# Graduation Initiative 2025 Methodology

**Graduation Initiative 2025** is the California State University’s ambitious initiative to increase graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. Through this initiative the CSU will ensure that all students have the opportunity to graduate in a timely manner according to their personal goals, positively impacting their future and producing the graduates needed to power California and the nation. For more information, see CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025 page.

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# CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 goals set out by the CSU Chancellor’s Office

- Increase the 4-year graduation rate of first-time, full-time freshmen to 44% by 2025

- Increase the 6-year graduation rate of first-time, full-time freshmen to 63% by 2025

- Increase the 2-year graduation rate of California Community College transfers to 46% by 2025
- Increase the 4-year graduation rate of California Community College transfers to 80% by 2025
- Decrease the gap between Pell received and non-Pell received first-time, full-time freshmen graduating in six years to 0%
- Decrease the gap between underrepresented minority and non-underrepresented minority first-time, full-time freshmen graduating in six years to 0%

# About CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard

CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard was developed based off of methodology developed by the CSU Chancellor's Office to inform the campus about progress made towards reaching our Graduation Initiative 2025 goals.

The Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard provides overall progress on reaching 2025 graduation goals for each of the 23 campuses in the CSU system. You can find information on the Chancellor’s Office methodology on the “Methods” tab of their dashboard.

The CSUMB Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard has been developed to provide additional breakdowns and analysis of the graduation data for CSUMB colleges and majors, which the Chancellor’s Office dashboard does not provide.

Note: Both the Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard and the CSUMB Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard use cohorts that are different then the cohorts of “First-Time Freshman (FTF),” “Upper Division Transfer (UDT),” and “Lower Division Transfer (LDT)” that are used in CSUMB’s Retention & Graduation dashboards. For more details on these differences, be sure to read the section Cohort Differences Between CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboards and Retention & Graduation Dashboards.

# CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard Methodology

### Graduation Rates

Graduation rates are calculated based on the Fall Matriculation Term of incoming cohorts of First-Time, Full-Time Freshman (FTFTF) and California Community College (CCC) Transfers. Graduation is determined by the year and term each student graduates (including the trailing summer of an academic year - e.g. Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018). Graduation rates are inclusive of all students from a cohort that graduate within the time frame specified by the graduation rate.

For example, for the “Actual FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Rate” for students that matriculated in the 2009 Fall term, all students from that cohort that graduated in terms up to and including the 2015 Summer term would be counted as graduated in the 6-year graduation rate calculation.

Graduation rates are calculated by taking the “Cumulative Graduation” count of students from a cohort and dividing by the “Cohort Total Enrollment” for that cohort’s Matriculation Term and then multiplying by 100 for the percentage.

**Calculation = (Cumulative Graduation / Cohort Term Enrollment)*100.**

For example, for the 2009 Fall term of FTFTF:

“6-Year Cumulative Graduation” = 500

“Cohort Term Enrollment” = 944

“Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate” = (500/944)*100 = 53.0%

### Equity Gaps

Graduation Initiative 2025 focuses on eliminating graduation equity gaps between two specific populations: students that receive Pell aid vs. those that do not receive Pell aid and students that are underrepresented minorities (URM) and those that are not URM. For the purposes of Graduation Initiative 2025, equity gap targets are set specifically for FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Rates.

Equity gaps are calculated by first deriving the FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Rates for each sub-cohort of students.

For example, for the 2009 Fall matriculation term of FTFTF:

“No Pell Grant Received” Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate:

“6-Year Cumulative Graduation” = 335

“Cohort Term Enrollment” = 631

“Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate” = (335/631)*100 = 53.1%

“Pell Grant Received” Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate:

“6-Year Cumulative Graduation” = 165

“Cohort Term Enrollment” = 313

“Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate” = (165/313)*100 = 52.7%

The equity gap is then calculated by taking the actual graduation rate for each of the sub-groups and subtracting the trait-present subcohort rate (e.g. “Pell Grant Received” or “URM) from the trait-absent sub-cohort rate (e.g. “No Pell Grant Received” or “Non-URM”).

