Cal State San Marcos Announces New Initiative to Identify and Close Gaps in Student Support

San Marcos taps student success experts InsideTrack to diagnose barriers to student success and close equity gaps, accelerating progress toward Graduation Initiative 2025 goals

SAN MARCOS, CALIF. (NOVEMBER 19, 2019) — California State University San Marcos, a comprehensive public university in northern San Diego County serving more than 16,000 students, today announced a new partnership with student success organization InsideTrack designed to improve student success rates on campus. Through the partnership, the university will receive a diagnostic assessment of their student support programs that will identify specific institutional policies, strategies, and tactics to improve outcomes for all students.

The initiative will help Cal State San Marcos advance student success as part of Graduation Initiative 2025, the CSU system’s effort to increase graduation rates, eliminate equity gaps, and meet California’s workforce needs.

Since its founding 30 years ago, CSUSM has been dedicated to student success and social mobility. From first-year programs, to learning communities, community-based learning opportunities, internships, undergraduate research and more, the university works to foster deep learning and academic success by engaging students in meaningful and innovative educational experiences.

These practices are especially beneficial to underserved student groups. Approximately 50% of students are underrepresented minorities and 54% of graduates are the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. One in nine students is a veteran, service member or military-affiliated dependent. CSUSM is also a major contributor of bachelors holders to the region’s workforce, with more than 80 percent of students remaining in the region following graduation. 

With the support of InsideTrack, CSUSM will take a deep look at its student success programs and gain new insights into the student experience itself, enabling the university to design high-impact student support programs that address the needs and challenges students face.

“Our university community is always fostering new innovative ways to ensure positive student outcomes.” said Ellen Neufeldt, president of California State University San Marcos. “As president, it is so impressive to see how our faculty and staff focus on the success of our students each day. Partnering with InsideTrack will help us take one more step in our quest for improving student social mobility for all students.” 

The collaboration with InsideTrack will enable CSUSM to enhance student support for its highly-diverse student population.  

Over the course of a three month partnership, student success experts from InsideTrack will conduct phone and in-person interviews with San Marcos leaders and staff, conduct student focus groups, and review current student support strategies and initiatives in order to fully understand and examine the unique strengths and needs of the university and its students. After compiling the insights from this frontline research, InsideTrack will develop a report to document the current state of the student experience and student support systems and provide a set of recommendations for specific tactics and programs that CSUSM can implement to build upon support students on their way to graduation.

As part of a broader partnership funded through the California State University Office of the Chancellor, InsideTrack will also conduct similar research and advisory projects for California State University Dominguez Hills and California State University Stanislaus. Each campus will also receive on-site professional development to train advisors on the holistic coaching and advising model. 

InsideTrack began working with the CSU System over a decade ago and today works with a third of the system’s 23 campuses and the Chancellor’s office. A master enabling agreement provides all CSU campuses with access to a broad range of InsideTrack services at special rates. 

“This work is reflective of Cal State San Marcos’ commitment to understanding the challenges and aspirations that students face, irrespective of their backgrounds or the paths they are pursuing. We’re excited to add another chapter to our partnership with CSU campuses and work with three forward-thinking campuses to develop strategies to boost graduation rates for students of every background,” said Kai Drekmeier, president of InsideTrack. “InsideTrack launched in 2001 serving California students and it is a special honor to still be supporting them nearly two decades later.”


About California State University San Marcos

Building on an innovative 30-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 306-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange Counties.  The university enrolls more than 16,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.

About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about student success. We partner with institutions and organizations to improve enrollment, persistence, completion and career readiness. Our student support methodology uncovers first hand feedback about student goals and challenges. Through strategic guidance, staff training and student coaching, we help institutions turn this feedback into actionable insights that drive better student outcomes. As a member of the nonprofit Strada Education Network, we offer partners access to a comprehensive range of student success solutions as well as the latest research and insights on student success. We’ve supported more than 2 million students since 2001 and currently serve over 4,000 programs. Join us and the leading institutions, foundations, and others working to bring the transformative power of education to all individuals. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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