Voices: The CSU Student Success Network Blog

First-year Momentum—What it is and Why it Matters

By Melinda Karp, Consultant, EdInsights and the CSU Student Success Network, and Founder, Phase Two Advisory

September 24, 2018

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?

Read more >


Overcoming Program-itis: A Systemic Approach to Student Success 

By Cynthia Schrager, Senior Fellow, EdInsights

June 18, 2018

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?

Read more >

Supporting Transfer Students' Education Goals: The Evolution of Cal Poly Pomona's Transfer Program

By Norma Leon, Educational Assessment & Transition Coordinator, and Dr. Lorena Márquez, PolyTransfer Coordinator, at Cal Poly Pomona

April 25, 2018

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.

Read more >

Campus-wide Roles to Improve Student Success

By Elizabeth Boretz, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, CSU Fullerton

March 21, 2018

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. 

Read more >

A Two-Way Street: Building a Culture of Data Use by Engaging with Faculty and Staff

By Adam Petersen, Student Success Analyst, Office of Undergraduate Studies, CSU San Marcos & Cameron Gage Stevenson, Assistant Director, Institutional Planning & Analysis, CSU San Marcos

February 28, 2018

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.

Read more >

Middle Leadership Academy Kicks Off

December 19, 2017

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. 

Read more >

How "Small Data" Can Address the Limitations of Predictive Analytics

October 24, 2017

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.

Read more >

Sharing Strategies for Student Success Across CSU Campuses: An Interview with James Drnek

September 26, 2017

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.

Read more >

What is Your Campus Working on to Support Students' College Readiness?

May 9, 2017

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.

Read more >

Get Involved in the CSU Student Success Network

May 3, 2017

After two years of planning, the CSU Student Success Network has launched, thanks to the support and involvement of many in the CSU. The Network is connecting faculty, staff, administrators, and students working to improve student learning, engagement, progression, and completion.

Read more >