**Calculation = Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate [trait-present subcohort] - Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate [trait-absent subcohort]**

For example, for the 2009 Fall matriculation term of FTFTF:

“Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate” [Pell Grant Received] = 52.7%

“Actual 6- Year Graduation Rate” [No Pell Grant Received] = 53.1%

“Actual FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Pell Equity Gap” = (0.4%)

Note: The CSUMB Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard uses “()” parentheses to denote equity gap values less than zero, while equity gap values greater than zero have no parentheses. This practice is consistent with CSUMB’s Retention and Graduation dashboard’s Achievement Gaps analysis. The Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboard uses “-” negative symbols rather than parentheses to denote equity gaps less than zero and also calculates the equity gaps in a slightly different way. The Chancellor’s Office dashboard equity gap calculations subtract the trait-absent (e.g. “No Pell Grant Received or “Non-URM”) subcohort graduation rate from the trait-present (e.g. “Pell Grant Received” or “URM”) subcohort rate.

### Linear Path to Graduation Rate

Data points for the “Linear Path to #-Year Graduation Rate Target” lines were interpolated by calculating the Yearly Increase required to move from the baseline graduation rate to the 2025 goal graduation rate.

Across the linear path to graduation rate, the baseline cohort graduation rate and matriculation term varies as does the matriculation term of the final cohort tracked for Graduation Initiative 2025 goal targets:

- CCC 2-Year Graduation Rate target uses the graduation rate (reported in CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard) for the cohort with 2014 Fall matriculation term as the baseline; the final cohort tracked has a matriculation term of Fall 2023.
- FTFTF 4-Year Graduation Rate and CCC 4-Year Graduation Rate targets use the graduation rates (reported in CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard) for the cohort with 2012 Fall matriculation term as the baseline; the final cohort tracked has a matriculation term of Fall 2021.

#### Calculating the “Yearly Increase” from Baseline for Linear Path to Graduation Rate Targets

**Calculation: (Graduation Initiative 2025 Graduation Rate Goal Target [set by the Chancellor’s Office for CSUMB overall] - Baseline Actual Graduation Rate) / (Matriculation Year of Final Cohort Tracked for Graduation Initiative 2025 - Matriculation Year of Baseline Cohort)**

For example, for the “Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target” (for FTFTF):

Graduation Initiative 2025 Graduation Rate Goal Target [set by the Chancellor’s Office for CSUMB overall] = 44%

Baseline Actual 4-Year Graduation Rate = 27.1%

Final Cohort Tracked for Graduation Initiative 2025 Matriculation Year = 2021

Baseline Cohort Matriculation Year = 2012

Yearly Increase from Baseline for “Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target” = (44% - 27.1%) / (2021 - 2012) = 16.9% / 9 = 1.878%

#### Interpolating the Data Points for the Linear Paths to Graduation Rate Targets

After determining the “Yearly Increase” for each of the linear paths to graduation rate or equity gap targets, the calculated “Yearly Increase” value is added to the prior year’s linear path graduation rate or equity gap, starting with the baseline cohort matriculation term and baseline value and continuing until the matriculation term of the final cohort tracked for Graduation Initiative 2025.

**Interpolation of Linear Path Data Points:**

**Linear Path Data Point 1 = Baseline Actual Graduation Rate Linear Path Data Point 2 = Linear Path Data Point 1 + Calculated Yearly Increase**

**Linear Path Data Point 3 = Linear Path Data Point 2 + Calculated Yearly Increase**

**… and so on**

**In the matriculation term for the final cohort tracked for each Graduation Initiative 2025 cohort and target goal, the final interpolated data point in each linear path equals the Graduation Initiative 2025 Graduation Rate Goal Target [set by the Chancellor’s Office for CSUMB overall].**

For example, for the “Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target” (for FTFTF):

Baseline Actual 4-Year Graduation Rate= 27.1%

Matriculation Term for Baseline Actual Graduation Rate = 2012 Fall

Calculated Yearly Increase Value = 1.878%

Graduation Initiative 2025 Graduation Rate Goal Target [set by the Chancellor’s Office for CSUMB overall] = 44%

Interpolation of Linear Path Data Points:

