Highlights for Student Affairs Strategic Priority: Access

Goals: Advance an inclusive campus climate; increase affordability 


Building Community

Office of Undergraduate Admissions


Nimble communications and a milestone of early admissions all came about with a new content relationship management system. By working with the new system, Slate, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA) was able to provide on-the-fly email communications throughout a busy application season. Admissions sent more than 300 emails using the system, and tailored messages to specific segments to provide the latest information. For example, during the months of December and January, OUA sent emails to students and recommenders about a new Letters of Recommendation process. OUA was able to calm anxious applicants and their recommenders, as well as answer questions and concerns based on feedback from campus partners, social media, and high school counselors. Slate also enabled OUA to begin reading applications one month earlier than previous years. With the increase in the application pool to more than 100,000, this was a huge advantage. Finally, February 2016 marked the first time OUA offered early admissions. By offering selected students early admissions, the office was able to identify and communicate with some of the university’s most sought-after applicants and start the yield process months earlier.


Financial Aid website

Financial Aid & Scholarships


In addition to providing more than $700 million in student aid for 2015-16, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office helped students secure food assistance thanks to a partnership with the Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence. The office’s Food Assistance Program, which provides short-term support for students experiencing food insecurity, received additional funding in spring 2016 from an external source. This additional funding could be used at all on-campus dining halls and restaurants and at select off-campus food merchants. The program was originally funded by undergraduate student aid, which limited the population of students that Financial Aid and Scholarships could assist to undergraduate financial aid recipients. Graduate students and non-aid recipients experiencing food insecurity are now eligible to apply to the Food Assistance Program. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office also continued to provide students with financial wellness resources and long-term financial solutions to help address the food insecurity issues they may experience.





Student Affairs Philanthropy continued to facilitate and strengthen strategic donor partnerships to support access, service, and engagement for Berkeley students. From July 1, 2015, through May 2016, nearly $20 million was raised from over 4,700 gifts, to support and create scholarships and student life programs that are critical for the many thousands of Berkeley undergraduates with financial need. This past year, Philanthropy engaged alumni, parents, and friends through communications, local and nationwide events, and volunteer opportunities to reconnect them with what it means to be a Cal Bear.


Career Center

Career Center


Working closely with Cal Alumni Association, student organizations, and campus departments, the Career Center created a networking event series, Career Connections, which brings together students and alumni for casual networking on and off campus. In its inaugural year, 1,467 students were successfully connected to 317 alumni and professionals at 21 networking events based on career field, with a special focus in liberal arts. Students achieved Career Connections, Career Competitiveness, and Career Clarity, “The 3 C’s,” by considering job and internship options in diverse fields. Students feel most connected to those who’ve been in their shoes, and the Career Center is a catalyst for shaping students to be more competitive earlier and creating relationships that ultimately lead to more employment opportunities.




Residential Programs & Operations


Residential Programs and Operations successfully restructured and expanded the scope of the student Peer Review Board, which has been operating for twenty-five years and is the only peer review board in the UC system. The Peer Review Board now focuses on student leadership development, increases skill capacity to resolve conduct cases and reduce workload of professional staff, and completes outreach and programmatic efforts to educate residential students on their rights and responsibilities. These efforts benefit all residents and contribute to overall well-being of the campus community, while also supporting professional staff work, such as resolving close to 2,300 student conduct cases this past year.



Student studying around a table

Residential Education


Residential Education continued to enhance the out-of-classroom experience; this year it redesigned the residential curriculum and created five learning outcomes for residents. Residential Education enriched residential student lives with more than 1,200 community development and programmatic efforts, connecting residents with faculty, challenging them to think about diversity and inclusion, and providing much needed education about mental health and wellness. These programs and events reached many thousands of students, with almost 1,000 attending a single Residence Hall Association event. In addition, Residential Education staff shared their knowledge on campus and nationally, by participating on campus committees; presenting at professional conferences; and hosting two conferences (one for professionals systemwide, and one for Women in the Western Association of College University Housing Officers, with representatives from public and private universities throughout California).


Ombuds Office

Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees


In 2015-16, the Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees saw an increase in the complexity of cases requiring more facilitated resolution and follow-up. The department continued to contribute to broader university and divisional goals through service on committees and workgroups, including the UCOP (systemwide task force on) sexual violence/sexual assault and the divisional Go Big strategic planning initiative. Finally, the Ombuds served as the co-chair for the annual International Ombudsman Association Conference, which resulted in the largest event to date and contributed to the overall development of the profession.


Student Legal Services

Student Legal Services


This past year, Student Legal Services (SLS) approached nearly 1,000 student consultation sessions, its most ever, while continuing to serve low-income and underrepresented students in much higher percentages than their representation on campus (in some cases, more than double). In the SLS 2015–16 assessment survey, 98 percent of SLS clients felt that SLS is a worthwhile and beneficial service. More than 80 percent of students who were distracted from their studies or considering leaving school due to their legal issue agreed that the assistance they received from SLS improved their ability to stay in school. Roughly one-third of SLS clients reported recovering money with the help of SLS that they would not otherwise have recovered, with the mean and median recovery amounts typically in the range of $1,000 to $1,500.