March 14, 2024 - Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) high school students now have a clear and supported pathway to attend CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed recently between FUSD and CSUCI. The memorandum establishes a guaranteed admission program to CSUCI for qualified district high school graduates, and support from both institutions.

The MOU is a win-win for both CSUCI and FUSD as the program aims to strengthen working relationships between CSUCI and FUSD and increase the number of district graduates who attend CSUCI.

“Through the commitments outlined in this MOU, our graduates will have a chance to access a high-quality, affordable college education close to home,” said Fillmore High School Principal Keith Derrick. “We are excited to work with CSUCI to enhance our students’ success and future options. This agreement is an important investment in the young people of our community.”

Recent statistics indicate that 79% of all enrolled students in the FUSD are socioeconomically disadvantaged, which makes this district one of the most vulnerable in Ventura County.

“This means that students often do not have access to resources or guidance related to college applications and navigating higher education systems,” said Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Toni DeBoni. “CSUCI's guaranteed admission program and support services could address this specific need and encourage first-generation students to pursue college degrees.”

By guaranteeing admission to qualified students, CSUCI benefits from the MOU a number of ways, including an opportunity to attract a larger pool of students, which would contribute to the University’s enrollment goals. CSUCI can increase the likelihood that students from the district succeed and make it to graduation.

CSUCI has committed to support this effort by assigning an admissions counselor dedicated to students from FUSD; by providing information about the application process, scholarships and financial aid; promoting CSUCI at FUSD schools and events; offering support for academic and                 practical needs for admitted students and to share CSUCI data about admitted and enrolled students from FUSD.

CSUCI will also offer on-the-spot admissions to FUSD students, which means that whenever campus representatives visit a local high school, students can bring their transcripts at one of their school’s on-the-spot events and could be provisionally admitted to CSUCI that same day.

“This MOU and new relationship demonstrates CSUCI’s commitment to the students in Fillmore and Piru,” said FUSD Superintendent Christine Schieferle. “This commitment to the FUSD community validates to our students that CSUCI believes in them and will offer the support necessary to see them accomplish their goals. This makes college a reality for our students before they graduate from high school.”  

Schieferle said the district is grateful for President Yao’s vision and FUSD is committed to providing a rigorous college preparatory program for high school students; making sure students meet CSU admission requirements; promote CSUCI programs and services to parents and students and share data about FUSD students with CSUCI.

FUSD is the latest to sign an MOU with CSUCI, which has either signed or is in the process of developing MOUs with other Ventura County school districts. 

“This MOU offers guaranteed admission to students who meet the minimum University entrance requirements to any non-impacted major at CSUCI,” said CSUCI Director of Admissions and Recruitment Roxana Tunc. “Students will know about their admission decision even before starting 12th grade.”

Students who are not eligible for college admissions after finishing grade 11 will be provided with alternative paths to achieve eligibility during their final year at local high schools. 

A program that offers students a chance to attend college and supports them along the way ultimately strengthens overall economic growth and development locally, according to Tunc, as the majority of CSUCI graduates remain in Ventura County.

“By equipping individuals with University degrees, this program can potentially lead to higher earning potential for graduates,” Tunc said. “Overall, this MOU presents an opportunity to promote and support college access and success. It can have a lasting positive impact on the lives of individuals, families and our broader community.”  

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