Timothy P. White, chancellor of the California State University (CSU), announced today that the CSU will commit an additional $50 million to advance student achievement and bolster degree completion. The announcement was the cornerstone of White’s inaugural State of the CSU address, which was delivered before a crowd of about 200 staff, faculty, students and guests at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees at the Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach.
According to White, $50 million will be used to expand and enhance existing strategies that support student success. The seven priority investment areas include: hiring more tenure-track faculty; enhancing student advising; increasing the number of online and concurrent enrollment classes, expanding the application of technology and scaling the instructional practices that reduce the course bottlenecks that hinder students from earning degrees in a timely manner; expanding the Early Start Program and other measures that ensure college readiness among first-time freshmen; expanding data collection and data-driven decision making; improving access and increasing degree completion among community college transfer students; and expanding high-impact practices that support persistence to degree such as undergraduate participation in applied research, service learning, internships and study abroad.
White kicked off the State of the CSU address by talking about the system’s mission, punctuating his remarks with observations from his first year of service in which he visited all 23 campuses. “I now know enough about us to report that the state of the California State University is strong, proud and aspirational. What we do is simply remarkable – and California needs more of it. Our state needs one million more college graduates by 2025 to enable the health of the economy. This need is enormous, and we must intensify our efforts to do our part to meet that need,” White said.
With the CSU awarding about half of the state’s baccalaureate degrees and 35 percent of the master’s degrees, “our top priority must be to firm up our fiscal and policy commitments to access, persistence to degree and degree completion – to improve the educational experience and degree attainment for all students, and to enable students to earn a high-quality degree in a shorter amount of time.
The vision for the CSU gives consideration to the enormous potential of our campuses, the workforce needs of our state, and the demographic characteristics of our current and future students,” White explained. “Achieving our ambitious goals will require a solid and sustained commitment of the people of the CSU – and it will also require investment by our public and private partners across California. But, it will be done with our eyes on the collective goal: a strong, successful, and prosperous future – for our students, our communities, our state, and our nation.”