Transferring to Cal State Long Beach was an easy decision for Autumn Lewis. All she needed was one look around.
"I felt at home as soon as I stepped onto campus for their new student orientation,” said Lewis, who transferred from Rio Hondo College in Whittier. “The campus was as beautiful as the people there, and I wanted to be a part of it."
Lewis is among the thousands of transfer students who have made Cal State Long Beach a destination school. The campus was ranked fifth in the nation by MONEY magazine for awarding degrees to students who transfer from community colleges and other campuses.
The distinction earned Cal State Long Beach a 2019 Champion of Higher Education award for its exemplary work in enrolling and supporting transfer students who are seeking a four-year degree. The Campaign for College Opportunity honored the university Thursday at the 15th Anniversary Celebration, touting Cal State Long Beach’s leadership in working to ensure a seamless pathway for transfers.
“I am delighted to accept this honor on behalf of our campus,” said Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley. “We recognize the motivation, goals and needs of Associate Degree for Transfer Students, and CSULB is committed to helping them attain an education. This recognition highlights the great work our teams are doing to help enroll and support these students.”
Conoley was joined at the event by Provost Brian Jersky, Vice Provost for Academic Planning Dhushy Sathianathan, and Neal Schnoor, who serves as Conoley’s chief of staff.
Lewis, a public relations major, was among the CSU honorees at the event. She said attending a community college helped prepare her for the rigors of a four-year university.
“I used to put myself down for having to go to a community college first because I was scared of paying for a four-year university right out of high school,” she said. “But I remembered my individuality and my choices. My journey is my own and no one else’s. Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Conoley has attributed the university’s success to its partnership in the Long Beach College Promise, which provides a direct line to higher education for local students from Long Beach City College.
“Once they are here, our faculty and staff deliver an outstanding educational experience, focusing on student success,” she said. “We also value our additional partnerships with our regional community colleges that continue to prepare the next generation of high achieving Californians.”