Sonoma State University

Graduation Initiative Summary Report

In response to the California State University systems requirement for closing the graduation gap between the CSU campuses and nationwide similar institutions of higher education, Sonoma State University plans to increase the graduation rates of its students according to the following six year plan: Full Time Frosh by 6%; Full Time Frosh in the Underrepresented Minority category (URM) by 8.7%; Transfer Students by 6% and Transfer URM category by 10.3%. The SSU delivery team is led by Dean Saeid Rahimi. The delivery team is in the process of developing tools to address the retention issues as well as identifying further issues that impede a timely student graduation. The delivery team has also developed a plan to include and involve all divisions within SSU as well as all the major organizations outside of SSU within the North Bay Community.

The delivery team is in the process of conducting extensive consultations with faculty governance committees, student government, and all levels of administrative units, from academic departments to University Divisions. The delivery team has developed a theme that all units on campus should help close the gap because they must be directly or indirectly connected to our students’ retention, graduation and success.

The delivery team has assembled a Core Implementation Group (CIG) which is connected to all campus units through its seven members. The CIG members are required to communicate regularly with their constituencies and provide the group with the feedback from those units. In order to safeguard the integrity of pedagogy and curricular planning, SSU has created a Curricular Innovation and Planning (CIP) group made up of two deans and a few members of the SSU faculty. Three of the members of the Implementation Group will be from the CIP, the Academic Senate, and the Academic Schools. In addition to three representatives from Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Development and University Affairs, and Administration and Finance, there will be one representative from Associated Students. The delivery team has also established plans to meet and discuss the graduation initiative with all important groups and organizations of the North Bay community including, Offices of Education in the neighboring Counties, local community colleges, City and County organizations including Latino chamber of commerce, community based learning organizations, and local businesses and industries.

The Core Implementation Group is developing the following tools to accomplish the Graduation Initiative’s objectives: an annual Student Feedback Week (SFW), during which SSU students will respond to comprehensive survey describing their positive and negative experiences at SSU; block registration of various freshman groups; student advising; early start programs in lieu of English and Mathematics remediation; shortening the undeclared major years; increasing faculty-student interaction outside of classroom; enhancing co-curricular activities; degree roadmaps; and other issues and initiatives brought to the CIG through the established feedback mechanism. The delivery team has established a schedule for graduation improvement and will proceed to reach its goals through a flexible and inclusive approach.

Click here to view more information about the Sonoma State plan.


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