Retention Initiatives

The bullets below include initiatives we have undertaken to improve retention and graduation rates within SASEEP over the past year. Each of the major retention and graduation efforts are noted by the programmatic area in the Unit in a bulleted format in alphabetical order by program name.

College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

CAMP Open House:

  • A one-day event designed to welcome parents and students already accepted to Sacramento State University for the fall semester. This is an opportunity for staff to introduce themselves to the families of CAMP students and to provide an overview of financial-aid and housing assistance in a bilingual mini-workshop specifically tailored to the needs of CAMP students and their families.

Study Center + Study Hours + Peer Mentors

  • Our study center is developed to teach and reinforce good study habits by providing an environment conducive to studying, writing and tutoring. CAMP students are required to log 5 hours of study time within the center to help them meet the academic demands our college campus requires. Students have access to four peer-mentors that provide tutoring assistance for both English and Math studies from 8 AM to 5 PM. Five computer terminals are also available for general word processing.

ETHN 94 + Workshops (Redesign)

  • Students take part in a series of three workshops that highlight different aspects of successful transition to University life. These workshops are offered in the fall semester and allow students to interact in smaller groups and discuss the vital ingredients for success as freshmen, with a special emphasis on CAMP. In the spring semester the CAMP students are reunited in one class. This larger gathering of students expands on the fall semester by highlighting potential career paths through guest speaker presentations and workshops.

Executive Order 665 (E.O. 665) Academic Probation Workshops:

  • Each year students attend workshops designed to give an overview of the obstacles that students’ face that could prove harmful to their academic success at the University. These workshops have a special focus on cases of non-compliance with E.O. 665 and Academic Probation. Students are given common scenarios discussing what is required of them relative to their grades, grade point average, completion of remedial English and Math courses, and other similar requirements.

The CAMP Grad Association

  • This is a new support system which allows continuous involvement of CAMP students and provides further services to increase retention rates. The association is dedicated to building a community of continuing CAMP students that celebrate the uniqueness of their CAMP experience. Association membership provides a support network for former students from all academic and professional endeavors and provides an opportunity to play a vital role within the larger Sacramento State community.  

Follow-Up and Home Visits

  • CAMP staff and counselors serve as the support system needed to communicate with the student, their family and the University. Counselors contact and personally meet with students if they are at-risk of failing a class, experience a decrease in their GPA and/or fail to register for classes in any given semester.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

Transition Programming

  • Students were afforded with the opportunity to attend our 6-week Summer Bridge Academy to assist them in advancing in their developmental coursework. We added a leadership component into Summer Bridge which will expose students to key skills in problem-solving, conflict resolution, cross cultural communication, self-advocacy, and leadership dynamics. Note: Currently Summer Bridge Students have higher course pass rates in their EO 665 courses than students taking the same classes during the regular semester. The Summer Bridge student retention rate also surpasses that of other first time freshmen.

Outreach Services

  • We created an Ambassador program to take a three pronged outreach approach:
  1. outreach to prospective students with an emphasis on academic preparation and the application process
  2. outreach to continuing students to promote utilization of retention services
  3. outreach to students who have stopped out of the University (newly emerging project)
  • The program held EOP Information Day to expose students and parents to Sacramento State and the services offered by the program. Over 300 students and parents attended.

Building of Student Connection

  • An EOP Student Leadership Organization was created in order to provide a platform for students to connect and re-engage with the program. Leading in Excellence, Activism, and Diversity (LEAD) hosts events for students in order to promote their social integration into campus life. 

Increased Learning Community Course Offerings/Efforts

  • Entering EOP students participate in a fall learning community can have an assigned tutor and mentor. We offered a community in each of the 7 Colleges. All of the students in the program participated in a community engagement activity to promote the concept of service learning and to emphasize the importance of drawing on community resources. 

Augmented Tutorial Efforts/Computer Resources

  • We increased tutoring in the Center to include English and math along with 15 difference subject areas. Students also had access to our computer lab to ease the completion of course assignments. 

Career Development/Transition Course

  • Students in the program were enrolled in Ethn-98 to facilitate their transition to the Colleges in order to help them with decision making areas related to career and major options.

Walk-in Program

  • Developed a walk-in program to provide advising and counseling services to continuing students in the program.

