Celebrated nationally for its commitment to diversity, inclusion and excellence, the California State University is a stalwart advocate for student achievement, irrespective of background. Even so, students from underserved communities continue to graduate from college at a lower rate than their peers. Half of CSU undergraduates from underserved communities graduate within six years.

A system as inclusive as the CSU—in which more than 65 percent of first-time full-time freshmen are students of color and 49 percent receive need-based Pell grants—must strive to achieve both inclusivity and excellence.

Which is why, more and more, the work of the California State University centers on improving the likelihood of attaining a degree, promoting inclusive excellence, and empowering a lifetime of success for our students and alumni.

A New Goal

With this in mind, Chancellor Timothy P. White has challenged the CSU to reach an equity gap of zero: In other words, that there will be no difference between the opportunities that an underserved student who is willing to work toward a bachelor’s degree will have and that of his or her peer with greater advantages.

Chancellor White has proposed three objectives to accomplish the goal of an equity gap of zero:

  • Establish a continuous pipeline from preschool to a bachelor’s degree with state support for growth with quality at every level of a child’s education.

  • Ensure that high school graduates and transfer students enter the CSU better academically prepared to succeed at the university level.

  • Provide readily available resources and timely interventions for current and future students.

We know that our greatest strength as a university is when we can come together. Simply put, the CSU understands, embraces, and respects the strength of our diversity of people, ideas and pedagogy.