Fall 2019 Alternative Consultation: Instructionally Related Activities Fee Proposed Increase
SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
PROPOSED INCREASE TO THE INSTRUCTIONALLY RELATED ACTIVITIES FEE
A proposed $40 fee increase to the Instructionally Related Activities Fee, effective fall 2020, shall be determined through a series of public forums and consultations open to any interested, regularly enrolled students at San Diego State University, not including students exclusively attending Imperial Valley Campus for whom this increase would not impact. Revenue generated from this proposed increase will help to fund academic success initiatives in the Asian American Pacific Islander Lounge, Black Resource Center, Center for Intercultural Relations, Latinx Resource Center, Native Resource Center, Pride Center, and Women’s Resource Center to close equity gaps on campus.
Open Forum Times
Please visit sdsu.edu/alternativeconsult for the most current list of scheduled forums.
SDSU educates an ethnically, culturally, economically, and academically diverse student body. More than half of the students at the SDSU campus are students of color, 11 percent are eligible for Pell Grants (need-based grants for low-income undergraduate students), and 7 percent are first generation college students. Yet, as demonstrated through the California State University system-wide Graduation 2025 initiative, historically underrepresented and underserved students often experience unique challenges in their educational experiences that contribute to gaps in outcomes: First-generation, low-income students, students of color, and other underserved students continue to graduate from SDSU at lower rates than their peers (CSU Graduation 2025).
More specifically, local data indicates that while the overall six-year graduation rate for SDSU students is 77 percent, the six-year graduation rate for Latinx students is 72 percent, 71 percent for Pacific Islander/ Native Hawaiians, and Asian and African American students both graduate in 6 years at a rate of 70 percent. These disparities are even more striking when gender is considered in conjunction with race and ethnicity. For example, 68 percent of Latinx men, and 60 percent of Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian men complete their degrees within six years (SDSU Analytics). In addition, using a nation-wide longitudinal sample of nearly 8,500 students, Cress (2008) found that negative campus experiences among LGBQTIA undergraduates are associated with academic disengagement, lower grade point averages (GPA), lower ratings of academic knowledge and skills, and lower ratings of academic and social self-concepts.
San Diego State University’s consortium of Academic Success Centers offer culturally-relevant mentoring, academic support systems, academic coaching, and retention activities that help students to navigate their college experience. National studies have found that faculty availability for mentoring of students is one of the top indicators for retention of students and has proved empirically relevant for students of color (Nora, Cabrera, Hagedorn, and Pascarella 1996). Moreover, the availability of social support in the form of mentoring for historically underrepresented and underserved student centers create secure, knowledgeable ports of entry that enable students to safely navigate the unfamiliar terrain of the university (Tinto, 2005).
The funding provided by the proposed increase to the IRA fee will support the Academic Success Centers’ efforts to directly address graduation and achievement gaps by expanding pre-existing retention programs to support historically underrepresented students at San Diego State University.
Uses of Instructionally Related Activities Fee Revenue
The alternative consultation process seeks student input regarding the proposed increase of the Instructionally Related Activities Fee (IRA), effective fall 2020 of $40 per student per semester (see financial analysis). An increase to the Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) Fee will create funding to support academic support services for students by investing in the spaces, programs, and services designed to help students achieve personal, academic, and professional success.
