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making-the-switch.aspx
  
8/3/2020 11:41 AMBeall, Alex8/3/20208/3/2020 2:00 PMAs higher education pivots to online instruction, the CSU leads the way in exploring and implementing innovative new approaches to teaching, learning and engagement ... all with an eye on student success.Online EducationStory

Making the Switch

As higher education pivots to online instruction, the CSU leads the way in exploring and implementing innovative new approaches to teaching, learning and engagement ... all with an eye on student success​​.

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While the COVID-19 pandemic drove the CSU online this spring, that didn't stop faculty and staff from digging in to connect with students and offer the quality education on which the CSU prides itself. As spring terms ended, the CSU wisely made an early decision to plan for online courses in the fall. That decision​ gave faculty the time and opportunity to expand their skills and prepare for a productive ​virtual experience, armed with the latest technology and best practices for online teaching.

“When you consider the difference between teaching in a 300-person lecture hall and a seminar with 25 students, the virtual format is in many ways just a different setting for delivering the same instruction and quality of education," says Alison M. Wrynn, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor of Academic Programs, Innovations and Faculty Development at the CSU Chancellor's Office. “Our campuses continue to meet the learning outcomes established by the faculty and, as applicable, the standards from our accrediting bodies. Students still get the same outcomes and still earn grades."

In addition, the switch has allowed many professors to try new teaching tactics even as it offers students more flexibility. “Some students will now speak up in a virtual class when they normally wouldn't. Additionally, they can set aside their own time to read and learn in an asynchronous format and can engage more with their family or work responsibilities when they need to," Dr. Wrynn continues.

Here are some ways the CSU community has embraced the online space, ensuring students are still receiving the instruction and classroom support they need.

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry is hosting a series of live virtual workshops where students can interact with researchers, like this one on the environmental effects of wildfires.

BROADER TRAINING

“While we were able to successfully transition to virtual instruction this spring, faculty had much more time this summer to prepare for their fall classes," Wrynn says. “So, we've enhanced our opportunities for faculty professional development this summer to ensure we're continuing to provide the highest quality instruction while at the same time increasing faculty members' comfort and familiarity with the technology and tactics that strengthen the online experience."

To this end, the CSUat both the university and campus levelsexpanded faculty training options that focused on online instruction, ranging from technology workshops to lessons in personalizing the online learning experience.

“We are shifting toward making sure we have quality assurance, the learning is engaged and we're providing both faculty and students with the tools to be engaged in the virtual environment so they can be successful," says Mary Oling-Sisay, Ph.D., Humboldt State University vice provost of Academic Programs. “We're being very intentional with our approach and with the workshops and modules that are available."

Humboldt State University faculty and the Center for Teaching and Learning facilitators meet on Zoom for a professional development session in humanizing the virtual experience.

Learn more about the CSU's professional development programs aimed at providing high-quality virtual learning experiences.

HIGHER TECH

Virtual instruction would not be possible without technology—and the fact is, the latest advancements in technology have transformed the way virtual instruction is offered. The first step for instructors transitioning this spring then was employing the technological tools available, like Zoom video conferencing and Canvas, an online learning platform.

“First we had to figure out how we were going to make a smooth transition mid-semester and try to replicate the in-person environment as much as possible," says Kenneth Luna, Ph.D., professor and chair of California State University, Northridge Department of Linguistics/TESL and quality assurance faculty lead for blended and online courses.

A California State University Channel Islands nursing student uses virtual reality to experience medical conditions and receiving medical care from a patient’s perspective.

“The first advice we gave everybody was, 'You have a date and time, try to keep that,'" he explains. “You can just do exactly what you're doing right now with your PowerPoints, lectures, documents and class activities—just do it via Zoom."

Through the professional development programs, faculty were able to work with course designers this summer to better integrate technology into their fall classes.

“There's a long-standing emphasis on if we're going to do online or virtual instruction, we're going to do it in a high-quality way," says Mary Beth Walker, Ph.D., CSUN provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “We tried to provide a full portfolio of different opportunities for faculty. Some faculty needed more familiarity with the technology. They weren't taking a full dive into teaching online forever, but they needed an expanded facility with the technology tools we use."

The key learning then for faculty is how to “integrate pedagogical principles with the technology tool sets we have and incorporate them into courses to further enhance student engagement and outcomes," says Ranjit Philip, CSUN interim vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer.

GREATER FLEXIBILITY

The range of technology tools also allows faculty more flexibility when choosing between maintaining their usual class time (synchronous) or switching to recorded lectures (asynchronous).

“A best practice … is to have parts of the class be asynchronous, so students can access material and engage at the time that suits them, as opposed to a mandated meeting time," Dr. Walker says. “Using a combination of that with some [time when] we're all together and we can look at each other, you usually get the best outcomes in terms of persistence and performance in the class."

This blend is especially beneficial for students who may have to share their internet bandwidth, space and computer with other family members who are also working or learning. Recorded video lectures in particular prove helpful because they allow students to watch them when it's convenient and review them again as needed.

“Now when you have a whole family at home, students may not have space [to join class at the scheduled time]," Dr. Luna says. “You have three children going to school, maybe a computer or two or unreliable internet access. Everybody's taking class at the same time live. So, then we can switch to some face-to-face and some asynchronous to accommodate the students with their life situation."

DEEPER ENGAGEMENT

When a class moves from in-person to online, the greatest fear is the loss of meaningful connections between the students, professors and content. But by implementing best practices for virtual instruction, this is an issue professors can and have overcome.

It is important “to move away from this mentality that online is bad, not interactive and not as good as in-person," Luna explains. “I would argue that a well-made online class is probably more challenging and higher quality. A genuine online class doesn't allow for instructor-centered teaching approaches, just uploading PowerPoints slides or simply lecturing while students take notes. It needs to be so much more, and it needs to be student-centered."

To ensure a high level of interaction, Luna emphasizes the need to set up online spaces where students can share, such as group discussions where they can post comments or photos, optional meeting times when they can talk with the professor or each other or periodic video check-ins.

“What's made [virtual instruction] particularly fulfilling for me is when you do those activities … students suddenly share all sorts of things about their lives that they would not normally do in the in-person setting," he says. “They start posting pictures of themselves with their children or their babies or their pets, and sharing things about their lives or their family."

An important factor in driving this interaction is personalizing, or humanizing, the virtual experience—a major objective of the virtual instruction professional development program from the Humboldt State Center for Teaching & Learning, explains Center Director Enoch Hale.

HSU Marine Ecology Professor Sean Craig, Ph.D., works with the Center of Teaching and Learning to film tide pools, creating videos and activities introducing students to different species and ecological factors, for a virtual marine biology lab.

“How can we authentically connect with students in ways that motivate and further their learning? How can we design the learning environment where students connect with each other in authentic ways?" he considers. “We know students are much more apt to do well in a class if they have a connection with the faculty member and have a strong peer support system. Intrinsic interest in the subject tends not to be enough."

Humboldt State is also introducing a program for students on how to be a digital scholar to further prepare them for online learning. The goal is to cover how to intellectually engage with class content in a virtual format, as well as “how to articulate your voice to the instructor so your instructor can hear you, can hear your unique learning needs and be able to respond authentically," Dr. Oling-Sisay says.

While these best practices will ultimately help enhance the virtual teaching and learning experience, many professors plan to take them beyond the virtual sphere and incorporate them into their future in-person classes.

Making the Switch
CSU-Receives-Grant-to-Continue-Residency-Scholarship-for-Teachers-in-High-Need-California-Schools.aspx
  
7/28/2020 9:03 AMSalvador, Christianne7/28/20207/28/2020 2:20 PMThe scholarships will help to lessen student debt for aspiring teachers during these economically challenging times, aiding in the completion of their academic programs and improving new teacher retention. Teacher PreparationPress Release

​​The California State University (CSU) received a $500,000 grant to continue its CSU Residency Year Service Scholarship Program. The scholarships will help to lessen student debt for aspiring teachers during these economically challenging times, aiding in the completion of their academic programs and improving new teacher retention. The CSU's teacher preparation program is the largest in the state and among the largest in the nation, producing more than half of California's new teachers. 

“This prestigious scholarship program is particularly important, as the California State University produces more than 7,500 teacher candidates annually," says Marquita Grenot-Scheyer, Ph.D., CSU's Assistant Vice Chancellor of Educator Preparation and Public School Programs. “CSU teacher candidates are highly diverse, with Latinx students making up nearly one-third of candidates. More than two-thirds are Pell Grant recipients, often reflecting a combined family income of $26,000 or less."

