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California State University, Long Beach
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Highly Valued Degree Initiative Launched

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.

In February, President F. King Alexander launched the Highly Valued Degree Initiative at CSULB. He asked the campus to join the CSU’s efforts to boost graduation rates while raising the value of CSULB degrees. With leadership from Academic Affairs, task forces were established to focus on curriculum pathways, support services, advising, faculty development, and research and evaluation.

A number of Student Services managers and professionals were selected to serve on the Support Services Task Force. Among the initiatives the task force identified for implementation during 2010-11 are:

    • Financial literacy and financial education. A series of workshops will help students understand the complex finances involved in attending college and avoiding financial pitfalls.

    • Parent and family involvement.
      Special parent orientation sessions will be offered in target languages to increase parent involvement as partners in student success. Targeted communications to parents also will be enhanced.

    • Men’s success initiative.
      This initiative will explore factors related to the academic success and help-seeking behavior of male students, especially Latinos and African American men.

    • Retention of Latino and African American students.
      This initiative will focus on unmet support needs of high-risk underrepresented freshmen and transfer students.

Measurable outcomes and the use of data are key components of the HVDI and will be used to provide ongoing feedback and direction to the project.

Visit CSULB's student success website for more information about the highly valued degree initiative and other efforts to boost graduation rates.