The Brotherhood Crusade, West L.A. Partner to Help College Students

Transitioning from high school to college will become easier for some South Los Angeles students, thanks to a summer class being offered by the Brotherhood Crusade and West Los Angeles College.

The College Bridge class, which begins July 11, is designed to equip students with the tools needed to succeed in college. Students will explore topics such as how to apply for financial aid, select classes, understand a syllabus, and seek tutoring and other kinds of assistance.

“We’ve found this model to be a good way to help students make the transition from high school into the community college system,” Dr. Ray Ivey, EdD, the Brotherhood Crusade’s college and career ambassador said.

The class will meet every Friday for six weeks at the Brotherhood Crusade’s YouthSource Center located at 5414 Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles. Students who complete the course will earn two units of credit from West Los Angeles College, which is located in Culver City.

“West Los Angeles College will be providing a college survival course at Brotherhood Crusade because we believe in bringing the college to the community,” Dr. Shalamon Duke, dean of support services at West Los Angeles College said.

Last year, enrollment in California’s community colleges plunged to a 20-year low, according to data released by the Public Policy Institute of California.

The College Bridge class reflects a concern for students who drop out or fail to enroll in college because they lack the skills and the persistence needed to survive in a college environment. Typical problems encountered on a college campus can intimidate those who are unprepared and cause them to leave.

“We’re working with students who would not have been college-bound students if not for this type of intervention,” Ivey said.

For these students, strong support and preparation can mean the difference between dropping out and graduating.

A 2008 national study conducted at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville suggested that African American and Latino male students earned better grades if they participated in a bridge program before their freshman year in college.

Ivey’s previous work with students also demonstrates the value of the class. Those who participated in a bridge class were more likely to successfully enroll in college.

The College Bridge class is open to students who are 17 to 21 years old and live in the city of Los Angeles, who will be in their last year of high school, or have just completed the GED.

“We’re reaching out specifically to students in the attendance boundaries of Dorsey, Crensha Manual Arts, Augustus Hawkins, Fremont and Washington Prep high schools,” Ivey said.Registration and orientation sessions will be held at the YouthSource Center on June 11 at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Participation in other Brotherhood Crusade programs is not a requirement. However, students who take the course may also enroll in the Brotherhood Crusade’s YouthSource Center.

The YouthSource Center is a one-stop shop that helps young people plan and prepare for life after high school. In partnership with the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department, and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the center provides job readiness training, GED preparation, independent study programs, internship opportunities, college exploration workshops, career path workshops and job placement.

For more information about the College Bridge class, please contact Dr. Ray Ivey at (323) 545-1130 ext. 201. You may also contact Dr. Ivey via email at:

The Brotherhood Crusade is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution founded in 1968 to provide necessary resources, program services and a voice of advocacy to traditionally underserved communities. Its mission is to remove and/or help individuals overcome the barriers that deter their pursuit of success and facilitate opportunities for a better quality of life, by promoting health and wellness, enhancing educational opportunities, cultivating economic growth and building community agencies and institutions. For more information:


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