In the list of names below, * denotes team members who initiated the project in Austin, and > denotes student team members
Tami Abourezk, Assistant Vice President, Undergraduate Programs
Karen Abramowitz, Coordinator, Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring (Learning Resource Center
>Stacey Aguila, Associated Students
*Patrick Bailey, Director, Student Involvement and Development
Nyla Dalferes, Associate Director, Career Center
Sangita Dube, Academic Advisor, Kinesiology Department
Anne Eipe, Staff Psychologist, University Counseling Services
*Susanna Eng-Ziskin, First Year Experience Librarian, Oviatt Library
Christina Espinoza-Guzman, Office of the Dean, Graduation and Retention Advising Specialist, College of Science and Mathematics
>Victor Grau, Associated Students
Ani Harutyunyan, Director, Student Services Center/EOP, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
*Helen Heinrich, Director, Data and Analytics, Information Technology
Teiana M. Jones, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Academic Services
Anne Kellenberger, Writing Programs Coordinator, Learning Resource Center
Kelly Kroeker, Administrative Analyst/Specialist, Academic First Year Experiences
>Nicole Kucera, Upper Division Senator, Associated Students
Michael Kurland, Office of the Dean, Graduation and Retention Specialist, Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication
Debbi Mercado, Assistant Coordinator, Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam; Lecturer, English and Academic First Year Experiences
Kristy Michaud, Director, Office of Student Success Innovations; Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Armine Minasyan, Lecturer, Developmental Math
>Claus Offersen, Marketing major, Finance minor
Janet Oh, Associate Director of Institutional Research; Professor, Psychology Department
Shiva Parsa, Interim Director, Educational Opportunity Programs
Lisa Riccomini, Lecturer, Academic First Year Experiences; Assistant Course Director, University 100
*Cheryl Spector (team leader), Director, Academic First Year Experiences; Professor, English Department
Mark Stevens, Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
>Erika Villalvazo, Associated Students
>Chelsea Turner, Graduate Senator, Associated Students (graduated May 2016)
>Brianna Wilcox, College of Health & Human Development Senator, Associated Students (graduated May 2016)
Demystifying Office Hours for Your Students*
Making the Most of Automated Email Replies
New Student Icebreaker
Paths to Information: the CSU Student Success Dashboard (in the CSUN Portal) and Canvas Course Analytics (in Canvas courses)
Providing Better Feedback:
Upper Division GE New Transfer Student Project, AY 2016-2017: Issues, Resources, and Pedagogical Approaches for Faculty
* During the discussion that concluded our Faculty Retreat session, CSUN faculty member Melisa Galván (Chicana/o Studies) offered an additional way to get students to come to office hours:
She assigns her students a low-stakes writing assignment due the first week of class. For this assignment she asks students to draft a formal one-page cover letter in which they introduce themselves to her and provide any details that they would like her to know (reasons for taking the course, specific learning styles, accommodations, etc). This provides the opportunity for students to practice professional correspondence with the professor from the outset, and to express their commitment to succeeding in the course.
Subsequently, students then have until the third week of instruction to visit her during office hours to introduce themselves in person and discuss what they wrote. As a reward, she provides them with a “free weekly assignment pass” that allows them to drop the lowest grade on a future weekly reflection paper.
This idea could easily be adapted for quizzes or other low stakes assignments. She has found that at least 1/2 of the class will come visit her in office hours — greatly facilitating her ability to learn their names and break down previous student perceptions of the faculty office as an intimidating space.
Foiling the Drop-Out Trap: Completion Grant Practices for Retaining and Graduating Students. 22-page how-to, published jointly by the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities. No date (but includes a reference published in 2015 and mentions Tim Renick of Georgia State U, who presented at the AASC&U Austin retreat).
Got an A in Algebra? That's Worth $120. Natasha Singer, New York Times 20 Feb. 2016. Overview of Raise.me, a program which combines micro-grants and micro-badging to inspire students to stay on track for college.
Small Grants, Big Impact. Paul Fain, Inside Higher Education, 22 Feb. 2016.
When students face financial hardships, these colleges step up. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2016.
How to help more college students graduate. The Upshot: New York Times blog, 21 Feb. 2016.
One question could boost graduation rates. Are you asking it? EAB Daily Briefing, 21 April 2017. Spoiler alert: "Is there any way you could enroll full-time, even for one semester?" See also this Inside Higher Ed report on the same nuanced and persuasive study, which was carried out by UT Austin's Center for Community College Student Engagement. The conclusions (and the nuances) seem applicable to students at four-year institutions as well.
How Colleges Encourage Students to Take 15 Credits. Education Advisory Board, 22 Feb. 2016. An overview of what's happening around the country, including barriers to the 15-unit load and observations about which students are more likely to be able to carry 15 units.
How to Help More College Students Graduate. Susan Dynarski, "The Upshot." New York Times blog. 21 Feb 2016. Mentions the new "on-track Pell grant bonus" which will increase Pell grants for low-income students who enroll in 15 units per semester, and which will also provide support for three semesters per year for those students who want to speed up their progress towards a degree.
Meta Majors: Integrated Courses of Study: this website maintained by Undergraduate Studies at CSUN provides an overview of meta-majors in the CSU and nationally.
Meta-Majors on CSU Campuses: this website maintained by CSU Dominguez Hills offers an overview of meta-majors. It includes examples from several campuses across the country, as well as resources from the one-day meta-majors CSU working conference (San Francisco, January 25, 2017).
Meet the "Meta-Major" by Byron ZumMallen. "Essentially, a meta-major is a designed program of courses that crosses different majors and fields but with similar content—focusing on, say, health sciences or STEM or liberal arts." Features Fullerton, San Francisco State, and Long Beach State, as well as Pasadena City College and Bakersfield College. (9/9/16)
Decision Time. Carl Straumsheim. Insider Higher Education. 24 August 2016. "While graduation rates hovered around 83 percent for students who finalized their major during their second semester or later, students who declared a major during their first semester in college and stuck with it were four percentage points less likely to graduate."
Better Advising Beats Free Tuition for Degree Completion, Say Experts. Goldie Blumenstyk, "The Ticker." Blog at Chronicle.com. 22 Feb 2016.
Guided Pathways Demystified: Exploring Ten Commonly Asked Questions about Implementing Pathways. Rob Johnstone, National Center for Inquiry & Improvement. A 20-page brief for allaying fears and questions concerning curricular pathways in college. (Sent by RFY program director Jo Arney, 29 Feb 2016.)
GI 2025 is a system-wide California State University project intended to "remove obstacles to receiving a baccalaureate degree." This update to the predecessor effort, GI 2015, was announced in summer 2016. Campuses submitted their draft plans about a month later, and began working immediately to implement them.
Here at Northridge, the campus renamed the project "Matadors Rising" in early spring 2017. Matador Momentum was a source for many elements of the campus plan (including the student success campaign and the establishment of targeted peer mentors). Several other strategies we proposed have also been adapted for the campaign, including Data Champions, graduation incentives for students, the shift to 15 units as the starting point for advising discussions, and expansion of the ExCEL and RAISE Your GPA courses.
GI 2025 Overview: https://www2.calstate.edu/graduation-initiative-2025
CSUN draft campus plan: https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/why-the-csu-matters/graduation-initiative-2025/Campus%20Plans/northridge-campus-plan.pdf
Matadors Rising student success campaign: "soft launch" with website and posters, May 2017.