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Joseph-I-Castro-Appointed-Eighth-CSU-Chancellor.aspx
  
9/23/2020 12:46 PMSalvador, Christianne9/23/20209/23/2020 9:05 AMFirst-ever California native and Mexican American appointed to lead nation’s largest public universityChancellorPress Release

Th​e California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., to serve as the eighth chancellor of the California State University. Castro has served as the eighth president of California State University, Fresno since 2013. He is the first California native and first Mexican American to be appointed to oversee the 23-campus university. Castro will succeed Timothy P. White who is retiring after leading the university since late 2012.​

“The California State University provides unprecedented and transformational opportunities for students from all backgrounds to earn a high-quality college degree and to better their families, their communities and the industries in which they become leaders. There is no other institution that makes this great of an impact on the entire state – the CSU is key to a growing and thriving California," said Castro. “I am truly grateful for and excited about this unique and wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and presidents of the 23 campuses as well the Board of Trustees and executives and staff at the Chancellor's Office to further increase achievement for our 482,000 students."

As president of Fresno State, Castro led the university to become a national leader in recruiting, supporting and graduating students from diverse backgrounds. Fresno State is routinely among the top public colleges in rankings issued by Washington Monthly, U.S. News and World Report and Money Magazine for its efforts to enhance student achievement as measured by graduation rates and social mobility. Castro is a respected scholar in the fields of higher education leadership and public policy and has mentored many other university presidents and other senior officers across the nation over the course of his career.

“Dr. Castro is a passionate and effective advocate for his students, his campus and the CSU – in his local community, in Sacramento and in Washington, DC.," said Lillian Kimbell, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “Above all, he is a leader who inspires greatness in students, faculty and in the broader community. He is the right leader for the California State University in our current circumstance and for our future."

Prior to joining Fresno State, Castro served for 23 years in the University of California (UC) system, holding a variety of leadership positions culminating in roles of Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Castro was born in California's San Joaquin Valley (Hanford). He is the grandson of immigrants from Mexico, son of a single mother and the first in his family to graduate from a university. He received his bachelor's in political science and a master's in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford University. Castro has been recognized with alumni excellence awards from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

Castro and his wife, Mary, have three children (Isaac, Lauren and Jess). He will begin his duties as Chancellor on January 4, 2021. Following consultation with stakeholders at Fresno State and with the board chair, Chancellor White will soon announce an interim appointment who will serve as campus president beginning early next year. The Board of Trustees anticipates launching a national search in the new year for Castro's successor.​

# # #

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 125,000 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.

Joseph I. Castro Appointed Eighth CSU Chancellor
2020-Trustees-Scholars.aspx
  
9/21/2020 11:18 AMRuble, Alisia9/17/20209/17/2020 1:40 PMThe California State University presents the 2020 Trustees’ Awards for Outstanding Achievement. Student SuccessPress Release

​​​​The California State University will honor 23 students (one from each CSU campus) who have been selected to receive the 2020 Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement. The students will be recognized during a ceremony as part of the CSU Board of Trustees virtual meeting on September 22, which will feature a compilation of self-made videos from each scholar.

As the CSU's highest recognition of student achievement, the awards provide donor-funded scholarships to students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. Students receiving the awards have demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success and many are the first in their families to attend college.

“These diverse and distinguished students wonderfully exemplify the CSU's core values of academic achievement and service to the community,“ said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “All of these scholars have overcome unique challenges on their educational journeys, and their stories have left an indelible positive impact on their families, communities and the state of California."

More than 380 students have been honored with the Trustees' Award since the scholarship program was established in 1984 by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In 1999, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees, CSU Foundation Board of Governors, and private donors. Each student scholarship bears the name of a donor.

Additionally, Ali C. Razi, a CSU Trustee Emeritus and member of the CSU Foundation Board of Governors, endows a scholarship fund to recognize the top CSU Trustees' Award recipient annually. Chico State Student Breanna Holbert was named this year's Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar and will receive a $15,000 scholarship. 

Visit the CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement website for bios on all 23 scholars as well as donor information.


