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September 2018

From the Dean's Desk

I hope your semester is off to an engaging start! If your teaching experience is anything like mine has been, student engagement in the early weeks of the semester is telling.  Are your students off and running looking for ways to further engage in your course or with the campus community? Are you sensing their academic or personal struggles and wondering how you can support them? Some of our own campus projects and research on student success suggests that the early weeks of the semester can be predictive of their academic success and can create perfect opportunities to provide the timely extra support students are seeking (KuhKinzie, Schuh & Whitt, 2010). With this issue, we hope to direct you to campus resources that can assist you in helping students. 

The Office of Undergraduate Studies, housed within Academic Affairs, works across all four colleges and the library and also works cross-divisionally on campus, most significantly with Student Affairs and Community Engagement.  In this issue, we have reached out to our partners in Student Affairs to highlight your significant role with Cougar Care Network (CCN), CSUSM’s early support initiative to improve student success, retention, and persistence.  This support network works cross-divisionally to support students. If you sense a student is in need of assistance inside or outside of class (Pistilli, 2017), I encourage you to make use of CCN. Faculty and staff will receive acknowledgement of receipt of their referral and additional follow-up will occur as needed or appropriate.  

May you find the resources and suggestions below helpful! 


Dawn M. Formo, Ph.D. 

Dean, Undergraduate Studies 

Divison of Academic Affairs


From our Student Affairs Colleagues: Cougar Care Network & the Dean of Students' Office

Since its inception, Cougar Care Network (CCN) has been CSUSM’s early support initiative. CCN is designed to assist with student success, retention, and persistence. Students are referred to CCN for academic, personal, financial, and other concerns. More specifically, referrals can be made for academic distress, change/disruptive behavior, lack of attendance, and significant life changes. In 2017-2018, there were over 1,300 students referred to CCN with faculty as the largest referral source - 56%! This is the fourth year of CCN, and we have seen an increased need to support students experiencing mental health (primarily anxiety and depression) and basic needs (food and housing insecurity) issues.  

While the Dean of Students Office houses the Cougar Care Network program, students’ needs are addressed through a network of campus partners across all campus divisions (e.g., Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement). The network is a testament to the collaborative and caring nature of our faculty and staff. If you would like to learn more about CCN, please visit the CCN website or request a presentation for your department here. 

To refer a student to the Cougar Care Network, click here. 

Thank You, 

Jason Schrieber & Jennie Ruiz

Dean of Students & Associate Dean of Students

Divison of Student Affairs 





Working with a student who needs help now?

                                         Refer a student directly to Cougar Care Network (CCN) by clicking below:



Where should you refer a student?