Long Beach earns high marks for educational opportunities

Published November 7, 2017

latino graduation Getting a higher education degree has replaced the high school diploma as a key to finding employment and achieving economic mobility. It’s a refrain teachers and parents drum into students at an early age: college = successful career.

Cal State Long Beach is among the top schools that provide the tools necessary for students to attain upward social mobility, placing fifth in CollegeNET, Inc.’s 2017 Social Mobility Index rankings.

Long Beach is among nine Cal State campuses that made the Top 20 list of schools that have shown through wise policy making, they are improving both economic opportunity and social stability. Other schools are Fresno State (3), San Jose State (4), Chico State (8), Cal Poly Pomona (6), Cal State Los Angeles (11), Cal State Northridge (13), San Francisco State (17), Cal State Channel Islands (18) and Cal State Stanislaus (19).

The SMI is a nationally recognized, data-driven analysis that ranks four-year U.S. colleges and universities according to their effectiveness at enrolling students from low-income backgrounds, as well as a school’s ability to move graduates into well-paying jobs.

 “This social mobility ranking underscores we are a proven driver of upward social mobility. In addition to improving the lives of our graduates we also are improving the economic and social well-being of Southern California,” President Jane Close Conoley said. “That Long Beach State University ranks in the top 20 in the nation is testament to the hard work of our faculty and staff who innovate every day to remove barriers to students’ success.”

According to Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET, said unlike other college rankings that are aimed primarily at helping students select a college, the SMI “helps policymakers determine which colleges are addressing the national problem of economic mobility.

“Administrators have a better chance to help strengthen US economic mobility and the promise of the American dream, if they can identify and learn from colleges that are skilled at doing this.”

California public universities dominate the rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and 25 CSU and UC schools also rank among the top 5 percent of all universities when it comes to advancing social mobility in higher education.