Strategic Analysis of Graduate Programs

Message from the Steering Committee

Welcome! These pages are dedicated to sharing the strategic analysis and program evaluation of graduate education at CSUSB and subsequent recomendations with the campus community. The analysis was completed to fulfill Goal 1, Objective 6 in the CSUSB Strategic Plan:

"To foster the success of graduate students, by June 2017, the campus will complete a program evaluation of graduate education at CSUSB. From 2017 through 2020, these recommendations will be implemented."

Strategy 3 of the Strategic Plan gives further direction:

  1. Conduct a graduate studies needs assessment that includes feedback from graduate students and graduate programs.
  2. Develop, implement and disseminate a graduate studies strategic plan.
  3. Explore, develop and implement effective practices in graduate education (potentially to include HIPs at the graduate level) that promote retention, graduation and time to degree.

What did the analysis and evaluation entail? We saw this as the fact-finding stage: we compiled information to help us discover patterns, practices, and relationships, and identified our strengths and our challenges. We drew from a variety of sources: CSUSB and CSU data; faculty and administrators directly involved with graduate students and programs; graduate students and alumni; and the campus community.

Our fact-finding stage included:

CSUSB, CSU, and CGS Data

  • CSUSB, CSU, and Council of Graduate School (CGS) data on graduate applications, admission, enrollment, retention, graduation rates, student demographics and grade point averages provided us with a starting point for our journey. We analyzed CSUSB data at the university, college, and program levels. At the program level, individual program admission requirements, student learning outcomes, and self-study reports were reviewed.
  • We used CSU data to compare CSUSB to other campuses in the CSU system.
  • CGS data provided us with broad national trends and the big picture in graduate education.

Faculty and Administrators

  • To ensure graduate programs were fairly represented, in fall 2016, we expanded the steering committee to include two faculty members from each college.
  • The Interim Dean of Graduate Studies arranged meetings with College Deans, Associate Deans, and faculty to share our progress and gather feedback.
  • College Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, Graduate Coordinators, and faculty were invited to Open House events in spring 2016. During the five events, the data that had been collected at that time was made available and was open to discussion.
  • The Interim Dean of Graduate Studies informed graduate coordinators of the analysis process during their quarterly meetings.
  • The Interim Dean of Graduate Studies invited Graduate Coordinators to attend one-on-one meetings to discuss individual program needs.
  • The Interim Dean of Graduate Studies collaborated with the Graduate Council.
  • The strategic analysis process was presented to the Faculty Senate, Executive Committee, and Dean’s Council. The Interim Dean also reached out to colleges and departments and shared the presentation at their meetings when requested.
  • We created, piloted, administered, and analyzed a faculty survey to gather input from those who teach graduate courses.
  • The results of the 2013-2014 Survey of Graduate Coordinators were considered and included.


Graduate Students and Alumni

  • We developed, piloted, administered, and analyzed a graduate student survey.
  • We worked with Alumni Relations to develop a contact list of master’s program graduates from the past five years.
  • We developed, piloted, administered, and analyzed an alumni survey.
  • We added a graduate student representative to the steering committee.

Campus Community

  • To reach out to the CSUSB community, Graduate Studies dedicated part of it’s website to the graduate program analysis and evaluation. Steering committee meeting notes, campus events, and university data are available on the website.
  • Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, the campus was invited to attend monthly Open Forums. Staff, students, and faculty shared their ideas and concerns during these events, which were then incorporated into the analysis.

Outside Consultation

  • To gain an objective view and reap fresh insight, the Graduate Deans of CSU Los Angeles and CSU Dominguez Hills will be invited to review the data and preliminary goals and offer feedback.
  • Data provided by Gray Associates will help measure the demand for our programs. We must evaluate the collective interest for our programs to adjust for marketing and community needs.

The data collected during the strategic analysis phase was used to create preliminary goals and objectives:



Objective 1.1: Improve recruitment rates of excellent students.

Short-term Results 1.1: Develop CSU-based recruitment benchmarks.

Long-term Results 1.1: Recruitment rates will exceed median of CSU peers.

Objective 1.2: Promote equal and equitable access to graduate education among students from diverse backgrounds.

Short-term Results 1.2: Develop CSU-based recruitment benchmarks.

Long-term Results 1.2: Recruitment rates of students from diverse backgrounds will exceed the median of CSU peers.



Objective 2.1: Increase retention and graduation rates of excellent students.

Short-term Results 2.1: Develop CSU-based recruitment benchmarks.

Long-term Results 2.1: Retention and graduation rates will exceed median of CSU peers.


Objective 3.1: Foster a culture of graduate student intellectual growth through research and creative activities (RCA)

Short-term Results 3.1: Graduate student involvement with RCA will exceed median of CSU peers.

Long-term Results 3.1: Graduate students will report awareness of the skills needed to successfully prepare for their own careers and will report a competitive edge in securing professional positions.

Objective 3.2: Offer the financial support necessary for graduate students to commit to their academic programs, including Teaching Assistantships (TA’s) and Research Assistantships (RA’s).

Short-term Results 3.2: Develop benchmarks based on current financial support offered to graduate students.

Long-term Results 3.2: Increase financial support for graduate students more than the median of CSU peers.

Objective 3.3: Foster a culture of professionalism to prepare graduate students for their roles in academic and nonacademic workplaces

Short-term Results 3.3: Identify current benchmark and determine percentage increase.

Long-term Results 3.3: Decrease time to find employment following graduation.



Objective 4.1: Expand support from the university to insure the excellence of our graduate programs.

Short-term Results 4.1: Benchmarks will be established, as determined by surveys.

Long-term Results 4.1: Our graduate programs will be positioned more centrally and visible within the university.

Objective 4.2: Expand Graduate Faculty Development and Support

Short-term Results 4.2: Benchmarks will be established, as determined by surveys.

Long-term Results 4.2: Graduate faculty who are involved with graduate students’ activities will have reasonable and fair compensation. Graduate coordinators will also have access to all necessary graduate students’ information.


Objective 5.1: Develop quality standards and support accreditation efforts of graduate programs.

Short-term Results 5.1: Establish models, metrics, standards and approaches for measuring program quality.

Long-term Results 5.1: Institutionalize data-driven evaluation process.

These goals are preliminary - we invite you to give them your careful consideration and share your feedback by emailing Graduate Studies. (Please specify in your email that you are writing about the strategic plan preliminary goals.)The goals we develop as a campus will form the backbone of our strategic plan for CSUSB graduate programs.



 The Strategic Analysis Steering Committee