Initiatives & Projects

Graduation Initiative 2025

One of 23 universities in the California State University (CSU) system, Sonoma State University (SSU) is proud to fulfill CSU’s ambitious initiative “Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI2025)”, aimed at increasing graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating equity gaps. To achieve this goal, SSU established the Graduation Initiative Group (GIG) chaired by Stacey Bosick, the AVP of Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate studies. GIG meets biweekly to discuss progress on five GI2025-related Equity Priorities released by the CSU Chancellor’s Office:

  1. Re-enrollment and Reinstatement
  2. Expanding Credit Opportunities
  3. Implementation of a Degree Planner
  4. Elimination of Administrative Barriers
  5. Increasing Course Pass Rates and Eliminating Equity Gaps

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.

COMING SOON- Read our White Paper for more details.

Equity Book Clubs

To provide additional opportunities for faculty to broaden their knowledge and build inclusive classroom climates that support student sense of belonging, groups of six faculty are meeting monthly in three book clubs to read and discuss one of Tia Brown McNair and colleagues’ books, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk or Becoming a Student Ready College, or Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto by Kevin M. Gannon. These books focus on using course data to develop culturally responsive curriculum, the need for shared governance and partnerships to create holistic student learning environments, and definitive strategies faculty can use to connect with students in the classroom.


Accreditation is academia’s quality assurance system. In the U.S., private, non-profit accrediting organizations take on the herculean effort of accrediting schools and universities by evaluating their overall faculty, resources, curriculum, competency, and credibility. Sonoma State University is proud to be an accredited institution since 1969.

» Learn more about Sonoma State University’s accreditation – 40 years and going strong.

Teagle Award - Program for Faculty-Led Curricular Design for Student Achievement in the CSU

The Faculty-Led Curricular Design for Student Achievement at Sonoma State is part of a six-campus CSU initiative financially supported by the Teagle Foundation, the College Futures Foundation, and the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The other campuses involved are Chico, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pomona, and San Diego. Academic Programs supports the work of academic departments that are funded through the project to do curricular reform addressing student achievement (i.e. student learning, enrollment, academic progress, persistence, and graduation).

» Learn more about applying for a Teagle Award or the Faculty Fellow for Anti-Racism for Anti-Racist Curricular Design