Tuition increase helps fund Student Success Initiative at CSUF

Earlier this year, the California State University Board of Trustees approved an increase in tuition. At Cal State Fullerton, the increase means California residents and undergraduate students had to pay $2,220.79 to attend part-time (0-6 units) and $3,426.79 (7 or more units) to attend full-time for the fall 2017 semester.

Of that tuition, $553.79 goes strictly to campus-based fees, which contribute to nine different categories that directly impact students.

Among those categories that receive money from campus-based fees are the Associated Student Body, which gets $75.33 per student, the Campus Union, which gets $136.41 per student and the Health Center, which gets $81.44 per student.

However, the Student Success Initiative (SSI), implemented in Spring 2014 with the purpose of bettering students’ experience on campus, receives the largest share of campus-based fees at $184.26 per student.

“We have currently a plan this year in terms of all the programs the campus has to develop to support the Student Success Initiative,” said Vice President of Admission and Finance Danny Kim.

There are seven different programs currently part of the SSI: Student Academic Progress, Enrich Student’s Path to Graduation, Support Titan Pride, Expand and Modernize Student Centered Spaces, Embrace Diversity and Veterans, Improve Instructional Experience and Access Upgraded Technology.

The Improve Instructional Experience and Access Upgraded Technology programs have resulted in increased Wi-Fi access in all common student areas, provided instructional academic software like Grammarly and Lynda to students, upgraded tablet and laptop checkout availability for all students and improved technology in classrooms and the Pollak Library.

“(The Information of Technology) division has been working really hard developing all the tools that advisors, faculty and even students need to keep track of their progress and also to identify any gaps they may have,” Kim said. “A lot of systems are being developed to help these constituents.”

The Student Academic Progress program has expanded academic advising, library hours and increased course availability.

Many students like business major Carlos Ramirez have benefited from the extension of library hours.

“I spend most of my time at the library studying just because that is where I usually focus the most,” Ramirez said. “I’m also a night-time person so that usually benefits me a lot because of the late night studying hours.”

Other students like CSUF women’s soccer player Nano Oronoz benefit mainly from the Expand and Modernize Student Centered Spaces aspect of the SSI. Along with adding the scoreboard and LED board for Titan Stadium in the 2014-2015 academic year, the program has helped to improve athletic facilities and the lighting on the tennis courts and open fields.

“I enjoy the scoreboard because it gives us a chance to have pregame videos and celebration effects,” Oronoz said.

Overall, the SSI has made many improvements throughout Cal State Fullerton in the last three years but it is still much left to accomplish. The Enrich Student’s Path to Graduation porgram is currently in the process of establishing learning communities which would give disadvantaged students’ the opportunity to connect, engage and learn.

In addition, Kim said the Student Affairs division is always creating new programs within the SSI to support students.

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