cal state, 10M, university, scholarships, Black, Students

Cal State University Makes $10M Investment Toward Black Student Success

The Cal State University system is putting its money – $10 million, to be specific – where its Black students are, to invest in their success through their degree programs.

After a data study by CSU’s Graduation Initiative concluded that Black students were the most impacted by low student success and retention rates, a work group was established last October to find methods to improve their academic experience.

The group surveyed stakeholders from all 23 campuses within the statewide school system in order to “identify strategies Cal State can take to improve retention and graduation among Black learners,” as noted by Inside Higher Ed. After holding listening sessions and creating subgroups for recruitment, academic success, campus culture, and role of faculty, the group summarized its research and conversations into a 13-point plan of recommendations to combat this gap in student success along racial lines.

Through strategy implementation detailed in a June report from the group, Cal State will work over the next three years to improve upon factors such as resources, infrastructure and policy to ensure they uplift and protect their Black student population. Specifically, they seek to create designated safe and affirming spaces for Black students on campus, clear anti-harassment guidelines, recruit Black personnel at a standard rate, and develop early outreach and marketing plans to encourage interest from Black scholars as well as promote CSU’s viability.

The curation of these plans and their installment will be a step forward in equitable inclusion, serving as “an invitation to higher education to put greater intentionality on aiding underserved and underrepresented students,” according to CSU Dominguez Hills president and co-chair of the systemwide group, Thomas Parham.

An implementation committee will allocate the $10 million in funding during the plan’s three-year rollout to the multiple campuses. It will be under the guidance and discretion of each campuses’ administration to decide which of the recommendations they choose to enact.


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