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SD Unified Guaranteed Admission to CSUSM

News Release: Guaranteed Admission to Cal State University San Marcos for San Diego Unified Graduates Under New Agreement Between University, District
Posted on 05/15/2024

Guaranteed Admission to Cal State University San Marcos for San Diego Unified Graduates Under New Agreement Between University, District

Criteria and Additional Supports Laid Out for Students and Families 


May 15, 2024

San Diego – High school graduates from the San Diego Unified School District will be guaranteed a spot at Cal State University San Marcos (CSUSM) under a new compact that includes college prep and supports for students and families starting in middle school.

Approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday, the partnership is designed to provide students the access and resources they need to attend and thrive at CSUSM. 

“San Diego Unified is committed to giving every student a path to college, as well as the resources they need to prepare for a successful transition to higher education,” Deputy Superintendent Dr. Fabiola Bagula said. “We are so grateful to Cal State San Marcos for this partnership, which provides our students with access to a world class university.”  

 Among the requirements for the district’s high school graduates:

  • Students must be continually enrolled in the district from at least 9th grade with exceptions for homeless, foster youth, and military dependents.
  • Completion of all A-G coursework required through California State University (CSU) system.
  • Meet minimum CSU eligibility requirements.
  • Graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

San Diego Unified will help prepare students for guaranteed enrollment under the compact with supports that include: 

  • A Common Core State Standards-aligned mathematics curriculum for grades 6-12.
  • Additional high school mathematics electives that prepare students with skills to pass college entrance exams or to meet college course requirements.
  • Summer school opportunities for basic skills preparation.
  • Increased opportunities for 11th and 12th graders to experience university-level academic work at all high schools.

Additionally, the district will offer expanded intervention and credit-recovery opportunities for students and submit the required Cal Grant GPA Verification by March 2 of their senior year.

Family and community engagement is an integral component of the guaranteed admission partnership, especially for families of first-generation college students.

Beginning in seventh-grade, students, families and staff will receive notifications about the CSUSM partnership and how to meet eligibility criteria. The district will also lay out criteria for identifying and supporting incoming seventh graders who are at risk of not meeting the admission requirements.

For Blessyn Lavender Williams, a student Board of Education member and a senior at Lincoln High School, one of the benefits of this agreement is that it could eliminate some of the anxiety - and mystery - that comes with the college application process.  

“Getting into college often feels like a random lottery for so many students. This agreement gives students at every San Diego Unified high school the ability to plan for college without the stress and uncertainty of increasingly competitive college admissions,” Lavender Williams said.

In an effort to help students and their families familiarize themselves with CSUSM, tours and orientations - along with transportation - will be organized by the district.

“The admission pipeline to Cal State San Marcos provides an incredible opportunity to students at every San Diego Unified high school by providing them with a clear path to college,” Board of Education President Shana Hazan said. “This alliance shows the shared commitment of both institutions to enhance and expand educational opportunities that benefit our students, families, and the entire community.”

For its part, CSUSM has pledged to assign a Recruitment and Outreach Officer to San Diego Unified schools who will, among other things, promote college awareness, preparation, and access to CSUSM.

“This partnership with San Diego Unified School District will provide opportunities to transform the lives of more students, their families, and their respective communities,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Viridiana Diaz. “We want students to envision themselves in college early on and to know that CSUSM is a great option given that many of our graduates stay in the area after college to give back to their community.”

The district will begin providing supports to students this summer. The class of 2025 will be eligible to apply for admission to CSUM under the compact. 

More 17,000 students are currently enrolled at CSUSM in 43 undergraduate programs, 24 master’s programs, 11 teaching credentials, and one joint doctoral program.

MEDIA CONTACT: Communications Director Maureen Magee, [email protected]