2019 Focus Groups

In the fall of 2019, Rankin and Associates held a variety of focus groups to listen to better understand the climate issues at SJSU. The information was intended to inform the survey development. The Campus Climate and Belonging Committee realized that the focus group participants made recommendations that could have more immediate positive impact on the sense of belonging for different groups.

The committee has selected several areas of work of work to pursue with the goal of attaining or making significant progress on them by the conclusion of the survey administration in March.

These areas do not reflect all of recommendations from the focus groups. The remaining recommendations will be addressed along with the campus climate survey outcomes.


Graduate Student Sense of Belonging

Ask graduate students what they need
Actions taken:

  • Established a Graduate Student Advisory Council comprised of current graduate students from across the university to advise College of Graduate Studies (CGS) leadership on programming and services to better meet the need of our graduate students and to alert us to unnecessary bureaucratic impediments to graduate student success
  • CGS is planning a detailed survey of graduate students for late in S20 or early in F20.

Communicate events to all departments
Actions taken:

  • Established a monthly newsletter to all graduate students and graduate advisors with news, events, and opportunities for graduate students.
  • Currently hiring a communications specialist to develop more robust communications about graduate student matters via e-mail, web, and social media.

Hold campus-wide graduate mixers/networking
Action taken:

  • Established an annual Networking Begins Now event for graduate students including a panel discussion followed by a networking mixer.

Hold career-based networking for arts/humanities/etc.
Action taken:

  • Nothing discipline specific yet, although two of five panelists in the Networking Begins Now event are from H&A.

Provide these suggestions to the College of Graduate Studies
Action taken:

  • Done both via e-mail and at a meeting on January 27 between Campus Climate and Belonging co-chairs and Dean of CGS.

Wellness Initiatives

Employee recognition
Action taken:

  • Because the Spartan Service Celebration planned for 2020 will feature the Spartan Staff Awards for the first time, leadership agreed that it would be better to incorporate recognition for 5 and 10-year staff members for the Spartan Service Celebration in 2021 so as not to detract from the inaugural celebration of staff awards.

Wellness initiatives for staff
Action taken:

  • Empathia has over 90 different workshops that are offered. Most of the workshops are centered around mental and physical well-being. The extra hours included in the Empathia contract are training hours. More on this topic is forthcoming.

More initiatives to come...