The California State University Employee Update
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Proposed State Budget Presents Challenges for CSU

Gov. Brown’s state budget proposal allocates $2.29 billion to the CSU for 2011-2012, down from $2.77 billion for 2010-11—and the lowest budget for the CSU in 12 years, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget Robert Turnage reported this week to the CSU Board of Trustees. What is even more challenging is that the CSU is serving nearly 70,000 more students, he noted.

The CSU would receive a $500 million—or 18 percent—reduction in state support in the proposed 2011-12 state budget. This reduction is a "best case" scenario based on an extension of the personal income and state sales taxes, as well as the vehicle license fee which the governor hopes voters will approve in a June special election. If voters reject the tax extensions, the CSU may face additional cuts.

Turnage also noted that cutting expenditures at the CSU will be very challenging. More than 84 percent of the CSU’s budget goes to employee salaries and benefits, with the remainder dedicated to operating costs such as equipment, supplies and utilities. The CSU is considering all options as it develops a comprehensive plan to address the proposed reductions.

CSU leaders have been actively advocating the need to preserve the CSU’s budget. Chancellor Reed, CSU Board of Trustees Chair Herbert L. Carter and others recently spoke before the California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education on several initiatives aimed at helping students succeed and reducing costs. More information.

Early Start and Early Assessment Programs Target Student Success

The CSU is planning to implement its Early Start program on its 23 campuses by 2014 to help students bridge the achievement gap between high school preparation and college readiness. The CSU Board of Trustees adopted Early Start in March 2010 and heard an update on the program at its meeting this week.
Approximately half of the CSU's freshmen are not proficient in math and/or English, and are required to take developmental courses in their first year of college. The CSU estimates it spends $30 million annually on remediation, and it often results in students falling behind as they attempt to complete degree requirements. 

Under Early Start, beginning in summer 2012, students who are not proficient in math or "at risk" in English will be required to demonstrate they have started the remediation process prior to enrolling at a CSU campus.  However, students will still be allowed to enroll even if they still need remediation following this initial effort.  There will be many available options including taking additional math or writing classes during their senior year of high school, taking an on-line refresher course or attending remedial classes at their local community college. 

Since its adoption, all 23 CSU campuses have been working to develop Early Start plans, which have identified innovative best practices including:

  • Expansion of existing summer Early Start programs such as Summer Bridge;
  • Increased use of on-line learning for students who are almost proficient;
  • Expanded use of Early Assessment scores to encourage high school seniors to become proficient in math and English prior to attending the CSU; and
  • Additional collaboration with California Community College partners and local high school faculty

The final stage of Early Start in English for all students who have not demonstrated proficiency is expected to take place by summer 2014.

A separate initiative, the CSU's Early Assessment Program (EAP) includes a test that high school juniors can take to determine their readiness for college level work in math and English.  The EAP is administered as a voluntary part of the California Standards Test (CST) taken state-wide by 11th grade students.  By receiving results prior to their final year of high school, students can make better use of their senior year of high school and the summer prior to their freshman year to prepare for college.

Since its implementation in 2006, more than 1.7 million students have taken the EAP test with 84 percent of eligible students (378,870) taking the English test in 2010.  Additionally, proficiency rates have also shown steady improvement with students demonstrating a marked increase in English proficiency over 2009 results.

EAP testing is not limited to CSU-bound students as 2010 marked the first year that students were also able to authorize the release of their EAP results to California Community Colleges for use in placement.
An additional element of EAP is professional development for high school teachers and other educators to inform them about college readiness and strategies designed to prepare students for success in college. More information.

CSU Board Approves Doctorate Program Plans, Hears Fundraising Results

At its meeting this week, the CSU Board of Trustees:

  • Approved that campuses can begin planning for three Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) pilot programs that will start as early as fall 2012. Two of the programs will be offered jointly by multiple CSU campuses: Fresno and San José in the north and Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles in the south. San Diego will have a stand-alone program. The DNP degree will help prepare more faculty that will ultimately train more nurses to meet the state’s critical shortage. 
  • Approved that the Fresno, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and San Diego campuses can commence planning Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs to launch as early as summer 2012. Physical therapists practicing in California must have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program as well as passed national and state examinations. Beginning in 2015, the National Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will only grant accreditation to programs awarding doctorates. More information.
  • Reviewed the 2009-10 annual gift report on philanthropic support to the CSU. Over the past three years, the CSU has averaged $357 million in gift commitments, including more than $265 million designated in 2009-10. The 2009-10 decrease from the prior two years of extraordinarily strong gift commitments reflects the impact of the prolonged recession.  Gift receipts, new gifts and pledge payments totaling $228 million, also declined from the record-high prior two years. CSU endowments, however, began to recover during 2009-10, with an 18 percent increase in endowment market value that reached $846 million, up from $720 million in 2008-09. In 2009-10, donors contributed nearly $50 million in new gifts toward endowments, an increase of 26 percent from the prior year.  Over a three-year period, $157 million in new endowment gifts were added to endowments throughout the CSU. More information.
  • Approved a 10 percent increase to the tuition fee for the university's Doctor of Education degree (EdD) programs for the 2011-12 academic year.  Beginning in the fall of 2011, tuition fees will increase by $954 annually and will total $10,500 per year annually. There are approximately 700 students participating in the programs offered at 11 campuses. State law permits the board to increase the CSU education doctorate tuition fee to the level adopted by the University of California Regents, which for 2011-12 is $11,064. However, the 10 percent increase approved by the CSU trustees is consistent with levels set for undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate students for fall 2011. The CSU board adopted a two-step tuition increase last November, as the system was faced with an uncertain state fiscal outlook, as well as increasing enrollment demands.