SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom will deliver the keynote address to educators, students, alumni and leaders from the California State University (CSU) system, as well as national higher education influencers, at the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium in Sacramento on Friday. He will speak on the future of higher education in the state.
The two-day symposium is focusing on the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, launched in 2015 in an effort to increase graduation rates by 2025 across the 23-campus system. According to CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, the four- and six-year graduation rates for first-time students, and the two- and four-year graduation rates for community college transfer students have reached an all-time high in just four years.
“California has proven that keeping the doors of higher education open to all is good for our economy, good for our communities and good for our democracy,” said Governor Newsom. “We have more work to do to keep those doors open, including tackling the affordability crisis that has priced too many Californians out of pursuing an education. I commend the California State University for its remarkable strides towards increasing graduation rates and accelerating college completion, and look forward to continuing to work in partnership with its leaders.”
The Governor has made significant investments in higher education, and approved key legislation to benefit higher education students during his first year in office. For instance, in the 2019 Budget Act, he increased funding for higher education by over $1.6 billion, including an investment of $676.6 million for the CSU, representing one of the largest annual investments in the system in state history. This funding included a one-time $30 million investment for the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, as well as $45 million on an ongoing basis to support the Initiative.
Additionally, the 2019 Budget Act:
- Freezes tuition and increases enrollment slots at both the CSU and University of California (UC) systems for the 2019-2020 school year
- Expands the California College Promise to fund two years of free community college for full-time California students
- Provides targeted funds for addressing student hunger, housing and basic needs at the CSU, UC and California Community Colleges systems
- Provides $41.8 million to increase the number of competitive Cal Grant scholarships from 25,750 to 41,000 for qualified Californians
- Provides $96.7 million to support the living expenses of student parents with dependent children to increase degree completion
- Designates resources for summer financial aid at CSU and UC
Governor Newsom also signed legislation this month that focus on affordability, transparency and integrity in higher education, as well as the largest construction bond in the state’s history which, if passed by voters in March 2020, will invest in critical infrastructure projects across all education systems, including higher education.
When: Friday, October 18, 2019, at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel (Grand Nave Ballroom), 1230 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814
**NOTE: This event is open to registered attendees and credentialed media only and will be streamed live here. Reporters interested in attending must RSVP to Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov. More information on the event can be found here.