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Outstanding Staffer Streamlines Student Success

Aug. 7, 2013

Shortly after joining Cal State Fullerton’s staff three years ago as an academic adviser, alumnus Joshua Loudon, '09 (B.A., anthropology and linguistics) and '11  (M.A., anthropology), noticed a number of students — first-time freshmen, high achievers in high school who had already received credit for a number of required undergraduate courses due to their Advanced Placement credits — enrolled in unnecessary classes.
 
Upon further investigation, he found that hundreds of students with AP credits were taking duplicate classes, and he devised a plan to address the problem. His efforts earned him selection as one of this year’s Outstanding Staff Employees.
 
“Mr. Loudon’s initiative single-handedly supported 248 students,” said Loudon’s supervisor, Bridget Driscoll. “The benefit, beyond just that of time, is estimated at $217,710 in financial savings to our valued students and $599,633 for the CSU through state appropriation.”

As a result, students erroneously registered for duplicate courses that wouldn’t count were returned to full-time academic standing, making 288 course seats available to other students who needed them to advance to a degree.

Driscoll said Loudon also helped other students by: collaborating with five colleges on a workshop for students on academic probation; coordinating a project to contact 1,038 students who had received graduation deferral notices and create academic plans for graduation; creating a tracking system to monitor degree completion; and working with community colleges to understand the challenges confronting transfer students and counselors.

“Driven by his passion to create a solution-centered learning approach for each of his students, his innovative ideas and dedication to student academic success have resulted in measurable increases in the quality of student advising support,” President Mildred García said as she presented the award to Loudon.

Loudon, of Fullerton, says his anthropology studies leave him wondering “where students come from and what obstacles they face.”
 
As an academic adviser, he says, “I aim to help them become informed so they can graduate.”

By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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