The 2020 CSU Trustees' Scholars are:

  • Jobelle Abellera, San José State
    Trustee Emeritus William Hauck and Padget Kaiser Scholar
  • Thayara Almeida, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
    Trustee Jack McGrory Scholar
  • ​Jose Alvarez, Fresno State
    Trustee Emeritus Peter Mehas Scholar
  • ​Therese Azevedo, Sonoma State
    Stauffer Foundation Scholar
  • ​Allison Cheatwood, CSU Bakersfield
    Ron and Mitzi Barhorst Scholar
  • ​Robin Fredeking, Stanislaus State
    Santé Health System Scholar
  • ​Skye Harris, CSU Dominguez Hills
    Edison International Scholar
  • Breanna Holbert, Chico State
    Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar
  • ​Mahdi (Aiden) Jahami, Sacramento State
    Wells Fargo Scholar
  • Julia Jones, Humboldt State
    William Randolph Hearst Scholar
  • Anthony Lawson, CSUN
    Chancellor Emeritus Charles B. and Catherine Reed Scholar
  • Yuri Madenokoji, San Francisco State
    SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Scholar
  • Jayden Maree, Cal State Long Beach
    Relyea Family Scholar
  • Celeste Morales, Cal State East Bay
    Chancellor Timothy P. White Scholar
  • Kayla Nguyen, CSU San Marcos
    Trustee Emerita Claudia H. Hampton Scholar
  • Christopher Ornelas, Cal Poly Pomona
    TELACU Scholar
  • Nora Ortega, Cal State San Bernardino
    Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Scholar
  • Deva Reign, San Diego State
    Trustee Emeritus Murray L. Galinson Scholar
  • Patricio Ruano, CSU Channel Islands
    Trustee Emeritus Kenneth Fong Scholar
  • Natalie So, Cal Maritime
    William Randolph Hearst Scholar
  • ​Lessly Tapia Torres, Cal State LA
    Michael A. and Debe Lucki Scholar
  • An Thien Le, Cal State Fullerton
    Trustee Wenda Fong and Daniel Fetterly Scholar​
  • María Zapata, CSU Monterey Bay
    ​William Randolph Hearst Scholar​

# # #

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.​



college student
CSU Honors 23 Outstanding Student Scholars
CSU-Ranks-High-for-Value-and-Upward-Mobility.aspx
  
9/18/2020 8:55 AMSalvador, Christianne9/15/20209/15/2020 9:00 AMNational rankings highlight the transformative power of a CSU degree to improve students’ lives.Social MobilityStory
​​​​​​​The California State University is frequently recognized for providing a high-quality education at an unequaled value, opening doors to educational opportunities for all Californians. Several recent national college rankings reinforce the power of a CSU degree to change the trajectory of students’ lives forever. 

Washington Monthly included all 23 CSU campuses in the top three-quarters of the “Best Bang for the Buck" colleges in the West, ranking Stanislaus No. 1 for value. Los Angeles (3), San Bernardino (5), Northridge (6), Bakersfield (9) and Long Beach (10) also ranked in the top 10.
​​
Nineteen CSU campuses were ranked in the Washington Monthly’s top master's institutions, with San Bernardino (3), Stanislaus (9) and Los Angeles (10) in the top 10. Fresno and San Diego were among the publication’s top national institutions—four-year schools that award a significant number of doctoral degrees—and Cal Maritime was ranked No. 7 out of 248 of schools that almost exclusively award bachelor's degrees

Washington Monthly says it ranks colleges “based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and promoting public service,” and how much they help non-wealthy students obtain marketable degrees at affordable prices. The CSU’s high rankings are a testament to the university’s success in educating more economically disadvantaged students at lower tuition and graduating them into well-paying jobs. 

Nearly all 23 campuses ranked in the top third of Money Magazine’s list of the “Best Colleges in America” and more than half of them were included in Money’s sub- ranking of the 50 “Most Transformative Colleges,” with San José earning the top spot in the nation. Stanislaus (5), Northridge (6), Fresno (7), Sacramento (9) and Pomona (10) also landed in the top 10. In addition, CSU campuses made up nearly one-quarter of Money’s list of the “Best Public Colleges” in the country. 

In U.S. News & World Report's 2021 "Best Colleges" rankings, CSU campuses dominated the list of the "Top Performers on Social Mobility​" among regional universities in the West, with Long Beach (2), San José​ (3), Pomona (5-tie), Monterey Bay (5-tie), Stanislaus (7), and Fullerton (9) in the top 10. The pulication also recognized CSU among the top public schools in the West, listing San Luis Obispo at No. 1 among regional universities and Cal Maritime at No. 2 among regional colleges.

Business Insider compiled its own list of the nation’s 24 colleges with the best return on investment this year, based on tuition figures and alumni earnings, and included Los Angeles (12), Dominguez Hills (14), Bakersfield (18) and Stanislaus (22). Most of the universities included were public schools like the CSU, which typically accept more first-generation students from underserved communities and propel them into higher economic strata following graduation. In fact, nearly one-third of all CSU undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college.

The added value of a college degree was a key factor in the rankings results as each of them stressed the importance of earning a degree that promises upward mobility in a time of uncertain economic outcomes. A recent study from Georgetown University found that, on average, college graduates bring in $1 million more in earnings over their lifetime and a study by the Pew Research Center found that the median yearly income gap between high school and college graduates is around $17,500. This is especially important as the state, and the nation, face a probable economic downturn due to the pandemic. 

