Restoring the road to graduation

STAR // Julia Albo

Graduation is about to get a whole lot easier. At least, that’s what California Sen. Steve Glazer is hoping. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that only 19 percent of first-time freshmen will graduate in four years while attending a California State University. 

Compare this to the 34 percent national average, and one is left even more puzzled. Although two CSU campuses, including Sonoma State University, already have their rate at or above the national average, 23 CSU campuses still fall at about 19 percent. 

In order to combat this, Glazer has proposed new legislation intended toassist students and provide incentives to graduate in four years. However, the proposed legislation generates more questions than answers. 

Beginning with the requirements, he proposes students take a minimum of 15 units per semester and maintain a predetermined GPA. 

Although seemingly reasonable to do, questions need to be raised. Because CSU classes vary in unit amounts, it will be extremely difficult for students to have 15 or more major relevant units. 

Throwing in a one-unit kinesiology class just to get the incentive of registration priority would cause more panic and stress to students than possibly taking 13 necessary units. 

Because the cost of attending college per year is expensive, Glazer says his legislation, SB 1450, would save students thousands of dollars by keeping their college stay short. After all, when college students hear “reduce the cost of attendance,” they begin to pay attention. 

However, in order for students to graduate in four years, more classes need to offered

For that to be, more faculty and staff are neccasary. This vicious and expensive cycle has been a struggle of the CSU for years.     

The bill proposes an increase in academic counseling. If passed, students would receive advising which would help them down a quicker path to graduation. 

Thousands of students banging on the doors of these proposed “academic counselors,” hoping for a chance to graduate is the only image that comes to mind.

The cost needed to make this bill work effectively begs the question as to where this money is coming from. Glazer says the bill requires little to no additional funding but it’s no secret that annual tuition raises due to inflation are on the horizon. 

It’s clearsomething needs to be done about the graduation rates for CSUs. Cal State officials blame it on the fact that CSUs have more part-time, working students who don’t take a class load heavy enough to graduate in four years. 

Although this is true for the more than 420,000 CSU students, it’s evident that the four-year graduation rate still needs to rise regardless. 

Unfortunately, as of now, this bill may only serve as an unfunded mandate forced upon by the government to all Cal State Universities rather than the students. 

The requirements, although seemingly simplistic, have many complications. The incentive of priority registration seems enticing, but what happens when half of a CSU’s population earns it? 

It begins to not feel as important and students’ ambition to continue with the program can suffer. 

With all of these questions raised, it’s clear this bill still has a long way to go. 

Change is needed and and hopefully with the cooperation of the CSU system, graduating in four years in college will be the norm, again.