Division of Academic Affairs
Graduation Initiative (GI 2025) and Equity Priorities
The California State University continues to experience a record-breaking rise in graduation rates systemwide, yet equity gaps are growing. The first-year class that entered in fall 2019 represents the cohort of students on which 6-year graduation rates and equity gaps will be measured in 2025. The COVID-19 pandemic and the disparate impacts across communities of color and low-income families have created a renewed urgency to close the gaps that exist between underserved and vulnerable students and their peers. Not since Graduation Initiative 2025 launched five years ago has the need to marshal the CSU’s collective resources been more critical to address differential patterns of student success.
Progress against campus goals, including eliminating equity gaps, in Graduation Initiative 2025
Fresno State made progress on four goals of the six GI 2025 goals and with no change in one goal.
- The estimated 4-year first-time, full-time freshmen (FTFTF) graduation rate increased from 24.7% for the Fall 2017 cohort to 27.9% for the Fall 2018 cohort, an improvement of 3.2 percentage points.
- The estimated 4-year California community college transfers (CCC transfers) graduation rate increased from 75.4% for the Fall 2017 cohort to 77.9% for the Fall 2018 cohort, an improvement of 2.5 percentage points.
- The estimated 6-year FTFTF graduation rate was 56.5% for the Fall 2016 cohort, almost unchanged from that for the Fall 2015 cohort (56.6%).
- The estimated 2-year CCC transfers graduation rate declined from 36.8% for the Fall 2019 cohort to 34.4% for the Fall 2021 cohort, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points. However, the rate is still above our target of 34%.
- The estimated URM achievement gap in the 6-year FTFTF graduation rate was 0.6% for the Fall 2016 cohort, a decline of 3.4 percentage points from 4.0% for the Fall 2015 cohort. The 6-year graduation rate of URM improved 1.2 percentage points from 55.0% to 56.2%.
- The estimated Pell recipient achievement gap in the 6-year FTFTF graduation rate was 5.6% for the Fall 2016 cohort, a decline of 2.9 percentage points from 8.5% for the Fall 2015 cohort. The 6-year graduation rate of Pell recipients improved 0.9 percentage point from 53.5% to 54.4%.
- African American students have continued a multiyear decline in 6-year graduation rates. African American first-time students from the Fall 2016 cohort are estimated to graduate at a rate of 37.8%, which is still slightly lower than that for the Fall 2015 cohort (38.1%). Fresno State will continue its efforts and pledge to support our African American students and promote their success.
- Asian students are not classified as URM but Fresno State’s Asian students experience the same challenges as URM students. They had a decrease of 3.9 percentage points in their 6-year graduation rate. Asian first-time students from the Fall 2016 cohort are estimated to graduate at a rate of 50.5%, which is lower than that for the Fall 2015 cohort (54.4%). At Fresno State, around two-thirds of Asian first-time undergraduate students are Southeast Asian and helping this non-URM group of students succeed is an institutional goal. In October 2021, the University received a $1.2M grant from the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program to expand the capacity of the University to support Asian Americans and Pacific Islander students in the Department of Criminology and beyond.
Five Equity Priorities:
Five priorities, identified to build upon one another, reflect actionable steps to close equity gaps in the CSU today. These priorities are an extension of the Chancellor’s Graduation Initiative 2025 Advisory Committee recommendations.
Advance systemwide and campus re-enrollment campaigns and establish campus retention targets beginning with the spring 2022 semester and continuing for the next three years.
During April and May 2022, approximately 25 student assistants each spent 17 hours contacting all 1,666 stop-out students via an introductory email, a text message, and at least one phone attempt to encourage re-enrollment, as well as an invitation to complete a survey. As a result of these efforts, 23% (392 students) enrolled in summer or fall courses. Data from OIE indicate that this effort reduced the non-enrolled student numbers to pre-pandemic levels. A Qualtrics Survey was sent, and 192 students responded with the following reasons as to why they are no longer enrolled at Fresno State: (1) Financial, (2) Health and Personal, (3) Course Modality, and (4) Transfer and Relocation.
Supplement enrollment of URM and Pell students in intersession and summer session with the goal of closing equity gaps in credit accumulation at targeted campuses.
