The Division of Student Services enjoyed a number of extraordinary accomplishments during the past year. These achievements occurred in spite of the resource reductions the university will experience during the coming academic year.
For many years, Disabled Student Services has been a division leader in generating support from outside sources. At a luncheon in May, I learned of a pledge of $30,000 from one of the supporters of the Stephen J. Benson Center—a DSS program that serves students who have reading and learning disabilities. The pledge was made because the donor’s family was impressed by the quality of the center’s services. These funds will allow for greater creativity and flexibility in our programming efforts.
"As a result of considerable hard work and excellent collaboration involving multiple offices and staff at every level, Student Services enjoyed a number of extraordinary accomplishments during the past year."
- Doug Robinson
Elsewhere in the division, a $1 million endowment was acquired by the Student Services Development Office working with the Center for Scholarship Information and the adult reentry program in University Outreach and School Relations. The grant was awarded by the Osher Foundation following the third year of a three-year competition. Grant proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for students who are returning to The Beach to complete their degrees.
In another achievement, Student Services won approval from the U.S. Department of State for the Career Development Center to establish a full service Passport Application Acceptance Office in the center beginning fall 2008. The service is the first of its kind in the California State University system. The Passport Office provides a much needed service to the university community and also is available to the public. Provost Karen Gould also plans to strengthen academic programs that provide opportunities for students and faculty to study abroad and enjoy international exchange opportunities around the globe.
The expansion of facilities and the adoption of new processes within the division include the greatly anticipated Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Student leaders and university administrators are engaged in a process that will culminate in students owning and operating this exciting new venue under the aegis of the Division of Student Services. Also, for the first time in the history of the university, the Associated Students Inc. student body elections were held online. The good news is that the system worked, although it required very close monitoring throughout the election process. Students were advised in advance of the penalties for being implicated in any attempts to hack into the election database to alter election results.
The establishment of the “Beach Learning Community” is the sort of innovation that might lead to higher retention and graduation rates for the university. Both of these rates are key indicators when consideration is given to the overall quality and competitive profile for the university. The BLC is a joint effort between Student Services and Academic Affairs and lends an enhanced focus on students who require remediation in both mathematics and English.
These successes didn’t occur by pure happenstance or luck. In each case, success came as a result of considerable hard work and excellent collaboration involving multiple offices and staff at every level. I extend my sincere congratulations to all who made these noteworthy accomplishments possible.
During 2008, the division said farewell to a number of highly valued staff and administrators who helped build the excellent reputation the division continues to enjoy. I sincerely thank each of the division’s recently retired staff and administrators for a job well done and wish you the best in your future endeavors.