CSU Analytics

The CSU Graduation Initiative strives to raise the freshman six-year graduation rate by eight percentage points by 2016, and cut in half the existing gap in degree attainment by CSU’s under-represented minority (URM) students.

The graph below offers a depiction of how reaching our goals will look.  The blue line represents projected increases in overall six-year freshman graduation rates (by 8%); the red line represents an increase by 10% in the graduation rates of URMs in that same six-year cohort; and the green line represents an increase of 7% in non-URM graduates in the same grouping.

If all 23 campuses reach their goals, the CSU will have achieved an 8% increase in six-year graduation rates for 2015 – 2016.  That means thousands of more individuals will be graduating from the CSU in that year than would have been predicted.


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As illustrated, the CSU anticipates delayed benefit from many of the interventions to improve graduation rates and halve the achievement gap.

Campus Graduation Rate Improvement Targets

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This bar graph chart reflects the current full-time-freshman graduation rates on each CSU campus, the top quartile graduation rates at peer campuses, and the percentage points of improvement needed for each CSU campus to join the top quartile.  A few campuses are already within the top quartile of national six-year graduation rates for full time freshman. Those campuses have committed to increasing their graduation rates by six percentage points such that every campus in the CSU has something at stake in this campaign.  Campuses dealing with higher targets will have to aggressively work on retention efforts in order to lift graduation rates.

Most CSU campuses have significant achievement gaps to close as they seek to improve their six year graduation rates. The bar graph chart below provides a breakdown of campus targets for halving the achievement gap. The darker blue bars represent the percentage point increase needed in non-URM six year graduation rates, and the lighter blue lines depict the improvement required in URM graduation rates in order to halve the achievement gap.

Campus Graduation Rate Improvement Targets – URM and Non-URM Students

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While the chart shows that most campuses face significant challenges in improving URM graduation rates, Monterrey Bay, Dominguez Hills, and Stanislaus do not show any achievement gaps. They are already graduating an impressive ratio of underrepresented students.  A few others have very slight achievement gaps and are in similar situations.

All of these data displays represent snapshots of graduation rates that are fluid and turbulent.
The CO Team expects year-to-year graduation rates to fluctuate, but anticipates generally forward movement over time.