Study explores SF State students’ perceptions of success

Monday, January 11, 2021

The term “student success” is no doubt driving much of what we do in higher education today. But how do students define the term? That is the question driving a new research study currently being conducted by a team of faculty and students in the College of Health & Social Sciences (CHSS).

In order to learn more about how students perceive success at SF State, the team distributed an online survey to all undergraduate SF State students in Fall 2020, which resulted in more than 1,100 responses. The survey asked students what student success means to them, what things help them achieve success and what things are barriers to their success. Students were also asked about why they came to SF State, what will help them stay and what will help them graduate.

This spring, the CHSS research team will hold focus group discussions about student success. From the survey and focus group discussions, they hope to identify student perceptions of success, identify barriers and facilitators of student success, and identify implications for planning with an emphasis on collaboration between student affairs and faculty affairs. In order to maximize the possibilities and potentials of students’ successful progress through SF State, it is imperative that University faculty and staff understand students’ views and definitions of success.

Faculty members of the CHSS research team are Assistant Dean for Student Success Susanna Jones, Associate Professor of Nursing Elaine Musselman, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Casey Nesbit and Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Development Linda Platas. Student members are Kinesiology graduate students Kathy Baek, Jacob Dinardi and Matthew Gee; Social Work graduate student Cara Connor; Nutrition & Dietetics undergradate Monica Corzo; Nursing graduate student Anjali Sundararaman and Nutrition & Dietetics post-baccalaureate student Audrey Weber.

Students who completed the online student success survey were eligible to participate in a raffle to win a Samsung tablet. Congratulations to the winners: Angelyn Fronteras, Kaitlyn Huey, Chun Ho Mau, Areej Mussadi and Michael Quach!

Zoom grid of Student Success study research team

Pictured: Top row (Ieft to right): Susanna Jones, Casey Nesbit, Elaine Musselman; second row (left to right): Anjali Sundararaman, Audrey Weber, Jacob Dinardi; third row (left to right): Monica Corzo, Cara Connor, Kathy Baek; bottom row: Matthew Gee