The CSU Student Success Network Conference Schedule

Sustaining Momentum for Equity and Change in the CSU

Tuesday, October 11

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Your Power in Middle Leadership: A Call for Evidence Based Practices for Equity | 11:00-1:30

Dr. Tia Brown McNair, Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success
American Association of Colleges and Universities

Dr. Shonda Goward, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Advising and Success, CSU San Jose, Convenings Director, CSU Student Success Network

Melinda Karp, Senior Fellow, CSU Student Success Network

A state-sponsored, broad access university system like the California State University has a unique duty to its students, regional economy, and the state. Our students are most likely to remain local and contribute directly to the region where they attended school. Thus, the CSU is a vital part of our university triumvirate in our state and it is imperative that we ensure all students who enter our universities graduate. Now that work is underway to meet ambitious graduation goals by 2025, the next step is to make sure those rising rates are true for all students across the system. Hence, an additional focus on equity. Unfortunately, middle leaders are often lost in the discussion on how to advance the equity goals. Middle leaders are often left out of conversations about implementation of equity priorities even though they are expected to implement them. This convening is a part of a series that will prepare middle leaders to lead from where they are and improve equitable outcomes for the students with whom they work.

 Be prepared to actively participate. We have a fantastic speaker who will lay out for us what it means to be a “student ready” campus when it comes to student success,  and then we’ll discuss what you’re currently doing to optimize equity on your campus, and working across campuses to help everyone use whatever power and positionality we have to make a difference where you are, and with what you can control.

From Evidence to Practice Series: This Convening is a part of a series that focuses on how we as practitioners can use the literature on equity in combination with our campus data to support evidenced based, equity minded practices in our day-to-day work.

Wednesday, October 12

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CSU Middle Leaders Plenary: Strategies for Re-engaging Students and Supporting Returning Learners | 9:00AM-10:15AM
Myla Edmond, Associate Vice President for Communications & Marketing
CSU Dominguez Hills
Andrew J. Drummond, Associate Vice President for Academic Advising and Career Development, CSU Dominguez Hills
John Hill, Director, Office of the Registrar
CSU Dominguez Hills
Jessica Peraza, Enrollment Specialist, College of Continuing & Extended Education, CSU Dominguez Hills
Sabrina Sanders, Director, Once a Toro, Always a Toro, CSU Dominguez Hills
1A | Toward a Culturally Sensitive Renaming of "Academic Probation" | 10:30-12:00

Dr. Elizabeth Boretz, Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Director of the Academic Advising Center

Dr. Karyn Scissum Gunn, Provost, CSU Long Beach

Catherine Rivas, Academic Advisor and Coordinator of the Academic RESET Program, CSU Fullerton

As advisors and administrators we strive to create a welcoming context for equitable student success. However, we implicitly criminalize academic struggles when we label students who are on a pathway to academic recovery as somehow felonious. At CSU Fullerton we have completed the process for implementing a renaming of “Academic Probation” to “Academic Notice.” Panelists in this session will review the history of the concept of “Academic Probation,” reflect upon how the language we use affects students of different races and particularly men of color, share how CSU Fullerton has made innovations in converting the academic struggle into an empowering student journey, and encourage attendees to pursue their own plan to address these issues on their own campus.

1B | Mom & Dad Go to School Too - Parent-Scholar Panels as a Vehicle to Support Persistence | 10:30-12:00

Esther Ramirios, CSUN Doctoral Student

Aymie Guerrero, CSUN Doctoral Student and Mother-Scholar

Arthur Tomas Hernandez, CSUN Alumnus and Father-Scholar.

