Timothy White, the chancellor of the California State University, introduced his Graduation Initiative 2025 at the State of The CSU address last week in Long Beach. The new goal is to increase graduation rates to 60 percent by 2025. The previous Graduation Initiative, which was launched in 2009 and ends this year, was to increase CSU’s graduation rate by eight percent, from 46 percent to 54 percent. Although the numbers will not be finalized until the 2015 commencement, White says The CSU is on track to reach the goal.
The Graduation Initiative 2025 has a total of six goals:
- Increase the six-year graduation rate for first-time freshman to 60 percent.
- Increase the four-year graduation rate for first-time freshman to 24 percent.
- Increase the four-year graduation rate for transfer students to 76 percent.
- Increase the two-year graduation rate for transfer students to 35 percent.
- Close the achievement gap for underrepresented students to seven percent.
- Close the achievement gap for low-income students to five percent.
The Graduation Initiative 2025 outlined many “winning strategies” that the Chancellor’s Office and the 23 CSU campuses will use to reach their goals. Some of the strategies include redesigning courses to incorporate technology, expanding cohort-based learning communities, and expanding programs that foster student engagement such as service learning and study abroad. The CSU also plans to expand the Associate Degree for Transfer program and the number of CourseMatch course offerings. Lastly, the institution wants to build relationships with community colleges and school districts to ensure freshman are prepared for college coursework.
CSU Trustee and California Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) called the plan ambitious in a written statement. “I think it’s great CSU is committed to achieving these goals without burdening students and their families with additional fee increases.”
“At the end of the day, we all – the state and the university – share common cause in seeing more students succeed at higher rates, so they can go on to design California’s future,” Chancellor White said. According to the chancellor, CSU undergraduate students will earn one million degrees between now and 2025. Under the Graduation Initiative 2025, The CSU estimates 100,000 more degrees will be earned by the people of California. These graduates will join the already three million CSU graduates who make up one in ten employees in California and one in 20 degree holders in the United States.