Linear Path Data Point 1 [2012 Fall] = 27.1%

Linear Path Data Point 2 [2013 Fall] = 27.1% + 1.878% = 29.0%

Linear Path Data Point 3 [2014 Fall] = 29.0% + 1.878% = 30.9%

…

Final Linear Path Data Point [2021 Fall] = 44%

Note: The interpolated “Linear Path to Graduation Target” lines and data point values will not appear in the graphs and tables in CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboards for “Future Cohorts” until they matriculate and become “Currently Enrolled Cohorts.” For more information on how Cohort Status is determined, see Cohort Status Determination below.

### Goal Progress Determination for Graduation Rates

Progress toward reaching each Graduation Initiative 2025 goal is determined using the actual graduation rates or equity gaps minus the linear path to graduation rate or equity gap targets.

Calculation: Actual Graduation Rate - Linear Path to Graduation Rate Target

A progress label and coloring is assigned for each value depending on the percentage points each actual graduation rate is below the linear path to graduation rate target.

“Good Progress” (green coloring in graphics) is assigned when the actual graduation rate meets or exceeds the linear path to graduation rate target or is less than 1% point below.

“Moderate Progress” (yellow coloring in graphics) is assigned when the actual graduation rate is between 1% and 3% points below the linear path to graduation rate target.

“Limited Progress” (red coloring in graphics) is assigned when the actual graduation rate is greater than 3% points below the linear path to graduation rate target.

For example, for the “Actual 4-Year Graduation Rate Minus Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target” for FTFTF with a Matriculation Term of 2014 Fall:

Actual 4-Year Graduation Rate = 29.1%

Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target = 30.9%

Actual 4-Year Graduation Rate Minus Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target = 29.1% - 30.9% = (1.7%) = “Moderate Progress” as (1.7%) is between 1% and 3%

Note: The CSUMB Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard uses “()” parentheses rather than “-” negative signs to denote values less than zero.

### Goal Progress Determination for Equity Gaps

A progress label and coloring is assigned for each value depending on the percentage points range each actual equity gap (absolute value) falls in.

“Good Progress” (green coloring in graphics) is assigned when the actual equity gap is less than 3%.

“Moderate Progress” (yellow coloring in graphics) is assigned when the actual equity gap is between 3% and 7%.

“Limited Progress” (red coloring in graphics) is assigned when the actual equity gap is greater than or equal to 7%.

For example, for the “Actual Pell Equity Gap” for FTFTF with a Matriculation Term of 2012 Fall:

Actual FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Pell Equity Gap = -3.5%

Actual Pell Equity Gap = absolute value (3.5%) is greater than 3% and less than 7% = “Moderate Progress”

Note: The CSUMB Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard uses “()” parentheses rather than “-” negative signs to denote values less than zero.

### Cohort Status Determination

CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboards use calculations in the reports to categorize “Matriculation Terms” by their cohort status as “Graduated Cohorts”, “Currently Enrolled Cohorts”, or “Future Cohorts”. In pivot tables, “Graduated Cohorts” appear as blue, “Currently Enrolled Cohorts” appear as black, and “Future Cohorts” appear as gray. The cohort status determination is done conditionally at the report level.

“Graduated Cohorts” is assigned when a Matric Term Code is less than or equal to the value calculated by subtracting the graduation rate years (e.g. 2 for 2-year rates, 4 for 4 year rates, and 6 for 6-year rates and equity gaps) from the Matric Term Code of the most recent Fall census term.

“Currently Enrolled Cohorts” is assigned when a Matric Term Code is greater than the value calculated by subtracting the graduation rate years (e.g. 2 for 2-year rates, 4 for 4 year rates, and 6 for 6-year rates and equity gaps) from the Matric Term Code of the most recent Fall census term AND when a Matric Term Code is less than or equal to the Matric Term Code of the most recent Fall census term.

“Future Cohorts” is assigned when a Matric Term Code is greater than the Matric Term Code of the most recent Fall census term.

### Additional Graduates Needed to Achieve Graduation Rate Goals

First, the Total Graduates Needed for each of the Graduation Initiative 2025 Goals needs to be calculated.