As universities experience an increase of Parent-Scholars — do they understand their college experience? CSUN graduate students have found that semesterly Parent-Scholar panels, with students and campus stakeholders, spotlight opportunities to improve access services, support, and resources. The panel conversations have resulted in awareness building of the Parent-Scholars experience, identification of campus best practices to support student success, and generated ideas to build equitable opportunities across student populations with multiple identities. Most importantly, Parent-Scholar panels have unlocked the power of the student-administrator collaboration to address issues related to their needs, such as rethinking hours of operations, classroom set-up for pregnant students, and partnering to end Parent-Scholar stigma. Panelists will share their experience in creating Parent-Scholar panels that are easily replicable across the CSU system as a vehicle to support student persistence.

1C | 1:00-2:30 CANCELED

This session has been canceled.

1D | Project Rebound Ally Training: Awareness and Inclusivity of Formerly Incarcerated Students | 1:00-2:30

Project Rebound is a student support program designed for formerly incarcerated students in the CSU. While support for formerly incarcerated students has grown recently, each campus varies in its capacity to effectively engage and support this population. Seeing the need to inform students, staff, and faculty of our population’s needs and experiences, program staff at CPP and CSUSB developed a Project Rebound Ally Training. This training provides an opportunity to educate various stakeholders, interested parties and the campus community on how best to serve our participants, and to expand equity-based practices on campus. This panel will provide an interactive and condensed version of the Project Rebound Ally Training, discussion of how the training has been adapted for different institutions and settings, and opportunities for questions and feedback from participants.

1E | Self Care Strategies for Middle Leaders Creating Change in Our Current World | 2:45-4:15

Dr. Cathy Rojas, Psychologist/Outreach Coordinator, CSU Sacramento

The term “self care” has recently been popularized by mainstream media, leading to a coopting of the concept of literally caring for oneself to now promote consumerist and individualist ideologies as well as avoidance and numbing in place of emotional resilience. It is well-understood that the labor associated with equity work that middle leaders heavily engage in has been magnified by the pandemic, particularly the increased support they have provided to students who are in distress as a result of their own inequitable conditions. This presentation will explore the deeper meaning of self care as a function of promoting emotional and mental health among middle leaders, taking into account the role systemic barriers and the importance of community building. Attendees will be able to 1. Define self care in the context of self preservation; Identify self care strategies that are accessible and effective; Implement those strategies in their lives, and; 4). Assist others with adopting such strategies.

1F | Advancing Inclusive Mentoring: A Research Mentor Training Program Built for the CSU | 2:45-4:15

Dr. Kelly A Young, Professor of Biological Sciences, California State University Long Beach

Dr. Malcolm A Finney, Interim Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Linguistics, California State University Long Beach

Faculty members across the California State University (CSU) system are expected to serve as mentors for our students conducting research, creative, scholarly activities. However, what good mentoring means and best practices in inclusive and positive mentoring are not always defined nor demonstrated. The Advancing Inclusive Mentoring (AIM) program is a mentor training program developed at California State University Long Beach as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative. As a hybrid program, AIM provides engaging and equity-based faculty training resources to promote student success through positive and inclusive mentoring. Feedback indicates that AIM is beneficial, useful, and inspires mentoring practice modifications. Inclusive mentoring is critical for all students, and AIM promotes best practices regardless of mentor experience as it builds a cross-campus mentoring community sharing experience and expertise. AIM is free of charge to any CSU following completion of a train-the-trainer session.

1G | Sustaining HornetAttain! at Sacramento State | 4:30-5:00

Kaley Martin, Project Management Specialist, College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State

Dr. Tony Sheppard, Professor, College of Health and Human Services, Sacramento State

Sacramento State launched its adult learner re-engagement initiative, HornetAttain!, in February 2021. The HornetAttain! adult learner re-engagement model is grounded in a five-step pathway to learner success: Outreach-Advise-Enroll-Persist Complete. We’ve had great success re-engaging former Sacramento State learners who stopped out before completing their degrees but recognize that obstacles threaten adult and returning learner success at each phase of their journey. In addition to our ongoing personalized outreach and advising process to support returning learners, we have built complementary programs and processes, like Hornet Debt Reset and a streamlined readmission application, to reduce barriers to make it easier for learners to return to complete their degree.