The revenue from this fee increase will create a sustainable funding source for SDSU’s Academic Success Centers including: Black Resource Center, Center for Intercultural Relations, Pride Center, Women’s Resource Center, Latinx Resource Center, Native Student Resource Center, and Asian American Pacific Islander Lounge. If approved, fund revenue will support the following best practices recommended by the CSU System Graduation 2025 Initiative in each Academic Success Center to close equity and achievement gaps:
- Culturally-specific mentoring programs
- Academic case-management to support students impacted by equity achievement gaps
- Academic support services (e.g., tutoring, supplemental support services)
- Programs focused on effective learning skills and strategies
- Programs focused on increased sense of belonging
- Staff hires dedicated to programs and initiatives that support students from historically underserved communities
- Leadership and academic success initiatives to empower, guide and support men of color
- Parent and family engagement programs for historically underserved populations
- Leadership and professional development opportunities for historically underserved student leaders
Summary of the Issue
A recommendation in favor of the proposed Instructionally Related Activities fee increase means:
- The IRA fee will increase $40 for both fall and spring semesters and by $17 for the summer term
- The Latinx Resource Center, Native Resource Center, and Asian American Pacific Islander Lounge will be sustainably funded to provide a physical center to students along with academic and co-curricular support programming
- Full-time staff positions and programmatic funds will be added in each center to support academic coaching, mentoring, culturally-specific leadership opportunities and retention activities for historically underrepresented and underserved students
A recommendation in opposition to the establishment of the proposed Instructionally Related Activities fee increase means:
- The IRA fee will remain at $199 for the fall and spring semesters and $88 for the summer term
- Sustainable funding will not be available to support the Latinx Resource Center, Native Resource Center, and Asian American Pacific Islander Lounge to provide a physical center to students along with academic and social support
- Full-time staff positions and programmatic funds will not be added in each center to support academic coaching, mentoring, culturally-specific leadership opportunities and retention activities for historically underrepresented and underserved students
The proposed increase to the Instructionally Related Activities Fee (IRA), if adopted, will increase the fee $40 per semester (during fall and spring) and will be adjusted annually by the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), beginning fall 2021. The IRA fee is currently $199 per semester for full-time undergraduate students during fall and spring semesters. During the summer term, the proposed IRA Fee will be adjusted from $88 per term to $105. Currently, the IRA fee is already adjusted by HEPI and supports intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports, student colloquiums and lecture series.
Current IRA Fee Compared with Proposed $40 Increase
|Current IRA Fee||IRA fee with proposed increase, effective fall 2020|
[a] Annual fee increase is based on Higher Education Price Index starting in fall 2021 [b] The IRA fee will be increased $17 during the summer term adjusting the price from $88 to $105
A $40 increase to the Instructionally Related Activities fee will provide $651,830 in funds to support mentoring, programmatic elements in the centers, student assistant expenses, retention activities, tutoring, first year experience programs, and the expansion of existing academic success initiatives. The fee increase at this level will fund 26 staff positions to support these initiatives and the academic success of historically underrepresented/ underserved students. These positions include retention coordinators, academic coaches (Assistant Directors) and co-curricular programmatic leads (Directors).
Revenue Uses from a $40 Fee Increase
Annual Revenue from Proposed Fee Increase:
Return to Aid (3% of revenue from proposed fee)
Expenses: Academic Success Programming)
Expenses: Academic Success Staff
Prepared by the Campus Fee Advisory Committee
Statement in Favor of Increasing the Instructionally Related Activities Fee
The San Diego State University cultural centers are a crucial part of marginalized students’ experiences at SDSU. Our cultural centers help students of various backgrounds develop leadership skills, explore their identities, academically succeed, and find community at SDSU. The proposed increase to the institutionally related activities fee would help fund the programs that make these things possible and increase the reach of the cultural centers to serve more communities. The cultural centers also offer crucial cultural competency trainings for faculty, staff, and students (such as SafeZones, the Diversity Awareness Certificate program, and The Brave Project) that have made our campus a more safe and inclusive space for all those that call it home. I support the increase to the institutionally related activities fee because it is an investment in life-changing work that has changed and will continue to change the lives of students on our campus.
Lori Loftin, SDSU Graduate Student
Statement Against Increasing the Instructionally Related Activities Fee
Undergraduates and graduate students who do not use these centers do not benefit at all; rather they are subject to a tuition increase. The tuition has already been rising throughout the years, and this is just adding to the issue. Rather than funding these initiatives that serve a small proportion of the student body, the focus should be on more pressing issues. Why are there not enough classrooms and teachers for classes? Why are so many students being accepted but not enough room? Change should be significant to all students. Proper funding for classrooms or materials should be the most important. We already pay so much to attend the school and the supplies needed to succeed, yet you ask for more.
Steven Bui, SDSU Junior
Submit a comment/question to CFAC at [email protected].