**Calculation: Total Graduates Needed = (Graduation Initiative 2025 Graduation Rate Goal Target % [set by the Chancellor’s Office for CSUMB overall] * Cohort Term Enrollment)**

To calculate the Additional Graduates Needed for each goal, subtract the Actual Cumulative Graduation for each of the goals from the Total Graduates Needed for each of the Graduation Initiative 2025 Goals.

**Calculation: Additional Graduates Needed = (Total Graduates Needed - Actual Cumulative Graduation)**

For example, for calculating the “Additional Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 4-Year Goal” for the cohort with a 2014 Fall Matriculation Term:

Graduation Initiative 2025 Graduation Rate Goal Target % = 44%

Cohort Term Enrollment = 1,295

Total Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 4-Year Goal = (.44 * 1,295) = 570

Actual 4-Year Cumulative Graduation = 347

Additional Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 4-Year Goal = (570-347) = 223

Note: Values for Additional Graduates Needed are shown as 0 on the dashboard for any value < 0.5.

### Additional Graduates Needed to Achieve Equity Gap Goals

If the actual Pell or URM equity gap is less than 0, the Additional Graduates Needed to Close Equity Gaps are calculated by taking the absolute value of that equity gap and multiplying by the Cohort Term Enrollment for the trait present equity group (e.g. Pell Grant Received or Underrepresented Minority).

**Calculation: Additional Graduates Needed to Close Equity Gap = abs(Actual Pell or URM Equity Gap) * Cohort Term Enrollment)**

For example, for the “Additional Pell Grant Received Graduates Needed to Close Pell Equity Gap” with 2012 Fall Matriculation Term:

Actual FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Pell Equity Gap = -3.5%

Cohort Term Enrollment [Pell Grant Received] = 448

Additional Pell Grant Received Graduates Needed to Close Pell Equity Gap = (abs(-0.035)*448) = 15.68 = 16 (rounded)

Note: Values for Additional Graduates Needed to Achieve Equity Gap Goals are shown as 0 on the dashboard for any value < 0.5.

# Cohort Differences Between Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboards and CSUMB’s Retention & Graduation Dashboards

The way cohorts are defined for Graduation Initiative 2025 vary somewhat from the way cohorts are defined in CSUMB’s Retention and Graduation dashboard reporting in the Student Data Warehouse.

Explanations and visualizations describing these variations are below.

Note: The visualizations provided to highlight the differences between cohort definitions are for conceptual purposes only and do not indicate the actual proportions of the cohorts described.

### “First-Time Freshman (FTF)” vs. “First-Time, Full-Time Freshman (FTFTF)” Cohorts

The CSU’s Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 “Freshman” cohort is actually “First-time, Full-Time Freshman (FTFTF)”. This cohort definition excludes certain members of the overall CSUMB “First-Time Freshman (FTF)” population (namely any part-time or self-supported first-time freshman) and is therefore a subset of the FTF population. The FTFTF cohort the Chancellor’s Office uses is congruent with national standards and matches the IPEDS graduation rate survey definition.

CSUMB’s Retention and Graduation dashboards in the Student Data Warehouse provide data on the “First-time Freshman (FTF)” cohort. This includes full-time, part-time, state-supported, and self-supported first-time freshmen. The CSU Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard and CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard both use the more limited “First-time, Full-Time Freshman (FTFTF)” cohort. This includes only full-time, state-supported, first-time freshmen and excludes part-time, self-supported, first-time freshmen.

### “Upper Division Transfer” and “Lower Division Transfer” vs. “California Community College (CCC) Transfer” Cohorts

The CSU Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 “Transfers” cohort is actually “California Community College (CCC) Transfers” and is based on system-wide standards. This cohort is made up of subsets of both CSUMB’s “Upper Division Transfer” and “Lower Division Transfer” cohort populations.