1H | Graduate Students as Agents of Change | 4:30-5:00

Lizette Ruiz, MS, AMFT, CSU Fullerton

Dania Salgado, MS, AMFT, CSU Fullerton

Marisol Brito, MS, AMFT, CSU Fullerton

Richard Change, MA, CSU Fullerton

The Psychology Association of Graduate Students of Color and Allies (PAGSOCA) established in Spring 2019 at California State University, Fullerton is a social, academic, and professional organization that serves to promote the success and interests of graduate students of color in the Psychology Graduate Program, and their allies. This organization aims to foster a sense of community by empowering relationships with peers and faculty by collaborating with members and faculty to educate about and promote cultural diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence within the Psychology department. This session will provide an overview of how we invest in equity efforts in and across our program. Additionally, the session will also provide an overview of how we have leveraged this opportunity for change, the early outcomes and implications we have seen as a result of our efforts. In providing an overview of the steps we have taken, along with student testimony and experiences (Maton et al., 2011), we hope to engage faculty and students in critically reflecting the ways that institutions of higher education continue to upload oppressive and racist systems (Williams, 2019; Yosso et al., 2009), to encourage faculty to collaborate with students across campuses, and invite others to join in on this journey as we forge towards equity within the CSU. Our vision is to inspire and embolden other students of color in higher education. University enrollment and degree attainment have historically remained unequal, with students of underprivileged backgrounds attaining fewer degrees (CalState, n.d.; National Center for Education Statistics, 2018; Tienda, 2013). In part, this has been due to students of color facing formidable challenges associated with transitioning and adapting to college (Delgado Bernal, 2010; Williams, 2019; Yosso, 2005; Yosso et al., 2009). By continuing the work our predecessors began, PAGSOCA has cultivated a community of scholars of color. This space has proven integral to student wellness and persistence in an oppressive education system.

Thursday, October 13

CSU Staff Plenary: Assessing Support for LGBTQIA2S+ Students in the CSU | 9:00AM-10:15AM

Estevan Parra Guerrero Jr. Coordinator, Cross-Cultural and Gender Center, CSU Fresno

Tranh Pham, PRIDE Center Program Coordinator, Strategic Student Support Programs, CSU Sacramento
Bri Sérráno, Program Director, Queer Culture and Resource Center
CSU Dominguez Hills
and panel moderator Ántonia Peigahi, Director of Policy and Records Management, CSU Sacramento
2A | Lessons from a Photovoice Project Questioning Servingness in Hispanic Serving Institutions | 10:30-12:00

Dr. Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Associate Professor, Sac State

Dr. Amber Gonzalez, Associate Professor, Sac State

Maria Razo-Soto, graduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Elias Ibarra Jr., undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Mary Jimenez, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Carolina Ramirez Santos, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Celene Talavera, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Valeria Cortez Delgado, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Jaqueline Hernandez, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Jenifer Meza, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

Jacqueline Villalobos, undergraduate student co-researcher, Sac State

This interactive panel will present findings from Latinx students and faculty engaged in a photovoice research project exploring Latinx student perceptions of the concept of “servingness” in a Hispanic Serving Institution and how it can be improved. Presenters will share themes identifying institutional elements related to their success generated from photo documentation and photo-elicited discussion. Additionally as 21 of the CSUs are designated as HSIs and serve over 180,000 Latinx students, the panel will engage attendees in sharing and reflecting on relevant initiatives on their campus. The session will utilize breakout room discussions facilitated by presenters to explore how research themes may apply to other campuses. Interactive technology will be used throughout the workshop to generate engagement. This panel is intended for students, faculty and staff who are engaged in, or interested in, the ways that campuses can foster greater belonging and success for Latinx students.

