Graduation Rates

Cal State Long Beach Data Fellows Program

California State University Long Beach (CSULB)
The program was created to fill an internal need. We had, and have, data-rich pockets on campus, but all users were not necessarily savvy enough to take advantage of the data and ask the right questions. Date need to be tailored to many different unit's needs, and faculty, staff and administrators look at data differently. Data that were being "pushed out" did not necessarily meet users' needs. We are creating a "data pull" environment in which the various units on campus can appropriately target CSULB's graduation rates and achievement gaps.

The Data Fellows program identifies data-interested people across campus; trains them in higher order data management and data accession skills; and trusts them to ask appropriate questions in the broad context of student success. Furthermore, the program encourages and enhances collaboration and problem-solving across units.

Brian Jersky

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Provost Graduation Initiative

California State University, Fresno
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.

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.

Dr. Daniel Bernard

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Highly Valued Degree Initiative

California State University Long Beach
Student success and degree completion with first generation, underrepresented universities in large, public, poorly funded universities.

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) received the 2014 national award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) for Excellence and Innovation in Student Success and Completion, recognizing record high graduation rates, significantly above comparable institutions. To achieve gains, CSULB implemented a full range of institution-changing strategies, not just a few student success measures. Gains occurred with cohorts that entered during major budget cuts, benefitted all ethnic and gender groups, and low-income students, and occurred with cohorts that were far more diverse and far more low-income compared to earlier cohorts. With a national conversation asking why sizable student success gains are elusive, especially for underrepresented students, the CSULB experience suggests a key reason: improvement requires changing many aspects of the institution, not just a few, and this can be difficult.

David Dowell

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Retention Toolkit

Southeast Technical Institute, Sioux Falls, SD

To provide effective tools colleges can use to improve student retention rates and better meet student needs.

The technical institutes in South Dakota have held some of the strongest retention rates in the US; however, we know that what worked in the past does not always continue to be effective. Therefore, we have created this toolkit of retention ideas. The Retention Toolkit has been designed so that institutions can effectively implement only those tools they believe will help them improve their student retention. However, some toolkit items do share common connections and may be more effective when implemented together. The toolkit is developed to provide details on each individual tool along with implementation questions, Southeast Technical Institute’s experiences with implementation, lessons learned, results, handouts, and contact information.

Tracy Noldner

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