A key component of student engagement is the connections students have to faculty and staff.
Research continually shows students who are engaged with campus life earn higher grades, are more satisfied and are more likely to persist to graduation. Student involvement is a laboratory for learning and skill building where students can apply the theories and lessons from the classroom to real world experiences. The richness enjoyed by students active in campus life is the chance to build strong relationships and improve self-esteem.
One of the best ways for students to become engaged is through campus organizations. Student organizations create dynamic campus energy and provide an outlet for involvement and leadership development. With 330 student clubs and organizations that serve more than 9,800 students—the largest number of student organizations in the CSU system—Student Life and Development offers opportunities for students to find their places at The Beach and feel a sense of belonging.
A key component of student engagement is the connection students have with faculty and staff. To encourage this process, student organizations enlist faculty or staff members as organization advisors. This allows members of the campus community to create strong bonds with students and use their expertise to help develop campus leaders.
Connecting students within their academic disciplines has been a hallmark of SLD through the college council model. The seven college councils are comprised of academic organizations that reflect many of the majors and minors within a college. These organizations are essential for networking, personal development and learning how the academic discipline translates into careers after graduation. When students learn first-hand how to build a rocket or design clothing for a fashion show, the learning reaches its apex. Recently, the College of Liberal Arts partnered with SLD and the Dean of Students Office to offer a course to prepare students for the Alternative Spring Break. More than 30 students signed up for the semester-long course and committed to spending their spring break week rebuilding houses in the regions affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Such partnerships and co-curricular experiences provide laboratories for learning and create lifelong memories.
Another way SLD encourages growth outside the classroom is through student academic travel. SLD oversees the student academic travel fund, a program that enhances the educational experience and supports growth in students’ academic disciplines by assisting with travel costs to make academic presentations or attend professional conferences and events.
SLD also provides oversight to five on-campus, student-run resource centers where a sense of community is built. The student resource centers provide students with facilities and programming to meet their cultural, social and academic developmental needs. The centers serve as an educational resource for students and others who wish to learn more about African American, Asian Pacific, Chicano; Latino; Native American; and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues.
SLD plays a critical role in student success. Through its programs and services, student leaders and members of the campus community are connected with individuals of other majors, gender, sexual orientation and beliefs and they acquire skills for ethical leadership, cultural awareness and positive social change.
For more information about out-of-classroom programs and services, contact
Student Life and Development at (562) 985-4181 or visit the SLD website at