The CSU Student Success Network Conference

Building a Student-Ready Campus: Shared Opportunities for Equity and Transformation

Presentation Abstracts

Conference 1 (SEPT 25TH): Advising, Engaging, Serving

Student Plenary

Evidence, Equity, and the Role of Empathy in Everyday Practice || 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Catherine Ward, Executive Director, Retention Initiatives  & Assistant Deans for Student Affairs

Clint-Michael Reneau, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs

Su Swarat, Assistant Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness & Accreditation Liaison Officer

California State University, Fullerton

The ability to close equity-gaps requires a keen understanding of ourselves and others’ by prioritizing empathy: listening and hearing the complex needs of the communities we serve and responding from empathy and awareness of those needs. The goal of this presentation is to inspire and encourage the development of evidence-based, empathy-infused co-curricular programs that play an instrumental role in supporting campus-wide equity-gap closing efforts. This presentation, titled: Evidence, Equity, and the Role of Empathy in Everyday Practice to Support Student Success, is intended for staff and faculty who are interested in learning how to take an empathic approach to drive effective data-driven equitable program and service design. Our ability to recognize individuals’ lived experience, engage our emotional and social intelligence, and have the capacity to move toward action on the behalf of others is a vital part of equity work. Therefore, participants will learn about three types of empathy: 1) cognitive, 2) affective, and 3) compassionate empathy, and how empathy is a gateway to insight, creativity, trust building, and a deep sense of connection. Through reflective activities, participants will also learn about the skills necessary to demonstrate empathy and explore how they can apply empathy in their respective areas.

Trial by Fire: Moving Paper-Based, Face-to-Face Liberal Studies Major Advising Online || 1:30PM - 2:30PM

Kristin Van Gaasbeck, Director, Liberal Studies Program

Kristen Anderegg, Lead Advisor, Liberal Studies

Kim Liaz, Administrative Support Coordinator, Liberal Studies

Audrey Showen, Student Assistant, Liberal Studies and Orientation Leader, CSU Sacramento

California State University Sacramento

In this session, we demonstrate how a paper-based, face-to-face advising system moved quickly online in response to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders and campus closure. We will walk through how advisors use a combination of an online scheduling and tracking system (EAB), previously paper-based advising forms, CMS, and Zoom to deliver advising services. Through a hands-on demonstration of how we make use of online resources – some we developed in Liberal Studies and some existing on CSU campuses – we hope to empower other programs to adopt technological resources and initiate changes to increase access to advising for students.

Transfer Student Outreach Alliance: Building a Culture of Transfer Student Engagement and Excellence || 1:30PM - 2:30PM

Michelle Lopez, Associate Dean, Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement  

Martha Enciso, Associate Director, Weber Honors College

San Diego State University

The Transfer Student Outreach Alliance (TSOA) focuses on earlier transfer student engagement into critical student support services, Academic advising, honors communities, and a connection to high-impact practices. Through cross-divisional partnerships, TSOA strives to ease the transition of new fall transfer student admits prior to new transfer orientation, and works toward building a culture of excellence for both new and continuing transfer students. Participants will learn practices to maximize cross-divisional partnerships that provide a student-centered approach to transfer student support and engagement, particularly during the first year of transition.

United We Stand: Incorporating Family Support into First Year Success || 2:45PM - 3:45PM

Christopher Johnson, Director, New Student and Family Programs  

Jennifer Celaya Davis, Associate Vice President for Student Life

California State University, Los Angeles

Traditionally, parent programs have treated family support members as minor nuisances that needed to be dealt with or kept busy while the real work and knowledge was shared with the students, alone. At Cal State LA, we believe that no CSU student goes to – or more importantly, finishes – college on their own. Parent Academy, our signature family support program, is a continually growing and evolving series that seeks to make family support members active participants in their student’s success, not just casual sideline observers. Through collaboration with multiple campus entities and family support members, Cal State LA is aiming to transform the first year experience.

Advancing Equity through Editing: How Student-Run Publishing Projects Can Involve Students in Equity Work || 2:45PM - 3:45PM

Marcos Hernandez, Administrative Support Coordinator 

Theressa Lopez, Toyon 2021 Managing Editor 

Erika Andrews, 2020 Managing Editor 

Dr. Janelle Adsit, Assistant Professor, Toyon Faculty Advisor

Humboldt State University

How can students rewrite the landscape of higher education? In this session, current and former members of the editorial staff that annually produces Toyon Multilingual Journal of Literature and Art, Humboldt State University’s oldest student-run literary publication, present a model of student-run publishing that centers student voice in the project of addressing the inequities that persist in higher education. We share concrete, data-driven examples of how students have successfully taken up this work in the local context of Toyon and offer suggestions for how these practices might be adapted for other public-facing projects. We identify several interpersonal and institutional factors that allow this work to succeed in its equity objectives. We end the session with concluding thoughts on how supporting students in publishing projects can help colleges move towards becoming more equitable, student-ready, and socially just campuses.

This session is relevant to a range of higher education professionals, as it is inclusive of any public-facing rhetorical project that has the potential to involve students in forwarding equity. Examples include journals, zines, informal publishing, university press marketing, departmental and cultural newsletters, and student-run social media storylines. Putting university communications in the hands of students offers many opportunities for learning and professional development and is also full of potential for achieving institutional change.

