Compact for Success

Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Community Partnerships / Collective Impact,


The Compact for Success is a unique partnership between San Diego State University (SDSU), the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) and San Ysidro School District (SYSD) through which all students who enter the districts by the seventh grade are guaranteed admission to SDSU upon completion of program benchmarks. The early guarantee of admission is key to disseminating the message that college can be a reality for any student who begins preparation early.

Program Description

The underlying premise of the Compact for Success is to show students the path to attend a college or university and to provide the support necessary to assure success at SDSU. The immediate goal of the program was to institute curriculum reform that would involve the teachers of SUHSD to work with the faculty at SDSU to examine the rigor and alignment of math and English course offerings, as well as design a school curriculum that would be directly related to the a-g requirements for college admissions. In effect, the Compact for Success Program focused on five benchmarks:
1) Maintain a 3.00 GPA through the senior year
2) Complete all a-g course requirements
3) Must have been enrolled in the SUHSD or SYSD since the 7th grade
4) Satisfy both the ELM and EPT placement tests
5) Take SAT or ACT exam


The Compact for Success began its work in the fall of 2000 with the seventh-grade class (high school graduating class of 2006). As of 2012 there has been a 124% increase in the number of applications to SDSU, a 70% increase in the number of students admitted to SDSU, a 87% increase in the number of students from Sweetwater enrolled for the fall semester, and a 493% increase in the number of Sweetwater students without the need for remediation in math and English. Since the first class was admitted to SDSU in 2006, more than 2,100 students have been awarded the guaranteed admission to SDSU.