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CSU Earns National Praise for Student Success Initiatives

American Association of State Colleges and Universities names CSU 2015 Excellence and Innovation Award Winner for programming to improve retention and graduation rates

Cleveland State University has been named a winner of a 2015 Excellence and Innovation Award in the category of Student Success and College Completion given by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a Washington-based association that represents more than 400 public higher education institutions.

The student success category honors institutions that achieve significant improvements in rates of retention and graduation. Since 2002 at CSU retention rates for full-time, freshman students have increased by 17 percent, while graduation rates for the same group have increased by 49 percent. CSU was one of only two institutions recognized nationally.

"In the past few years CSU has accelerated an institution-wide focus on identifying the needs of students so that we can deliver the support they need to graduate on time, with less debt and prepared for career success. We are honored to be recognized for our measurable achievements," said CSU President Ronald M. Berkman.

CSU has implemented a series of programs called its Student Success Initiatives that are specifically geared to enhance students' experience by reducing barriers to college completion. Specifically the program has included features such as:

  • Multi-term registration and automated waiting lists that allow students to plan coursework for an entire school year at once, rather than by semester, ensuring they have access to needed courses.
  • A 120-credit-hour standard that reduced the average number of credit hours needed to complete most bachelor's degree programs.
  • An adjusted tuition band that allows students to take up to six, three-credit hour courses per semester at the same cost as four courses.
  • Assertive academic advising that uses a combination of specialized advisory staff and technology tools to monitor students' progress and provide personalized support.

The award adds to recently received national recognition for the University, including the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation and strong rankings in a report of value added to earning power of graduates completed by the Brookings Institution. CSU officials will accept the award at the AASCU Annual Meeting in October.