California State University, San Bernardino has been selected as a participant in a new national initiative, Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience, led by the Gardner Institute, a leading national student success nonprofit organization.

The Foundational Postsecondary Experience initiative aims to transform the critical first two years of college education during which students create the foundation of ultimate success and degree completion. The effort will help institutions focus on inequitable performance gaps and take action to improve student learning and success.

The initiative has been made possible in part through the support of Ascendium Education Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECMC Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.

Gardner Institute logo

By participating in this initiative, CSUSB will collaborate closely with the Gardner Institute and the 10 other institutions in the inaugural cohort over a five-year period to develop innovative strategies, enhance teaching and learning practices, and promote student success and retention. The effort will help the institution move toward eliminating demographics, zip codes and other variables as the best predictors of who does or does not succeed.

“I am deeply honored that CSUSB has been chosen as one of the 11 institutions for the Gardner Institute’s inaugural cohort of the Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience initiative,” said Tomás D. Morales, university president. “This recognition underscores our commitment to providing our students with a transformative and exceptional educational experience. Together with our dedicated faculty, staff and partners, we look forward to working collaboratively to advance student success and make a lasting impact on higher education.”

Drew Koch, CEO of the Gardner Institute, shared, “We are thrilled to welcome California State University, San Bernardino to the inaugural cohort of Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience. The five-year commitment demonstrates the institution’s dedication to transforming the postsecondary experience for all of their students.”

Koch continued, “This is a bold action. The university clearly recognizes that doing hard things requires long-term commitment, and improving student success in ways that maintain access, eliminate performance gaps, and uphold quality is very hard. But California State University, San Bernardino is committed to doing this hard work. That is why it was selected to take part.”

The 11 participating institutions in the inaugural Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience cohort enroll nearly 115,000 undergraduate students. More than two-fifths (43%) of those students receive a Pell Grant; more than two-fifths (41%) identify as African American, Hispanic, Indigenous, or two or more races.

The institutions include:

For further information about CSUSB’s participation in the inaugural Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience cohort, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007,

About the Gardner Institute
The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education is a nonprofit that partners with colleges, universities, philanthropic organizations and others to help them create and implement strategic plans for student success focused on improving teaching, learning, retention and completion. Through doing so, the Institute strives to advance higher education’s larger equity, social mobility and social justice goals.

For more information about the Gardner Institute and/or the Transforming the Foundational Postsecondary Experience effort, visit the Gardner Institute website or contact: Katie Locke, director of Communications, Marketing and Engagement, at