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California State University, Long Beach

Student Success

Graduation rates, retention, time-to-degree, advising, support, co-curricular activities, student life and development, helping and meeting the needs of transfer students, helping prospective students become college ready, reward systems for student success.

    I. Pressing issues that impact student success

    1. Students
      1. Angela:  Transfer student education; need for outreach to transfer students; students are pretty much on their own to get information about campus activities, etc.; transfer students do not fit into the freshman and sophomore activities.
      2. Brandy:  South Orange County high school college preparatory student; turned down a UC Berkeley scholarship to come here as a Presidents Scholar; made the right choice; need to make sure students get involved in extra-curricular activities.
      3. Lindsay:  need to focus on commuter school issues; make sure commuter students know about campus activities; students shouldn’t just come to class and leave or just participate in the job faire or week of welcome; provide campus activity information that is geared to the commuter student through the classroom.
      4. Don:  campus energy;  provide activities that keep students on campus; this will get commuters involved.
      5. Ryan:  get involved; you learn stuff through extra-curricular activities that you do not learn in class; encourage students to study abroad.
      6. Hironao:  need a meaningful general education curriculum, one that provides a broad perspective, minimal skill set; students appreciate general education after they graduate.
      7. Lucy:  students need to get involved, it is preparation for life.
    2. Advisors
      1. Susan:  remove bureaucratic obstacles that cause students to leave; we admit 2 students and graduate 1 student; connect student to resources; help students understand the rules; remove obstacles.
      2. Dawn:  Implement UNIV 300 for transfer students and include study abroad and focus on career preparation classes; students are here, then at work, then at home without any interactions on campus.
      3. Gayle:  student engagement in and out of class (engagement is a partnership); intrusive advising.  Currently, there is only one mandatory advising session; at a minimum we need a second advising session at 75 units.
      4. Rick:  more training programs for faculty, especially at the department level; more faculty engagement.
      5. Peter:  faculty are commuters too, therefore they need to lead by example and stay on campus for activities; sophomore support is critical as this group has the highest rate of college suicides.
      6. Manuel:  build a campus community that is student centered so that decisions at all levels are based on “is this good for students?”; engage students in conversations, process, and decisions; we have lots of independent agencies but we need cohesion.
      7. Dana:  believing that we well someday no longer need remediation is an ideal, but may never happen;  25 percent of the pre-baccalaureate students are not college ready at the end of their first year; get pre-baccalaureate students engaged as they need motivation to attend school.
      8. Mark:  need structured process to mentor lower division students as they are pretty much on their own; UNIV 300 is a good idea – then hand students off to their major department; coordinate first year efforts.
      9. Robert:  pre-baccalaureate students need more early support such as a summer transition program; there is a lack of faculty involvement in SOAR; there needs to be an increased representation of academics at SOAR; seniors should have priority enrollment; in-your-face advising as students need assistance to choose realistic schedules and need guidance to avoid disastrous choices.
    3. Alumni, Administrators and Others
      1. (Pres. Of Alumni Council):  sometimes students drop out because they can’t find places to live on or near campus; important to get students involved because it is a big campus; students need to forge an identity with CSULB; students need to identify with their major; relationships and campus experiences are important.
      2. Jack:  get rid of “Brotman Hall Blues;” Enrollment Services implements policies, therefore there needs to be a strong partnership between academic affairs, the senate and enrollment services; simplify general education; focus on getting rid of lines in Brotman Hall.
      3. Mo:  strengthen support services; increase faculty advisement; categorize students based on need for services (target student services).
      4. Marilyn:  need better campus communication among groups; need to share best practices; need to make sure students new to the college have opportunities to explore and make the most of their college experience; we loose students because they do not get bonded to the campus, college or major.
      5. Henry:  need pre-baccalaureate programs in the summer; need to assist students in seeing the connection between majors and careers; need to meet the needs of graduate students as they have different needs than undergraduate students.
      6. Ted:  as a state agency, we are dependent on the governor and the legislature, therefore we need to increase our fundraising to be more independent
      7. Fred:  more interaction among people who arte fostering student success.
      8. Tracy:  need scheduling that meets student needs
      9. Bill:  need an early alert system that lets us know when a student is struggling; need to remember that students drop out for issues that are not academically related.
      10. Bill:  student advising is very significant; Long Beach is an international city – students should be able to get passports on campus.

