2007/08 Support Budget

Budget Challenges

Student Services Initiative, $24.6 Million

Teacher and student looking at a paperState policy-makers have demonstrated a continuing interest in ensuring that the CSU has the capacity to serve California, by not just taking students in, but by graduating them with baccalaureate degrees reflecting a high level of accomplishment. Baseline statistics show that CSU students are succeeding through to the baccalaureate degree at the same graduation rate and pace as their counterparts at comparison regional comprehensive universities. But the Board of Trustees, campus presidents, and the CSU system leadership want to set a new standard, to do better than national norms. This goal serves the interests of California, the nation, and the students who use the university as a “stepping stone” on the path to a better job and a better life.

Accordingly, in 2003 the CSU Board of Trustees adopted an aggressive three-part graduation initiative to support improvements in authentic access to higher education and graduation rates. The Trustees’ plan included the (1) Early Assessment Program, a highly successful outreach to students still in high school; (2) requirements for campuses to develop Campus Actions to Facilitate Graduation; and (3) a Lower Division Transfer Patterns program. A large segment of these programs were to be spearheaded by the Student Services divisions on the 23 CSU campuses.

During the most recent recession in California, state budget cuts and unfunded mandatory cost increases to the CSU cumulatively amounted to more than $500 million. These cuts were accompanied by budget control language that instructed the CSU to absorb the cuts “away from the classroom.” Therefore, during this period, the campus Student Services divisions experienced support budget reductions as funds were redirected from Student Services to instructional programs.

This request of $24.6 million will allow Student Services divisions on all 23 campuses to restore and expand the level of services necessary to ensure student success and accomplish the goals of the Trustees’ Graduation Initiative.

There should be no doubt that this request is timely. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a report on September 12, 2006, that compared the levels of educational attainment in the United States and other nations. The report documented that the United States still ranks first among 30 democracies in the level of educational attainment in its adult population, but ranked no higher than seventh place in these comparisons for educational attainment of 15- to 24 year-olds. This indicator is an ominous warning that the United States is losing the educational advantage that has been the nation’s competitive edge in an increasingly knowledgebased global economy. The only way to reverse this trend is to ensure that students receive the support they need to earn baccalaureate and advanced degrees.

This request of $24.6 million has two parts: (1) $16 million for Student Services for Success, and (2) $8.6 million for Student Services for Authentic Access.

The multifaceted Student Services for Success initiative includes $7.5 million to improve advising for undergraduate degree majors; $1.5 million to strengthen programs for new student orientation programs where students and advisors develop the student’s initial academic plan; $4.5 million for staffing of learning centers, tutoring centers, and study skills help centers; and $2.5 million for additional articulation staff to work collaboratively with their community college counterparts to ensure that courses taken at a California Community College are consistent with subject matter requirements at the CSU.

The Student Services for Authentic Access Initiative includes $2 million to ensure disabled persons have access to information and learning offered via information technology including the Internet, $1 million to ensure hearing-impaired persons have full university access by providing interpreting and captioning services (services that both state and federal law require campuses to provide), $4.2 million to provide Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) grants to an estimated additional 4,770 students (the number of students who demonstrated an unmet financial need and whose expected family contribution was $800 or less but did not receive an EOP grant), $0.5 million to improve communications about the Early Assessment Program, $0.5 million to further the CSU’s deployment online of degree programs, and $0.4 million to involve CSU students in the CSU’s goal of increasing the participation of historically underrepresented groups in college.


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Budget Development
Chris Canfield
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Last Updated: February 05, 2007