Newswise — Graduation Initiative 2025 is the California State University’s ambitious initiative to increase graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and equity gaps. 

In order to reach these goals, the CSU has identified a combination of factors that put a student at risk for not graduating, such as first generation status, college readiness and economic challenges. 

The CSU has implemented key high-impact practices that contribute to the academic success of all students including internships, intensive advising and supplemental instruction and continues to strengthen these practices through the Graduation Initiative.

The CSU Office of the Chancellor invited administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders from all 23 campuses to its second annual Graduation Initiative Symposium Oct. 11-12, which included nationally-recognized speakers sharing their experience with proven, evidenced-based strategies that support student success.

The symposium also gave the CSU a chance to share the success of the initiative in helping students to realize their academic goals. In 2017, for example, the CSU produced an additional 7,000 degree holders more than the previous year.

Data is also already showing that first-time freshmen will earn their degree an average of one term earlier and transfer students will earn their degree an average of two months earlier. As students can begin their careers earlier, this will allow them to begin earning money sooner that will help improve their lives, the lives of their family, and the state of California.

A key topic for discussion was redefining historically underserved communities, including considering the whole student and acknowledging the various factors that keep them from earning a degree. The Graduation Initiative aims to use these factors to ensure the most underserved students are not being left behind.

“The only thing that will determine California’s future, specifically where equity and educational access is concerned, is education,” said Chancellor White. “The CSU will be renowned for who we help earn a degree, not for who we leave at the door or lose along the way.” 

CSU leaders also put an emphasis on not fearing change and making bold decisions regarding new ways to foster student success. 

“The Graduation Initiative is part of a national movement in higher education that requires us to inspect, to question and to re-examine the relationship between institutional practices and student success,” said Dr. Loren Blanchard, executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “These are bold changes that will have a measurable impact on student success.”

 With nearly half a million students across 23 campuses, the CSU’s mission is to ensure that every student, regardless of background has the opportunity to earn a high-quality degree in preparation for a lifetime of achievement.