Bill seeks to improve graduation rates

Just 19 percent of California State University students graduate within four years. Senate Bill 412, the “California Promise” bill, is said to provide students with the tools they need to get through all their requirements in four years. 

Students placed in this program would receive special benefits catered to their requirements for graduation. The benefits include extra help from advisors and priority registration, all while fulfilling individual requirements provided by each campus and carrying a minimum of 30 units in an academic year.

This bill was designed to change the statistic and decrease the achievement gap. In a unanimous effort to change the graduation rates, the state Assembly voted 39-0 in favor of the California Promise bill. First-generation students, low-income and community college graduates would be given priority to be in the program.

“Many of our campuses continue to make big strides in closing the achievement gap,” said California State University Public Affairs Director Toni Molle. “There is more work to be done to meet the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025 goals, but we must ensure that campuses are able to direct resources to the programs that are most effective for their students.” 

With this bill, the Cal State system’s goal is to help students focus on their studies and less on the stress of not graduating.

Although this bill seems to benefit students, some are still not satisfied with the way the California State University system is handing their graduation needs and requirements. 

“I personally don’t think that academic advisors and priority registration is the root cause of why people stay longer [in school],” said    Jacqueline Brezinski, senior at Sonoma State University. “I think that it’s more of the fact that there are more students than classes offered or not enough classes to begin with, which makes certain classes only offered during certain semesters. The bill tries to help, but I don’t think it hits the exact what needs to be done because there are so many different factors that play into why people aren’t graduating on time.”

While many students find this bill will not provide them any assistance in graduating on time, some students feel otherwise.

“I like the idea, especially since I have intentions of going on to grad school, so this will help me save a lot of money since I basically pay everything just on loans “ said Joshua Alegria,  a sophomore biology major at Sonoma State.  

One of the biggest problems most college students face is finance. According to USA Today, students who graduate on time spend 40% less than those who don’t.

In addition, according to CBS news, the top two reasonscollege students don’t graduate on time is they take unnecessary courses due to inadequate advising and they do not have enough courses available to complete their requirements. 

The CSU system aims toimprove these statistics by providing students with advising and priority registration with this bill. The bill is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.