Originally published October 24, 2013 at 9:44 a.m., updated October 24, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.
Lou Murillo, Director, SDSU Compact for Success
Jimmy Cabrera, Motivational Speaker, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute
Reya Gredonia, Biology Major, SDSU
More than 4,000 7th graders from Sweetwater Union High School District start down the path of a new journey this weekend: they will visit San Diego State University for the first time as members of a program that may take them all the way through to graduation.
Sweetwater and SDSU have formed Compact for Success, which helps these students — many whom are minorities and low-income — get into college.
"I believe that Compact for Success has changed the culture of San Diego's South Bay in many respects for students and their families," said Lou Murillo, director of the program.
The compact offers students guaranteed admission to SDSU and helps them every step of the way through academic support and mentorship.
For their part, the middle schoolers have to show they are ready to make a commitment to their own academic future.
In order to qualify for the guaranteed admission provision they must meet five benchmarks: continuous enrollment in Sweetwater Union High School District schools through 12th grade, maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, complete all CSU A-G course requirements, pass math and English placement exams and take ACT or SAT tests.
Program facilitators said since 2000, the number of Sweetwater District graduates quantifying for admission to SDSU has jumped by more than 500 percent.