College of Humanities

CSUN Cited as Exemplar for Increasing Student Success

January 22, 2014

Jolene Koester and studentsPresident Jolene Koester with CSUN students
CSUN's considerable accomplishment of increasing graduation rates by nearly 100% during the 11-year presidency of Jolene Koester is the subject of an in-depth report released January 16 by the Education Trust. Leading Change: Increasing Graduation Rates at CSU Northridge details President Koester's vision and approach to solving what she identified in her inaugural convocation as an unacceptably low record of completion among first-time freshmen. One takeaway for university presidents looking for the secret to her success? Koester cites a deep level of identification and connection with the students she serves, but also emphasizes, "We had an institution where it wasn't just the president and a provost in student affairs. Everybody understood and accepted that [the graduation task force initiative] was important and stayed with it."