Health, Safety, Welfare and Access

logo: Safe Zone, SDSUCounseling and Psychological Services (C&PS) and the Department of Women’s Studies were the catalysts behind the redevelopment and expansion of Safe Zones @ SDSU, a popular program that began in the residence halls. The primary goal of Safe Zones is to ensure a campus atmosphere that is supportive, informative and welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students, faculty and staff, and their allies. C&PS developed a Safe Zones training manual and implemented training workshops for SDSU personnel who deal directly with large student populations. The training serves to create a group of “allies” who display the Safe Zones logo and actively serve as a resource to other “allies” and LGBTQ people on campus. Safe Zones @ SDSU was awarded the prestigious President’s Leadership Fund grant.

Student Health Services reopened its Eye Clinic in January 2009. The new optometry center is larger, with a more attractive display area containing hundreds of more choices for eyeglass frames. New diagnostic equipment was purchased. Through advertising and word of mouth, traffic and revenues increased for the clinic.

photo: a dentist with a patient, examining an x-ray image.
The new Dental Center offers state-of-the-art digital x-rays and electronic records.

Although it would not open until the 2009/2010 academic year, planning for a new Dental Center occurred last year. This is a brand new service for SDSU students. Fee schedules were developed to offer a very competitive price structure compared to the outside community.

photo: Dr. Gregg Lichtenstein is interviewed on camera about the H1N1 flu situation SDSU had one of the earliest cases of the H1N1 flu infection in the country in spring 2009. Dr. Gregg Lichtenstein served as the primary health consultant to the university administrative team and as an interface with the San Diego County Public Health Officer. SDSU and Dr. Lichtenstein were cited for their open and rapid approach to handling on-campus cases of the outbreak.

Peer Health Educators (PHE) from both Counseling and Psychological Services (C&PS) and Student Health Services (SHS) continued to have a positive impact on SDSU students. Topics included depression, safety, eating disorders, sexual assault awareness and sexual health, stress management, alcohol and other drugs, and nutrition and physical activity. PHEs present dynamic workshops to their SDSU peers that focus on various health issues that affect the lives of students. In order to be a PHE, students must successfully complete the PHE training class. Students receive course credit for participating in the PHE program.

logo: The PACT - Are You In?Student Health Services logged in more than 50,000 office visits last year for medical and health promotion services. Students experience little to no out-of-pocket expenses for high quality medical care. By becoming a provider in the California Family PACT program, SHS was able to expand low-cost access to contraceptives to students who qualify on a financial basis.

photo: students line up to spell out the letters E-O-P
The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) served 3,813 low-income, first-generation college students last year. Its programs include the very successful Summer Bridge, which helps at-risk students transition to SDSU. EOP students indicated they were attending graduate school at higher levels than non-EOP students, according to the Career Services Salary Survey.

EOP has also taken the lead on the Guardian Scholars Program, which provides comprehensive services and scholarships to former foster care youth. Last year, 30 students were admitted to the program. EOP works in collaboration with several other departments on campus, including Financial Aid and Scholarships, which provides one-on-one and group counseling regarding money management skills, living on a student’s budget, managing debt, and applying for scholarships. Private grants were provided by several groups, including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Alex Smith Foundation, and B. Moores. Additionally, four Aztec Parent families provided funds for the Guardian Scholars: the Singers, the Klunders, the Romans, and the Steinbergs.

photo: students at orientation

Transfer student Orientation attendance

chart: orientation attendance

Orientation attendance has increased over the past 5 years, especially with transfer students.

During the 2008 summer orientation sessions, a new freshman general education workshop designed for students who had remediation requirements was implemented.

All freshmen attending orientation received personalized academic information sheets and the opportunity to register the next business day following their attendance at orientation.

Freshman to Sophomore Retention Rate

chart: retention rates

During the academic year, Student Affairs collaborated with Academic Affairs and the Division of Undergraduate Studies to build a new Summer Remedial Program for new in-service area students in 2009.