2B | Cal State East Bay’s Coordinated Care Approach to Academic Advising | 10:30-12:00

Dr. Maureen Scharberg, Dean of Academic Programs & Services, Cal State East Bay

Kathryn Palmieri, Executive Director of Academic Advising & Career Education, Cal State East Bay

Bill Irwin, Student Success Specialist, Cal State East Bay

This panel discussion will provide opportunities to learn and discuss Cal State East Bay’s approach to academic advising through the lens of equitable-minded advising for all students. Our campus uses cohort-based academic advising with 95% of our students assigned to primary academic advisors with supporting advising in our affinity groups. We also strategically use EAB Navigate as well as our Pioneer Chat chatbot. After an overview of our coordinated care academic advising approach, case studies will be presented in small break-out groups that allow participants to explore the various dimensions of our coordinated care approach. Case study topics will include our Freshmen & Sophomore Success Team (FASST model), Academic Advising Interns, Faculty Advising Fellows, Peer Academic Coaches, Pioneer Success Coaches, enrollment campaigns, care reports and progress campaigns.

2C | Re-Reenrollment Strategies for Continuing Students | 1:00-2:30

Dr. Terri Gomez, Associate Provost, Student Success, Equity, and Innovation, Cal Poly Pomona

Dr. Cecilia Santiago-Gonzalez, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Student Success, Cal Poly Pomona

Ms. Jessica Wagoner, Senior Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Services, Cal Poly Pomona

Dr. Erin Lion DeRosa, Director of University Advising, Cal Poly Pomona

Ms. Zoe Lance, Communications Specialist, Cal Poly Pomona

In October 2021, CPP noted that the re-enrollment numbers for Spring 2022 were lower than expected. More importantly, 73% of the students who had not enrolled for spring were from the three most recent cohorts of students, all of whom were admitted during or shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that these students were supported, the Office of Student Success, Equity and Innovation and Enrollment Management Services collaborated to develop and implement a coordinated re-enrollment strategy. In this session, participants will learn about these strategies, which included an analysis of student characteristics, an in-depth examination of institutional barriers to student enrollment, and a multi-pronged approach to providing outreach and support. Participants will learn about the university’s text messaging and phone campaigns, virtual and in-person registration events, special registration windows, and key campus partnerships that facilitated student success.

2D | Student Success Mapping: Critically Examining Committee Culture and Structures to Refocus on Student Equity and Success | 1:00-2:30

Adam Petersen, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, CSU San Marcos

Cameron Stevenson, Director of Institutional Planning and Analysis, CSU San Marcos

This session provides an overview of a recent attempt to review and recommend changes to the overall structure of cross-divisional and cross-functional work for student success at CSU San Marcos. With an understanding that no one division or unit “owns” student success, much of this work on our campus is fragmented or isolated and cross-divisional committees exist mainly to provide updates on siloed work instead of offering real spaces for collaboration. Our team set out to create a map of the many student success committees on campus and develop a framework for a more aligned committee structure. In this session we will share our process and the resulting conceptual and structural frameworks, not as an ideal path toward a meaningful structure but as one way to reorganize and invigorate cross-divisional work on student equity and success.

2E | Active/Not Enrolled: A student-centered, data-driven approach to retention & re-engagement outreach | 2:45-4:15

Charlotte Rinaldi, Lead Retention Specialist, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo

Katie McGuire, Retention Specialist, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo

Tiffany Kwapnoski, Retention Specialist, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo

Jacob Campbell, Retention Specialist, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo

With a goal of closing graduation equity gaps, Cal Poly’s Retention team leads outreach efforts to active students who are not enrolled in classes — leveraging student data, campus partnerships, and policy expertise to prioritize proactive advising, reduce discontinuance, and engage students detaching from the institution. An iterative process bolstered by a “DIY” approach, Active/Not Enrolled (ANE) outreach ensures that complex information related to time off policies is shared in accessible and actionable ways – when it is most relevant for students. ANE affirms that the responsibility of support-seeking lies in both the individual and the institution by centering empathy to ensure students feel heard and that their voices continue to fuel efforts to reduce administrative and academic barriers to equitable outcomes. This session offers participants a model, a process, student feedback, and lessons learned around increasing unenrolled student support and retention through proactive, data-driven outreach and advising.

