CSU commits $50 million to degree completion program

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LONG BEACH (CNS) – The California State University system will commit $50 million to bolster students’ ability to complete their degrees through steps such as enhanced advising services and an increase in the number of online classes, the CSU chancellor said on Wednesday.

“Our state needs one million more college graduates by 2025 to enable the health of our economy,” Timothy White said in his inaugural “State of the CSU” address during a Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach. “This need is enormous, and we must intensify our efforts to do our part to meet that need.”

White said he wants to hire more tenure-track faculty and reduce so-called “course bottlenecks” that prevent students from getting into classes they need to graduate. White also said he wants to expand the Early Start Program aimed at ensuring incoming freshman are prepared for college, increase data collection and data-driven decision-making and improve access and degree- completion among community college transfer students.

He said the university’s “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.

“… 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,” he said. “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.”

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