 courses in English, math, science, foreign language and other core subjects required for admission by CSU and the University of California. Students will also have to meet GPA and SAT or ACT score thresholds. These thresholds will remain frozen for them even if they increase for other applicants if the university becomes more selective because of growing demand.
“We want students and families to see how students can go to college and earn a degree,” San Jose State Interim President Susan Martin said.
The program is a collaborative formed by the university, East Side Union, seven elementary school districts that feed East Side Union, and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.
“We want students and families to see how students can go to college and earn a degree. This program provides a clear roadmap for success,” San Jose State Interim President Susan Martin said in a statement.
The program also calls for San Jose State to offer support and resources to students, beginning in middle school, to ensure that they’re on the path to college. The efforts include providing presentations on requirements to students and their families; organizing college fairs; and having university recruiters spend more time on high school campuses.
The program “will reinforce all our current efforts to create an environment that encourages our students to strive for college,” said East Side Union Superintendent Chris Funk.
The Spartan East Side Promise is modeled after other local partnerships created in recent years to increase enrollment at CSU campuses of students from their surrounding communities. The Long Beach College Promise, a partnership of Long Beach Unified, Long Beach City College and Long Beach State, offers a free semester of tuition at the city college and guaranteed admission to Long Beach State for students who meet the university’s minimum entrance requirements. Cal State Fullerton and San Diego State University offer similar programs for high school students in their respective communities.