    II. Additional Comments

    1. Maintain Quality of Instruction.  Quality of instruction is critical for success.  The challenge is retaining effective teachers and rewarding them.  Research is important, but so is teaching.
    2. Tunnel Vision.  Some students and parents are not flexible.  Students won’t change majors because it would cost too much; students won’t explore because they do not have time; parents demand specific majors of study.  Students need early exploration to ensure that they are on the right path.
    3. Long Beach as a campus city.  City/campus partnerships are important so that students do not feel disconnected.
    4. Travel.  We need a travel agency on campus to encourage travel.
    5. Power Pointless.  CSULB needs teachers who engage students in learning.  Reading a PowerPoint presentation that is a summary of the reading assignment and posting it on BeachBoard does not engage students.  Classes with a 1/30 ratio where the teacher actively participates in a conversation with students and gives real-world examples is an example of student expectations.  Using PowerPoint as a tool to convey material is OK, it should not be a substitute for active learning.  What faculty need to do to get students to come to class is 1) be interesting, 2) engage the class; 3) have a great class, 4) show interest, 5) be passionate about the discipline, 6) use a discussion-based model to engage students, and 7) keep the size to 30.
    6. Reward Teaching Excellence.  Lots of part-time faculty teach lower division courses, therefore, students may not be getting the mentoring they need to succeed.  In addition, students compete with research projects for faculty time. We need to be specific about work we want faculty to do and reward excellence.  We need to make student involvement a priority.
    7. Coordinate Advising Among Faculty and Staff.  First, do no harm.  Advising is an important part of nurturing and is important for a timely graduation.
    8. New Paradigm.  We need to redefine the role of faculty.
    9. Targeted Advising.  What are the average units to graduation?  Use date to inform advising.
    10. Student Evaluations of Faculty.  Some of the students were under the impression that student evaluations were just something they did and the results were ignored; they felt they should carry more weight in determining quality of instruction.  Evaluations are one component of the quality of instruction measurement.  Evaluations should allow for discipline differences.
    11. Student/Faculty Interactions.  Students need to get to know faculty so that they are not afraid of them.
    12. Miscellaneous.  Please remove the logistical problems that hinder progress toward a degree.  Add financial management to UNIV 100. Many first generation students have no support system.  We need more meetings like this.  We need more community and family engagement to foster student success.
    13. Get and Keep Male Students.  Comments are listed below.
      1. Make sports programs (formal and informal) easily available
      2. Men are more interested in making money than attending college; some men feel they are too smart for college.
      3. Men tend to want to pursue a career quickly.
      4. Men may need to support a family.
      5. There are lots of men at the community colleges.
      6. Campuses heavily recruited men, then women, now no one.
      7. Do we do enough at the high school level to make coming to college a part of the male culture?
      8. Many men go into the military so that they can get a college education; as veterans they have financial assistance for college.  Are we recruiting military personnel as the exit the service?
      9. Some students are forced to go to college by their parents; they flunk out on purpose to get out of something they do not want to do.

    III. Overarching Goal:  Provide a student-centered culture/environment that will do no harm, provide in-your-face advising, and emphasize what each person can do to foster student success.

    1. Increase faculty and student engagement
      1. Student centered campus
      2. Meet transfer student needs
      3. Encourage engagement in campus activities and study abroad
      4. Develop and maintain a student synergy across campus
      5. In-your-face advising
      6. Strong mentoring programs for the whole student
      7. Simplify bureaucracy
      8. Student engagement in and out of class
      9. Faculty involvement in SOAR and graduation
      10. Priority registration for students
      11. Campus offices and agencies work in unison for student success
      12. Emphasize the connection between majors and careers
    2. Maintain and enhance quality of curriculum and instruction
      1. Use PowerPoint as a tool not a substitute for active learning
      2. Provide a simplified, meaningful general education curriculum
      3. Develop and implement UNIV 300 for transfer students
      4. Hire and keep energetic, passionate teachers who focus on student learning
      5. Redefine the role of faculty and the teaching/research balance.
    3. Place an emphasis on the first two years on campus
      1. Support students for their entire college experience
      2. Make sure there are enough services for pre-baccalaureate students
      3. Review faculty assignments for courses taken by students in their first two years