Roger Perez

Roger Perez

“The additional instruction I got at CSU Dominguez Hills helped a lot; without it, i probably would've had a lower grade in math.”

It used to be that first-year CSU students who struggled with math or English were placed in remedial education classes to prepare them to do college-level work. Because they received no credit for these courses, that often meant they spent more time and money attending college before earning their degree.

​In fall 2018, that changed. The CSU eliminated these developmental courses, and now students like California State University, Dominguez Hills sophomore Roger Perez earn credit right from the start. Plus, they get extra instruction; as a freshman, Perez received two-and-a-half hours of additional teaching on statistics and algebra every week.

“I took advantage of the review class for math every Friday,” remembers Perez, a first-generation student. “They had a student teacher who went over the lessons we learned throughout the whole week. It helped me a lot because it could get a little overwhelming.”

In the end, the hard work paid off; Perez earned a B-plus in his math class.

CSU Dominguez Hills math instructor Gia Nguyen knows how important these supplemental instruction sessions are in building students’ skills and confidence so they succeed at college. “Roger was determined to do well in school,” Nguyen says. “Despite the difficult concepts the class demanded and the fact that math has never been his primary strength, he constantly sought places to enhance his knowledge.”

On track to graduate in four years, Perez plans to major in either computer science or graphic design. His goal is to become a computer programmer: “I would love to be part of a game design team and expand my growth from college onward into the future.”

Learn more about Roger’s story and about the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, which strives to increase graduation rates for all students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps.

Check out more programs around the CSU that support student success through additional instruction.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Patrick Record and courtesy of
Roger Perez

Share this story