Advising initiative aims to speed graduation

SF State plans to hire an advising specialist this semester to help implement their initiative to increase graduation rates of current students.

The California State University Chancellor’s Office has recently set new benchmarks for graduation rates. As part of the Campus Student Success Plan in SF State, the advising department is doing its part to help reach that goal, according to Kimberley Altura, associate dean of undergraduate advising.

“Our current 6-year freshmen graduation rate 51 percent with a goal of 69 percent by 2025, and our 4-year graduation rate is 18 percent, with the goal of 30 percent by 2025,” Altura said. “SF State’s graduation rate isn’t low within the CSU, but we can always do better.”

Altura said the advising office is planning on using a three-phased approach to help fix graduation rates.

Graduation specialists will be hired. These new advisors will reach out to students who have more than 120 units and still haven’t graduated.

Then, they will hire five shared advisors who will communicate between the five colleges on campus and the advising department. Any changes in policies or graduation requirements will reach the advising office sooner so they can make better judgements on advising.

These new hires will fix the biggest hurdles within the system currently. “I think our biggest issue is not having enough resources for advising, so students self-advise,” Altura said.

Lastly, they aim to increase faculty advising support. The departments with the greater number of students close to graduation will get the greater amount of advising support from the advising office.

Patrick McCarter, a history major, agrees that department advising resources help. “Yeah, [my advising] has gone really great. I’m in the history department so the teachers are all available all time and they’re willing to help you in the office hours,” McCarter said.

Lori Beth Way, associate dean of academic planning, agreed. “The Division of Undergraduate Education and Academics Planning Advising aims to help students understand all of their degree requirements so they can make the best choices for themselves,” she said in an e-mail.

“This is a really exciting time for us, I think it’s going to make a big difference,” Altura said.