Voices are briefs and interviews that highlight “bright spots” in the CSU and examples of middle leadership across the system and within Network activities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the first in a series of blogs to share information about efforts to eliminate equity gaps in the CSU. Thad Nodine separately interviewed two leaders in higher education who have dedicated their professional lives to understanding and addressing equity issues. Dr. William Franklin is vice president for student affairs at CSU Dominguez Hills. He currently spearheads a mentoring program for African American and Latino young men called the Male Success Alliance. Dr. J. Luke Wood is associate vice president for faculty diversity and inclusion and distinguished professor of education at San Diego State University. He also serves as co-director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab.
The term “first-year momentum” comes up a lot these days in higher education discussions about how to improve student success. After all, we have long known that the first year of college is critical to support student persistence and, ultimately, to lead to timely graduation. Isn’t tracking first-semester and first-year retention sufficient to understand and address student momentum and related equity gaps?
The California State University (CSU) Student Success Network complements student success efforts underway in the CSU by offering forums for sustained, cross-campus, cross-role, professional learning opportunities for “middle leaders”—faculty, staff, and administrators at the campus level who work closely with students. Student participation is welcomed and encouraged. In its second year as a state-supported effort, the Network released its first two publications, launched the Middle Leadership Academy, supported two convenings hosted by CSU campuses, engaged an external developmental evaluator, launched a blog to share evidence-based information from across the system, and continued to cultivate key relationships within the CSU.
What makes efforts to improve student success rates at large public universities so challenging, particularly in light of committed efforts by faculty, staff, and administrators to improve student learning, progression, and completion?
Transfer students at Cal Poly Pomona were historically perceived as needing less attention because they had successfully navigated the first years of their college journey. Over the past few years, CPP began to question this mindset and confront the unique challenges facing transfer students. In this blog, Norma Leon and Lorena Márquez trace the rise of the PolyTransfer Program and the efforts to foster a transfer-receptive culture on campus.