Provided by the Yellow Chair Foundation, the new grant expands on the initial investment by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, which established the statewide program in 2019. The  grant will create 100 service scholarships of $5,000 each for teacher candidates participating in CSU campus residency programs in the 2020-21 academic year. It will augment other sources of student financial aid, such as Pell Grants and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants.

The CSU teacher residency program provides candidates an apprenticeship co-teaching alongside an expert mentor teacher during which they receive constructive feedback on in-class instruction. Research has found that high-quality residency program graduates enter their classrooms with more effective skills, outperform teachers who do not participate in residency programs and have lower job turnover than other new teachers.

The residency program partners with high-need California school districts. Eligible candidates will have an interest in working with English learners, earning a bilingual credential, working in urban and/or high-need schools or supporting students with special needs.

To find out more about how the CSU is preparing and supporting California's future teachers and educators, visit the Teacher and Educator Preparation website.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

CSU Receives Grant to Continue Residency Scholarship for Teachers in High-Need California Schools
CSU-Trustees-Approve-Ethnic-Studies-and-Social-Justice-General-Education-Requirement.aspx
  
7/23/2020 10:47 AMSalvador, Christianne7/22/20207/22/2020 2:30 PMNew requirement will go into effect for the 2023-24 Academic Year.EducationPress Release

​​​The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees voted today to approve an amendment to Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. This amendment will modify the university's General Education (GE) requirements to include a course addressing ethnic studies and social justice. This marks the first significant change to the university's GE requirements in 40 years.

“Our goal is for CSU students, from every major and in every workplace, to be leaders in creating a more just and equitable society," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “This action, by the CSU and for the CSU, lifts Ethnic Studies to a place of prominence in our curriculum, connects it with the voices and perspectives of other historically oppressed groups, and advances the field by applying the lens of social justice. It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation's history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives and skills needed to solve society's most pressing problems. And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree."

The one-course requirement will be implemented in the 2023-24 school year to allow time for faculty on 23 campuses to develop plans and coursework that best meet the unique needs of their students and communities. Grounded in the traditional Ethnic Studies discipline, comprised of African American, Asian American, Latinx and Native American studies, the requirement can be fulfilled through a broad spectrum of course offerings that address historical, current and emerging ethnic studies and social justice issues. The requirement advances a unique focus on the intersection and comparative study of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, immigration status, ability and/or age. CSU courses on Africana literature, Native Californian perspectives, police reform, disparities in public health and the economics of racism, to name just a few, would meet the new requirement.

The CSU has a long history of leadership in the field of Ethnic Studies, with San Francisco State University creating the nation's first College of Ethnic Studies in 1969. Since then numerous departments of ethnic studies have flourished across the CSU offering hundreds of courses each semester.

# # #

About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

CSU Trustees Approve Ethnic Studies and Social Justice General Education Requirement
summer-fun.aspx
  
7/9/2020 8:16 AMMcCarthy, Michelle7/8/20207/8/2020 9:00 AMFinals are over. Spring semester is in the rearview mirror. The sun’s out, and it’s time for CSU students to unwind and recharge.CommunityStory
60 YEARS OF EDUCATI​ONAL EXCELLENCE

Summer Fun

Finals are over, spring semester is in the rearview mirror and California sunshine is everywhere. It's summertime for CSU students and faculty​a time to unwind and recharge. Yet even in the summer, CSU campuses remain active and energized, and while COVID-19 might have disrupted that energy in 2020, history says we'll be back! Take a look at some of the past summertime activities and community engagement that define a California State University experience.​

CSU Channel Islands has held Island View Orientation (IVO) for incoming freshmen and transfer students

Channel Islands

CSU Channel Islands has held Island View Orientation (IVO) for incoming freshmen and transfer students and their families since 2002 (photo from 2019). This summer, IVO continues but with a twist. Given the circumstances of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, the student orientation experience for fall 2020 incoming students, parents and families is taking place virtually.

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

Chico

A hundred years ago, Chico Normal School students started taking summer school classes near Mount Shasta, a few hours north of Chico. The classes began in 1919 after students threatened not to attend classes on campus because of the extreme summer heat. Lectures were held outdoors in tents and activities included exploring the local area like this class did in the summer of 1920. During the six-week sessions, students also gained teacher-training experience by educating local children at the nearby grammar school.

Photo:​ courtesy of Meriam Library Special Collections

A hundred years ago, Chico Normal School students began taking summer school classes near Mount Shasta. 
Since 2014, Wildcat Wilderness Orientation has built an on-campus community and given incoming students a look into college life 

Since 2014, Chico State's Wildcat Wilderness Orientation has built an on-campus community and given incoming students a look into college life, as they participate in student-led outdoors treks (like this visit to the Subway Caves at Mount Lassen) and work through trials in small groups to learn teamwork, time management, leadership, social competence, responsibility and flexibility. Most importantly, facing these obstacles as a team creates strong bonds that last well after they return home from the adventure. (This year’s trips were canceled due to COVID-19, but the program plans to resume next summer.)

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

Fresno

The Fresno State Dairy Processing Unit produces more than 65 flavors of premium ice cream. Customers can purchase Fresno State ice cream at the Gibson Farm Market or at a number of locations off campus.

The Fresno State Dairy Processing Unit produces more than 65 flavors of premium ice cream. 
Manny Luna jumps into the residence hall pool during a Water Olympics competition 

Each year, students at University Courtyard are welcomed to the new school year with several activities designed to help them meet each other and form friendships before hitting the books. Here, Manny Luna jumps into the residence hall pool during a Water Olympics competition.

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton partners with GEAR UP as students hike at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary on June 27, 2014. The organization works with schools, local school districts, local colleges and universities and community associations to engage students, parents, teachers, faculty and administrators and actively  infuse junior high and high school campuses with a college-going culture. Its services are designed to increase the number of students progressing on to higher education and equip them with skills needed to be successful in the academy and beyond.

students hike at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary on June 27, 2014.  
Brynn Campos, middle left, celebrates with her teammates after correctly solving a polynomial equation at CSUF 

Brynn Campos, middle left, celebrates with her teammates after correctly solving a polynomial equation at CSUF’s Mathematics Intensive Summer Session (Project MISS). This summer program gives high school students the opportunity to sharpen algebraic and precalculus concepts and get ready for their next year of math, as well as prepare for the rigors of university-level math and related majors.

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

HumbolDt

Summer can also be a time of service. HSU Spanish major Andrea Santamaria spent part of her 2019 summer cataloging the library in San Juan Teitipac, Mexico.

Spanish major Andrea Santamaria spent the summer cataloging the library in San Juan Teitipac, Mexico. 
Professor Jianmin Zhong, Ph.D., oversees students performing summer research. 

Professor Jianmin Zhong, Ph.D. (far right), oversees students performing summer research, July, 2015. 

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

Monterey Bay

Students put down the books and take in the sun at Fort Ord Dunes Park, which is located conveniently close to campus.

Students put down the books and take in the sun at Fort Ord Dunes Park, which is located conveniently close to campus. 
Fort Ord Dunes State Park is not only home to sun and sand—bright wildflowers also bloom along the hills. 

Fort Ord Dunes State Park is not only home to sun and sand—bright wildflowers also bloom along its hills.

 

Northridge

All is quiet at the Ralph Prator fountain on the west side of campus. Prator served a 10-year term as the first president of what later became CSUN.

Ralph Prator fountain on the west side of campus. Prator served a 10-year term as the first president of what later became Cal S

Summer Breeze, an Arabian mare, gets a cooling rinse from Emily Flack during a horse-washing session for Horse Campers 

Pomona

Summer Breeze, an Arabian mare, gets a cooling rinse from Emily Flack during a horse-washing session for Horse Campers at Cal Poly Pomona’s WK Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, June 27, 2017.

The center also offers all students a place and opportunity to fulfill their dreams and goals and understand issues and perspect 

John Plemmons, Chris Van Norden and Austin Zendejas harvest sweet corn at Spadra Farm near CPP, July 18, 2017.

John Plemmons, Chris Van Norden and Austin Zendejas harvest sweet corn at Spadra Farm near Cal Poly Pomona 
A student strolls by the Old Library building (currently Lassen Hall) on her way to class, 1964. 

Sacramento

A student strolls by the Old Library building (currently Lassen Hall) on her way to a summer session class, 1964.

