Redesigning the Student Experience


The California State University has committed to Graduation Initiative 2025, a set of specific goals for substantially improving outcomes for all students. Meeting this “moon shot” challenge will require removing barriers for students, redesigning our information systems to focus on the student, and making significant improvements in the CSU’s ability to collect and act upon student data.


The Cal State was at the leading edge of campus innovation when it adopted a coordinated strategy for student systems 20 years ago. However, despite substantial investment and pockets of excellence, the overall strategy for our student systems lags behind the needs. Most students on most campuses confront a confusing and somewhat haphazard array of information systems, many of them designed before the shift to mobile devices. Even where campuses provide excellent systems, they rarely communicate in an efficient way with other campuses, making it more challenging than it should be for students to take advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the 23 campuses.

Considerable work has been undertaken within the system to imagine a new approach to the student experience. The 2014 “Re-envisioning Committee” developed a compelling vision of the student systems that would best support student success; and this planning work has been carried forward by the Student Information Systems and Services (SISS) Committee. At the same time, massive changes in the way the student services are developed and delivered are taking place in industry and on campuses. We intend to explore ways to leverage these visions to begin designing and building pilots and prototypes that will prepare the CSU to once again lead in providing a forward-looking, student-centric, and data-driven environment in support of GI2025.

Potential Project Areas

  • Mobile student systems
  • Advanced student support and advising system
  • Data collection and analysis, predictive analytics
  • Personalized learning systems
  • Improving multi-campus resource sharing and student records exchange
  • Systemwide student identity management strategy
  • Student-centric experience design
  • API’s to drive agility and crowdsourced systems development
  • Developing cross-platform standards for student system integration