At $5,742 a year, the CSU represents the best value of all comparable institutions and sets aside one-third of new revenue from tuition fees to assist economically disadvantaged students. The combination of affordability and robust financial aid enables the university to provide all Californians with opportunities to pursue a high-quality education. Over 60% of all undergraduates have their tuition fully covered by grants and waivers and, in general, CSU students don’t pay tuition if their family’s total income is less than $70,000.

​Additionally, CSU students graduate with far less debt than their peers. More than half of students who earn bachelor’s degrees from the university graduate with zero education loan debt, and for those who do, the average amount is about $17,000—nearly a quarter less than the statewide average an​d 40% less than the national average.

CSU students are also earning degrees at a higher rate than ever before thanks to the university’s Graduation Initiative 2025​, which has improved completion rates for all students, resulting in record numbers of graduates entering the workforce each year. Improving time to degree also means students spend less time in college, saving money and advancing their careers sooner.

These rankings represent just the latest round of national acclaim for CSU’s value, academic excellence and contributions to the public good. View more accolades on our "Best Of" page.
CSU Ranks High for Value and Upward Mobility
CSU-Campuses-to-Continue-with-Predominantly-Virtual-Instruction-for-Academic-Terms-Beginning-in-January-2021.aspx
  
9/10/2020 5:24 PMSalvador, Christianne9/10/20209/10/2020 2:40 PMAll 23 CSU campuses will continue with coursework primarily delivered virtually, announced Chancellor White.ChancellorPress Release

​​​​​​For the academic term beginning January 2021, all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will continue with coursework primarily delivered virtually, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White announced in a message to the university community today.

“After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors – regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations – I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing," said White. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time. And it is the only one that supports our twin North Stars of safeguarding the health, safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and communities, as well as enabling degree progression for the largest number of students."​

The desire to give students and their families appropriate time to plan, the need to publish and promote course offerings in campus academic plans, and accreditation requirements for courses delivered virtually were cited by White as three primary reasons for the timing for the announcement.

In the coming weeks, campuses will publish their lists of course offerings allowing students to select courses and then campuses can appropriately allocate resources to meet student demand.

Additionally, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, the accrediting body for all CSU campuses, requires each campus to seek authorization for courses currently approved for on-site instruction to be offered in distance learning modalities. In order to meet this requirement, campuses will need to commit to their January academic schedules in September and October. The requirement was temporarily waived by the Department of Education for fall 2020; however, the waiver will expire at the end of December and will not be renewed.  

All CSU campuses crafted detailed plans to address repopulation for the fall term and will continue to follow the protocols established in these plans for the academic terms beginning in January 2021. This will allow the flexibility to potentially offer additional in-person coursework should the situation in the campus' respective region warrant that or, conversely, to further limit such offerings as needed. Campus plans vary depending on factors such student enrollment, programmatic offerings and facilities and comport with local, state and federal guidance.

Campuses will develop and communicate their commencement plans during the course of the academic term beginning in January.

# # #

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 Campuses to Continue with Predominantly Virtual Instruction for Academic Terms Beginning in January 2021
4-Ways-Academic-Advisors-are-Helping-Students-Succeed-Online.aspx
  
9/18/2020 8:35 AMSalvador, Christianne9/10/20209/10/2020 11:40 AMWith the pivot to virtual instruction, CSU's advisors are implementing better ways to assist students and ensure they succeed online.Student SuccessStory

​​​​​Academic advisors across the CSU are reimagining the way they serve students, giving literal meaning to the mantra ​“meeting students where they are."

While the pivot to virtual instruction has brought many changes to campuses, the CSU's advisors are viewing this critical moment as an opportunity to implement better ways to assist students and ensure they succeed in the digital learning environment.

“All students will be obtaining information online and for many of them, this is new," says Maria Grandone, Ph.D., director of the University Advisement Center at CSU Dominguez Hills. “Advisors are maximizing the technologies at their disposal so all students are supported and have the resources they need to excel."

Read on to learn four ways CSU advisors are helping students make the most of their online college experience at campuses across the state:

​​1. Virtual orientations

“The switch to online format has made freshman orientations less overwhelming and better tailored to meet each students' needs," says Grandone.  ​

Traditionally held as one or two days of back-to-back sessions, new student orientations are packed with information and students might not retain all of the information they receive. “This summer, orientations were held online and the videos are resonating with students because they have the option to revisit them at a later time," explains Grandone. One-pagers about​ campus resources and quick tips on study skills are also available in easy-to-digest documents for access throughout the semester.

Parents were able to participate in orientations as well. At campuses such as CSU Dominguez Hills and Humboldt State (HSU), orientations were offered in English and Spanish, making it accessible for many families of first-generation students.

