Provost Graduation Initiative

Provost Graduation Initiative

Increase Graduation, Financial Need, Sponsorships
  • Graduation Rates
California State University, Fresno (CA)
  • Institutions
  • Systems


According to Fresno State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness, in 2013 59.2 percent first-time freshman and undergraduate transfers reported a family income of $59,999 or less and 93.8 percent reported an independent income of $59,999 or less. Recognizing the need to increase graduation rates while simultaneously defraying the cost of taking the necessary courses, the Provost Graduation Initiative tool provides up to $1,260 for students who are near graduation to take classes through Extended Education. This tool provides a sponsorship to reduce the financial burden of coursework and increase graduation rates.

  • To increase the graduate rate at Fresno State between 4.4 and 8 percent in 2016.

  • Provide financial assistance in the form of sponsorships for students to take the necessary coursework to graduate.

  • Identify students who are near graduation and in need of financial assistance to take the necessary coursework to graduate.


This tool is designed to provide sponsorships to students who are near graduation and have a demonstrated financial need. Students complete an application listing the course or courses needed to graduate this Spring 2016 semester. In addition, students provide a one-page narrative of why they need assistance and, if available, provide their Student Aid Report (S.A.R.) from their FAFSA or California Dream Act (AB-540). Sponsorships are determined by 1) demonstrated financial need, 2) class rank (e.g., Seniors and Juniors, and 3) the availability of the course(s). These sponsorships will provide up to $1,260 for 4 units of coursework in Extended Education. This tool provides assistance so that students who otherwise could not afford to take coursework through Extended Education have the opportunity to take the necessary coursework to graduate.

Website ( with detailed instructions and interactive application form.

A final tool report will include total number of students who receive sponsorships and their colleges and majors, total amount of sponsorships distributed, the increase in graduation rate, and other descriptive statistics.

  • Increase in campus graduation rate

  • Amount of sponsorships distributed (~$300,000)

Although it is too soon to have achieved outcomes, the tool anticipates increasing the campus graduation rate between 4.4 and 8 percent.
An additional achieved outcome will be to distribute roughly $300,000 in sponsorships.

Increase the campus graduation rate between 4.4 and 8 percent.


This tool utilizes a project lead and an academic advisor. Training is required to accurately read student transcripts. A small office is needed for advising. Last, both the advisor and project lead to leverage existing counseling and advising resources to maximize tool effectiveness.

  • Student Sponsorships

  • Advisor & Project Lead

  • Advertising and Materials (posters, paper applications)

  • In-kind for additional staff support

  • Creating and implementing a tool to increase the campus graduation rate requires a great deal of partnering with other campus offices.

  • Flexibility to identify inviduals who would benefit from the tool as each student's financial need and academic circumstance varies.

  • Work closely with advising offices, the evaluation office, the graduation office, and the financial aid office.

  • Work closely with college Deans and department Chairs.

  • Work closely withthe registrar of Extended Education, the coordinator of special programs for Extended Education, and ultimately, the students who would benefit from this tool.

  • Advertise in the college newspaper, create signage, and use the free speech area to promote tool.


Dr. Daniel Bernard
Executive Director
California State University, Fresno California
Phone: 559-278-1902

Dr. Scott Moore
California State University, Fresno California
Phone: 559-278-3010