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February 24, 2006
DH 06 RH12
Contact: Russ Hudson,
Media Relations Coordinator
(310) 243-2455/2001

President Lyons Goes to Church Sunday to Talk
about Education

Carson, CA— James E. Lyons, Sr., president of California State University, Dominguez Hills, will address the congregation at Grant AME Church at 8 a.m. Sunday, February 26. Lyons will be the first of two California State University presidents to address the congregation that day. Cal Poly Pomona President Michael Ortiz will speak at 11 a.m.

Although many programs are in place to provide information on higher education to high school students in particular and communities in general, the CSU presidents and the chancellor chose to speak at the churches because they wanted to reach as many parents and students as possible as soon as possible, especially the African American students and their parents.

The numbers of African Americans enrolling in universities is leveling or declining in many areas, and fewer and fewer of those enrolling are men. African American women outnumber men about two-to-one in the CSU system. Surveys have shown that many African Americans don’t see higher education as attainable for them. The CSU presidents and Chancellor Charles Reed will be speaking at several churches in the Los Angeles and South Bay area on Sunday about the necessity of a higher education in today’s knowledge-driven economy and how attainable it actually is. The difference between the lifetime earnings of the average high-school graduate, they will point out, and the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree is $1 million. Degrees beyond a bachelor’s raise that figure even higher.

Reed points out that on the CSU’s 23 campuses, 54 percent of the students are people of color and that nearly 20,000 African Americans are currently enrolled. But, that is still disproportionate because there are more than 400,000 student currently enrolled in the CSU system.

The CSU’s mentoring program to help students get into, and succeed in, universities will be explained, as will financial aid, what classes are needed to qualify for college and to have a better chance to succeed, and how to gauge progress and success on the way to college. Much of the information, including the CSU Mentor program is available on the CSU Website, http://www.calstate.edu.

Grant AME Church is located at 10435 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Leading the Grant congregation is the Reverend Leslie R. White.

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University Communications & Public Affairs
Welch Hall, B-363

Dominguez Hills Dateline is produced by University Advancement/ University Communications
& Public Affairs

Media Contact:

Russell Hudson
University Communications
& Public Affairs
(310) 243-2455


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Last updated February 24, 12:37 p.m.,
by Joanie Harmon