This is the second of two blogs reporting on takeaways from the plenary sessions of the third annual CSU Student Success Conference, which was held virtually October 12 to 14, 2022. The first blog focused on efforts by CSU Dominguez Hills to re-enroll and re-engage students who had attended the university but did not receive a degree.
“Because of you, I graduated”: An interview about basic needs services with Danielle Muñoz at CSU Long Beach
Danielle Muñoz became director of the Basic Needs Department at California State University, Long Beach in August 2022, after having created a basic needs center at Sacramento State University, where she worked for over six years. In November, Kalifa Madden, communications manager for the Network, interviewed Danielle about the challenges students face in meeting their basic needs and the services that CSU Long Beach provides to support these students.
Strategies for Re-engaging Former Students: Takeaways from CSU Dominguez Hills at the Student Success Conference
This is the first of two blogs reporting on takeaways from the plenary sessions of the third annual CSU Student Success Conference, which was held virtually October 12 to 14, 2022. Over 290 CSU middle leaders and students participated in the conference, which focused on “Sustaining Momentum for Equity and Change in the CSU.”
There is no universal definition of a first-generation college student. A 2018 study used eight different definitions of first-generation to analyze the college-related activities of over 7000 students: researchers found that between 22- to 77-percent of students in the sample could be considered first-generation depending on the definition used. As established by the Higher Education Act of 1965, the federal government considers a student to be first-generation if both parents do not hold a four-year degree. In contrast to the federal definition, the CSU system defines a first-generation student as one whose parents did not attend any college. 
After the Dobbs decision was released, CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester issued a strong statement condemning the ruling and supporting access to healthcare and reproductive rights for women. She also expressed concerns about “the broader implications of today’s decision that threaten other fundamental freedoms we hold dear—including additional privacy rights and marriage equality—with particularly ominous potential impacts to the LGBTQIA+ community.” Several CSU campus presidents, including from Fresno State, Sacramento State, and San Jose State, also released statements supporting reproductive justice and the rights of women to make decisions about their own health and future.
Dr. Karyn Scissum Gunn participated in the Academy as a team member in 2020-21 and as a team lead in 2019-20. At the time, she was associate vice president for academic operations/student success at Cal State Fullerton. She has since advanced in her own career and now serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at CSU Long Beach. In our recent video interview, Dr. Scissum Gunn describes the vision of the Academy and her takeaways from it.
Supporting Men of Color in the CSU: How Miguel Jimenez and Stanislaus State University Used the CSU Student Success Network to Create Change
During 2020-21, Miguel Jimenez, program coordinator of the Male Success Initiative at California State University, Stanislaus, worked with a team from his campus to develop a stronger institutional approach to engage and support Men of Color on campus. As part of this process, the team participated in several events by the CSU Student Success Network (Network) to examine student data, develop action plans, and implement changes on campus.
The CSU Student Success Network (Network) stands in solidarity with efforts throughout the CSU system to strengthen our institutional culture around Title IX and civil rights. To this end, we support our fellow middle leaders (faculty, staff, and administrators) and students in strengthening dialogue, accountability, and actions on and across our campuses. The Network also supports transparency in the selection process, including open campus forums for executive positions such as system chancellor and campus presidents, to provide opportunities for public comments on prospective leaders.
This blog is based on interviews with incoming second-year CSU students who attended college virtually during their first year. Highlights of the interviews are enlightening, and they contributed to a lively discussion with a panel of CSU faculty and staff during the CSU Student Success Network Conference in October 2021. The panel focused on what we can learn from students as we reframe our approaches to student engagement during the pandemic.
The CSU Student Success Network is celebrating its first five years of supporting middle leaders in developing campus practices and outcomes that are equitable and student-centered. Since 2016, over 1,800 faculty, staff, and administrators from every CSU campus have stepped forward to get involved in the Network’s activities. At Network events, these middle leaders work with colleagues from their own campus, share strategies and research with other CSU campuses, examine student data, plan new approaches, and work together back on campus to advance policies that support equitable student learning, engagement, progression, and completion.