The center also offers all students a place and opportunity to fulfill their dreams and goals and understand issues and perspect 

Sacramento State’s summer session catalog from 1985 shows off some of the decade’s most tubular hairstyles.

Sacramento State’s summer session catalog from 1985 shows off some of the decade’s most tubular hairstyles. 
Girl Scouts from throughout the Inland region learn about information and technology at Cal State San Bernardino 

San Bernardino

Girl Scouts from throughout the Inland region learn about information and technology during Cal State San Bernardino’s GenCyber summer camp​ ​June 24, 2015.

The center also offers all students a place and opportunity to fulfill their dreams and goals and understand issues and perspect 

Tiffany Talaver, education specialist/visitor services for the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art at CSUSB, helps Vincent Valdez sculpt an animal figure during the museum’s Summer Egyptian Workshop for Kids, July 8, 2015.

Tiffany Talaver, education specialist/visitor services for the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art helps sculpt an anima 
Students in a San Diego State surf class hang loose before hitting the waves. 

San Diego

Students in a San Diego State summer surf class hang loose before hitting the waves.

The center also offers all students a place and opportunity to fulfill their dreams and goals and understand issues and perspect 

Members of SDSU’s Aztec Adventures Outings hike out to a waterfall. The program provides high-quality programs, services and facilities that inspire active, healthy living and enhance the campus experience.

Members SDSU’s Aztec Adventures Outings hike out to a waterfall.  
The sun sets on another great day during San Francisco State’s GatorFest!

San Francisco

The sun sets on another great day during San Francisco State’s GatorFest! and Welcome Days 2018, a unique weeklong series of events focused on new students and their families and guests.

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

San José

Environmental Studies students at San José State​ apply a basecoat of paint in 1970 to plywood frames that will house solar energy panels atop the three dormitories on campus.

Environmental Studies students at SJSU apply a basecoat of paint to plywood frames that will house solar energy panels 
Members of the San José State campus community show off a 1974 summer bulletin. 

Members of the SJSU campus community show off a 1974 summer bulletin.

John D. Ibson, professor of American studies and cofounder of the queer studies minor, accepts the inaugural Harvey Milk Day “Ho 

San Luis Obispo

A watershed management summer intern at Swanton Pacific Ranch takes a measurement at one of the ranch’s creeks in 2019. Interns get hands-on experience in areas such as photo-monitoring methods, hydrologic instrumentation, survey channel morphology and analyzing acquired field data. Project work can include in-stream flow measurements, geomorphic data collection and analysis, sediment source surveys, stream channel surveys, water temperature data collection and analysis, maintenance or decommissioning of flumes and equipment, water quality and weather data processing and GIS mapping.

A watershed management summer intern at Swanton Pacific Ranch takes a measurement at one of the ranch’s creeks in 2019. 
Students from the biology, marine science and animal science departments take part in a Cal Poly Scientific Diving Course 

Students from the biology, marine science and animal science departments take part in a Cal Poly Scientific Diving Course in 2019. Students learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of diving. In the classroom, they study diving physics and physiology, decompression theory, the history of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and underwater data collection techniques. In the field, students make multiple dives, applying techniques in low-visibility navigation, search and salvage and deep and night diving, and employing specialized skills for sampling and identifying local fish, invertebrates and algae. (Photo: Joe Johnston)

 

Stanislaus

The Sequoia Lake Gazebo on a summer day, a popular location for weddings and other community functions.

The Sequoia Lake Gazebo on a summer day, a popular location for weddings and other community functions.

SHARE YOUR SUMMER PHOTO

Do you have a great summer photo? Email a JPG or TIFF to precord@calstate.edu and it will be submitted to CSU Dominguez Hills' Digital Collection Database for archival.

​​
60 Years of Educational Excellence: Summer Fun
Innovation-and-Entrepreneurship-in-the-CSU.aspx
  
7/7/2020 1:18 PMSua, Ricky7/7/20207/7/2020 1:10 PMEntrepreneurship programs at the CSU prepare the next generation of business innovators for California.CaliforniaStory
​​​​​​​Each year, the CSU awards half the state’s business degrees, sending nearly 20,000 new entrepreneurs into the workforce. Support for these students goes beyond the classroom in the form of programs that connect budding business people to mentors and free resources that help transform ideas into marketable businesses.

While every one of the CSU’s 23 campuses offers a degree in business, campuses also offer entrepreneurial activities outside the classroom—workshops, mentorship, clubs and other professional development and networking opportunities—and most feature a center or program open to enterprising students from all disciplines. 

Innovation Challenges Develop Real-World Skills

Campus centers like Cal State Long Beach’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship host events that put students in real-world situations to find out how viable their product or business idea is, like the Sunstone Innovation Challenge. The campus-wide business plan competition was launched over a decade ago by the Colleges of Business, Engineering and the Arts. A select group of student teams spend the entire academic year working with the Beach Incubator to develop their business plans and prepare to pitch their ideas to investors.  

Josh Haber, along with his teammates Alex Urasaki and Armando Gutierrez, won first prize in this year’s Challenge for their app, PeriDeals, which connects people with local markdown deals on perishable foods and helps grocery stores minimize the cost of food waste. Watch all the presentations on Facebook Live.

When Haber, who earned a bachelor’s degree in community health education from CSULB this spring, first discovered the institute, the idea of establishing a dual solution for food insecurity and food waste was in its infancy. The institute connected Haber with teammates who complemented his area of expertise, a mentor from their network of CSU and community advisors and even a programmer who provided technical consulting on how to optimize the app.

“The workshops and speakers were very helpful, but the most valuable resource we received was the mentorship from our advisor, Mike Grimshaw, who directs the Entrepreneurial Institute at CSU Dominguez Hills,” says Haber. “He devoted a generous amount of time addressing every possible hole in our plan prior to the challenge and helped us to not only win, but to come out of the program with a solid business plan and connections in the industry.”

For their victory, Haber and his team will be awarded $15,000 in seed money and up to $35,000 in workspace, marketing, legal and accounting services that will help them grow their business. Thanks to the university, Haber and his team were introduced to corporate executives from Kroger, the second largest grocery chain in the United States, and plan to use the prize money to finish developing the app’s software.

Creating a Clear Path from Idea to Market

At San Diego State University, the Zahn Innovation Platform (ZIP) Launchpad is helping members of the campus community launch startups from an early stage idea through a four-phase process. The program has been successful in launching 27 startups and helping students raise more than $15.6 million in funds. 

“The program is divided into individual phases so that students can go at their own pace,” says ZIP Launchpad Executive Director Cathy Pucher, Ph.D. “As they move through each phase, they unlock additional resources, like free use of the rapid prototyping lab, engineering services, financial assistance and more.”

A similar tactic is being employed by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), which has several highly customized paths for entrepreneurs at all stages of their plan. Students with a fledgling idea, or even just a problem they want to find a solution for, can begin their journey in the campus Hatchery, a student incubator program. If their idea has wings, they can progress to the SLO HotHouse Accelerator, which offers an additional set of resources, and finally to the SLO HotHouse Incubator, where participants will work to put what they’ve learned in previous programs to practice. 

Campus Efforts Benefit Local Communities

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is also helping members of the Central Coast business community through the SLO HotHouse, a community space created in partnership with the City and County of San Luis Obispo. Located in downtown San Luis Obispo, the HotHouse is a place where students, employees, alumni and community members can develop or run their businesses, participate in workshops and speakers series, and network with one another.

CSULB’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship launched a new startup accelerator last year to support the growth of small businesses in Long Beach, many of which are started by CSULB alumni, in partnership with the city and Sunstone Management, Inc.​ CSULB economics professor Wade Martin, Ph.D., who directs the institute, says he expects the accelerator to provide a much-needed resource for the economic ecosystem the city is striving to develop. 

Programs Successfully Pivot Online Due to COVID-19

Although much has changed since pandemic-related social distancing guidelines have forced activities to pivot online, staff at the CSU’s entrepreneurial centers have quickly adapted and say that, in some cases, they’ve found a silver lining. 

“We are still able to offer the majority of our resources online, including our speaker series, when we invite prominent business people to share their expertise and network with students,” says Sierra Scolaro, who earned a degree in entrepreneurship from Cal Poly SLO in 2019 and now helps manage the CIE. “Our options have really opened up, too, because we don’t have to consider travel costs when we invite someone to speak to our participants.”