One key aspect of orientations—the initial meeting with an advisor to register for classes—has become more personalized in the virtual space. “At CSU Channel Islands, students received materials to review along with a list of recommended courses before orientation day to prepare them for a productive one-on-one session with their advisor, similar to the flipped classroom approach," says Ernesto Guerrero, Ed.D., director of Academic Advising at CSUCI. “Students attended the meeting ready to discuss any questions for their advisors before proceeding to register for classes." ​

2. Embedding online learning tutorials into first-year courses

While some students may have started the fall semester with years of online learning experience, others required familiarization with processes and expectations. Many CSU campuses are supporting students' transition through programs like HSU's eLearning 101, a self-paced tutorial embedded in first-year courses.

Offered throughout the semester in a series of​ modules to prepare students for self-directed learning, topics include time management and how to engage in meaningful virtual discussions. Since the modules are taken as part of a course, completing them won't hinder students' time to degree.​

Originally developed at HSU in 2016, the eLearning 101 framework is particularly important for students from historically marginalized populations with limited experience in using certain software and the internet. It was adopted by several CSU campuses, including Cal State Long Beach and Cal State San Bernardino, and also inspired similar programs at other universities including University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Arizona.​

3. Identifying students' needs through analytical platforms

Advisors are using strategic platforms to proactively identify the needs of students and send them direct messages. Most CSU campuses are employing the EAB Campus platform to use data analytics to closely observe student groups based on attributes such as high school test scores and majors. Students who may be in need of additional advising are flagged, allowing advisors to contact them through email or text. The platform can also run campaigns targeted at specific student groups.​

Another platform, You@College, supports student well-being in and out of the classroom. As part of the CSU's Basic Needs Initiative, the platform provides curated content from behavioral health, student life and higher education experts to support student mental and physical health and safety. You@College is especially helpful during the global health crisis caused by COVID-19.

4. Flexible office hours

Working remotely allows advisors to adjust their work hours beyond the regular 8 to 5. Advisors are more accessible than before, greatly benefitting students who are working full-time jobs or have limited availability. Many advisors are taking appointments as early as 7 a.m. to as late as 7 p.m., based on students' needs.​


As part of Graduation Initiative 2025, CSU faculty and staff remain committed to increasing graduation rates and eliminating equity gaps in degree completion, especially during this time of uncertainty. University advisors will continue to explore new ways of implementing technology into their practices to ensure that every student succeeds.

CSUDH library during sunset
4 Ways Academic Advisors are Helping Students Succeed Online
seasons-change.aspx
  
9/15/2020 10:37 AMMcCarthy, Michelle9/8/20209/8/2020 8:00 AMIt's often said the Golden State doesn't experience seasons, but true Californians know better. Here's a look at our campuses throughout the years showing off the wonders of nature.​Student SuccessStory
60 YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE: Seasons Change
60 YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Seasons Change

The advent of September brings gentle changes to California. The nights become a little cooler; the days seem a little shorter. Even as we work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, Mother Nature remains right on schedule. Some say the Golden State doesn't experience seasons, but true Californians know better. The seasons are just more subtle. Already, autumn leaves are beginning their annual transformation into bright bursts of red, yellow and orange. Here's a look at our campuses throughout the years showing off the wonders of nature.​

Fall light shines through CSUCI campus environs, 2018. 

Channel Islands​

Fall's golden light gilds CSUCI campus environs, 2018.

A birds-eye view of the 2018 Major Fair in Broome Library Plaza  

A birds-eye view of the 2018 Major Fair in Broome Library Plaza.

A birds-eye view of the 2018 Major Fair in Broome Library Plaza 
The view of the northeast face of the library, showing the outside assembly area and walkways, 1970s 

Dominguez Hills​

The view of the northeast face of the library, showing the outside assembly area and walkways, 1970s.​

Students mill on the walkway and lounge on an open field in the center of campus. Victoria Street and the surrounding industrial area are in the far background, 1970s.​  

Students mill on the walkway and lounge on an open field in the center of campus. Victoria Street and the surrounding industrial area are in the far background, 1970s.

Students mill on the walkway and lounge on an open field in the center of campus. Victoria Street and the surrounding industrial area are in the far background, 1970s. 
​Students walk past the free speech area on campus at Fresno State 

Fresno

Fresno State students take an autumn campus walk. (Photo predates COVID-19.)

Photo: Cary Edmondson

Leaves surround an opening outside the Peters Business building while students talk.  

Burnished autumn leaves surround an opening outside the Peters Business building. (Photo predates COVID-19.)

Photo: Cary Edmondson

Leaves surround an opening outside the Peters Business building while students talk. 
Students make their way around campus, 2019. 

