Voices are briefs and interviews that highlight “bright spots” in the CSU and examples of middle leadership across the system and within Network activities.
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.
Many CSU campuses over the past few years have created senior-level campus-wide positions charged with improving student success. The trend is not unique to the CSU or to California, and the number of online job postings for senior-level positions focusing on “student success” has more than tripled nationally since 2010. No matter which university you call home, refocusing campus structures and culture around student learning and success can be challenging. In the following story, Elizabeth Boretz shares some of her experiences helping CSU Fullerton strengthen its campus-wide approach to student success.
In May 2017, the CSU Student Success Network convened, and Fresno State hosted, a one-day meeting focused on data use. The convening drew participation from teams of faculty and staff from ten CSU campuses. Afterwards, the team from CSU San Marcos (CSUSM) decided to create a data fellows program to improve their campus’ capacity to use data in decision-making. This is their story of why—and how—they created their program.
Over three days in November, teams of faculty, staff, and students from nine CSU campuses gathered at Lake Arrowhead to consider strategies for reforming developmental mathematics at their campus. The teams were part of the first CSU Student Success Network Middle Leadership Academy, a structured, year-long, professional learning experience designed to support efforts to improve student learning, engagement, progression, and completion in the CSU.
Inspired by the CSU Student Success Network’s May convening on data use in the CSU, Ioakim Boutakidis, Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Studies and Faculty Fellow of Student Success at CSU Fullerton, writes about the “small data” strategies his campus has developed to improve student learning.
Thad Nodine, senior fellow at the Education Insights Center (EdInsights) at Sacramento State, caught up with James Drnek, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at CSU Bakersfield, after a recent board meeting to discuss his participation in the CSU Student Success Network and its impacts on his campus.
The CSU Student Success Network completed its first year of operation as a state-supported effort (in addition to funding from the Kresge and College Futures Foundations). The main areas of focus for 2016-17 were to develop a sound infrastructure for the Network (such as building relationships, creating an appropriate staffing structure, and hiring an evaluator) and operationalizing each strand of work.
The CSU Student Success Network in the California State University kicked off its 2017 cross-campus convenings by bringing together teams of faculty, staff, and administrators from six CSU campuses to share strategies related to college readiness.