Explorations Program

  • Instituted a more formalized “undeclared program” to assist students with major declaration and exploration processes. The program includes collaborative activities with the Career Center, workshop formats, an undeclared advising questionnaire, and on-line resources.

Senior Success/Alumni Project

  • Worked more closely to shore up our seniors for graduation with a culminating celebration. We have also begun work with the Alumni Center and the expansion of our alumni database to help match our current students with alumni out in the community to promote professional growth and job shadowing opportunities. Note: This is a newly emerging project.

Partnerships for Success Project

  • Developed an intensive and focused effort to retain students on probation and academic disqualification. Such interventions include close follow-up on student contracts, connections made by our student interns with students, and on-going meetings with students to ensure accountability for their academic progress by designated counselors.

Faculty Student Mentor Program (FSMP) & the College Based Efforts

Students participating in FSMP were provided with a broad base of support including mentoring, tutoring, open house venues for better navigation of the major fields of study, and other resource gathering opportunities. See the general listing below which captures the major components of each college based mentoring effort.

  • Introduction to the academic discipline
  • Mentoring and e-mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Assistance in the development of the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for successful completion of their academic goals
  • Encourage students’ development of supportive relationships with other students, faculty and staff
  • Provide information on on-campus resources
  • Provide academic, personal and career advising
  • Ability to enroll in an discipline based learning community (EOP NSM and Education)
  • Research opportunities
  • Test preparation in the College of Education (COE) to assist underrepresented students for entry into teacher preparation programs and graduate school
  • Outreach to community college transfer students
  • Connections to professional and student organizations

Other College and Campus Based Efforts:

  • Held meet the Dean Days and College Open Houses
  • Held orientation sessions with students to apprise them of majors
  • 24 hour study center available to students in the College of Engineering
  • Provided adjunct tutorials in various Colleges

Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) Enhancing Academic Access

  • Collaboration with Center for Teaching and Learning to address Universal Design concepts in teaching and learning and using accessible technology; department presentations to new faculty and staff on disability issues
  • Offered classes related to academic success, core curriculum, and computer access
  • (LS 50 Academic Study Strategies, LS8 Developmental Math, LS9 Computer Tutorial, collaborated with Foreign Language Department on a required course which addresses learning disability issues)
  • Provided supplemental and remedial instruction in mathematics, writing, academic courses through the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program and provided assistive technology training, alternative media and computer skills training through the High Tech Center.
  • Increased the usage of alternative texts for students to provide better access  and provided training to staff in Braille, e-text production, expanded off campus resources (Book Share, RFBD), and established loan program for digital talking book equipment to support alternative media.

Enhancing Financial Support

  • Provided the Scholarship Office scholarship information targeted to students with disabilities for incorporation into the general scholarship information database to increase availability, access, and currency.
  • Based on students’ resources and income, the TRIO SSS program assisted eligible students in obtaining financial package to meet their needs, including SSS Grant Aid.

Enhancing College-Work Connection

  • Federal Workforce Recruitment Program on campus interviews for students with disabilities; off campus mentoring event at government agency; presentations to Career Center and collaboration with staff on issues related to disability.

Enhancing Institutional Climate

  • Arranged disability awareness activities to foster a supportive institutional climate. Participated in campus committees aimed at increasing access and support of students.
  • Accessible Technology Initiative unified campus efforts to make campus information technology resources and services more universally accessible to provide the most effective learning environment for all students.

Student Academic Success (SAS)

Sophomore Success Project/Research

  • Built and developed a structure to provide counseling/student development services to sophomore level students within the EOP Program and the larger University.
  • The sophomore success component currently includes helping students to better navigate the University. The program as well helps students to overcome barriers to their academic progression at Sacramento State by assisting them early with academic and social issues that perhaps might impact their educational trajectory.
  • Developed a critical inventory of best practices to better assist educational equity students and University students in general to be retained and graduate from Sacramento State.

Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs (SASEEP)

Note: Faculty and staff within SASEEP participated in a professional development opportunity in which Dr. Vincent Tinto was brought in to help the staff examine effective retention practices among equity students.


Compiled by Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny Developed and written by the Directors and Coordinators of CAMP, EOP, FSMP, and SSWD