Fullerton

Students make their way across a campus sporting autumn colors, 2019.

Campus life at Cal State Fullerton, 2019  

Campus life at Cal State Fullerton, 2019.

Campus life at Cal State Fullerton, 2019​ 
English 104 students work outside on peer paper reviews near Library Circle, 2014​​ 

Humboldt

In a bed of autumn leaves, English 104 students work on peer paper reviews near Library Circle, 2014.

Taking a break from class outside the Marketplace, 2018  

Taking a break from class outside the Marketplace, 2018.

Taking a break from class outside the Marketplace, 2018 
Arabian horses graze at a Cal Poly Pomona pasture against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, 2009. 

Pomona

Arabian horses graze at a Cal Poly Pomona pasture against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, 2009.

Student Zoe Lance walks amid fallen leaves at CPP, 2012  

Student Zoe Lance walks amid fallen leaves at CPP, 2012.

Student Zoe Lance walks amid fallen leaves at CPP, 2012 
Taking in the fall foliage, 2011 

San Diego

Taking in the fall foliage, 2011

While much of the country is pulling out its sweaters come fall, San Francisco starts getting its warmest weather of the year. That's why September through November is when you're most likely to see SFSU students sunning on the Quad. For weather that feels truly autumnal, try visiting around the beginning of "winter".  

San Francisco

While much of the country is pulling out its sweaters come fall, San Francisco starts getting its warmest weather of the year. That's why September through November is when you're most likely to see SFSU students sunning on the Quad. For weather that feels truly autumnal, try visiting around the beginning of "winter." (Photo predates COVID-19.)

While much of the country is pulling out its sweaters come fall, San Francisco starts getting its warmest weather of the year. That's why September through November is when you're most likely to see SFSU students sunning on the Quad. For weather that feels truly autumnal, try visiting around the beginning of "winter". 
Students take in the sights during an afternoon fall hike to the Cal Poly P 

San Luis Obispo

Students take in the sights during an afternoon fall hike to the Cal Poly P. (Photo predates COVID-19.)

Photo: Joe Johnston

SHARE YOUR FALL PHOTO

Do you have a great photo of the change in seasons? ​Email a JPG or TIFF to precord@calstate.edu and it wi​ll be submitted to CSU Dominguez Hills' Digital Collection Database for archiving.

60 Years of Educational Excellence: Seasons Change
reclaiming-summer-break.aspx
  
9/15/2020 10:36 AMMcCarthy, Michelle8/31/20208/31/2020 2:05 PMCSU students made their summers an opportunity to learn and serve.Student SuccessStory
​​​

Reclaiming Summer Break

CSU students made their summers an opportunity to learn and serve.

jump to main content  

For some, summer is a welcome break in the academic cycle. For many CSU students, however, summer is the perfect time for career-enhancing internships, life-enhancing service opportunities​ or knowledge-expanding research projects. While this summer posed some COVID-19-related challenges, CSU students still found ways to reclaim summer break as an opportunity to learn and serve. 

Meet some of the CSU students who used their summer to better themselves, their communities and their state. 

Kao Ger (Rose) Her

Photo of Kao Ger (Rose) Her 

Kao Ger (Rose) Her

Campus: Sacramento State University
Major/Program: Environmental Science
Year: Senior

How did you spend your summer?
My CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) internship with the California State Lands Commission's Marine Invasive Species Program involved two different projects. The larger project is a comparison of four different risk assessments to determine whether or not the current one is an accurate assessment for the vessels that arrive to California. These assessments measure the risk of a vessel discharging foreign water on the California coast, which extends out to three nautical miles, and the risk of biofouling (the accumulation of organisms on surfaces) on vessels. This is critical in protecting the California coast from nonindigenous species and harmful organisms. The second project I am working on is a COVID-19 economic impact analysis on the maritime economy. I am analyzing global data to analyze a trend in how our future economy may be affected by this pandemic.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
My goal is to work mainly with marine invasion science, so this internship was a large step into that field for me. I have always been interested in aquatic science. I started learning more about invasion science and worked on the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. However, I wanted to step into the marine environment to learn more about it. This internship has taught me so much about the maritime economy and vessels that come into California every day. I get firsthand experience with the first biofouling regulation ever in the world, enacted by the state of California, so I feel like I can really make a difference and contribute to our lovely state.

As a first-generation Hmong female, these opportunities are rare and possibly once in a lifetime. Hmong women in science are rare. I am proud to be a part of CSU COAST and will hold this experience as my first step into a world of marine science that would have been otherwise unknown.​

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
It has been an interesting experience starting an internship during COVID-19. I work on a laptop from the California State Lands Commission, so my work is entirely online. I meet regularly with my supervisor, Chris Scianni (CSULB alumnus), who is an amazing supervisor and mentor. It is challenging in that I am not able to meet and make connections with people in person. When I am working remotely, it can be hard to learn new skills because it requires a lot of communication. However, I am very lucky to have a solid and understanding supervisor like Chris who has made me feel comfortable during my time with the California State Lands Commission.


