Graduation Initiative

Graduation Initiative 2025

In 2015, the California State University (CSU) launched Graduation Initiative 2025(opens in new window), its ambitious plan to increase graduation rates, eliminate equity gaps in degree completion and meet California’s workforce needs.

Advancing Equity 2021-2022 - Focus on the 1st Year

Driven by the urgency of closing academic equity gaps faced by our low income, first generation, and Latinx, African-American, and Native American students, and in alignment with CSU system-wide priorities and guidance from President Hutchinson, the Graduation Initiative Advisory Team has launched an ambitious plan to make rapid and measurable progress on this challenge.  The Advancing Equity project is action-oriented, data-driven, and spans all divisions of the University.  Campus leadership is investing critical time and resources to support the project, and Action and Inquiry Teams of faculty and staff are leading targeted efforts for immediate and long-term impact on equitable student success.   Teams were formed based on areas of expertise and influence through a campus-wide consultation process.  See below for details on Advancing Equity Project.

Contact information for Project Leads.

  • Guiding Principles
    Four shared principles will guide this work. Action and Inquiry Teams will:
    • Be guided by both data and consultation with advocates for and representatives of Latinx, African American, Native American, low-income, and first-generation student populations.
    • Use a cultural asset framework.
    • Build sense of belonging into all strategies.
    • Cultivate mentoring mindset for all employees.
  • Action Teams

    ACTION AREA I:

    Close equity gaps and improve pass rates in high enrollment, high DFW 100 and 200 level classes.

    ACTION TEAM I.A:  CLASS SIZE 

    CHARGE:  Analyze the impact of class size in high DFW courses and make recommendations for sustained funding of smaller classes in critical courses.

    Team Lead(s):  Ellie Ertle and Zahrasadat Alavi

    Team members:  Erin Kelly, Kathleen Meehan, Chris Fosen

    ACTION TEAM I.B:  SENSE OF BELONGING

    CHARGE: Assess high DFW courses for URM, Pell and first-gen students’ sense of belonging and develop relevant interventions. 

    Team Lead(s):  William Cuthbertson and Molly Heck

    Team members:  Marianne Paiva, Lupe Jimenez, Nate Millard, Megan Kurtz, Mitch Casselman

    ACTION TEAM I.C:  GRADING PRACTICES

    CHARGE: Engage a multidisciplinary faculty to develop strategies to, including policy considerations, for improving equitable grading practices

    Team Lead(s):  Jeff Bell

    Team members: Chiara Ferrari, Kathy Fernandes, Michael Dills-Allen, Michelle Morris, Pablo Cornejo, Kim Jaxon, Jack Hames

    ACTION AREA II

    Create a seamless experience of engagement and navigation for FTF from decision to enroll through the first year.

    ACTION TEAM II.A:  EARLY ENGAGEMENT 

    CHARGE:  Develop and assess a plan to meaningfully engage students and families from decision to enroll through Census.

    Team Lead(s):  Tasha Alexander, Denise Crosswhite

    Team members: Holly Nevarez, Bertha Alicia Curiel, Jeff Logsdon, Corinne Knapp, Shawn Ryan

    ACTION TEAM II.B:  ORIENTATION

    CHARGE: Institute inclusive, mandatory, and accessible FTF Orientation.

    Team Lead(s):  Shawn Ryan

    Team members: Kentiner David, Blake Wentz, Celina Phillips, Jennifer Duggan, Joel Ramirez, Cindy McKay, Stacie Corona

    ACTION TEAM II.C:  FIRST-YEAR ADVISING

    CHARGE: Revise first-year advising practices, beginning with Orientation, to eliminate inconsistent advice and achieve defined learning outcomes.

    Team Lead(s):  Pablo Soto & Kylee Sharp

    Team members: Megan Odom, Peter Kittle

    ACTION TEAM II.D:  PEER MENTORING 

    CHARGE: Leverage campus mentoring programs to assign a peer mentor/coach to each incoming student not in a formal support program for sustained help with campus navigation.

    Team Lead(s):  Sue Peterson, Brianna Ellis

    Team members: Shawn Bates, Felipe Restrepo, Jen Harris, Ashley Person

  • Inquiry Teams

    Inquiry Area I:  Learning Support

    What are the most effective learning support programs for high DFW courses (SI, embedded tutors, etc.)? How do we ensure that students access these supports equitably?

    Team Lead(s): Dawn Frank

    Team members: Sue Peterson, Kathy Fernandes, Erik Wasinger, Billy Harkness, Yer Thao, Robin Donatello.

    Inquiry Area II:  Administrative Policy Review

    Are there academic and financial policy changes that can improve retention and success of URM, Pell, and first-gen students? Consider fee timing, academic scheduling and deadlines, academic probation, etc. 

    Team Lead(s): Holly Nevarez

    Team members: Pablo Soto, Jenn Duggan, Elli Alaniz, Josh James, Malcolm McLemore, Anna Magaña.

    Inquiry Area III:  Block Enrollment

    Could block enrollment improve first-year success, especially for students needing developmental QR support? If so, how should it be implemented?

    Team Lead(s): Kelly McGregor, Vicki Bass

    Team members: Michael Dills-Allen, Jessica Dietrich, Jennifer McKee, Yuki Rojas, Jason Stapleton.

    Inquiry Area IV:  Early Alert

    How can we understand our students’ academic challenges early enough to be able to address them in time for a successful semester? What technologies might assist in this effort?

    Team Lead(s): Dave Rowe

    Team members: Jeremy Olguin, Kathy Fernandes, Darnell Lee, Jasmany Garcia, Gina O’Neal, Mitch Casselman.

For more information

Advancing Equity Plan (PDF)

Advancing Equity Project Co-Leads: