Continuing Efforts to Meet the Goals of GI 2025

Sent: November 14, 2022

From: Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Colleagues,

In October, we received our most recent report from the Chancellor’s Office outlining our successes related to and ongoing challenges associated with GI 2025. That report shows that we have exceeded our four-year graduation goal of 35% by two percentage points already! We are close to our six-year graduation goal of 71% for first-year students, while also surpassing our marks set out for our transfer graduation goals. We have also continued to close the six-year graduation gap between our Pell Eligible and non-Pell Eligible students. These are marks of distinction for this campus.

Despite our success in achieving our goals for our overall campus graduation rates, SJSU continues to remain woefully short when it comes to closing the six-year graduation rate between our URM (Black, Latinx, and Native American) students and our non-URM students. Last year’s gap rose to 16.3 percentage points, an increase from the year before. It appears SJSU is no longer seeing an increase in graduation rates across all demographics, as it has in past years. For a campus that is deeply committed to justice and equity, this is an area that needs the attention of every single faculty and staff member on campus. 

So, what are we going to do? We are already doing some work by focusing on programming to establish a stronger sense of belonging and community for our students through a new advising model. This model focuses our professional advisors on academic student success while partnering with Student Affairs professionals to expand services related to tutoring, peer support, and career education as well as increasing student access to our affinity centers. 

What else can we do? Well, the new Course Equity Portal points us in one direction, which allows faculty to explore courses that might have greater gaps than others. However, we need a more significant focus on the challenges in our classrooms. The college associate deans, in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Education and Center for Faculty Development, are creating college equity plans and faculty learning communities focused on pedagogies that will help us address these gaps. 

We are now seeking faculty (individual or, better yet, groups) who will work on these efforts in collaboration with our administrative team. Please be assured that courses representing some of the highest GPA gaps for various groups of students—first generation vs non-first generation, for example—are not all clustered in any one field. System data show us that courses across the university reveal opportunities for change. Everyone can explore our campus data on the CSU Student Success Dashboard

This work is not easy but it is exceedingly important as we seek to meet our mission to educate a diverse and dynamic community of students. 
As more messaging comes out, and calls to participate in these efforts, please sign up. Making the commitment will be a game changer for both you and our students.