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Thursday, September 23, 2021

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National and local data show that students who live on campus are better prepared academically. National and local data show that students who live on campus are better prepared academically.

SDSU Sets Sophomores Up for Success

The new data-driven initiative aims to increase retention rates by boosting academic support and engagement opportunities.
By SDSU News Team

In a move designed to help ensure success for all students, San Diego State University is launching the Sophomore Success Program, a full-service academic and student life support initiative tailored to second-year students from outside of SDSU's service area. A portion of the 2017 freshman class will represent the first cohort of the program, which requires sophomores from outside the San Diego area to live on campus.

National and local data show that students who live on campus are better prepared academically, enjoy an increased sense of community and campus connectedness, and graduate at faster rates than those who live off campus. Currently, only first-time freshmen from outside of the San Diego area are required to live on campus, a policy that was instituted in fall 2010. Since that policy was put in place, the university has seen marked improvement in retention rates from freshman to sophomore year, a key indicator of student success.

Beginning in fall 2018, the two-phase program will begin welcoming sophomore (or second-year) Guardian Scholar, Nursing, Honors College, out-of-state and international students, as well as student-athletes. It will be fully implemented for all second-year, non-local students in fall 2019.

Freshmen will continue to live in university residence halls, while second-year students will live in the university’s suites or apartment-style residences. Program participants will enjoy customized academic and career-oriented support; flexible guest, meal and roommate policies; and enhanced safety and security.

“The Sophomore Success Program gets to the heart of our mission to provide all students with transformative experiences in academics, student life and leadership,” said Eric Rivera, vice president of Student Affairs. “It will come as no surprise to those who know us well that we are making yet another bold, evidence-based move to ensure each of our students is highly-engaged, well-prepared, and positioned to graduate in four years.”

A proven national leader in academic achievement initiatives, SDSU has twice been identified by the Education Trust as a model for improving graduation rates among the university’s 35,000 students. Other successful student success initiatives have included an Early Start Program, the creation of a Commuter Resource Center and the Educational Opportunities Program.

"By thoughtfully building out and investing in targeted support for the unique needs of sophomore students, the SDSU Sophomore Success Program is raising the bar for student success among peer universities throughout the state and beyond," Rivera said.

Learn more about SDSU Sophomore Success Program value and benefits at