Learn about these startups from CSU students and alumni who used the resources provided by entrepreneurial programs within the university to turn their ideas into reality.​

Now a successful business owner thanks in part to Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Entrepreneurship,  Martyn ('10) returns to campus to mentor students in the Startup Incubator. 

Three San Francisco State students took home first prize in the university’s Entrepreneurship Symposium and Pitch Competition for their voice-activated mobile assistant designed to help first responders in emergency situations. 

Sameer Saran (’18) first pitched his idea for a more sustainable vision for parking at San José State’s 2018 Business Plan Competition and launched his company the next year.

Ha​ley Pavo​ne (’18), invented the world’s first convertible high-heeled shoe while she was studying business administration at Cal Poly SLO and continues to run her operation out of the SLO HotHouse.​



















​​

​​​Innovation and entrepreneurship thrive ​in the CSU

Select a location below to discover how campuses are helping bring great ideas to market:​

Empowering the Innovators
heroes-for-our-times.aspx
Checked Out To: Barrie, Matthewheroes-for-our-times.aspx
Checked Out To: Barrie, Matthew
  
7/20/2020 8:53 AMBarrie, Matthew7/6/20207/6/2020 10:45 AMWe celebrate our brave CSU alumni who are fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.AlumniStory

HEROES for our times

Saluting the courageous CSU alumni on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Some work at hospitals, some educate future generations and others volunteer their time to those in need. While CSU alumni have a long history of stepping in and helping out, we are especially proud of those who are making a difference during the current pandemic. Following is a small sampling of the many alumni throughout California who have risen to the challenge. The goal of the California State University is to create leaders for our times by instilling a foundation of community engagement that students will carry with them throughout life. This Fourth of July, we tip our hats to honor all the remarkable heroes made in the CSU who embody that spirit. ​

Mary Barlow

MARY BARLOW, CSU BAKERSFIELD

The CSU prepares more of California's teachers than all other institutions combined. Mary Barlow, superintendent of schools for Kern County, oversees 47 districts and 190,000 students, a third of which live under the poverty line. She’s been working hard to make sure all students have what they need for virtual education during the pandemic. Her office has purchased thousands of Chromebooks and Internet hot spots to serve these kids.


Ted Ross

TED ROSS, CSU DOMINGUEZ HILLS

When California went under shelter-in-place orders, Ted Ross helped Los Angeles go from 12 teleworking employees to 12,000 in less than two weeks. The numbers kept growing: As CIO for the City of L.A. and general manager for the Information Technology Agency, he has managed the transition to the Connect2LACity platform for nearly 20,000 employees. But Ross has been doing great things for a long time. Under the leadership of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, he implemented initiatives that earned L.A. the #1 Digital City in America award for 2016, 2017 and 2018.


Kirsten Vangsness

KIRSTEN VANGSNESS, CAL STATE FULLERTON

Criminal Minds actress Kirsten Vangsness​ is a co-owner of Blinking Owl Distillery in Santa Ana, California. During the pandemic, the distillery had to close its tasting room, but quickly switched gears from crafting booze to crafting “Dirty Bird” hand sanitizer. It is for sale, but they have also donated $25,000 worth thanks to help from the community.


Holly Hosterman and Paul 'Yashi' Lubitz

HOLLY HOSTERMAN & PAUL “YASHI” LUBITZ,
HUMBOLDT STATE

When a friend pointed out that their Holly Yashi jewelry company waterjet cutter could make more face shields in less time than a 3D printer, Holly Hosterman and Paul Lubitz pivoted to meet the community need. Committed to keeping its employees, customers and community safe, the company has started producing face shields for county sheriff and police workers, government employees who come in contact with the public and pharmaceutical and medical workers.


Dr. Leana Wen

DR. LEANA WEN, CAL STATE LA

A current faculty member at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and the former commissioner of health for Baltimore, Dr. Leana Wen has been called on as an expert regarding COVID-19 by outlets ranging from CNN and NPR to BBC World News. After having a baby in April, she appeared on NBC, Know Your Value and Morning Joe to share her experience expecting and delivering during the coronavirus.


Bonnie Castillo ​Photo: Michael Gerometta​​​

BONNIE CASTILLO, SACRAMENTO STATE

The CSU produces about 40 percent of California's nurses, offering programs at 21 campuses. Now more than ever, we appreciate the nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. One of them is Bonnie Castillo. She is the executive director of National Nurses United​ and has been at the forefront of advocating for these essential healthcare workers in California and nationwide. Castillo was recently interviewed for NPR's All Things Considered regarding the PPE shortage for nurses.


Ron Fong

RON FONG, SACRAMENTO STATE

Ron Fong is president and CEO of the California Grocers Association, which means he's been front and center advising industry groups and consumers on how to navigate food distribution and purchasing during these unprecedented times. Fong is also a member of the CSU Foundation Board of Governors and helped establish the Agribusiness Food Retail Management Program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


Raul Figueroa-Valenzuela

RAUL FIGUEROA-VALENZUELA, SAN FRANCISCO STATE/CSUN

Raul Figueroa-Valenzuela's master's thesis work on disease ecology for SFSU​ led to his MPH in applied epidemiology from CSUN. Now he’s an epidemiology analyst for LA Public Health. Beginning in January, his team's work shifted from monitoring foodborne illness to acting as “disease detectives,” tracking down people who had traveled from virus hot spots abroad to get them to quarantine and follow their progress.


Chris Larsen

​CHRIS LARSEN, SAN FRANCISCO STATE

Financial technology firm Ripple cofounder Chris Larsen contracted and beat COVID-19. Now he's donating blood containing his antibodies to help people who are fighting the disease. On top of that, his company is giving $5 million to local area food banks and meal service providers supporting those who are struggling financially during the pandemic.


Dr. David Persing and Rich Nolasco

DR. DAVID PERSING & RICH NOLASCO, SAN JOSÉ STATE

Dr. David Persing and Rich Nolasco are part of the team at molecular diagnostic testing company Cepheid, which developed the first rapid-results COVID-19 test. The company received emergency authorization from the FDA for the Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test that can be administered on-site and deliver results in 45 minutes.


Mike Frank

MIKE FRANK, CAL POLY SAN LUIS OBISPO

Mike Frank graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo​ and moved to New York City. As the pandemic swept through that metropolis, Mike wanted to find a way to help. He and two friends (one of whom is a Michelin-starred chef) co-founded Grub for Guardians, which provides free meals prepared by local chefs to healthcare professionals in New York. In less than two months, they raised more than $7,000 and gave away upward of 1,000 meals to workers on the front lines.


Michelle Harvey

MICHELLE HARVEY, CSU SAN MARCOS

In response to a need for cloth face coverings for hospital staff, Michelle Harvey created the San Diego Face Mask Sewing Group on Facebook. Growing to more than 1,700 members strong in just a few weeks, the group created and donated approximately 15,000 masks to area hospitals, school districts, police departments and a U.S. Navy ship.


Arnold Velasquez

ARNOLD VELASQUEZ, STANISLAUS STATE

As nurse practitioner Arnold Velasquez (far right) noticed his Turlock, California, office intake slow dramatically in response to shelter-in-place orders, he saw the need for nurses in New York surge in response to the COVID-19 crisis. He asked his boss if he could head east and help on the front lines. His education from Stanislaus State made it possible for him to help New York City in its time of need.

Heroes for Our Times
where-the-jobs-are.aspx
  
7/8/2020 11:57 AMRamos, Paulo6/29/20206/29/2020 3:55 PMBy working with local industries, CSU campuses are ensuring their graduates are ready to enter careers and drive innovation in these regional sectors.Story

Career Fast Track: Preparing Graduates for the Job Next Door

By working with local industries, CSU campuses are ensuring their graduates are ready to enter careers and drive innovation in these regional sectors.

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While the COVID-19 pandemic may have taken a toll on California’s (and the world’s) economy, the state is taking cautious steps to gradually reopen and recover, allowing many people to head back to work and employers to begin hiring again.

Time and again, California has recovered from economic challenges like those it faces now. Globally, the state continues to be celebrated for its strong, diverse industries—​from wine and technology in the north to tourism and agriculture in the south. As a key part of this resilient California spirit, the CSU continues to prepare students for success in their careers. In fact, one out of every ​​10 employees in the Golden State is a CSU graduate.

Take a look at five major California industries and discover the ways the CSU is educating students to work in those fields even as it drives innovation and change in them.