For summer programming, including the Provost Graduation Initiative (PGI), Continuing and Global Education (CGE) used global promotion with campus wide marketing (direct email), campus yard-signs, as well as advertising in the Collegian to increase enrollment. CGE took special note of the equity gaps of AANAPISI students and Black students when promoting the Provost Graduation Initiative (PGI). CGE enlisted the help of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) to publicize summer coursework and funding opportunities through AANAPISI and Black student contact lists. PGI and GI2025 funding were used to offer high-demand GE and major courses at no cost or reduced-cost; this includes 1,135 partially sponsored seats in Areas B4, IB, IC and 240 fully funded seats in Area F. A total of approximately $2.1 million served close to 1400 students and 210 courses.
The goals of Block Scheduling include that students will:
- Take at least 9 units in the block and then outreach via advisors after Dog Days to encourage students to take 15 units/semester.
- Complete the Golden Four (A1, A2, A3, and B4) within their first academic year.
- Take FYE/Orientation course, as available via major and/or College.
- Take at least one major course during the first academic year.
A total of 3,142 FTF were placed into a block for F22.
No later than June 15, 2022 (Note: New date has yet to be determined), every CSU student will have access to and adoption of a real-time digital degree planner.
Late Fall 2021, Fresno State created a Digital Degree Planner/Roadmap Taskforce to begin evaluating and coordinating efforts. The Taskforce met with three different Digital Degree Planner vendors (Stellic, EAB Smart Guidance, and CollegeSource Planner 5.0) to review tools compatible with our current degree audit system (U.Achieve). The Taskforce created a summary of each tool, including the cost, system compatibility, and a checklist of required functionality. In preparation for the Digital Degree Planner, the CO suggested Fresno State review/improve our timely posting of transfer credit, work on ensuring our academic roadmaps were tied to curriculum cycles, and to have printed road maps available for students. To this end, we have hired an additional staff member to ensure we have timely posting of transfer credit.
No later than June 30, 2022, each CSU campus shall, with an equity-centered framework, revise drop for non-payment policies, re-evaluate registration hold policies and reform the graduation filing process.
During AY 2021-2022, there were ongoing discussions between the Divisions of Academic and Student Affairs to identify and address administrative barriers. A total of 34 administrative barriers were identified. Of these 18, were addressed and the remaining are in-progress. Some of the completed efforts include streamlining: student forms (e.g., third repeat form), software systems (e.g., articulation), websites (e.g., recruitment/outreach), timelines (e.g, admissions), policy (e.g, stop-out), processes (e.g., DQ petitions), holds (e.g., non-payment fees), ePortfolio (e.g., GE), and advising (e.g., course repeats).
Beginning fall 2021, the Chancellor’s Office will engage ASCSU, campus presidents, provosts and deans to identify the top 10 high enrollment critical major pathway courses (by campus) with higher than average equity gaps as defined by DFW rates.
Some of the collective efforts include the following:
- Campus team participation and completion of the Chancellor’s Office Analytics Certificate Program with our Data Action Project plan, AY 2021-22.
- Office of IDEAS participation and completion of the CSU Change Leadership workshop, July 2022.
- Implementation of three GI 2025 priority 5 summer institutes, June 2022.
- Design and implementation of HyFlex Institute, July 2021 - May 2022
- Resilient Course Design
- Digital Inclusion badges July 2021 - May 2022
- ACUE Effective Teaching Practices cohort Sept 2021 - May 2022
- Over $5.8 million student savings for our campus Affordable Learning Solutions program in AY 2021-22
- DEI content throughout all programing
- Redesigns of high DFW courses such as Introductory Chemistry and General Biology have incorporated high impact practices and improved Teaching Associate training, which have led to improvements in course passing rates.
Facilitators worked with faculty synchronous sessions, grading and commenting and general support in our HyFlex, DISCOVERe, and ACUE programs as well as our Teaching with Resilient Course Design summer workshops. The Office of IDEAS participated in various accessibility initiatives during the 2021-2022 academic year, including: Moving the Needle Challenge (3rd place - $500 stipend awarded) and Global Accessibility Awareness Day (44th place). The overall results include 150+ affected courses and more than 10,000 files were remediated. View additional information regarding the Office of IDEAS GI2025 initiatives.
Effective Fall 2022, Supplemental Instruction (SI) is associated with 6 CHEM 1A classes that are also part of block schedules.