CSU Monterey Bay

Campus Plan for Improving Graduation Rates Initiative

Background Context

California State University, Monterey Bay was founded with the vision of serving the diverse population of California, particularly historically under-served and low income populations. Our diverse student population reflects this vision, and we are a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution. In Fall 2009, 43% of our undergraduates were first-generation college students; 37% were Pell-eligible students, and 28% came from our local “tri-county” area (Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties).

Goals (URM and non-URM graduation rates)

Our goal is to improve our 6-year First-Time Freshmen (FTF) graduation rate from 35.6% to 49.3%, by 2015. This is a 14% increase in our graduation rate for FTF. It is important to note that CSU Monterey Bay does not have an achievement gap to close in terms of these rates—our graduation rate for Under-Represented Minority (URM) students is the same as for non-URM students. CSU Monterey Bay also plans to increase the graduation rate for our transfer students. We had a 55% graduation rate for transfers in 2006; our goal is to increase that rate by 6%, to reach 61% by 2015.

Highlights of Proposed Actions to Improve Graduation Rates

One of the goals of the CSU Monterey Bay Strategic Plan is to “Increase Student Success,” and the actions we propose to undertake as part of the “improving graduation rates” initiative fit very well under this goal. Our specific action steps include:

  1. Improve Academic Advising. Develop and implement a revised advising model. Responsible parties: WASC Educational Effectiveness “Improving Academic Advising” task force, in collaboration with Provost’s office, deans, and academic departments.
  2. Fully Implement “Degree Audit” capabilities of PeopleSoft/CMS. As of December 2009, degree audit was implemented for 5 of our 18 undergraduate degrees. Responsible parties: Enrollment Management Services, in conjunction with departmental faculty.
  3. Develop early intervention strategies for at-risk students. Responsible parties: Center for Student Success, in conjunction with our Undergraduate Advising Center.
  4. Being more conscious and intentional about communicating with students about progress to degree. Includes using Hobson’s Retain to remind students to declare a major if they have not already done so by 50 hours; remind students who are approaching 120 hours that they must apply for graduation, etc. Responsible parties: Enrollment Management Services, in conjunction with Student Affairs and Provost’s Office.
  5. Degree Pathways project. Continue to improve pathways to ensure accuracy and integration with the catalog. Responsible parties: Provost’s Office, in conjunction with IT and academic departments.
  6. Remediation: Continue to improve student success in remedial courses in order to enable students to move more quickly into their college-level courses. Responsible parties: Math Department, University Writing Program, Center for Student Success.

Metrics That We Will Use to Measure Progress

  • Pre-registration rates (each semester, for FTF and Transfers)
  • Fall to Spring retention (FTF and Transfers)
  • Fall to Fall retention (FTF and Transfers)
  • Success rates in remedial courses

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