2F | Faculty Recruitment and Retention for Equity and Student Success in STEM | 2:45-4:15

Deepali Bhandari, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, CSU Long Beach

Margaret Merryfield, Professor of Biochemistry, CSU Long

Beach Andrea Balbas, Assistant Professor of Geology, CSU Long Beach

Curtis Bennett, Dean College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, CSU Long Beach

Kelly Young, Professor of Biology, CSU Long Beach

Faculty are central to students developing a sense of belonging and making meaningful connections to their campus/program, which in turn is key to ensuring students’ retention and success. In this engaged conversation, we present a college-based strategy, developed in close partnership between college faculty and administration, to build an equity-minded, student-focused faculty by recruiting and hiring faculty who are deeply invested in equity, inclusion, and student success, and then providing a well-structured mentoring program for new faculty members so that they have the support, guidance, and feedback to be successful. In the hiring process, an embedded equity advocate ensures a focus on equity and inclusion at all stages, from the position description through the use of detailed screening rubrics to final interviews. In addition to traditional content-based mentoring, the new faculty mentoring program addresses faculty members as individuals who each bring strengths from their training and professional and personal experiences.

2G | Network Presentation | 4:30-5:00
Madeleine R. Kerrick
Interim Research Director
CSU Student Success Network


Breaunna Alexander, MPP, Research Associate, CSU Student Success Network

Connie Tan, PhD, Former Regional Director, EdInsights

Friday, October 14

CSU Student Leader Plenary: Advocating for LGBTQIA2S+ Student Equity in the CSU | 9:00AM-10:15AM
Morgan Monae Beatty, CSU Sacramento
Jordan Fitzpatrick
Graduate Student, Social Work Intern, Fresno State Counseling Center, CSU Fresno
Ben Nehring, CSU Fresno
Kristen Pinchbeck, CSU Fullerton
3A | Ongoing Support: A Peer-Based Writing Support Program | 10:30-12:00

Amanda Tomanek, Academic English Language Specialist, CSUSM

Skylar Rivas, Tutor, CSUSM

Kaitlyn Johnstone, Tutor, CSUSM

Zaira Velasquez, Alumna, CSUSM

Kami Howell, Student, CSUSM

AJ Jackson, Student, CSUSM

Ongoing Support is a program in the Writing Center where students needing assistance beyond occasional appointments are able to create a plan for the semester which often includes weekly one-on-one sessions with the same tutor all semester. This panel will share the implementation, adjustments, and results of the program. Writing Center tutors as well as students who participated in the program will share their experiences live in the session. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and consider how they might use elements of the program in their own contexts to empower students.

3B | Putting Education to Work: Innovation Collaboration Leads to Increased Student Success | 10:30-12:00

Dr. Elaine Collins, Director of UNVS 101, SJSU

Dr. Melanie McNeil, Professor of Chemical Engineering, SJSU

Diana Phuong, Director of Braven Bay Area

San José State University and the nonprofit Braven have formed an innovative collaboration to reimagine how to help students persist in college and enter the workforce strong. We will explore how this program supports underrepresented students towards college graduation and a strong first job or graduate/professional school. To date, 98% of Braven’s SJSU student participants have graduated or are persisting towards graduation. Additionally, 64% of those participants that have now graduated, 351 students, have landed strong first jobs or have been accepted into graduate school (19% above the national average for public institutions serving Black and Latinx students). This session will highlight the key strategies that help close the equity gap: providing students with a sense of belonging on campus through a peer cohort model, a safe environment to develop and practice career-readiness skills, and coaching from professionals in building goals and agency towards reaching them.

