FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Fresno State has joined with 10 other universities across the country in a first of its kind partnership to improve graduation rates.
Fresno State is extending its resources in its high-reaching goal of hitting a 70-percent graduation rate by 2023. The university has joined with the Education Trust-- partnering with 10 other colleges across the country, including Cal State Fullerton and as far as Queens College in New York City to create "The Oasis Network." All universities are considered Hispanic or African-American serving institutions. "To hear from other institutions what they are doing, so that we can shape, and maybe, institute new things is just a phenomenal opportunity," said Maxine McDonald, Assoc. V.P. Student Success Services.
Fresno State's six-year graduation rate has already jumped an impressive 10-percent in the last two years and now stands at more than 58-percent. Administrators hope sharing program ideas and other statistical information will help serve their students even more, and give them a better chance to graduate on time. "We have a long ways to go. We celebrated our accomplishment, but we continue to move forward by improving the graduation rate-- then we help our Valley, we help our economy," said McDonald.
"I think it's a fabulous idea, and it demonstrates President Castro's commitment to really attacking the achievement gap when it comes to ethnically minority students," said Dr. Victor Torres, Latina/Latino Faculty And Staff Assoc.
Dr. Torres said most of the Hispanic students at Fresno State are first generation college students needing more help when it comes to academic guidance-- and financially. "If you're the first in your family you have to figure that all on your own, so, you're the pioneer at your family."
Representatives from all 11 universities will be meeting for the first time this week as part of this new partnership.
Fresno State hopes The Oasis Network doesn't just break barriers when it comes to graduating but also gives students the tools to have a successful career.