Student Success Initiative to decide on details regarding fund allocation

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The Student Success Initiative Fee Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Student fee Advisory Committee discusses details of how to use revenue from the newly-implemented Student Success Fee. The $181 fee will be phased in over the next three years. Students this semester are paying $60. (Marisela Gonzalez/Daily Titan)
The Student Success Initiative Fee Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Student fee Advisory Committee discusses details of how to use revenue from the newly-implemented Student Success Fee. The $181 fee will be phased in over the next three years. Students this semester are paying $60. (Marisela Gonzalez/Daily Titan)

The Student Success Initiative Fee Advisory Committee met Friday for the first time to discuss specific details of how the $181 per semester Student Success Fee will be allocated.

The Student Success Fee was approved last semester after a weeks-long consultation process involving student surveys and open forums. Implementation began this semester with a $60 fee that will increase each year through fall 2016 when it reaches the full $181.

The meeting focused mainly on how the fee will support academic success and improve class availability. The committee, which includes student representatives, is looking at options for expanding bottleneck courses–core courses that are tough to get into or that have a high fail rate.

Vice President for Institutional Research and Analytical Studies Edward Sullivan presented possible options for expanding course availability for the most impacted courses.

Some of the options presented include expanding core classes currently available only once a year, adding sections of a class as opposed to adding seats to existing classes, and offering more classes on Fridays and Saturdays. Sullivan pointed out that only 575 of the 25,000 available seats in Mihaylo College of Business and Economics are being used on Fridays. Adding classes on these days would mean plenty of available space, Sullivan said.

Student members pointed out that major core classes, which affect a student’s ability to graduate on time if it is a prerequisite for a future class, would be more beneficial than highly-impacted general education classes, which can be taken at any time.

“The last thing you wanna do, in doing this, is to dilute the quality of the education that you’re gonna receive,” Sullivan said. “If you lower the value and quality of courses that are taught, you’re lowering the value of your education.”

Revenue from the Student Success Fee will expand or overhaul many campus programs.

The Pollak Library’s hours have been extended, and it will be open 24 hours a day beginning the last Monday of classes through the Friday of finals week.

The Supplemental Instruction (SI) program, which provides peer-led study groups for historically difficult courses, will be expanded to include more sessions for more classes where students need additional help.

Academic advising plans to hire more staff in an effort to reach more students. They also added a mandatory graduation advisement workshop for students who have between 75 and 84 units.

The Career Center and Center for Internships and Community Engagement hope to reach more students. Both centers plan to hire additional staff in order to reach out to more businesses and to find more career and internship opportunities.

The athletics department added scholarships for some of its athletes. They will also use these funds to fully support men’s and women’s golf, which have been dependent on outside funding since they were brought back in 2009. Additional staff will be hired to support the athletes, including a life skills coordinator, graduate assistant for academic advising and sports psychologists.

There are also plans to improve the athletic facilities. They are currently in the design stage of the athletic fields lighting project. They also plan to replace the Titan Stadium video board, which is now over 20 years old.

Alumni relations also hopes to enhance existing outreach programs, including dinners hosted by alumni as a unique networking opportunity for students and with a searchable database for students seeking alumni in their field.

The committee will present their plans to the Student Fee Advisory Committee next week. The next meeting of the Student Success Initiative Fee Advisory Committee is scheduled for Nov. 7 from 3-5 p.m. in the Academic Senate Chambers in the TitanShops bookstore. The location may be changed.

A breakdown of the Student Success Initiative allocation is available at Success.Fullerton.edu.

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