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Leaders Renew College Promise

Leaders of local educational institutions and the City of Long Beach gathered recently for a signing ceremony to renew their commitment to the Long Beach College Promise, the initiative to prepare more students for success in college.

The event at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center also served as a reception to welcome Long Beach City College Superintendent-President Reagan Romali to The Promise partnership.  Romali became superintendent-president at LBCC in May, succeeding Eloy Oakley, who moved on to become chancellor of the California Community Colleges.  Prior to Romali’s arrival at LBCC, she served as president of Harry S. Truman College in Chicago.

“Thank you all so much for your incredibly generous welcome,” Romali said.  “Our students are lucky indeed to have such tremendous advocates from our city, to our community colleges, to our K-12s, to our universities, and all the way to our State Chancellor’s office.  They are lucky indeed and will no doubt benefit from the fabulous educational opportunities provided by Long Beach.”

More than nine years ago, the Long Beach Unified School District, LBCC and Cal State Long Beach committed to The Promise initiative, extending the promise of a college education to every LBUSD student.  The City of Long Beach signed onto a renewed and expanded version of The Promise in October 2014.  The Promise aims to fulfill the potential of all youth by providing continuous support along every step of the student experience, from pre-K through college and onto career and life.  The effort’s significant gains in college readiness and enrollment have attracted the attention of policy makers at the state and national levels.

Elements of The Promise include increased access to early childhood education; college tours for 4th and 5th graders; a middle school pledge by students and parents, committing to college readiness; a tuition-free year at LBCC; and guaranteed admission to CSULB for qualifying graduates.

Joining Romali in signing the renewal were LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

RENEWED PROMISE – Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser, LBCC Superintendent-President Reagan Romali, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia sign a renewed Long Beach College Promise agreement. Photo by Harry Saltzgaver, Grunion Gazette.