Wayne Metho

Photo of Wayne Metho 

Wayne Metho

Campus: San Francisco State University
Major/Program: International Relations 
Ye​​ar: Senior

How did you spend your summer?
I interned at the Tiba Foundation as part of the communications team, and this summer we donated soap to the hospital in Ukwala, Kenya,​ to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Following our volunteer spotlight on the soap project, I started working with our partner organization, the Matibabu Foundation Kenya (MFK), to highlight the impact of Matibabu Hospital as well as the ​Matibabu College of Health Sciences and Lifunga School for Girls on the local community. The immediate objective was to get a community member and staff from MFK to share their stories, which we plan on sharing at an annual gala next year.

In addition to this project, I worked to start a group of young professionals in the Bay Area, as well as in Kenya, to network with each other as we continue to assist communities in need.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
Through Tiba, I realized my lifelong dream of helping others. I have always been passionate about serving my community and society. Through a global lens, my international relations degree parallels the work Tiba is doing in the field of development. I hope to ultimately become a diplomat after my grad and post-grad work.

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
While interning remotely was not the easiest arrangement, I received tremendous support from the team. It was uplifting to have a great team to stay connected with even though we are apart. I was also energized by their enthusiasm to work with my colleagues in Kenya to assist others in need.


Serina Severance

Photo of Serina Severance 

Serina Severance

Campus: San Diego State University
Major/Program: Hospitality & Tourism Management, Meetings & Events
Year: Senior, summer 2020

How did you spend your summer?
I interned at the Sag Harbor Inn, a small boutique hotel in Sag Harbor, New York. For this internship, we had to take a look at the company we were working with and find a weakness or area of potential improvement. I noticed the hotel lacked brand awareness. With this information, I took it upon myself to brainstorm ideas to increase brand awareness and came up with the idea of selling promotional products. Since then, I have been designing and creating customized products that the hotel could sell by displaying them in the lobby area or by opening a gift shop. I have designed more than 20 products. The owner was very excited about the entire idea and noticed my potential and creativity, and therefore promoted me to social media and strategic marketing manager.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
I learned how to market. It is ever-changing, which makes it a challenge. However, I have applied a lot from what I've learned in my restaurant marketing class. Before you can sell a brand, you have to understand the brand and know what you're selling to the customers. You have to understand the company culture: the what, how and, especially, why. I learned how important this was when designing the products by noticing the hotel I work for lacked a distinctive company culture, which therefore makes it harder to sell the brand. Another lecture that resonated with me was on the need to set yourself apart from your competitors. Having this in mind, I wanted to create products that were unique and different from the other gift shops in Sag Harbor and would make people want to not only buy the product, but become loyal customers who believe in our brand. My short-term goal is to sell these products at the hotel physically, and my long-term goal is to sell them through social media platforms and help the hotel gain additional revenue through off-peak seasons.

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
It has been a great learning experience thus far. I never imagined I'd be promoted after taking on this project, but it really made me realize how creative I could be and how much it was appreciated by my superiors. However, I think I would have struggled doing a virtual internship at a company I had never worked with before. I was lucky to be able to do it at a company I worked with in the past because I understood the ins and outs of the company, and all the employees who work there.


Jared Smith

Photo of Jared Smith 

Jared Smith

Campus: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Major/Program: Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences with a concentration in Plant Protection
Year: Senior, summer 2020

How did you spend your summer?
While working with the team at Cal Poly's Horticulture and Crop Science Department​​ as a student assistant, we received a donation of two-inch nursery plugs from Proven Winners and grew them out into one-gallon pots, producing hundreds of plants for our customer Morro Bay in Bloom. In addition to helping with the growing, I oversaw the utilization of biological pest control for these plants.

What I enjoyed most about this experience was watching our plants arranged so meticulously to create pops of color throughout Morro Bay. I also enjoyed sharing some of my horticultural knowledge with the volunteers of the Morro Bay in Bloom group, advising them about proper planting techniques and plant maintenance.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
My studies have largely focused on the many plant pathogens, weeds and insect pests that affect California agriculture and how to respond to them responsibly and efficiently​. My involvement with this project allowed me to see every step of production, and I was able to gain invaluable experience that will help me with my future endeavors. While my future plans are not set in stone, I plan to obtain my Pest Control Advisers license and work with or in nursery operations.

