The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Inst’l Research director has new plans in works

Behind all CSUN major departments that try to find solutions to further student graduation and retention rates is Bettina Huber, who bears the duty of providing statistics to administrators, faculty and students.

Huber took over as the director of Institutional Research in Fall 2005. She knew decisions on matters regarding student achievement would be based on statistical research of student progress provided by her program.

“We’re here to do what we can to pursue success and that means helping you graduate,” Huber said. “We try to provide data to various units within the university so they can do their job better.”

Before coming to CSUN, Huber worked for seven years in the field of research at Cal State San Marcos, and obtained her graduate degree from Yale University.

“I hope to just keep a very good unit running,” Huber said. “What we’re working on is putting a wider array of information and making it easier for departments to have access.”

Barbara Hlinka, assistant director of Institutional Research, said one of the most important pieces of information IR tabulates is when students must register for classes.

“We provide the information to departments during registration,” Hlinka said. “The size of the classes when (they) are full, how many people are attempting to get into classes. This gives the department direction.”

Another contribution Huber hopes to accomplish is to increase the number of retention of freshmen into their sophomore year.

“I am in the midst of doing a careful study of one-year continuation rates and trying to isolate factors that help students persist into the second year,” Huber said. “It’s going to be a report, and I don’t know what we’ll find, but we’ll have some recommendations to moving forward.”

She gave more information regarding certain courses that play a factor into shaping freshmen’s attitude.

Huber wants to find out if these classes can successfully help freshmen progress into becoming sophomores.

“I’m looking at University 100, which is a course that’s been instituted for a number of years and to see what degree have students participated in it,” she said. “I’m likely to recommend expanding that course and get more incoming freshmen to take it.”

Mike Avila, undeclared freshman, said he took the University 100 course last fall and said it was beneficial to his college career.

“It’s a very interactive class,” Avila said. “They give you a lot of information like places on campus that help you out (with) classes, and anything on campus that can make you become a better student.”

Avila also said he will be a sophomore by the next school year.

IR is tracking first-year initiatives, which could help them figure out which students go on to their second year at CSUN.

“If we find that a certain initiative doesn’t make any difference, it will be discontinued,” Huber said. “We’re looking to find ways to get students over the hump of their first years of college.”

Huber and IR have brought agendas to the table, including gathering information on graduation rates.

“We provide a great deal of background information to the departments that hopefully they would use to strengthen and improve their programs,” Huber said.

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