Initiatives & Projects

Seawolves F1rst!

Seawolves F1rst represents concerted efforts to provide support for incoming first-time first-year (FTFY) students to smoothly transition to SSU and successfully complete their English and math coursework requirements in their first year. Activities and programming for Seawolves F1rst! include:

Aim #1: Administrative and Co-curricular Support Services

  • Strategic scheduling/assessments and block enrollment of students into learning cohorts comprised of English, math, and FTFY learning communities
  • Coordination support for faculty teaching multi-section courses
  • Academic and Student Affairs partnerships for holistic approaches to student support through integration of the Student Recreation Center, residential life, and Counseling and Psychological Services into academic activities
  • Head-start community and skill building activities prior to FTFY arrival on campus and early arrival workshop opportunities focused to provide additional support for English and math

Aim #2: Professional development for faculty and peer supports

  • Intentionally designed faculty learning communities focused on culturally-responsive classroom pedagogies
  • Iterative course improvements through shared curriculum and co-curricular activities
  • Trainings to deepen partnerships between faculty and peer mentors and/or tutors

Faculty Learning Communities for Critical Success/Traditionally Challenging Courses

Academic Programs has partnered with the Center for Teaching and Educational Technology (CTET) to create a faculty learning community focused on curricular and pedagogical changes to support student equity in the classroom. We have nine participating faculty across all schools at SSU. The courses represented have some of the highest non-productive grade rates (D, F, W, or WU) and/or equity gaps on our campus. Fall 2022 meetings focused on conversations with faculty around their course-specific student success data, deepening peer support partnerships with the Learning and Academic Resource Center (LARC), and deciding on one or two course changes to implement in Spring 2023. Course changes currently being implemented include changes in grade weighting, analysis of model assignments, and removing administrative barriers. The team is observing changes in faculty mindset as well as evaluating student success using section specific data from Tableau. 

SSU Middle Leadership Academy Team

The Middle Leadership Academy is a CSU-wide initiative led by the CSU Student Success Network. The Academy brings together CSU teams of middle leaders to work together and across campuses to solve campus challenges related to student success and equity. The SSU Academy Team is cross-divisional and comprised of five members that travel to meet with other CSU teams and additional home team members that participate in and support the project work:

Travel Team

  • Jennifer Whiles Lillig, Interim Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Team Lead
  • Monica Lares, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Educational Policies Committee member
  • Emily Acosta Lewis, Professor of Communications, Academic Planning, Assessment, and Resources Committee Chair
  • Rose Calzontzi, TRIO Student Support Services Director
  • Hayden Kinney, Assistant Director SSU Writing Center and graduate student

Additional Home Team

  • Lauren Morimoto, Professor of Kinesiology and Academic Senate Chair
  • Tramaine Austin-Dillon, Manager Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and The Hub Cultural Center
  • Stacey Bosick, AVP Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

To date, the SSU Academy Team is focusing on three primary goals:

  1. Integration of professional growth opportunities for faculty, staff, and administrators into the fabric of existing campus meeting structures to center and value equity work.
  2. Revision of existing campus policies (e.g. Re-appointment, Tenure, and Promotion, Periodic Evaluation of Temporary Faculty, Syllabus, and Program Review policies) to include language equity-focused language to show that we value this work in our departments, courses, and evaluation processes and to allow SSu faculty and staff to showcase their equity work through these processes.
  3. Convening of the Equity Culture Collective (ECC) through creation of a promotional mark and branding that participants in equity work can display to show that they are partners in this work.

Read our White Paper for more details.

Equity Culture Collective Brief