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1.4 million available to close equity gap

Graduation initiative gives students a choice on how money will be spent
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Graduation initiative gives students a choice on how money will be spent

Humboldt State University’s Student Success Alliance is sitting on base funding of $1.4 million from the Graduation Initiative 2025. Created by the California State University, G.I. 2025’s purpose is to increase graduation rates in the CSU system.

On Oct. 25, HSU Associated Students held a forum asking for student’s input on how the $1.4 million should be spent.

AS graduate representative Maddie Halloran said she attended the forum to give a better understanding on what the G.I. 2025 is.

“The GI 2025 is distributed and allocated to 23 CSU’s,” Halloran said. “The money can be used for many things, like to fund programs here at HSU.”

The forum began with a presentation of what the G.I. 2025 was, and ended with a discussion from students and faculty deciding what the remaining $1.4 million will be used on.

There were six categories the money can be distributed toward: academic preparation, enrollment management, student engagement and well-being, financial support, data-driven decision making and academic barriers.

AS president Jazmin Sandoval, spoke with students and faculty during the discussion panel to ask which aspect should be funded.

“Personally I’m more passionate in funding ‘Student Engagement and Well-Being,’” Sandoval said. “I think it’s important for students to be more outgoing especially for an isolated area like Humboldt. It’s a basic need.”

During the discussion panel of the forum, many ideas were presented for where the $1.4 million should be spent. One of which was informing students of what programs are available for students, as students don’t know that there are programs for students interests.

HSU student Nico Smith V was very pleased with the discussion panel.

“Having this out reach is needed,” Smith said. “There should be a bigger turnout for something like this, but this panel is a step of the right direction.”

According to the Humboldt Student Success Plan created in 2016, CSU’s want to increase the amount of graduation by 2025. With six year graduation rates increasing by 56 percent, four-year graduation rates increasing by 30 percent, two-year transfer student graduation rates increasing by 38 percent , and four-year transfer student graduation rates increasing by 79 percent.

HSU has until Nov. 15 to inform the CSU board of trustees on how they will spent G.I. 2025 money and how they’ll spend it in the future.

Lisa Castellino, Associate Vice President of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, presented data showing that HSU is on the right track of increasing the graduation rate each year. However she points out that there is still an issue of closing the ‘equity gap.’

“It’s not acceptable that students coming from lower income homes have a lower chance in graduating than those coming from higher income homes,” Casellino said.

This issue means a lot to Sandoval.

“The CSU’s are accepting more diverse students but those students are not graduating,” Sandoval said. “This is a problem that needs to be fixed.”

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