2009/10 Support Budget I

Student Services for Success and Authentic Access, $24.6 Million

Baseline statistics show that CSU students are graduating at a rate and pace comparable to other regional comprehensive universities. However, the CSU presidents, system leadership, faculty, and staff want to set a new standard. Key objectives are to increase the graduation rate and reduce the time to degree for undergraduates. These coordinated programs intend to reduce delay in reaching a degree and to increase the number of initial matriculants who, in fact, graduate, while recognizing that not all students who enroll will graduate for various reasons. The CSU, through its accountability process, has named this a high-priority long-term need, on which it reports to the CSU Trustees, state policy-makers, and the public. The CSU can increase the graduation rate, reduce the time to degree, and foster success, especially with new populations where college-going and graduation rates have been lower than average.

In 2003, the CSU Trustees adopted a three-part graduation initiative with goals to improve student services for undergraduates, enhance undergraduate advising, strengthen new student orientation, staff tutoring/learning/study skills help centers, and improve articulation efforts. The three-part initiative includes (1) the Early Assessment Program of outreach to students still in high school, (2) the Campus Actions to Facilitate Graduation initiative, and (3) the Lower Division Transfer Patterns program. Student services for the second and third parts of this major initiative include new-student orientation, advising, articulation with community colleges, and other similar functions, all of which require adequate resources to enable success.

This three-part initiative was adopted in order to develop an educated California workforce required for global competitiveness in the next decades. Of all the 2007/08 first-time freshmen in the CSU, 56.9 percent were from traditionally underrepresented groups. It is typical for such students to be the first in their families to attend college, and so the CSU has made the success of these students a systemwide priority. Key in this goal is to offer specific support at points of special vulnerability to discouragement and dropout. These students are California's tomorrow.

The CSU requests $24.6 million for Student Services for Success ($16 million) and Authentic Access ($8.6 million). The Student Services for Success funding will improve and expand advising opportunities for students, hire more tutors, strengthen new student orientation programs, provide additional staff at learning centers, and improve articulation efforts with California Community Colleges. The Student Services for Authentic Access funding will support outreach and authentic access efforts to California's lowest income families and disabled students, as well as enhance online access to degree programs for underserved populations and those without direct access to a CSU campus.