Cal Poly Global Site Tag

Google Tag Manager

Office of the Provost

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore

CSU Graduation Initiative 2025

In 2015, the California State University (CSU) launched Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI 2025), a plan to increase graduation rates, eliminate equity gaps and meet California's workforce needs. The CSU set systemwide graduation rate goals and set campus-specific goals for each of the 23 CSU campuses. The initiative also includes eliminating equity gaps in graduation rates for underrepresented minority students and for students who receive Pell Grants. For more information on Graduation Initiative 2025, please visit the CSU website.

Cal Poly's GI 2025 Goals

The goal for First-Time First Year Students is a 71% four year graduation rate and a 92% six year graduation rate. Transfer students have a two year goal rate of 45% and a four year goal of 93%. Another goal is to Eliminate equity gaps for underrepresented minority and Pell Grant-receiving students.

Closing Equity Gaps

The COVID-19 pandemic and the disparate impacts across communities of color and moderate-income families created a renewed urgency to close the gaps that exists between underserved students and their peers across the CSU. Building on the Graduation Initiative 2025 Advisory Committee recommendations in summer 2021, the CSU identified five equity priorities to address the gap. Click each priority to learn more about what action is happening at Cal Poly to address these priorities.

Priority 1 - Re-engage and re-enroll underserved students

  • In fall 2021, Admissions and University Advising-Retention began work on removing barriers for students to re-enroll.  The application for re-enrollment was moved online, and the application fee has been waived.
  • For over five years, University Advising-Retention has reached out and offers support to all students who are active, but not enrolled, planning to take a leave of absence, or submitted the form for informal time off.  Those efforts have led to a relatively low number of students who have left. 
  • Recreated the former student list, developed a returning student strategy and building a more robust communication plan for former returning students.


Priority 2 - Expand credit opportunities with summer/intersession funds

  • Converted summer session 2022 to state-side to allow for more financial support for students. 
  • Financial Aid distributed a total of $3M summer financial aid (a record amount) to 1209 students.
  • Offered reduced per-unit rate for California resident student in summer 2021 and summer 2022.
  • Proportionally, more URM students took summer session in 2022 than non-URM students and average unit load was higher for URM students compared to non-URM students.
  • Will continue to use targeted course offerings in the summer to offset unmet student demand in the academic year.


Priority 3 - Ensure equitable access to digital degree roadmaps

  • Cal Poly has HighPoint Degree Planner for students to use.
  • Planned courses by students are pulled into Cal Poly Dashboards for departments to see their demand data.

Priority 4 - Eliminate administrative barriers to graduation

  • In 2015-16, the Office of the Registrar started automatically filing students for an expected graduation term once they completed 72% for their degree. 
  • Financial Student Services has made great efforts to minimize students' being dropped for non-payment. Financial holds are only placed if the balance is more than $250.
  • Holds for mandatory student trainings are lifted every hour instead of once a week.
  • Assessing use of holds with academic departments.
  • Developing a user’s guide explaining when holds are placed and the impact on student registration based on timing of placing holds. Guide will include alternative options to engage students without placing holds.

Priority 5 - Promote equitable learning practices and reduce DFW rates

  • “Building Toward Equity Faculty Development Program”, an innovative workshop series developed by a collaboration of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology and the University Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The workshops focus faculty on the crucial factors that hinder and support more equitable and inclusive learning.
  • The CTLT’s “Effective Teaching Practices” program offers a year-long workshop learning and applying core principles and best practices for student success.
  • The CTLT also recruits faculty who have completed the year-long workshop to maintain their professional development momentum for a second year and faculty who teach in high enrollment, core course sequences with historically higher equity gaps for a microcredential “Designing Learning Centered and Equitable Courses.”

Cal Poly Graduation Rates 2019-2022

  2019 2020 2021 2022 CSU ESTABLISHED 2025 TARGET
First-Time Student 4-year 57% 59.6% 61.2% 61.2% 71%
First-Time Student 6-year 82% 83.1% 85.4% 85.5% 92%
Transfer Student 2-year 36.1% 37% 37.6% 36.8% 45%
Transfer Student 4-year 85.1% 87.3% 85.4% 86.7%


Cal Poly Gap Data 2019-2022

  2019 2020 2021 2022 CSU ESTABLISHED TARGET
Underrepresented Minority 6-year Gap 7.9% 7.4%  5.5%  6.5%  No Gap
Pell Grant Recipient 6-year Gap 5.7% 6.4% 5.1%  5.6%  No Gap

Further information on systemwide graduation rates and gaps may be found on the CSU Student Success Dashboard (CSU campus login required).

Read about Six Outstanding Graduates from the Class of 2023Cal Poly's Great Grads from the Class of 2023

Education changed for Cal Poly’s Class of 2023 with the introduction of the virtual classroom (which has also spilled over to the working world). It later fueled students’ hunger for Learn by Doing and pent-up interest in hands-on extracurricular activities as campus life slowly returned to normal. While COVID-19 was part of the reality for the nearly 5,018 eligible taking part in six commencement ceremonies on June 17 and 18, these grads leave Cal Poly fortified by overcoming their challenges, ready to begin careers or move on to advanced studies. Meet six outstanding members of the Class of 2023 — graduates tested by circumstances beyond their control whose drive, attitude and aptitude inspired their quest to become accountants, architects, biologists, engineers, future educators and medical professionals.

Read more about these graduates on the Cal Poly News.

CSU Program Helps Cal Poly Students by Removing Barriers to Success

A student studying alone in the library

To help support students and remove financial barriers to their success, the CSU began the Affordable Learning Solutions program in the 2016-2017 academic year. The program helps faculty members across the CSU provide access to Open Educational Resources to students in their courses.

Since the start of the program, 103,544 Cal Poly students have saved over $9,875,060 thanks to instructors using open educational resources in their courses. In addition to saving students money, instructors have been able to consistently refine their course materials. Read more about how the Affordable Learning Solutions program is helping students succeed.

Related Content