CSUMB’s Retention and Graduation dashboards in the Student Data Warehouse provide data for “Upper Division Transfer” and “Lower Division Transfer” cohorts, separately. CSUMB’s “Upper Division Transfers” cohort includes transfer students with junior and senior standing, that are either state-supported or self-supported, that transferred from California Community Colleges or from other colleges and universities, and that are either full-time or part-time. CSUMB’s “Lower Division Transfers” cohort includes transfer students with freshman and sophomore standing, that are either state-supported or self-supported, that transferred from either California Community Colleges or from other colleges and universities, and that are either full-time or part-time.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard and CSUMB Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard both use the “California Community College (CCC) Transfers” cohort. This includes transfer students that have standing of sophomore and above, that are state-supported, that are California Community College transfers, and that are either full-time or part-time. Excluded from the “California Community College (CCC) Transfers” cohort are transfer students with freshman standing, those that are self-supported, or those that transferred from other colleges and universities that are not California Community Colleges.

### “Underrepresented Minority” Cohorts

The CSU Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 “Underrepresented Minority (URM)” definition is a subset of CSUMB’s broader URM population as it includes only URM students who are not Non-Resident Alien. The definition of “URM” used in most of CSUMB’s Student Data Warehouse dashboards includes URM students of any citizenship status (e.g. African American / Latino / Native American students of any citizenship status).

In determining URM status, CSUMB’s Student Data Warehouse uses the race/ethnicity question that allows students to select ONE summary race/ethnicity category in which to be reported (i.e. California State University often needs to report ONLY ONE summary race/ethnicity description for a person. Please select your reporting preferences.)

Meanwhile, the CSU Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard uses a race/ethnicity category that is derived from U.S. citizenship status and multiple race/ethnicity questions (i.e. 1. With regard to your ethnicity, do you consider yourself Hispanic or Latino? 2. Regardless of your answer to the question above [question 1], please select below one or more of the following groups in which you consider yourself a member… See Cal State Apply - Race / Ethnicity Section). Due to the way the CSU Chancellor’s Office derives URM from multiple race/ethnicity questions, their URM cohort may differ from CSUMB’s URM cohort.

CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard, like the Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard, uses the “URM” definition that is derived from U.S. citizenship status and multiple race/ethnicity questions. This definition includes African American, Latino, and Native American Students who are not Non-Resident Alien and excludes African American, Latino, and Native American students who are Non-Resident Alien.

### Other Reporting Differences Between CO’s and CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 Dashboards

When using CSUMB’s Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard, you may encounter graduation rates and equity gap differences that vary slightly when compared with the Chancellor’s Office Graduation Initiative 2025 dashboard. One reason for this is that the Chancellor’s Office reports utilize social security numbers as identification of individual student records and CSUMB’s Student Data Warehouse reports utilize Student ID.

# See Also

- Actual 2-Year Cumulative Graduation
- Actual 2-Year Graduation Rate
- Actual 4-Year Cumulative Graduation
- Actual 4-Year Graduation Rate
- Actual 6-Year Cumulative Graduation
- Actual 6-Year Graduation Rate
- Actual FTFTF 6-Year Graduation Pell Equity Gap
- Actual FTFTF 6-Year Graduation URM Equity Gap
- Additional Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 CCC Transfer 2-Year Goal
- Additional Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 CCC Transfer 4-Year Goal
- Additional Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 4-Year Goal
- Additional Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 6-Year Goal
- Additional Pell Grant Received Graduates Needed to Close Pell Equity Gap
- Additional Underrepresented Minority Graduates Needed to Close URM Equity Gap
- Cohort Status
- Cohort Term Enrollment
- Currently Enrolled Cohorts
- Future Cohorts
- GI2025 Underrepresented Minority
- Good Progress
- Graduated Cohorts
- Limited Progress
- Linear Path to 2-Year Graduation Rate Target
- Linear Path to 4-Year Graduation Rate Target
- Linear Path to 6-Year Graduation Rate Target
- Matriculation Term
- Moderate Progress
- Pell Received vs. Non-Pell Equity Gap
- Total Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 CCC Transfer 2-Year Goal
- Total Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 CCC Transfer 4-Year Goal
- Total Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 4-Year Goal
- Total Graduates Needed for Graduation Initiative 2025 FTFTF 6-Year Goal
- Underrepresented Minority (URM) vs. Non-URM Equity Gap