Participants in this session will have the chance to reflect on opportunities for student-led publishing projects on their own campuses, across units and offices in student and academic affairs. Be prepared to write, reflect, and collaborate!

Conference 2 (OCT 16th): Teaching and Academic Support 

System Leaders and Faculty Plenary

Creating Collaborative Partnerships in Promoting First-Generation Student Success || 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Martha Enciso, Associate Director, Weber Honors College

Michelle Lopez, Associate Dean, Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

San Diego State University

Equally as important as cultivating environments where first-generation students can thrive, is creating a student ready college that focuses on collaborative partnerships. This session will highlight how institutions can begin to create environments of inclusive excellence and success for first-generation college students by developing effective partnerships.

Community Cultural Wealth: Embracing Diverse Sources of Knowledge || 1:30-2:30

Emily Ward, California State University, STEM VISTA Leader

Kristina Barger, California State University, STEM VISTA Program Manager  

California State University, STEM VISTA, California State University, Chancellor’s Office 

The CSU STEM VISTA (CSV) program utilizes asset-based, culturally validating models in working across campuses—in colleges, career centers, advising centers and more—to eliminate inequities in graduation rates of historically under-resourced students pursuing STEM degrees. While traditional education models operate under the assumption that only certain types of knowledge are valuable and can lead to academic and career success, CSV seeks to shift away from this perspective towards viewing historically under-resourced students as experts in their own experience and as valuable epistemic resources. This shift is encouraged by CSV’s incorporation and dissemination of Dr. Tara J. Yosso’s community cultural wealth model which focuses on the aspirational, linguistic, familial, social, navigational, and resistant capitals that students possess before entering college. Utilizing this asset-based framework of community cultural wealth helps us create spaces in which the “non-traditional” skills/talents/wisdom/knowledge that historically under-resourced students possess are valued as providing legitimate pathways to academic success. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to equip themselves with the knowledge and tools to embrace various forms of cultural capital, center personhood and relationship at the core of learning, and therein promote student engagement and success. This will be accomplished through deep reflection, discussion, and exploration regarding our roles in expanding the types of cultural capital that are valued by academia.

Effects of equity-minded pedagogical practices on reducing course-level equity gaps: A pilot test across 3 colleges || 1:30-2:30

Ioakim Boutakidis, Professor of Child and Adolescent Studies

Michelle Ramos, Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Studies 

California State University, Fullerton

This session will report on a pilot test of equity-minded pedagogical practices on class-level equity gaps, as measured by differences in grade point averages between students in historically under-represented groups and those who are not. A set of 3 empirically supported pedagogical and curricular practices were deployed by 9 faculty members across 3 colleges, involving over 1000 students. Impacts on equity gaps and overall grade point averages, as compared against matched control groups, were examined. Implications regarding scalability, sustainability, and concerns regarding rigor and workload will also be discussed.

Push for Persistence through Building Resiliency: A Story of Academic Recovery Success Course || 2:45-3:45

Ashley Gragido, Student Success Facilitator and Lecturer, First-Year Programs
Marnie Eldridge, Interim Director, First-Year Programs

California State University, San Marcos

Learn about how FYP implemented an academic recovery, student success program for various academic probation student populations (first-year, second-year, and transfer student populations) through course content focused upon strength-based approaches to resiliency. Leave inspired to create your own academic recovery plan at your own campus to support one of the most “at-promise” student populations.

Enhancing Equitable Practices with an Intentionally-built Web Platform || 2:45-3:45

Judy Botelho, Director, California State University, Center for Community Engagement, California State University, Chancellor’s Office

Brianna Wagner, CalState S4 Developer, California State University, Center for Community Engagement, California State University, Chancellor’s Office 

Robert Pierce, Assistant Director for Service-Learning, Center for Internships & Community Engagement, California State University, Fullerton 

Nicole Linton, Database Specialist, Off Campus Academic Experiences, Undergraduate Studies, California State University, Northridge 

Ryan Jones, Field Administrative Support Coordinator, Division of Social Work, California State University, Sacramento 

California State University, Chancellor’s Office 

Service-learning (SL) has long been recognized as a vehicle for embedding social justice themes and exploration into teaching and learning. The use of technology to increase access to SL and other high-impact practices (HIPs), particularly for students from traditionally underrepresented groups, can support campus efforts to close equity gaps, decrease time to degree and increase completion rates. CalState S4, an online platform, offers a centralized method of seeking placements where all students have equal access to opportunities, provides faculty with a catalog of vetted partners to connect with and the ability to deliver and collect reflection assignments and surveys. Its reporting functionality enables the production and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data on student learning outcomes. Most recently, the S4 development team has been focusing on the use of inclusive and human-centered language to ensure it reflects our values of inclusion, equity, diversity and self-empowerment. This has included the implementation of preferred names for students, as well as vocabularies used to describe a partner’s organization type, areas of focus and populations served. We invite you to join us in this interactive and reflective session to find out more about our work and how it is enhancing community-engaged learning and other HIPs on CSU campuses. Participants will explore the use of language and how technology can be a catalyst for increasing awareness and understanding of inclusivity and equity-based practices.


Contact: Larissa Mercado-López, Annual Conference Director



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