University President

Strategic Initiatives

Persistence to Graduation, Retention, Engagement, Satisfaction, Success Working Group

Formed October 20, 2022

  • Sandra Naffziger, Registrar (Co-Chair)
    Clementina Macias, College Support Programs (Co-Chair)
    Sharon Anderson, Academic Advising
    Rhonda Mercadal Evans, Career Advising/Internships:
    Angeles Fuentes, Financial Aid
    Kaci Turpin, First Year Experience Program
    Jeff Cooper, Housing
    Veronica Flores, Enterprise and Engagement Applications /IT
    Brian Childs, International Programs
    Mike Sipal, Scheduling/Catalog
    Alana Soliven, Student Financials
    Rachelle Bass, Service Center
    Giselle Young, Veterans Services


We invite you to join the Persistence to Graduation, Retention, Engagement, Satisfaction, Success (PRESS) Working Group, which is comprised of management-level professionals from various areas of the University that directly affect student success and retention. The main goal of PRESS is to improve student success outcomes by identifying major roadblocks and working on solutions. Outcomes and metrics include:

  • Persistence to graduation – graduation rates;
  • Retention – retention rates;
  • Engagement – engagement indicators/questions from NSSE;
  • Satisfaction – satisfaction questions from NSSE.

PRESS will be co-chaired by Registrar Sandra Naffiziger and Director for College Support Programs Clementina Macias.

Students succeed when we devote our energies to continuously improving their experiences in and out of the classroom. Our campus has been making good progress in terms of our Graduation Initiative 2025 goals. Otter Promise efforts have resulted in concrete recommendations for subsequent implementation and assessment, including Otter Collective, our successful peer-mentoring program; MyLearningPlan, the digital degree planner that helps students build an optimal course schedule each semester and will enable us to tailor the course schedule to meet student course needs.

However, we know that there are processes and policies on campus that have become tricky for students to navigate. PRESS will enable sharing known roadblocks to success on a given topic, recommend solutions, deliberate pros/cons of proposed solutions, identify steps to implement solutions, and discuss/establish ways to measure success. Collectively, CSUMB will develop and promote University-wide best practices that provide collaborative and innovative student engagement in and out of the classroom. Overall, we seek coordinated, data-driven actions that use intentional intervention milestones for designated populations and strengthen the academic success and retention of our students.

The charge to the members of the PRESS Working Group is to:

  • Identify any barriers to student retention and success, providing solutions to obstacles, implementing those solutions, where possible, and/or escalating matters and proposed solutions to executive board for areas outside of our control
  • Work to level silos by including management professionals and their counterparts (across all campuses) on the committee, so that campus-specific events, procedures, policies, are widely shared, vetted and (where possible) implemented throughout the University
  • Disseminate information among areas impacting student success
  • Incorporate various training sessions during PRESS meetings to further professional development and improve student success metrics
  • Enhance student experiences University-wide by enhancing academic learning environments and increasing participation in living/learning communities, student organizations, and student-life programs
  • Review policies, processes, and operations to enhance responsiveness to student needs.

We anticipate that PRESS will meet twice monthly and a time commitment of 2-3 hours per week on PRESS matters. Subcommittee meetings will be determined by the respective group. Jennifer Hinds, Administrative Assistant to the Provost, will shortly send out a Doodle Poll to schedule a first meeting.

    1. Working group member introductions
    2. Explanation of name (PRESS)
    3. Review of PRESS Mission and Charge
    4. Presentation of statistical data supporting this initiative
      1. “Where we are and where we strive to be?”
    5. Expectations for actual change/success
    6. Review meeting logistics
      1. Once or twice each month
      2. No more than 2 hours
      3. Video-conference
      4. Expected Attendees
      5. Base Camp established to store meeting agendas, minutes, decisions, training materials, etc.
      6. Assignment for the next meeting: Prepare a list of all known obstacles facing transfer students