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
This was a unique experience because as horticulturalists, we work with a living product. There is no taking days off or sheltering in place when it comes to being a grower. The experience of working with and giving back to the community I live and study in was particularly enriching. Definitely a summer well spent!


Jayleen Velazquez

Photo Jayleen Velazquez 

Jayleen Velazquez

Campus: California State University, Fullerton
Major/Program: Communications, Entertainment and Tourism; Minor in Cinema and Television Arts
Year: Senior

How did you spend your summer?
I interned at FanFlex, a platform that connects musicians, fans and venues, as the public relations intern. Some of my duties included creating regular newsletters, engaging music-tech bloggers to cover FanFlex on their channels, writing blog posts and helping manage social media accounts.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
I learned how to engage with bloggers and create newsletters. I'm interested in working for the music industry as well. This has shown me a glimpse of what we have to do to spread the name of our artists and company. Although public relations isn't my concentration, being well-rounded and aware of the different positions a company has is helpful. I am still unsure of what I want to do in the future. I just know I have a passion for the music industry and working for a Korean entertainment company. This internship has also shown me a glimpse of the different positions out there.

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
This was my first internship, and the experience has been amazing. At first, I was afraid since there were no meetings in person, and I didn't know what to expect. But my managers were constantly teaching us more and more on a daily basis. We had one-on-one meetings twice a week, and with that time we could ask questions to gain more knowledge about our specific job and about working in the music industry in general. When we met as a team three times a week, my managers tried bringing in music industry guest speakers. We listened to their stories and experiences, and they'd give us tips and words of wisdom. Having a great team and managers who work together definitely made my internship a fun one. Although everything is online, I still feel like I learned a lot.


Samuel Kweon

Photo Samuel Kweon 

Samuel Kweon

Campus: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Major/Program: Computer Information Systems, Information Assurance
Year: Senior

How did you spend your summer?
I started my Amazon internship virtually, then transitioned to on-site three weeks in. There were daily and weekly meetings that included executive speakers who would share insight on their experiences and knowledge about their field of expertise within the company. Another example was the networking workshop, where we would build and engage our professional network. We learned skills and best practices from networking experts at Amazon, which is a critical piece of professionalism.

I also participated in change meetings and management for the network and was assigned to a Fulfillment Center engineer team. Amazon then requested I come on site to gain experience and assist the IT engineers in Sacramento with setting up the computer networks for a new fulfillment center being launched in the area. This included everything from provisioning a switch and firmware upgrades to Cisco products to working on other projects. One project the team worked on is placing on-site game stations for associates in every fulfillment center incorporated with Amazon Robotics. This included making changes to the domain name server, utilizing Amazon's network, reporting framework to design and creating the separate network for these stations.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
I learned a lot about being a professional employee. From improving communication, refining my skills and continuing to learn about working with a team to improving my technical skills in computer networking and Linux administration, these are skills that will directly translate into my future goals of entering an evolving field. It has been very exciting, and I loved going to work each day.

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
At first, I was worried I would not be able to gain real-world experience in such an important summer before graduation. However, I found that Amazon really put a lot of time and effort into their internship program to ensure I learned my role and the company. The biggest hurdle was having to adjust and improvise. I had to be proactive in the way I communicated, which is one of the biggest skills you can learn today.


Vanessa Trissthain

Photo of Vanessa Trissthain 

Vanessa Trissthain

Campus: California State University, Los Angeles
Major/Program: Microbiology
Year: Senior

How did you spend your summer?
I work as a student professional at Cal State LA's Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, and a lot of my current tasks are related to the Institute's 2020 Census outreach initiative. I have helped with phone-banking to reach out to Cal State LA alumni living in Northeast LA, and I also texted Hard-to-Count communities to get the word out and encourage everyone to fill out the census. I am primarily focused on helping the Institute develop its social media metrics corresponding to our census activity. Another task I worked on was helping to design a graphic for our census flyers and the layout for our social media platforms, which captures the attention of our audience and continues to spread the word on the importance of the census.

What did you learn, and how did it connect to your studies or future goals?
I've learned a lot from my time at the Institute, from improving my professional persona to gaining skills I can apply in my studies and future career. I hope to become a statistician in the field of science, and various tasks I've performed at the Institute have helped me to understand data sets not just as they apply to science, but in a broader sense. While we know data plays a critical role in helping us have a better understanding of various fields, it also has an important role in making a difference in society. Take, for instance, the census. Census data is important because it determines the amount of federal funding that goes toward communities, schools, hospitals and even public works. Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see how science and public policy go hand in hand. We need funding for data and scientific research in order to make appropriate and efficient policies that might help overcome this pandemic.

