San Diego State University

Graduation Initiative Delivery Plan Summary

San Diego State University has focused on increasing retention and graduation rates, and closing the achievement gap for underrepresented minority students, for many years. Our efforts have paid off. The 6-year graduation rate for full time freshmen beginning in 1999 and 2002 rose from 53% to 61%, and for students of color the gains were from 45% to 57% during the same time period.
At the same time, we wish to increase retention and graduation rates further so that by 2015, the 6-year graduation rate for non-underrepresented minorities will be 65% and for underrepresented minorities 63%. Meeting these goals will improve student success and narrow the achievement gap.
As noted in the narrative articulated in our Delivery Plan, our approach to student success and achievement is comprehensive. When the site team representing the CSU visiting campus in 2007 reported on our progress toward facilitating graduation, they noted, "SDSU is making a four year graduation part of the campus culture. Electronically, personally, institutionally, the campus takes great pains to stress the possibility and expectation of a four year completion cycle." The same site team report went on to note "There is excellent collaboration across many divisions on many programs, including the Compact for Success Program, freshman orientation, enrollment management, and programs of student support such as EOP, Bounce Back, and [learning communities]."
While we will be tracking data on student achievement in many areas, we will be examining particularly closely the number of students involved in what the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has identified as "high impact educational practices." We know from data collected nationally that these practices—for example, study abroad, undergraduate research, community based service learning, leadership development, internships, etc.—have a positive impact on all students and disproportionally greater impact on at risk students. Thus, we will build on what we have already achieved by focusing on these kinds of activities especially for identified cohorts of students, while also continuing our commitment to all students.
Our complete delivery plan can be accessed at


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