New Report Indicates Year-Over-Year Increase in CSU Degrees Conferred

The number of students graduating from the California State University is at an all-time high. For the third consecutive year, the CSU has witnessed a year-over-year increase in the number of graduates earning degrees from CSU campuses.

“As California’s greatest source of bachelor’s degrees, it is critical for the CSU to prepare an increasing number of knowledgeable and strongly skilled graduates who are ready to meet the state’s current and future workforce needs,” said Loren Blanchard, CSU executive vice chancellor of academic and student affairs. “The confluence of outreach activities, innovative academic programming and student success efforts play a significant role in enabling the state and the nation to move the needle on college enrollment and completion.”

Based on self-reported statistical data, the CSU conferred 105,693 undergraduate and graduate degrees last academic year. This was an increase of two percent from 103,781 degrees granted in 2013-14 and a sharp rise—up four percent—from 101,209 degrees conferred in 2012-13.

CSU’s Graduation Initiative is one of the university’s efforts driving the increase. Launched in 2009, the systemwide Graduation Initiative was created to improve graduation rates for all students. The 2009 initiative successfully raised the systemwide freshman six-year graduation rate by eight percentage points by 2015 – from 46 percent to approximately 54 percent. Now, through Graduation Initiative 2025, the CSU plans to produce 100,000 more degrees by 2025 by increasing the systemwide six-year graduation rate to 60 percent, the graduation rate for transfer students to 76 percent and closing the achievement gap for low-income and underserved students.

Significant progress has been made to improve timely degree completion by:

  • hiring more tenure track faculty and academic advisors to support students;
  • reducing the number of units required to earn a bachelor’s degree while still maintaining the quality of academic programs;
  • supporting the Associate Degree for Transfer program to ensure transfer students take the appropriate units needed to graduate;
  • launching the CSU Enrollment Bottleneck Solutions Initiative to accelerate student progress to degree and decrease bottlenecks that negatively impact students;
  • adding more CourseMatch offerings to enable students to enroll in online courses at other CSU campuses; and
  • bolstering the use of high-impact practices—including undergraduate research, service learning, internships and study abroad—that lead to greater student success and persistence rates.