The CSU Network Blog

Our VOICES blog shares a range of perspectives on Network activities and topics related to equity and student success in the CSU.

Supporting Leadership Development in the CSU: A Q and A with Susan M. Baxter

By Kalifa Madden, Communications Manager, EdInsights

Susan M. Baxter, Ph.D. , former executive director of CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education & Research in Biotechnology), joined the Advisory Board of the Student Success Network in 2016 and stepped down from the board when she retired from CSUPERB in May 2020. In this interview, Susan identifies why she stayed engaged with the Network, how it influenced her work at CSUPERB, and how it supports faculty and staff in the CSU.

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Navigating Uncertainty Together

By CSU Student Success Network Team

The Coronavirus [COVID-19] has had an impact on all of our work, including our Network events. We are a team that is dedicated to gathering people together to share, learn, experiment, and build community. Toward those ends, we are rethinking and redesigning our meetings, including creating virtual gathering spaces. For those who are interested and able to participate, here is what we know about the future of our planned events.

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An Update on the Coronavirus [COVID-19] and its Impact on Upcoming Events

By CSU Student Success Network Team

The Coronavirus [COVID-19] has had an impact on all of our work, including our Network events. We are a team that is dedicated to gathering people together to share, learn, experiment, and build community. Toward those ends, we are rethinking and redesigning our meetings, including creating virtual gathering spaces. For those who are interested and able to participate, here is what we know about the future of our planned events.

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Laying a Foundation for Equity Work on Campus: A Profile of the Chico State Team at the CSU Network’s Middle Leadership Academy

By Thad Nodine, Senior Fellow, EdInsights

When a team from Chico State arrived at the CSU Network’s Middle Leadership Academy in 2018-19, the team members had ambitious plans but no specific project to address equity issues on campus. At the Academy, they examined student data and began to focus on correlations between equity gaps in graduation rates and DFW rates during students’ first two years. They found that historically underserved students, compared with other students, were more likely to get a DFW, even accounting for incoming high-school grade point averages. Back on campus, they decided that their first step was to lay a broad foundation to support equity work.

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Mathematics and Equity: The Transformation of a “Middle Leader” in the CSU

By Thad Nodine, Senior Fellow, EdInsights

Before David Zeigler became chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Sacramento State University, he had not considered how remedial education policies might be an impediment to student success.

“We had a very draconian system,” Zeigler said. “It was not friendly at all to students. The tragic story is that it was our system and so I supported it.”

Zeigler’s “enlightenment,” as he calls it, came about through a series of professional development experiences, research, and conversations with peers, including participating in the Middle Leadership Academy. As chair, he began to attend cross-disciplinary gatherings associated with teaching and learning generally. That’s when he began to shepherd the department through a major transformation in how it supports incoming students in math.

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How Do CSU Advising Efforts Compare to National Approaches?

By Melinda Karp, Consultant, CSU Student Success Network, Founder, Phase Two Advisory
September 3, 2019

Earlier this year, the CSU Student Success Network released the second report from Destination Integration, its series on academic advising. The studies explore the perspectives of students, advisors, and administrators on advising and advising reform on CSU campuses. In reviewing the authors’ findings, I am intrigued by how closely they mirror the conclusions of national studies of advising and student services, which means that the CSU is not alone in the challenges it faces in seeking to make advising a more integrated experience for students. And if the challenges are not unique to the CSU, then neither are the solutions.

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How Learning across Systems Supports Middle Leadership

By Andrea Venezia, Executive Director, CSU Student Success Network; Rose Asera, Facilitator, CSU Student Success Network; and Bob Gabriner, Consultant, CSU Student Success Network
July 1, 2019

A new report by the Research and Planning Group (RP Group) of the California Community Colleges, struck a chord for several reasons. Not only was RP one of the inspirations for creating the CSU Student Success Network, the CSU Network’s Middle Leadership Academy is modeled after Leading from the Middle in the community colleges, and many community college colleagues generously helped get the CSU Network off the ground.

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What CSU Students Say about Advising

By Cynthia Schrager, Senior Fellow, EdInsights
May 15, 2019

As large public universities, such as those within the California State University system, focus on increasing student success, efforts to improve student advising are front and center. As institutions endeavor to become more student-centered, it’s worth asking: do students perceive advising challenges and opportunities the same way as institutional leaders do?

This post draws from our two applied research studies on academic advising: Destination Integration.

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Using an Equity Lens to Inform Practice: Learning from the Middle Leadership Academy

By Thad Nodine, Senior Fellow, EdInsights
March 11, 2019

This is the third in a series of blogs about efforts to eliminate equity gaps in the CSU. Thad Nodine describes the equity work underway on CSU campuses, based on their participation in the Middle Leadership Academy, a professional learning program that is supporting teams of CSU faculty, staff, and administrators in addressing equity-based opportunity and outcomes gaps on their campus. The blog also describes the Academy’s approach in creating a space where campus teams in the CSU come together to learn from colleagues and other campuses.

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Strengthening Education Partnerships, Data Sharing, and Equity-based Inquiry in the CSU

By Thad Nodine, Senior Fellow, EdInsights
January 29, 2019
In the second in a series of blogs about efforts to eliminate equity gaps in the CSU, Thad Nodine reports on the CSU Network’s fall Convening focusing on regional education partnerships and the use of data sharing to support equity-based inquiry and outcomes on CSU campuses. Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen and Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar spoke to the gathered teams about the role of partnerships in achieving reforms and improving outcomes at their institutions. Then the teams got to work, discussing how to use the external partnerships to increase equitable student outcomes at their respective universities.

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Student Success
Network Calendar

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1

10:00am
USC Race & Equity Center’s Equity Now! Series

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13

10:00am
Annual CSU Student Success Network Conference

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14

10:00am
Annual CSU Student Success Network Conference

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28

12:30pm
Virtual Middle Leadership Academy

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29

12:30pm
Virtual Middle Leadership Academy

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5

12:30pm
Virtual Middle Leadership Academy

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12

9:00am
Navigating Uncertainty Together, A Virtual Conversation Series

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