Sequoia Union High School District, Cañada College, San Francisco State University and California State University, East Bay Develop Partnership for College Preparation Opportunities

Tue, 10 May, 2022 at 2:12 pm


 In a significant step towards providing more opportunities to access higher education, Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD), Cañada College, San Francisco State University (SFSU) and California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase college preparation, access and success for SUHSD students and graduates. A goal of the collaboration is to increase the number of SUHSD graduates matriculating into postsecondary higher education, specifically to Cañada College and then to SFSU and CSUEB. The partnership will also support more SUHSD students participating in early college access, with an intentional focus on increasing the participation of students from minoritized communities. It will also develop aspirational leaders with perspectives and practices rooted in equity, advocacy, social justice, and anti-racism.

The agreement will establish ongoing clear and personalized communication with SUHSD students and families about progress being made and resources to support high school graduation, college, career readiness and transition to college.  This includes individualized high school, college and career readiness guides that will be sent to all incoming eighth grade students and their families and sent out twice annually to all SUSHD students and their families. “Sequoia Union High School District is committed to educational equity,” says Dr. Darnise R. Williams, Superintendent, Sequoia Union High School District. “This partnership will ensure our students are aware of the requirements of higher education and are prepared to continue their academic journey after high school.” In preparation for college, every SUHSD Senior will have access to complete the CCCApply (the application for California Community Colleges, including Cañada College) as well as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or DREAM Act applications.

In addition, the partnership aims to grow the number of students taking dual enrollment courses by increasing the number of sections offered to SUHSD high schools annually. This includes expanding the number of high school students participating in the Middle College Program where SUHSD students finish earning their high school requirements and attend Cañada College to start earning college credits. “Cañada College is proud to collaborate with Sequoia Union High School District, San Francisco State University and California State University, East Bay on establishing joint efforts to increase college preparation, access and success for SUHSD students and graduates,” said Cañada College Interim President, Kim Lopez. “The partnership aligns with Cañada College’s commitment to increase participation of high school students, particularly from minoritized communities.” The agreement also extends to Sequoia Adult School, establishing articulation and dual-enrollment options where students can earn college credit and promote career pathways at Cañada College. These opportunities provide a critical access point to higher education.

For students who plan to continue their academic journey, the agreement establishes clear and efficient transfer pathways from Cañada College to San Francisco State University and California State University, East Bay. “A college education can transform lives, families and communities,” stated Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., President, San Francisco State University. “This partnership will raise awareness among students of the opportunities available to them in the Bay Area and help them map a path to seizing those opportunities.” The agreement includes a program that provides tutoring and counseling for cohorts of underrepresented SUHSD Juniors and Seniors through UC A-G completion and on to guaranteed admission at SFSU and CSUEB. The partnership provides high school pathways that result in a certificate and/or meet Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements needed to gain admission into SFSU and CSUEB.

"Students and their families make an important and life-changing commitment when they continue their journey into college. Our alliance as organizations strengthens the support and guidance we can give students, smoothing the way to make higher education more accessible,” stated Cathy Sandeen, Ph.D., MBA, President, California State University, East Bay.  “These bright and talented students are our Bay Area future leaders and this partnership is an investment in our vibrant region." 

The agreement was signed by representatives from Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD), Cañada College, San Francisco State University (SFSU) and California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) at a commemorative Signing and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that took place at Sequoia High School on May 5, 2022. Images from the signing ceremony are available up on request.  

About Sequoia Union High School District: The Sequoia Union High School District annually serves more than 8,900 9th to 12th grade students through its four distinguished comprehensive high schools (Carlmont, Menlo-Atherton, Sequoia, and Woodside), dependent charter school (East Palo Alto Academy), continuation high school (Redwood), Middle College (in collaboration with Cañada College) and other specialized programs and services. The District is also the sponsoring agency for two independent charter high schools (Summit and Everest). SUHSD’s Adult School based in Redwood City serves 2,000 students annually. As part of its vision of engaging and preparing all students to excel in a global society, the District offers a rigorous college prep curriculum and support to all students who aspire to higher education, including first-generation college students. For more information:

About Cañada College: For more than 50 years, Cañada College has provided enriching and life-changing educational opportunities for the residents of San Mateo County. With the support and guidance from award-winning faculty and staff, residents can pursue certificates and degrees for career training or serve as a transfer gateway to four-year colleges and universities. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Cañada College offers day, evening, weekend, in-person and online courses in more than 40 quality instructional programs, including science, business, multimedia, medical assisting, the arts and technical training. Cañada College provides extensive “wrap-around” student support services in counseling, orientation, certificate and degree planning, transfer assistance and tutoring. Begin your Cañada College experience by visiting

About San Francisco State University: San Francisco State University is a doctoral public university serving students from the San Francisco Bay Area, across California and around the world, with nationally acclaimed programs that span a broad range of disciplines. Nearly 30,000 students enroll at the University each year, and its more than 280,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond. Through them — and more than 1,900 world-class faculty members — SF State proudly embraces its legacy of academic excellence, community engagement and commitment to social justice. For more information, visit

About California State University, East Bay: For 65 years, Cal State East Bay has served the Bay Area as part of the California State University system, providing access to higher education for a diverse student body and advancing regional engagement through its academic programs and leadership. The university has campuses in Hayward and Concord, as well as a professional center in downtown Oakland. With 49 bachelor’s degrees, 58 minors, 37 master’s degrees, 27 credentials and certificates and one doctoral degree, the Cal State East Bay ranks as one of the most diverse four-year public institutions on the U.S. Mainland by the Chronicle of Higher Education. More than 60 percent of its students are the first in their family to go to college.

Posted in: Featured, Canada In Your Community, High School Students, Canada Promise