Career Fast Track: Preparing Graduates for the Job Next Door
faculty-development-virtual-fall2020.aspx
  
6/30/2020 10:01 AMKelly, Hazel6/29/20206/29/2020 9:10 AMThousands of CSU faculty members are engaging in professional development over the summer and fall to provide vibrant and high-quality virtual learning experiences for students.FacultyStory

​​​On May 12, 2020, California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White shared information that would shape higher education across the state: To safeguard the health and safety of the CSU's 482,000 students, 53,000 employees and countless visitors, the great majority of instruction would be delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term.

In preparation for vibrant virtual fall learning, faculty across the CSU's 23 campuses are engaging in a variety of professional development programs to strengthen their online instruction skills and build a community of fellow faculty learners.

“The campus faculty development and academic technology directors have been working at lightning speed since March, and they will continue to reach an unprecedented number of faculty with professional learning throughout the summer and into the academic year," says Emily Magruder, Ph.D., director of the CSU Institute for Teaching & Learning. “There is incredible motivation to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and to do it equitably."

The Academic Technology Services department at the CSU Chancellor's Office has also been ramping up its university-wide Quality Assurance (QA) workshops—and will have trained approximately 2,200 faculty members in virtual instruction best practices by the end of the summer. The CSU has offered the QA workshops year-round since 2014, but greatly expanded its course sections—beginning in April—to meet the growing need for faculty development in areas of virtual instruction.

“This summer we are training more than eight times the faculty that we would in a normal summer, so we are meeting a critical need," says Ashley Skylar, Ph.D., QA Blended-Online program manager at the CSU Chancellor's Office. She adds that the workshops—typically $50 per course—have been offered at no cost to faculty since April.

Faculty new to virtual teaching and learning are able to learn best practices and instructional design principles for engaging students in active learning in online courses. All QA workshops are taught by certified CSU facilitators who are faculty and instructional designers with extensive experience and training in teaching and evaluating online courses.

The most popular course introduces faculty to online teaching using the Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) instrument developed within the CSU in 2012. Faculty who complete the course can deepen their learning in a subsequent course focused on using the QLT instrument to review and improve hybrid and online courses. Faculty can also complete trainings based on the Quality Matters (QM) rubric. In addition, the QA Professional Learning Community offers a large repository of online learning examples from which faculty can explore and use to inform their own course development.​

instructor working from homw with child in background

Photo Credit: Jason Halley/Chico State 

Innovative ways to approach virtual instruction at the CSU is not necessarily a new focus, as the Lab Innovations with Technology (LIT) initiative has supported cohorts of faculty to develop new, flexible web-based labs for STEM courses since the 2013-14 academic year.

​​This year's LIT cohort began in September 2019 and while many of the 12 faculty projects were impacted by disruptions from the pandemic, several faculty were able to pivot their projects and respond to the increased demand for virtual labs and online simulations.

For example, Kathleen Shea, Ed.D., assistant professor and director of nursing simulation at San Francisco State, expanded her spring 2020 LIT course redesign pilot from a single course section of 20 students to 12 sections accommodating 245 students. She re-configured the senior BSN nursing lab to include virtual patient care simulation activities that would take the place of alternative at-home assignments, creating a more robust curriculum.

Beyond the university-wide offerings led by the Chancellor's Office, CSU campuses are also offering their own faculty development opportunities over the summer, independently or in conjunction with system-led​ programs. San José State​ is offering the Teach Online Summer Certificate Program to more than 1,000 faculty, San Diego State offers three-week sessions of its Flexible Course Design Summer Institute and Sacramento State is offering its Teach ON!-line Summer Camp. Many other campuses have robust summer professional development programming, including Chico State, Fresno State, Humboldt State, Cal State LA, CSUN, Cal Poly Pomona and San Francisco State.

While the exact course of the 2020-21 academic year remains unknown, Dr. Skylar expects that as more CSU faculty complete training to develop courses for virtual instruction, they will continue to use these innovative strategies to increase engagement and active learning even after classes return to face-to-face instruction.

 

Learn more about the CSU's dedication to instructional excellence by visiting the faculty development center website for each campus. ​


​​​Additional Faculty Development Starting in the Fall 

As part of the CSU's continuous focus on quality instruction, the following new grant-supported programs are well-designed to help faculty deliver engaging online learning experiences for students. The programs themselves were designed for virtual delivery in order to reach faculty where they are.​


​ACUE Course on Effective College Teaching: Thanks to the Scaling Instructional Excellence for Student Success grant from the National Association of System Heads (NASH), eight CSU campuses (comprising of about 540 instructors) will participate in faculty development from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) to boost student achievement and close equity gaps—a core component of the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025.

In addition, some campuses will opt to offer some or all of their faculty access to ACUE's new course on effective online teaching.

Faculty who complete the program will be awarded ACUE's Certificate in Effective College Instruction, endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE).

ACUE Microcredential in Promoting Active Learning Online (s​tarting summer 2020): About 450 instructors across 10 CSU campuses have applied to take ACUE's new microcredential course this summer, Promoting Active Learning Online. The microcredential focuses pedagogical approaches to enhance student's online learning experiences. CSU faculty who teach first-year courses are encouraged to enroll. Those who complete the eight-week course will earn the microcredential, which meets partial requirements for the ACUE Certificate in Effective College Instruction.

​California Education Learning Lab: Math and STEM Learning Development: Two new university-wide grants from the California Education Learning Lab will allow for robust professional development over the next one to two years.

​​Deeper Math Learning through Metacognitive Conversation will be offered to 40 faculty members from CSU and California Community College (CCC) campuses for the 2020-21 academic year. Based on the Reading Apprenticeship instructional model, this online professional development helps instructors design text-based lessons using Open Educational Resources. Using math word problems and graphs, faculty encourage students to have conversations about the thinking process as a way to solve problems. 

Equity in STEM through Deeper Learning in Metacognitive Conversation will be offered to 200 faculty members from CSU and CCC campuses over a 2-year period, starting in fall 2020. Also based on the Reading Apprenticeship framework, this program will help faculty build knowledge about how people learn to support STEM literacy development with a focus on equity. This Learning Lab-supported program has a special focus on developing faculty as institutional change agents, such as leading professional learning workshops on their campus, and facilitating courageous conversations with colleagues around equity and culturally responsive pedagogies in STEM. 




man sitting on couch while video conferencing
CSU Faculty Continue to Enhance Virtual Instruction
Focus-on-Financial-Aid.aspx
  
7/8/2020 3:30 PMSua, Ricky6/22/20206/22/2020 2:45 PMWhile COVID-19 has led to economic uncertainty, the CSU provides multiple financial aid options to help students reach their higher education dreams.Financial AidStory

Eye on the Prize: Never Stop Persisting 

COVID-19 may have fostered economic uncertainty, but the CSU is still providing myriad financial aid options to help students reach their academic goals.

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“A gap year easily could become a lifelong missed opportunity.” –​ Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., President of San Francisco State University


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many future plans. Pursuing a college degree shouldn't be one of them. In fact, history shows that an economic downturn may be the perfect time to pursue higher education.

After the Great Recession ended, more than 95 percent of new jobs went to workers with a college education, while those with a high school diploma or less were left behind, according to "America's Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots," a report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

“This is not the time to pause or decline an opportunity to attend a four-year university," Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., president of San Francisco State University, recently wrote in an op-ed piece for the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is the moment to persist, to take that very important first step to a degree that promises upward mobility for students, for their families and for their communities.

“College degree holders earn approximately $1 million more over their lifetime, are 24 times more likely to be employed and contribute many thousands more dollars to their local economies than those with only high school degrees. Weigh this against the cost of attendance at a California State University."

But what about those who think they can't afford it, especially given the current circumstances? The CSU offers multiple avenues for financial assistance that include grants, loans, scholarships, fellowships, veterans' aid and work study. In general, CSU undergraduate students who qualify for financial aid will not have to pay the university's tuition fees if their family's total income is less than $70,000. 

In the recent 2018-19 school year, 83 percent of CSU undergraduate students received some form of financial aid, according to Dean Kulju, director of student financial aid services and programs at the CSU Chancellor's Office. More than 349,000 students received a total of nearly $4 billion in assistance. In addition, nearly $2.8 billion was awarded in the form of grants, scholarships or waivers, which also fully covered university-defined tuition for 59 percent of all CSU undergraduate students.

LOW TUITION, LOW DEBT

Average Student Loan Debt of Baccalaureate Recipients

While not all CSU students may be eligible for grants, campuses also construct financial aid packages with work study and loans to meet college expenses.

