California State University, Stanislaus is Named CollegeNET Social Mobility Innovator for 2017

  • Stanislaus State Embraces a Culture of Social Mobility that
    Advances Economic Opportunity and Helps Restore the Promise of the
    American Dream for Low-Income Students
  • Diverse Institution of More Than 9,000 Students Ranks Among the Top
    Schools on CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index (SMI)
    for Three Consecutive Years (2014-2016)

, a leading provider of web-based on-demand technologies for
higher education and the creator of the Social
Mobility Index
(SMI), a data-driven system that ranks 4-year US
colleges and universities according to how effectively they enroll
students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into promising
careers, today announced that California
State University, Stanislaus
has been selected as the sixth of 10
Social Mobility Innovators for 2017.

The goal of the SMI — now in its third year — is to help redirect the
attribution of “prestige” in our higher education system toward colleges
and universities that are advancing economic opportunity, the most
pressing issue of our time.

Stanislaus State has one of the nation’s highest percentages of
first-generation college students. Indeed, nearly 80 percent of its
incoming freshman class in fall 2016 self-identified as
first-generation. The university is also a federally designated
Hispanic-Serving institution (HIS) with a 50-percent Hispanic student
body. Stanislaus State has ranked among the top 20 schools on
CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index (SMI) for three consecutive years

Most higher education rankings approach the problem of comparing
colleges and universities as steering consumers toward a brand or
purchase,” says Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET. “The SMI, on the other
hand, helps policymakers, students and their families see which colleges
and universities are addressing the national problem of economic
mobility. Administrators in higher education will be more effective in
strengthening US economic mobility and restoring the promise of the
American Dream if they can identify and learn from colleges and
universities like Stanislaus State that are already skilled at doing

Assisting Students in the Transition from College to Career

Stanislaus State was selected as a CollegeNET Social Mobility Innovator
for 2017 because of its culture of student support, which includes
enrolling students from low-income and underserved backgrounds, helping
them stay in school through graduation, and helping them develop skills
to fill professional positions that will advance their socioeconomic
status. In addition to offering a number of targeted programs aimed at
increasing student success, Stanislaus State also has the second-highest
faculty tenure density — 61.6 percent — among the 23 schools in the
California State University system. This ensures that students have more
opportunity to engage with Ph.D.-level professors.

Our faculty and staff are proud to help students flourish, create
better outcomes for themselves and their families and to make their
American Dream come true,” says Stanislaus State President Dr. Ellen
Junn. “It is our hope that every student who graduates from Stan State
will be better for the time they’ve spent here and take their lessons
into the community, realizing their potential and advancing the region
in which they live.”

Stanislaus State’s efforts to advance social mobility are delivering
significant results. The school’s 2015 cohort generated a one-year
retention rate of 85.1 percent for returning freshman while first-time
freshmen in the 2010 cohort established a six-year graduation rate of
57.4 percent.

The goal at Stanislaus State is to increase four- and six-year
graduation rates through campus programs and activities that are part of
the California State University’s Graduation Initiative 2025. This
includes strengthening pathways between high schools and junior colleges
and Stanislaus State as well as implementing a software tool that helps
students schedule classes and stay on track for graduation.

We’ve made a commitment to embracing and enhancing the academic success
of our students,” explains Junn, “and that begins by making sure every
student sees and understands their clear path to graduation on a diverse
and inclusive campus.”

Reversing Higher Education’s Harmful “Tri-Imperfecta”

Stanislaus State is providing real educational opportunity to promising
students regardless of their economic background,” adds CollegeNET’s
Wolfston. “Its civic contribution is key given that economic mobility
and the American Dream are rapidly deteriorating. Indeed, higher
education is now caught in a damaging ‘tri-imperfecta.’ Tuitions are
increasing, economic inclusion is declining on campuses and Pell Grants
— intended for disadvantaged students with financial need — are being
awarded more generously to richer families. Stanislaus State’s focus and
innovation provide an example of how we can reverse these trends.”

See the complete
SMI rankings

About CollegeNET, Inc.

 builds on-demand SaaS technologies that help institutions
improve operational efficiency, enhance communication with constituents,
and save money. The company’s systems are used by 1,300 institutions
worldwide for event and academic scheduling, recruitment and admissions
management, web-based tuition processing, instructor and course
evaluation, and web-based career services for students. Additionally,
the company operates, a social network through which
students create topics, write about them, and vote to determine who will
win scholarships. has
awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to date. The company is
headquartered in Portland, Oregon.


CollegeNET, Inc.
Jill Thacker
State University, Stanislaus
Janice Curtin