With the recently launched system-wide “Graduation Initiative” announced by the California State University (CSU), public institutions throughout the nation are beginning to face a more advanced set of accountability standards than in the past. In early spring 2010, the California State University announced a long-term initiative to increase the system’s graduation rates and help underrepresented students complete college. The initiative involves all 23 CSU campuses and is expected to raise six-year graduation rates by eight percent by 2016 and cut the achievement gap—the existing gap in degree attainment by underrepresented students in half. Important to this initiative is the use of Measurable outcomes and data, as they are key components of the HVDI and will be used to provide ongoing feedback and direction to the project.
Native Students: A difference of over 20% exists between native students who receive engineering degrees and those who change out of engineering and receive others degrees. Early preparation, during the formative middle and high school years, primarily in courses such as mathematics and physics, has a significant impact on students' ability to successfully pursue an engineering program. Current data show lackluster performance amongst students who enter the engineering program without having first completed PreCalculus.
Transfer Students: Recognizing that Transfer students accrue additional years prior to transfer, a 15% difference (between those who graduate and those who graduate with engineering degrees) is significant. While this trend shows that there is a tremendous opportunity to increase graduation rates among transfer students prior to matriculation at CSULB, activities provided upon matriculation are also important in helping students increase their chances of timely graduation.Efforts for improving the preparation of transfer students, prior to matriculation at CSULB, will be offered through collaboration with local community college partners. The CSULB STEM-TAP (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Transfer Admission Pathway) agreement represents an initial commitment toward this objective.