  • CSU students receive more than half of their financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships and waivers (that do not require repayment).
  • More than half of the CSU students who earn bachelor’s degrees graduate with zero education loan debt.
  • Of the CSU students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2017-18, 48% assumed loan debt as compared to the national average of 65%*.
  • The average student loan debt for CSU bachelor’s degree is $17,367​20 percent below statewide average and 40% less than the national average.

*Source: The Project on Student Debt "Student Debt and the Class of 2018," 2019.

Average Student Loan Debt of Baccalaureate Recipients

“There's also a process for families to get assistance who've had a change in income or loss of job due to COVID-19," Kulju says. “Students should go to their campus website for instructions and fill out a request for a re-evaluation based on their change in financial circumstances.

“It would be shortsighted to panic and say, 'I'm not going to go to school,'" Kulju continues. “And then where are you four years from now?"

We spoke with four CSU alumni who received financial aid to get their take on how earning a college degree forever changed their lives.

AVIS ATKINS

Photo of Avis Atkins

AVIS ATKINS

Campus: California State University, Long Beach
Major: B.A., Psychology, Sociology and Human Development
Year graduated: 2011
Financial aid received: Pell Grant, Cal Grant, Long Beach Rotary Scholarship 
Current position: Senior strategic financial analyst at Google

How did financial aid contribute to your student success? Financial aid was the key to my success at CSULB. Although I worked while in school, receiving financial aid allowed me to work fewer hours and focus on my studies and extracurricular activities. Without it, I would not have been able to take the challenging courses that prepared me for graduate education at Harvard University.

How did earning a college degree affect your social mobility? Earning a college degree changed my life's trajectory. My mother was a homemaker and my father worked as a tour bus driver for many years. Neither one of my parents had a college education. However, both of them pushed me to excel in my studies, and through the Long Beach Promise, I was able to attend CSULB. After being the first in my immediate family to receive a degree, I obtained my master's in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I worked a few years in finance in New York and this year I will be graduating from Harvard Business School. There is absolutely no way I would be on this path without obtaining my degree from CSULB.

How would your life be different without a college degree? I do not want to imagine my life without a college degree. Without one, I would not have been able to work in New York, attend Harvard University or work at Google.

What advice do you have for those who are questioning attending college? I was in your shoes. As a first-generation college student with working-class parents, my family did not have any money saved for my education. I had to fund my college degree with my own money. I even took out some loans. But investing in myself by attending college was the absolute best decision I have made in my life. My college degree introduced me to both personal and professional opportunities that have allowed me to accelerate my career and personal development. If you are on the fence about whether or not to attend college, please go! I haven't regretted this decision.


VINCENT MARSALA

Photo of Vincent Marsala Photo taken in January 2020 by ​
Tom Zas​adzinski

VINCENT MARSALA

Campus: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Major: B.S., Civil Engineering
Year graduated: 2017
Financial aid received: Scholarships
Current position: Superintendent at Turner Construction Company, which is managing the construction of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers

How did financial aid contribute to your student success? After serving in the Marine Corps, I was utilizing the GI Bill for the first few years. I expended all benefits with a year of school remaining, so I began growing debt with student loans. I worked almost full-time and became overwhelmed with having to commute from my place in Long Beach to work in Downtown L.A. and then to campus in Pomona. I was starting to earn poor grades and fall behind. Desperate for help, I went into the Veterans Resource Center on campus to see what benefits were available to me. I immediately connected with the other veterans in the room and felt the camaraderie and friendships I had been longing for. The Veterans Resource Center provided me with scholarship opportunities, a job on campus, free printing and snacks. Being able to get involved on campus and move closer took away all those other distractions, and I was able to apply that time to my education. I immediately saw results and improved my GPA tremendously. It made me want to continue school rather than getting that feeling of, 'Ah, I'm never going to finish, and it's just impossible.' It really reignited my fire to complete the rest of my degree.

How did earning a college degree affect your social mobility? Well, since graduating and starting my career, I have been able to purchase a brand-new home and truck​. I love what I do each and every day. I'm able to be part of a monumental project that's known worldwide. This site will host the Olympics and the Super Bowl. It helped me evolve socially as well as educationally. It gave me experience in real time and helped me build relationships with people involved in the industry. Going to college and receiving a degree with a construction background directly applies to my work in the field. Being able to experience it firsthand put me well above people who don't get that hands-on experience through the university.

How would your life be different without a college degree? Without finishing my degree, I'd either be struggling and figuring out what I want to do or pursuing a hands-on trade. I've always been driven, but by finishing my degree and being able to immediately apply it, I was able to find a love and passion for what I do.

What advice do you have for those who are questioning attending college? With anything, you have a risk and a benefit. You have to take risks to receive benefits. The benefit of a degree far outweighs the cost of the education, especially in the Cal State system. You're able to make an income immediately out of college that allows you to repay debts, if any. There's a scholarship available for just about everyone. If you don't view the CSU website or your specific university's website and seek those scholarship opportunities, then you're really missing out. There's so much money that goes unspent on something you might've qualified for that you didn't even know about. No matter what it takes, just finish.


VANESSA MAGER

Photo Vanessa Mager

VANESSA MAGER

Campus: California State University, San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus
Major: B.A., Business Administration with a concentration in Management
Year graduated: 2016
Financial aid received: Scholarships and Cal Grant
Current position: Management analyst for the City of Palm Desert

How did financial aid contribute to your student success? Financial aid helped me graduate on time and without any debt. As a single mom of two kids, the financial aid assistance and scholarships were the difference between me achieving my degree or postponing completion. I remember my last year at CSUSBPD, I was short $1,500 to cover the cost of books and parking and thought I would have to possibly wait another year to complete my degree. Fortunately, I was awarded a $1,500 scholarship and was able to earn my degree on time. I am extremely grateful to the individual who donated that scholarship to the campus.

How did earning a college degree affect your social mobility? Earning my college degree allowed me to be in the position I am today. The city requires a bachelor's degree, and after applying three times prior to earning a degree, I finally secured an interview and my job after graduation.

How would your life be different without a college degree? Without my degree, I don't think I would have the career I have now. Without that career, I wouldn't be able to provide for my family the way I am, especially during this time. My college degree has also inspired my daughters to pursue college when they are of age. I'm currently working with my oldest daughter, who is a junior in high school, by getting her ready to start applying for colleges and financial aid. My experiences have provided the knowledge to assist her through the process. I may have been the first in my family to earn my bachelor's degree, but I am proud to inspire my children and others to pursue higher education so I won't be the last.

What advice do you have for those who are questioning attending college? It's simply this: Don't question it, just go. If you are even considering going, then you shouldn't let the cost of education deter you from pursuing it. I understand the worries that come with affording college, but there are so many scholarships and grants available to students, the money is there. I think prospective students should explore the financial options available to them both within the CSU and elsewhere as there are a lot of organizations that provide scholarships; prospective students just need to apply themselves accordingly.


JORGE REYES SALINAS

Photo of Jorge Reyes Salinas

JORGE REYES SALINAS

Campus: California State University, Northridge
Major: B.A., Journalism; M.A., Communication Studies
Year graduated: 2015/2018
Financial aid received: My freshman year at CSUN, I did not receive any financial aid. It was right after the 2008 recession; I was very fortunate to be working full-time and paying half of my tuition and my parents paying the other half. I signed up for a campus payment plan to be able to meet the deadlines. In 2011, the California Dream Act was signed for undocumented students to receive financial assistance for college, which alleviated a lot of the financial stress I was going through at the time.
Current position: Communications Director in the California State Assembly for Assembly member Monique Limón

How did financial aid contribute to your student success? It was a huge help! I was able to work a lot less and focus more on school and extracurricular activities I wanted to be a part of. I was able to join student government, clubs that related to my major and Greek life. It was also extremely beneficial for my mental health; I finally did not have to worry about paying out of pocket and living within a tight budget.

How did earning a college degree affect your social mobility? It opened a lot of doors I did not even imagine it could. It was not only the learning inside the classroom but also learning outside of it through organizations and leadership roles. I remember contemplating dropping out and taking a year off school after my freshman year because I didn't think I would be able to afford it. If I had done that, I would've not been able to graduate at the time I did and been presented with the opportunity to be student body president and later serve as a CSU student trustee.

How would your life be different without a college degree? I don't think I would've met the great mentors and faculty I had the pleasure of building relationships with; being able to go through higher education is a privilege and a huge opportunity because of the experience an individual can make of it. The CSU is such an extensive network, not just your campus, but all 23. It is a rare time when I do not meet someone who graduated from a CSU at work events.

