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Long Beach, Calif., District Expands College Promise Initiative

Government leaders in Long Beach, Calif., announced plans to expand the area's innovative program to get more students on track for college with a pledge to increase support for preschool and internships for high school students.

In 2008, the Long Beach Promise set up an agreement that would encourage a seamless transition from high school to college for local students. Leaders promised that graduates from Long Beach Unified School District could go to Long Beach City College free for one semester and be guaranteed admission to California State University, Long Beach, if they met the university's minimum requirements.

Now, local officials want to broaden the reach of the program by focusing on universal preschool enrollment, providing more scholarships, student support, and internships, according to a news release posted Oct. 16. The City of Long Beach announced it would increase its internships from 400 to 800, giving students the chance to see the relevance of their coursework in the workplace.

To date, more than 5,600 Long Beach high school graduates have attended the local community college for free and enrollment among graduates of the district at California State University, Long Beach, is up 43 percent.

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