2018 Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium

The California State University Office of the Chancellor recently hosted the Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium on October 17 and 18, 2018 which engaged national higher education leaders, practitioners and members of the CSU community in rich exchanges focused on improving degree completion and addressing equity.  Engage in the discussion by viewing the recordings below.  Use the Digital Engagement Guide for points of reflection and discussion and additional resources. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Welcome and Opening Remarks

James T. Minor, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Senior Strategist
President Adela de la Torre, San Diego State University
Chancellor Timothy P. White

"Creating a Student-Centered University through Data and Analytics"

Timothy M. Renick, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Vice Provost and Professor of Religious Studies, Georgia State University

View Slides

"Grad Talks"

Jim Larimore, Chief Officer, ACT Center for Equity in Learning
Ryan J. Smith, Executive Director, The Education Trust–West
Goldie Blumenstyk, Senior Writer, Chronicle of Higher Education
Soraya Coley, President, California State Polytechnic University

View Slides

"Leadership and Innovation in the California State University"

Loren J. Blanchard, Executive Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs
Faculty Innovation & Leadership Awards ReceptionThis inaugural award recognizes outstanding faculty implementing innovative practices and those who have demonstrated leadership at the department, college or university level to improve student success.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Jeff Gold, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Success & Strategic Initiatives
Adam Day, Chairman, CSU Board of Trustees

Breakout Sessions

"Actually Achieving Equity"

The CSU established a goal to completely eliminate equity gaps in student outcomes. Doing so will require intentional action and a heightened awareness of the cultural and operational factors that often impede student progress.Professors Harris and Wood, nationally recognized thought leaders and practitioners, will cover six domains of institutional equity that campuses must address to eliminate gaps.Using the results of national studies, they will offer a framework for engaging faculty and staff in equity-minded professional development and institutional responses to common barriers that thwart equity efforts.

Frank Harris, Professor, Postsecondary Education in the College of Education, San Diego State University
J. Luke Wood, Dean's Distinguished Professor of Education in the College of Education, San Diego State University

View Slides

"21st-Century Advising for Student Success"

High quality advising is considered a critical component for college success. However, few campuses have the resources to provide intensive one-on-one advising for every student. Institutions that have invested in additional advisors are asking them to rethink their role and the structures in which they are working. College and universities are now inundated with new digital platforms to enhance “e-advising”, yet the lessons from the field are clear—no matter the tool, campuses must reconsider advising structures and the overall coordination of care. New tools must be accompanied by better cross-campus coordination and the removal of structural barriers that represent obstacles for students. This session focuses on the combination of organizational change and the use of advising tools that give rise to more efficient and effective student advising.

Elisha Jarrett, Associate Director, University Advisement Center, Georgia State University
Crystal Mitchell, Director, University Advisement Center, Georgia State University, Perimeter College

View Slides

"Mining and Maximizing CSU NSSE Data to Advance Student Success"

For nearly 20 years, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) annually collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about first-year and senior participation in campus programs. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and surveys their level of engagement in empirically confirmed "good practices" that reflect behaviors associated with college success. Eighteen of the 23 CSU campus regularly administer the NSSE survey. Of the 725 campuses that participate nationally, many struggle to fully leverage their data to inform student success-related policies or practices.With the Graduation Initiative 2025 goals in mind, this session will mine CSU data to explore how it can complement other data sources to inform campus degree completion efforts.

Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University School of Education, National Survey of Student Engagement Institute  

View Slides

"Five Things Students Want Faculty and Administrators to Know About Student Success"

In too many discussions about how to improve degree completion the voice of students is missing. This session will feature ideas and insights from CSU students concerning how campuses might better serve them. This student panel representing a number of backgrounds, experiences and CSU campuses that will address critical areas associated with the quality of student experiences and persistence and provide “Five Things” on what students want faculty and administrators to know about student success.


Farhonda Alizada, California State University San Marcos
Kaira Bradley, California State University, Sacramento
Jacob Howard, Student of Civil Engineering and African American Studies, California State University Fullerton
Erick Macias-Chavez, San Jose State University

C. Rob Shorette II, Executive Director, Cal State Student Association (CSSA)

"Rethinking the Future of Math and Quantitative Reasoning Instruction"

All 17 major mathematical associations have endorsed alternatives to stand-alone developmental education courses and the development of differentiated math pathways for students. Without question, the nation is rethinking instructional approaches to college-level mathematics and quantitative reasoning courses. For the last 50 years, colleges and universities have upheld the conventions of math instruction. For many students, college math courses represent a hurdle or serve as the determinant for particular majors. In the last several years, higher education has experienced a revolution in college-level math instruction. This session features math faculty who are transforming the approach to math instruction, especially for students who may arrive in need of additional support. This session will cover the results from recent reform efforts and discuss what's required to achieve equitable outcomes in college math courses and major selection.


Ayşe Şahin, Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Wright State University
German Vargas, Assistant Vice President for Academic Student Engagement / Associate Professor of Math, College of Coastal Georgia

Fred Uy, Co-Director, Center for the Advancement of Instruction in Quantitative Reasoning, CSU Office of the Chancellor

View Slides View Prezi

"The Power of Artificial Intelligence to Improve Student Engagement and Success"

The combination of behavioral science and technology is now being used to improve how universities engage students to provide critical information required to successfully navigate complex postsecondary systems. Chatbots and other technologies are being developed to fill critical information gaps, influence proactive student behavior, and to extend the accessibility of student services in new ways. When provided targeted, timely and accessible information, college students across the nation are demonstrating an increased ability to act affirmatively to overcome hurdles in the admission process and barriers once on campus. California can arguably be considered the technological epicenter of the world. Yet, postsecondary institutions are just at the beginning stages of exploring the promise of artificial intelligence and other technologies to advance student success. This session will feature CSU Fullerton’s award-winning chatbot iTuffy and Northridge’s CSUNny. The session will also explores the possibilities and challenges associated with the use of artificial intelligence technology to support student success.


Elizabeth Adams, Associate Vice President Student Success, California State University, Northridge
Amir Dabirian, Vice President for Information Technology/CIO, California State University, Fullerton
Andrew Magliozzi, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, AdmitHub

Michael Berman,
Chief Technology Innovation Officer, CSU Office of the Chancellor

View Slides

"True Student Success: An Expansive Notion of Quality, Completion and Outcomes"

Jamienne S. Studley, President and CEO of WASC Senior College and University Commission

Closing Remarks


Connect with us

All speakers will be streamed online at http://www.calstate.edu/GraduationInitiative

Use #GradInitiative2025 to comment, reflect, and ask questions.


Please contact Dr. Sabrina Sanders, Director, Students Affairs Projects & Initiatives: [email protected].

Access 2017 symposium resources here.