What advice do you have for those who are questioning attending college? These are rough times, and if the opportunity is there for the student to benefit from financial aid and scholarships, do it. The CSU is adapting to the new way of learning, and people can still be involved in organizations and networking opportunities through online platforms campuses are utilizing. Financial assistance is there, and there are many scholarships alumni create or donate to for students. It is vital for students to familiarize themselves with the resources the campus has and talk with a financial aid counselor or someone on campus who has gone through the process of applying for financial aid and scholarships.


To explore various financial assistance options at the CSU, visit the financial aid site.

​​
Focus on Financial Aid
CSU-Chancellor-Timothy-P.-White's-Statement-on-Supreme-Court-DACA-Ruling.aspx
  
6/22/2020 10:39 AMSalvador, Christianne6/18/20206/18/2020 9:50 AM"The CSU continues to urge Congress to take swift, bipartisan legislative action toward a much-needed permanent solution so that our Dreamers can continue to fulfill their human potential and strengthen our campuses, communities, state and nation.”DACAPress Release

​​​The following statement can be attributed to California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White:

“The decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to reject the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a truly outstanding and welcome outcome, especially for the nearly 700,000 DACA recipients nationwide, including thousands of students and employees of the California State University (CSU).

Some of the CSU's brightest students and most dedicated employees are Dreamers and they are found on each of our 23 campuses. They, like their peers, seek a better life for themselves and their families, and they powerfully contribute to the strength of the university and their own communities through service and leadership.

While this decision is an important victory, it does not protect the program from further challenge, nor does it provide a permanent solution to allow our Dreamers to achieve their aspirational goals. The CSU continues to urge Congress to take swift, bipartisan legislative action toward a much-needed permanent solution so that our Dreamers can continue to fulfill their human potential and strengthen our campuses, communities, state and nation."

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White's Statement on Supreme Court DACA Ruling
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6/15/2020 9:36 AMKelly, Hazel6/15/20206/15/2020 8:45 AMA look at how graduating CSU students across the state are commemorating amid the pandemic.CommencementStory

Still Worth C​elebrating!​

A look at how graduating CSU students across the state are commemorating amid the pandemic.


This spring, more than 100,000 California State University students earned degrees that will positively impact their lives and the lives of their families forever. Their accomplishments are worth celebrating! But sweeping changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic meant commencement ceremonies were unavoidably postponed. Even so, CSU students demonstrated a resilient and positive spirit, finding opportunities to celebrate their success. Here’s a look at the unique ways the 2020 graduating class of the nation’s largest four-year university honored this rite of passage and marked their personal milestones. (Also watch​ ​a congratulatory message from CSU alumni, including Chancellor Tim White.)



See many more examples of how CSU graduating seniors are marking their milestones

23 Campuses. One University.

Select a location below to see how graduates are celebrating from each of our campuses across California.

woman pushing stroller filled with ballons on a college campus Bianca Cardona pushes a stroller full of balloons on the Cal State Fullerton campus.
man with face mask wearing a graduation cap Roderick Daniels poses for a photo with his graduation cap on the Cal State Fullerton campus.
man taking photo of a college graduate
Still Worth Celebrating!
Vlad-Marinescu-Appointed-Interim-Chief-Audit-Officer.aspx
  
6/12/2020 9:43 PMSalvador, Christianne6/12/20206/12/2020 4:00 PMMarinescu will oversee the CSU’s Division of Audit and Advisory Services and assume his new role on July 1, 2020.LeadershipPress Release

​​​​Vlad Marinescu has been appointed as the California State University's (CSU) Interim Chief Audit Officer. Marinescu will oversee the CSU's Division of Audit and Advisory Services and assume his new role on July 1, 2020. The division conducts and completes independent and objective operational and compliance audits, internal control reviews, investigations and advisory services to add value and improve operations across the university.

Since 2006, Marinescu has served in a variety of roles for Mattel culminating in his most recent position as Director, Internal Audit. Marinescu has previous experience in the public sector, having served as a senior auditor for the Long Beach City Auditor's Office.

A product of the CSU, Marinescu earned a bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.



Vlad Marinescu Appointed Interim Chief Audit Officer
CSU-Police-Chiefs-Pledge-to-Implement-Recommendations-from-The-Presidents-Task-Force-on-21st-Century-Policing.aspx
  
6/12/2020 2:41 PMUhlenkamp, Michael6/12/20206/12/2020 12:15 PMRecommendations from The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing are designed to help communities and law enforcement agencies build trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime.CommunityPress Release

​​​​​The California State University (CSU) released the following statement from the Chiefs of Police of the university's 23 campus police departments:

“As police chiefs of the California State University's 23 campus police departments, we have been galvanized by the many voices across our state and nation demanding accountability, equity and justice. We have seen the tragic impact of racism and bigotry, and many in our departments have experienced it personally. We are unitedly determined to take action. 

With the vigorous support of CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and the strong endorsement of every CSU campus president, we pledge our commitment to implement the recommendations of The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, reported to President Barack Obama in May 2015. We are determined to lead by example, joining a growing number of American cities that have committed – collectively and collaboratively – to address police use-of-force policies. To that end, and effective immediately, we are prohibiting the use of the carotid control hold by all CSU police officers. Additionally, no CSU police officer will receive or participate in trainings that teach the carotid control hold.

As we implement the recommendations of the 21st Century Policing report, we re-commit ourselves and our departments to ensuring the safety, security and well-being of our students, faculty and staff on every CSU campus."


Recommendations from The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing are designed to help communities and law enforcement agencies build trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime. The recommendations are organized around six key pillars: Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Officer Wellness and Safety, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, and Training and Education.

Police chiefs from every CSU campus are actively working to address and implement the Task Force's recommendations, and will seek for ways to incorporate these concepts into the training and certification provided by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CA POST). All CSU police officers are sworn and certified by CA POST, and receive further training in de-escalating situations that might be caused by mental health or controlled substance issues. CSU officers are committed to maintaining a safe campus environment by being student-focused and community oriented. 

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

CSU Police Chiefs Pledge to Implement Recommendations from President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing
CSU-Offers-COVID-19-Courses-for-Causes.aspx
  
6/11/2020 1:50 PMSalvador, Christianne6/10/20206/10/2020 10:45 AM​In response to the pandemic and emerging workforce need, the CSU is offering free professional development courses to help California’s workforce prepare for new jobs. Online EducationStory

​​​​In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging workforce need, the California State University's Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) launched COVID-19 Courses for Causes. Select courses will be offered at no cost to support first responders, health care workers, working adults and community members.

Continuing education will be needed more than ever in this rapidly changing workforce environment."​

Courses are available for those who want to update their skills or advance their careers. Taking a course is also a way for working professionals to test out a new industry in various sectors, including business and finance, health care management, engineering and technology.

“With record-high unemployment due to the pandemic, there are many workers who will need training to transition to something new," says Sheila Thomas, Ed.D., assistant vice chancellor and PaCE dean. “These courses are also a flexible way to study new and emerging topics. Continuing education will be needed more than ever in this rapidly changing workforce environment."

Courses for Causes are fully online and cover a wide range of topics, such as basic life support, Spanish for first responders, chemical dependency, human resources, nonprofit management, contract management and crisis leadership. In addition, select CSU campuses are offering a free or reduced fee for a regular university course without university admission. 

The CSU is the leading producer of California's skilled workforce and is committed to helping the state rebuild its economy amid the coronavirus outbreak. Every year, the CSU provides more than 100,000 job​-ready graduates to populate hundreds of job fields across California.

More than 75 free courses are available across 14​ campuses for summer and fall 2020. New courses are still being added and it is advised to visit the website regularly for the most up-to-date listing. Course availability will be based on local need and demand. Visit the COVID-19 Courses for Causes​ website to apply or learn more.​

“With all that is happening in the world right now, we wanted to give back to those who give so much unselfishly," says Jennifer Patino, PaCE director at CSU Bakersfield. “The men and women that are on the frontlines working to help keep us safe and healthy deserve our thanks." 

About PaCE

The CSU's Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) program brings the resources of the CSU to the local community, as well as to regional, national and international audiences. PaCE helps advance students along the lifelong learning continuum, from academic preparation and English-language-learner programs to professional training and leisure learning.

