Improvements in CSU system discussed at Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- A group of California State University administrators, teachers, students and higher education influencers gathered Friday for the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium -- an annual meeting to track progress towards the goal of raising graduation rates by 2025.

Governor Gavin Newsom addressed the group Friday morning.

“Everything that’s supposed to be up is up and everything that’s supposed to be down is down,” Newsom said.

On Thursday, CSU announced first-time freshman four-year graduation rates have risen from 19% to over 25%. The six-year graduation rates grew from 57 to 61% between 2015 and 2018.

“The graduation initiative is about dramatically improving graduation rates and closing equity gaps for all students,” Assistant Vice Chancellor and senior strategist James T. Minor said.

Minor said the CSU system is headed in the right direction but says their progress needs to be viewed in context.

“We’re just now returning to pre-recession levels of funding and we are enrolling far more students than we were at that time,” he said. “So the idea is success is not free if we want better productivity out of public universities we have to be willing to invest.”

As far as what that investment looks like in budgets to come, Governor Newsom didn’t make any promises, but he did express support.

“If we can continue to make the investments, we will continue to see the improvements,” Newsom said.

The overall graduation rate goals for CSU include raising the four-year graduation rate to 40% and the six-year graduation rate to 70% for first-time freshmen.

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