LAUSD Works With Local University To Support Black Students

LOS ANGELES, CA — California State University, Northridge teamed up with the Los Angeles Unified School District to create programming to encourage young Black students in the city.

The initiative, dubbed the “Black Student Achievement Alliance,” will host weekly Friday workshops at Alfred B. Nobel Charter Middle School to “build self-esteem, self-advocacy and public speaking skills among Nobel’s Black sixth, seventh and eighth graders,” according to a news release from CSUN. The workshops will take on topics like mental health, healthy habits and building a “college-going culture” at school, according to CSUN.

The program will begin at Nobel Middle, located at 9950 Tampa Avenue, later in February. Nobel Middle has one of the largest Black student populations in the San Fernando Valley, according to CSUN. The Nobel student population is nearly 4% Black.

LAUSD authorities are looking to increase Black student graduation and attendance rates with this new partnership, said Mary Melvin, administrator of LAUSD’s Canoga Park/Chatsworth Community of Schools in Local District Northwest.

“We are trying to build a culture of success, with a pipeline approach. So many of our students come from Nobel and other schools in our community. We hope to get these young people to start thinking as early as middle school that college is a And for that to truly become a reality, then we also have to give them the skills they will need to succeed and turn their college dreams into a reality,” director of CSUN’s DuBois-Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement Cedric Hackett said in a news release.

California students categorized as African American had a graduation rate of 76.9 percent in 2020, compared to white students’ graduation rate of 87.9 percent, according to the California Department of Education. Groups with even lower graduation rates included English learners, foster youth, homeless youth and students with disabilities.

CSUN already partners with many district schools to bring educational programming to students and teachers.

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