3C | It’s an Honor just to be Asian: Supporting Young AANAPI Professionals in the Field of Criminology | 1:00-2:30

Gaonoucci Belle Vang (she/her/hers), Student Success Project Coordinator, Fresno State

Samantha Bautista, Work-based Learning Experiences Project Coordinator, Fresno State

Fresno State was awarded the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving-Institution (AANAPISI) grant to increase the student success of AANAPI undergraduates in the Department of Criminology. Although criminology is the largest major on campus, there is a disproportionate enrollment of AANAPI-identifying students. In the midst of xenophobia, it’s more important than ever to support AANAPI-identifying students in their journey to success by creating more equitable opportunities. This panel discussion will guide attendees through two programs within the initiative: Work-based Learning Experiences and Peer Mentors, and the panelists will address the importance of supporting AANAPI students to become young professionals and representatives in the field of criminology.

3D | The Health Assistance Fund: Increasing access and improving wellness |1:00-2:30

Dr. Lissa Lim, Licensed Psychologist, CSU San Marcos

Katie Ramos, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, CSU San Marcos

Cathy Nguyen, Certified Health Education Specialist, CSU San Marcos

The Health Assistance Fund was created to reduce financial barriers students face in accessing medical, mental health, and wellness services they need both on and off campus. Panelists will share the importance and value of this fund, the triumphs and trials of creating, managing and sustaining the fund, as well as share strategies for establishing a Health Assistance Fund across all CSUs. The results of the first year of this program will be shared, including data about the demographic of students served, the services students requested which highlight student needs, the impact of the fund, and feedback students shared about their experience accessing the fund. The panelists will also engage in a Q&A to help others strategize how to create a fund at their campus.

3E | Multilingual Publishing: Making Room for Everyone Means Making Room for Everyone’s Language(s) | 2:45-4:15

Marcos Hernandez, Lecturer and Toyon Faculty Advisor, Cal Poly Humboldt

Alannah Guevara, Toyon Managing Editor, Cal Poly Humboldt

Kiran Dunning, Co-Managing Editor for Toyon Multilingual Literary Magazine, Cal Holy Humboldt

At Toyon, Cal Poly Humboldt’s student-run multilingual literary magazine, we know creating a publication that both respects and engages with readers and creators outside of the English-speaking world is a challenge. In recent years, we have started the work to become a multilingual publication to undercut the predominately white hegemony that is the English-speaking literary world. We strive to recognize diversity across disciplines, cultures, and regional boundaries, and our editorial practice emphasizes inclusion, intersectionality, and multilingualism. Through firsthand experience, we are learning what it takes to create and sustain a multilingual publication. Our presentation will inform attendees of the risks, possibilities, and limitations of centering multilingual and translingual modes of expression in campus media and publishing. We will discuss the challenges we have faced, as well as the benefits that come with shifting students and faculty into a multilingual mindset. Reshaping our ideas and addressing our internal biases around language now can lead to a more equitable future for all of our students as they transition into their professional lives, no matter the number of languages they understand.

3F | Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Research Experiences with the Remote Supergroup for Chemistry Undergraduates | 2:45-4:15

Chantal Stieber, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Cal Poly Pomona

The Remote Supergroup for Chemistry Undergraduates (RSCU) was created in 2020 to offer a virtual experience to undergraduates whose summer laboratory research was cancelled. The objectives of RSCU were (1) to engage students in scientific communication opportunities, (2) to inform students of further educational and career pathways, (3) to increase awareness and discussion of equity issues in science, and (4) to foster a scientific community across institutions. Each week there was a equity minute, a panel or keynote presentation, and breakout room discussions. Post-RSCU surveys indicate significant success in achieving the RSCU objectives. This session will discuss using digital tools to enhance learning, strategies to support diverse student populations, the achievement of equitable opportunities, and adapting the RSCU model to other disciplines and across the CSU.

3G | Closing | 4:30-5:00

Dr. Larissa Mercado-López, Conference Director

Dr. Bianca Mothé, Network Director

Dr. Ioakim Boutakidis, Network Grants Development Specialist, CSU Fullerton

Past Conferences


Contact: Larissa Mercado-López, Annual Conference Director