college graduate sitting during commencement ceremony
Story Graduation Initiative

CSU Cited for Successful Efforts to Close California Degree Gap


The PPIC's Higher Education Policy Center points to early successes in increasing the number of career-ready graduates for California.

college graduate sitting during commencement ceremony

​Public Policy Institute of California director and senior fellow Hans Johnson cited the California State University's efforts to improve student achievement as crucial to closing California's pending shortage of highly educated workers by the year 2030.

“Today, I'm pleased to say that California is currently on track to close the gap. The concerted efforts of policymakers, higher education officials—including staff and faculty—and, of course, students have led to these early gains," said Johnson in prepared remarks provided as testimony to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.

Johnson added, “Programs to improve student persistence and graduation rates have also paid off—and contributed to enrollment growth. These gains have been especially sharp at CSU, which has received substantial funding from the state to support its graduation initiative."

Graduation Initiative is the CSU's university-wide plan to increase graduation rates, eliminate equity gaps in degree completion and meet California's workforce needs. Just four years after launching the initiative, four- and six-year graduation rates for first-time students, as well as two- and four-year graduation rates for transfers students, have reached all-time highs across the university.

In 2019, the CSU's 23 campuses conferred a record number of bachelor's degrees (107,319)—the second consecutive year with more than 100,000 baccalaureate degrees awarded.