Dear Faculty and Staff,
CSULB has a great deal of which to be proud. The university has achieved a record six-year graduation rate of 60% for the most recent cohort completing – the Fall 2007 freshmen cohort. This is an increase of more than 3% from the previous year and more than forecast.
A similar increase is seen for transfer students entering in Fall 2009. That cohort had a graduation rate of over 77%, a 5.8% increase from the previous year. These are high numbers for public universities of our size and student mix.
Future trends are encouraging as well. Retention of current students, a good predictor of future graduation rates, is increasing. Over 88% of Fall 2012 freshmen returned for their second year, and over 82% of Fall 2011 freshmen returned for their third year – both record highs.
Our Beach Learning Community (BLC) supports students needing the most academic support, two semesters of developmental math and one of English. Retention of this group (BLC Fall 2011 entrants) increased 6% to within 2% of the university average.
The six-year graduation rate for student-athletes on scholarship is at an all-time high of 68%, exceeding the campus as a whole. Athletes are well-supported by the dedicated staff of the Bickerstaff Center for Student-Athlete Services.
Notable increases in retention (3-4%) of underrepresented students in majors were seen in Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Business, Engineering, Health and Human Services, and Liberal Arts.
These gains occurred during a period when student poverty increased, student diversity increased, entering student academic profiles (SAT scores) were flat, and the campus experienced the worst budget crisis in the history of the CSU. We kept our eye on the prize during these challenging years. Our gains are due to the dedication and hard work of our faculty, our advising units, our academic support units, our colleges and departments, and our staff. Congratulations to all involved in these monumental achievements!
In addition to these accomplishments, I am pleased to share with you additional achievements as well as priorities for the year in a brief video available online.
As part of our commitment to enhancing communication, President Para and I have been holding "flipped" town hall meetings in which faculty and staff have the opportunity to watch this video prior to the meeting, allowing more time during the town hall meeting to discuss the issues that matter.
We have already met with faculty in a few colleges and will be scheduling more town hall meetings with various groups on campus throughout the year.
We hope you will take the time to view the video and join in the conversation.
Thank you for all you do for CSULB.
David A. Dowell, Ph.D.
Interim Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Psychology