Of the 46 percent of in-service area freshmen who did not return, nearly 27 percent were eligible to return but chose not to do so. Why? Research continues to emphasize that students who succeed are more likely to connect to the university through strong peer, organization, or learning communities. They are capable of self-management and seek out support services.

The Summer Remedial Program is designed to provide academic resources to succeed, but equally important, to provide “College Shape,” curriculum that builds skills, supportive communities, a vision plan for each student, and introduces the concepts of self-leadership. Early data looks promising. Final results will be communicated during the 2009/2010 academic year.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships saw a dramatic increase in the number of students applying for financial aid. Part of this was due to fee increases, but much of it was due to the economy that negatively impacted many families. Last year the Higher Educational Opportunity Act (HEOA) changes to the Pell Grant program allowed year-round grants for students in summer school with a minimum of six units. OFAS also worked with Associated Students and the International Student Center to provide financial aid and scholarships for students studying abroad. More than 150 study abroad scholarship awards were provided in 2008/09.

In the 2008/2009 academic year, Student Disability Services (SDS) monitored 4,038 accommodated tests, provided 514 requests for alternative media, provided targeted instruction and workshops in the Assistive Technology Writing Center, and facilitated access to many campus-wide events with sign language interpreters.

SDS also oversees a Student Support Services grant from the Department of Education. This grant provides enhanced services to approximately 300 at-risk undergraduate students with disabilities who may also be first-generation or low-income students.

Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) developed a new Citizenship Development Workshop that was presented to all incoming students at New Student Orientation in summer 2008. They also provided a parent workshop, focusing on the expectations of students in the campus community as they related to civility, campus involvement and academic integrity. Students were asked to commit to upholding the student code of conduct by signing a new Student Honor Affirmation. SRR collaborated with New Student and Parent Programs, Residential Education, C&PS, SHS and University Police.

Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Programs

ASPIRE Spring 2009 data

chart of ASPIRE program data

The ASPIRE Program, an alcohol and other drug intervention program implemented by Counseling & Psychological Services, continues to be successful in making a profound impact on students and has gained national recognition. Referrals were made for violations of alcohol and other drug policies on campus. Many students were concurrently involved with the legal system.

Data taken from students mandated to complete three sessions, including a four-week follow up assessment, continue to be promising.

New in 2008/2009 was a requirement that all incoming freshmen complete the eCheckup-to Go (eCHUG) before the end of their first semester. Students who did not complete it had a hold placed on their registration for the spring 2009 semester. eCHUG is an innovative alcohol assessment tool that has proven to change students’ perceptions about drinking. eCHUG has been so successful that SDSU has marketed it to several other universities in the United States and other countries.

Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Initiatives played a major role in implementing Aztec Nights. The goal was to bring campus-wide, alcohol-free programming during the first five weeks of the semester. Aztec Nights helped reduce the number of alcohol and drug medical transports by 57 percent during the first five weeks of the fall 2008 semester and by 50 percent over the course of the school year. Aztec Nights was even cited as a successful field example by the U.S. Department of Education's Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention.

AOD, Counseling & Psychological Services, Greek Life, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Residential Education and Communications Services collaborated to develop a new brochure How To Talk To Your College Student About Alcohol and Other Drugs, for parents of incoming students. Each parent attending Parent Orientation received a copy, and it is also available online.

photo: studnets in a bar
The RADD crew on location in Pacific Beach

RADD Day @State (the entertainment industry’s voice for road safety, fighting drunk driving) attracted more than 3,000 students at multiple events held throughout the day. Students received information and encouragement to make use of the RADD Designated Driver’s Card for free food and beverages while at the same time agreeing to be the sober, designated driver before they go out.

James Lange, the coordinator of AOD initiatives, worked on a number of campus task forces that culminated in campus-wide policy and programmatic changes. In addition to the eCHUG requirement mentioned above, Greek organizations were prohibited from alcohol parties for the first five weeks of school; an anti-hazing program was initiated for fraternities and sororities; and new alcohol information was presented at New Student Orientation.

Lange was also the principal investigator of several AOD research projects funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institutes of Health. He also serves as a peer reviewer and consultant to several scientific journals related to his expertise in AOD programming.