Encounter to Excellence

Institution (custom)
California State University-Dominguez Hills
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support


Encounter to Excellence (ETE) is committed to helping students make a successful transition to CSUDH, develop an appropriate academic plan, and engage in meaningful activities that foster personal and professional development via proactive and holistic advising and peer mentoring. 

Program Description

Encounter to Excellence has been designed to permanently increase the institution’s capacity to dramatically shift the number of freshmen students achieving success during their first two years. After carefully reviewing the retention rates, student grade point averages, survey data on quality of life, and the qualitative data, the university gave the program close to $1 million to work with all freshmen. Practices include: 

1. Holistic Academic Counseling: individual advising required for first 4 semesters
2. Peer Mentoring: Assigned peer mentor for first year
3. Summer Bridge Experience


One year retention rates for ETE program participants by cohort have ranged over the years with a high of 93% one year retention. 

  • 2015 Cohort, 719 students, 80% one year retention
  • 2016 Cohort, 726 students, 76% one year retention
  • 2017 Cohort, 662 students, 77% one year retention
  • 2018 Cohort, 854 students, 74% one year retention