2009/10 Support Budget II

Additional Challenges

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, 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 increase the number of initial matriculants who, in fact, graduate. The CSU, through its accountability process, has named this a high-priority long-term goal, on which it reports to the CSU Trustees, state policy-makers, and the public.

Student Services for Success

Sixteen million dollars in support is sought for improved student services for undergraduates in the CSU. Enhanced undergraduate degree major advising, strengthened programs for new student orientation, staff for tutoring/learning/study skills help centers, and staff for articulation efforts are the essential projects to be undertaken.

In 2003, the CSU Trustees adopted a three-part graduation initiative with these goals in mind. Along with the (1) Early Assessment Program of outreach to students still in high school (referenced on the next page, under Student Services for Authentic Access), the Trustees adopted (2) the Campus Actions to Facilitate Graduation 45 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.

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

The multi-faceted Student Services for Success initiative includes: $7.5 million to improve advising for undergraduate degree majors; expanding general education, special coursework, and career advising services to an additional 41,000 students by hiring up to 46 student service professionals; expanding peer knowledge and utilization of academic services to an additional 212,000 students who have not yet declared academic majors by recruiting up to 300 peer-advising interns and hiring an additional 70 tutors; enhancing articulation, both through direct articulation and through working collaboratively with statewide programs; $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 majors at the CSU.

Student Services for Authentic Access

The second portion of this request seeks $8.6 million in support for outreach and authentic access. A portion of the requested funds will enhance the CSU’s ability to bring to students’ attention the possibility of college, and the reality of what it takes to enter college fully prepared. Another portion seeks support for students from California’s lowest income families, for whom access is limited and often temporary, as well as for disabled student learning, without which, access is inauthentic. Also supported are efforts to enhance online access to degree programs for underserved populations and those without direct access to a CSU campus.

The Student Services for Authentic Access Initiative includes: $2 million to ensure access by disabled persons to information and learning offered via information technology including the Internet; $1 million to ensure university access to hearing-impaired persons 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 communication between campuses and high schools for 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.