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LBSU graduation rate up 28 percent in 2018

Long Beach State’s dedication to helping students graduate in four years has yielded the highest graduation rates in a decade.

The graduation rate rose from 16 percent in 2015 to 28 percent in 2018, according to LBSU Provost Brian Jersky.

“It’s great news,” Jersky said, “In 2018 the number of students who graduated in four years was 28 percent and our goal was 24 percent.”

Jersky attributed the sharp increase in student success to the faculty, students and staff who have all worked to make the rate increase possible.

“One of the big things that we’ve done is make sure that we have more proactive advising,” Jersky said. “Academic Affairs has been focusing on increasing the number of advisors so students have more resources for academic planning. In addition to technological support, the campus has also increased the amount of tutors on campus.”

In 2018 the California State University system executed the Graduation Initiative 2025 to increase graduation rates for freshmen and transfers among all CSU campuses. The CSU goal is produce a 40 percent four-year graduation rate for freshman and 45 percent rate for two-year transfer students.

“[LBSU]’s goal is to raise the four-year graduation rate to 39 percent by 2025,” Jersky said.

Associated Students Inc. also credits the increase in graduates to the programs they provide for students.

“Initiatives on campus such as the Basic Needs Program takes a holistic look at students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom, addressing housing and food insecurity on our campus to support students on their path to graduation,” said Emely Lopez, chief academic officer for ASI.

According to ASI President Genesis Jara, events and services provide students with a sense of community that impacts their academic performance, retention and timely graduation.

Jara added that ASI needs to continue breaking down barriers that students face so that the rate can continue to improve every year.

According to Jersky, one of the problems with the Graduation Initiative 2025 is that students may worry that the school is pushing them out too quickly.

“I don’t feel rushed,” said Justin Rodriguez, a fourth year student, “I actually like that there are so many resources on campus to keep you on track.”  Both Jersky and Jara said that it is important that students who want to graduate in four years have the opportunity to do so.

“Our goal is not to rush students, but to offer students who want to finish in four years a clear, barrier-free pathway to doing it,”  Jersky said.

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