HSU Initiatives Support Record Graduation Rates

HSU’s Class of 2018 broke new records, with graduation rates for first-time and transfer students hitting all-time highs. The progress was thanks in part to several initiatives designed to support student success.


According to preliminary data, HSU’s four-year graduation rate for first-time freshmen has increased from 14.5 percent in 2015 to 21.9 percent in 2018 (a 51 percent increase). The six-year graduation rate for first-time freshmen has increased from 45.6 percent in 2015 to 51.8 percent in 2018 (a 14 percent increase). The two-year graduation rate for transfer students has increased from 26.3 percent in 2015 to 37.8 percent in 2018 (a 44 percent increase).

HSU’s success reflects efforts under the California State University system’s Graduation Initiative 2025. The goals of this system-wide initiative are to increase graduation rates while reducing opportunity gaps for traditionally underrepresented students, first-generation students, and Pell recipients.

“We invested strategically in academic and social resources—two factors that can affect students’ success at Humboldt State,” says Interim Vice Provost Rock Braithwaite.

To address retention and graduation, the University has undertaken several efforts.

This has included hiring more tenure-line faculty. Over the last three years, 32 tenure-track faculty have been hired, and the student-faculty ratio has dropped from 22:1 to 20:1. Starting this year, HSU plans to hire 20 new faculty members thanks to more than $1.5 million of funding from GI 2025 and the University, according to Provost Alex Enyedi.

In addition, students were offered more sections of courses that are repeated often, have low rates of success, or are in high demand. GI 2025 funds helped lower costs for summer bottleneck courses students needed to graduate.

The University also focused on: conducting a course audit and alert campaign for students on the cusp of graduation; reducing the number of students on academic probation through academic advising and peer mentoring; contacting students who are nearing graduation and encouraged them to enroll and finish; improving student orientation and increasing student and family engagement.

“We’ve made progress, and there’s more to be done. We’re actively working to improve students’ experience at all stages of their college career so they can stay on track for graduation,” says Braithwaite.

He says that future efforts to address retention and graduation at HSU include:

Enhancing first-year experiences through learning communities such as the Klamath Connection, which is intended to increase social and academic support mechanisms that facilitate retention.

Improving student support through the peer mentoring program known as Retention through Academic Mentoring Program (RAMP),

Diversity and equity training for faculty, staff, and administrators through collaborative partnerships between Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and Center for Teaching and Learning.

Providing more Supplemental Instruction sections, which are paired with STEM courses.

For more information about GI 2025 and enrollment planning, visit HSU’s GI 2025 website and the Strategic Enrollment Management website.