Woman sitting in front of laptop computer
CSU Launches COVID-19 Courses for Causes
Steady-Streams.aspx
  
6/8/2020 9:14 AMSua, Ricky6/8/20206/8/2020 8:05 AMWith a mix of research and outreach, the CSU is addressing one of California's greatest challenges by securing access to safe drinking water for some of the state's most vulnerable populations.WaterStory
Dr. Jackson Webster collecting water samples at a creek.

Steady Streams: Bringing ​Safe Water to California Communities

With a mix of research and outreach, the CSU is addressing one of California's greatest challenges by securing access to safe drinking water for some of the state's most vulnerable populations.

Over the years, much attention has been given to California's drought, but less is known about the more than one million Californians in more than 300 communities who don't have access to clean drinking water.

To address this crisis, CSU faculty and students are performing community assessments, conducting research and assisting local engineering projects, often with support from Water Resources & Policy Initiatives (WRPI, see more information below​).

“Our primary focus right now for external funding is working with underserved and disadvantaged communities to help them get access to clean and safe drinking water," says WRPI Executive Director Boykin Witherspoon.

Take a look at some of the CSU's ongoing work.

Fire and Water

The 2018 Camp Fire burned more than 150,000 acres and 18,000 buildings, leaving behind ash, melted plastic and debris that winter rains then sent into the region's lakes, rivers, creeks and watershed.

“Just about anything you can imagine can come out of a burned urban area," says Jackson Webster, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering at California State University, Chico (shown above). “There's all kinds of potential for all of those things to mobilize into surface water and be transported through the watershed to downstream users or just into the ecosystem."

Burned cars in a wooded area.

Town of Paradise, which was burned by the 2018 Camp Fire.

With a National Science Foundation grant, Dr. Webster and his project partner Sandrine Matiasek, Ph.D., assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences at Chico State, are determining the effects of the conflagration on the a​​rea's watersheds by collecting and testing samples from the five that were affected.

While analysis of the samples has shown fluctuation in the levels of pollutants in the water, it has also shown that most are getting caught in sediment around the waterways.

“Some of the combustion products are carcinogenic and others are heavy metals, which are known toxins," says Dr. Matiasek. “When these contaminants are present in sediment, there are a lot of questions as to whether the contaminants are going to remobilize and move farther downstream in the watershed when sediment gets picked up by runoff, as well as the long-term exposure to not only humans but fish and the aquatic food web."

As the team dives into its test results, new questions and potential research continue to emerge, like which contaminants are the direct result of the fire and how will they impact wildlife, the ecosystem and ultimately humans. “The relevance of this work is there's really a lack of knowledge of the water quality impacts of urban fires," Matiasek continues.

Two female students collecting water samples.

A Chico State student and a Northwestern University student testing water samples in June 2019.

With University of California, Davis, they have already started testing how contaminants affect the development and survival of Chinook salmon hatchlings in Butte Creek, which drains Paradise—one of the main towns devastated by the Camp Fire.

But perhaps most pressing is the potential health risks to humans, research for which the team is still seeking funding. For example, the drinking water in shallow private wells could be contaminated by polluted surface water while people who swim in the creeks could also come into direct contact with the contaminants. In addition, the region's waterways feed into lakes that provide water for agriculture in Southern California and the Central Valley.

“Hopefully what we learn from all of this are lessons that can be translated if this should happen again," Webster says. “And as we've seen these fires increase in occurrence over the past few years, I think it's a fair bet, unfortunately, this is going to happen again."

Map It Out

To ensure California residents have access to safe water, the state provides funds to disadvantaged communities in need of repairs and improvements to their water infrastructure, also called technical assistance. However, many of these communities don't know how to qualify or apply for this funding, and the state has no objective way to prioritize the applications it receives.

Enter California State University, Northridge's team at the Center for Geospatial Science and Technology: Director Danielle Bram, Project Manager Joel Osuna, Associate Director and Associate Professor Regan Maas, Ph.D. and Associate Professor Soheil Boroushaki, Ph.D.

“The idea is that the state would identify certain communities who are most in need of assistance to help with different needs related to water," Bram says. “And that could be access to drinking water, access to clean water for recreation or developing better stormwater infrastructure for safety."

“Before the state even gets to the point of being able to provide technical assistance, we have to better identify the communities who really need that assistance and are most qualified to receive that assistance," she continues.

With WRPI's California Department of Water Resources funding, the team began a four-phase project to help underserved communities in Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties get the technical assistance they need. The first phase is better identifying the disadvantaged communities who qualify for assistance based on variables like residents' income, age and language using GIS, a geographic data mapping and modeling tool.

A group of people gathered around posters at an outdoor event.

January 2020 community event in Ventura to inform local residents about their water supply.

The second phase, which the team is currently in, involves ​developing a toolkit with community planning and design firm PlaceWorks and doing outreach with nonprofit partners to inform these communities about their water providers, water sources and how to qualify and advocate for the state resources.

“Although you'd think they would know quite a bit of information about the area they're living in with regards to water, there is either a lot of misinformation or just missing information," Bram says.

Next, the communities submit project proposals and funding applications for the state to review. To facilitate this step, the CSUN team is developing a multi-criteria decision analysis tool that helps the state prioritize applications based on factors like location, cost, support needed and the community's ability to maintain the project.

“The model will help to more objectively rank these projects," Bram explains. “So, the stakeholders who ultimately make the decisions about which communities get the aid can have a tool that helps them identify in a more data-driven way which communities and projects should be offered the technical assistance."

Lastly, after the technical assistance projects have been identified and funded, WRPI can get other CSU teams involved in the work, with CSUN providing GIS or data support.

Come Together

In the rural county outside the city of Fresno, children attend a local elementary school that acts as its own independent water supplier, relying on a single water source that the school monitors to provide water for sinks and drinking fountains. But its water source is contaminated by TCP, a toxic chemical in pesticides, and it's too expensive for the school to fix the problem itself.

The school is just one of about 35 disadvantaged communities around Fresno that act as their own water suppliers and are similarly at risk. Focusing on 12 high-priority communities—a mix of elementary schools and healthcare facilities, including urgent care, Alzheimer's care and elderly care centers—a team from California State University, Fresno is developing a plan to connect them with Fresno's water system, ensuring reliable access to clean water.

“They're a power failure away, they're a contamination away, they're a failed well away from being out of service and out of compliance with drinking water regulations," says Thomas C. Esqueda, Fresno State's associate vice president for water and sustainability.

The main issues with these independent systems are they are permitted to rely on only one water source, instead of two like city water systems, and are often chronically noncompliant with state standards because they cannot afford to make necessary improvements.

With the implementation of the university's plan, these communities will “be connected to the city, so they'll have reliability, redundancy and backup supplies," explains Esqueda, who is also the executive director of the California Water Institute.

Thomas C. Esqueda and five students working around a table.

Fresno State student team and Thomas C. Esqueda working at the California Water Institute office during the fall 2019 semester.

“Their life will fundamentally change in terms of their water, and really what that means is peace of mind," he continues. For schools and healthcare facilities, “[supplying water] is not their core mission, so the benefit of consolidating with the city is that they can focus on their core mission and not have to worry about and deal with these ancillary things."

With State Water Resources Control Board funds and WRPI support, students carried out much of the work as part of a classroom project—reviewing site data, inspecting the facilities, developing two consolidation solutions per site, preparing cost estimates and finalizing the report submitted to the state. In addition, this multidisciplinary project included students studying GIS, civil engineering, construction management and business.

After the team submits the final proposal, which lays out the step-by-step process, the state will be responsible for implementation.

To see and share more ways the CSU serves California, use #CSUforCA​.

What is Water Resources & Policy Initiatives?

With internal and external funding, Water Resources & Policy Initiatives (WRPI) supports the work of CSU experts seeking solutions to the many water issues affecting California. From engineering-based technical assistance to community assessments, WRPI brings in campus teams to complete the work.​​

A key element of WRPI's structure is its requirement that experts include students in the work to provide hands-on learning experiences.

“The students are coming from the types of communities we're working with," Witherspoon explains. “So, the idea of empowering a student to go back into, maybe not their community, but a similar community to provide these kinds of services is really powerful. There's a workforce development part, but then they also develop an understanding and even an empathy for the conditions a​nd needs of these communities."

Explore water-related degrees and courses, from agriculture and geology to engineering.

Steady Streams: Bringing Safe Water to California Communities
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8/3/20208/3/2020 2:00 PMAs higher education pivots to online instruction, the CSU leads the way in exploring and implementing innovative new approaches to teaching, learning and engagement ... all with an eye on student success.Online EducationStory
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