How has this experience been unique in light of COVID-19?
Working from home has had its obstacles, with its own distractions and curious family members. But over time, my family has learned to accept the new normal of my working at home. Regarding our census initiative, we changed our outreach to virtual (phone, text) because of the pandemic, and it has received a positive response. People are more engaged and responsive to our texts for the census than anything else we have tried. I'm looking forward to continuing to work on this census project in the fall.

student in a garden tending to seedlings
Reclaiming Summer Break
CSU-Bakersfield-Student-Krystal-Raynes-to-Serve-On-the-CSU-Board-of-Trustees.aspx
  
9/4/2020 9:42 AMSalvador, Christianne8/28/20208/28/2020 10:25 AMGovernor Gavin Newsom appointed Krystal Mae Raynes to represent the CSU's 482,000 students.Board of TrusteesStory

​​​​​​​Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Krystal Mae Raynes to the California State University Board of Trustees on August 27, 2020. 

Raynes, 21, is a resident of Bakersfield and has been a student at CSU Bakersfield since 2018, where she has held several leadership positions for Associated Students Inc., including interim vice president of legislative affairs and vice president of university affairs.

In addition, Raynes recently served as the social justice and equity officer for the California State Student Association from 2019 to 2020, and interned at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in 2019.

Raynes will serve a two-year term on the CSU Board of Trustees – the 25-member board that adopts regulations and policies governing the CSU system. As a student trustee, Raynes will represent the CSU's 482,000 students.

CSU Bakersfield Student Krystal Raynes Appointed to the CSU Board of Trustees
Faculty-innovation-awards-2020.aspx
  
8/27/2020 11:20 AMSalvador, Christianne8/24/20208/24/2020 9:10 AMThe California State University presents the 2020 Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards (FILA) for innovative practices that improve student achievement.FacultyPress Release

​​​​​​​​​​​The California State University (CSU) is recognizing 25 faculty and staff with Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards (FILA), honoring those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership to advance student success, particularly in courses or areas with traditionally low success rates or persistent equity gaps.

In this season of remarkable institutional transformation, CSU faculty and staff are at the center of innovative thinking in redesigning courses, advancing innovative student support programs, effectively using data to address equity gaps and collaborating beyond their campus boundaries to improve student outcomes. This year's awardees, including three campus teams, are exemplary faculty and staff leaders who have implemented such innovative practices.

“The CSU's world-class faculty continue to advance bold, creative solutions to enrich student learning, despite the daunting and unprecedented challenges facing higher education," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “The awardees have demonstrated brilliance, ingenuity and adaptability, and their steadfast commitment to student success is at the very core of the CSU's educational mission."

A selection committee comprised of faculty, student representatives from the California State Student Association and staff members from the CSU Office of the Chancellor reviewed hundreds of nominations to identify the awardees.

Awardees receive $5,000, as well as $10,000 allocated to their academic department in support of ongoing innovation and leadership to advance student success at the CSU. Funding for the awards is provided by generous grant support from foundation partners.

The recipients of the 2020 Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards are:

Name Department Campus
John TarjanDepartment of Management and MarketingBakersfield
* Heather Castillo & MiRi Park Performing Arts  Channel Islands
* Susan Roll & Jennifer WilkingSchool of Social WorkChico
Cheryl McKnightAnthropologyDominguez Hills
Fadi CastronovoSchool of Engineering, Construction Management ProgramEast Bay
Archana McEligotPublic HealthFullerton
Roberto SotoMathematicsFullerton
* Matthew D. Johnson & Amy SprowlesDepartment of Wildlife ManagementHumboldt
Shadnaz AsgariBiomedical Engineering Department, Computer Engineering and Computer Science DepartmentLong Beach
James E. BradyDepartment of AnthropologyLos Angeles
Merav EfratDepartment of Health SciencesNorthridge
Patricia BackerAviation and TechnologySan Jose
Sarah DahlenLibraryMonterey Bay
B. Dana KivelRecreation, Parks and Tourism AdministrationSacramento
Kelly McDonaldDepartment of Biological SciencesSacramento
Terri NelsonWorld Languages and LiteraturesSan Bernardino
Elizabeth PollardHistorySan Diego
Jae H. PaikDevelopmental PsychologySan Francisco
Megan GuiseSchool of EducationSan Luis Obispo
Sharon Hamill Department of PsychologySan Marcos
Matthew Paolucci-CallahanDepartment of Psychology Sonoma
Cueponcaxochitl D. Moreno SandovalDepartment of Ethnic StudiesStanislaus

* Team awardees


Read bios for each awardee on the Faculty Innovation and Leadership Awards website.

Faculty innovation is crucial to reaching the ambitious student success goals outlined in the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025. This university-wide effort advances specific goals to eliminate equity gaps and significantly improve degree completion.​

college instructor standing and talking in a classroom

Dr. Jennifer Wilking, Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair of Chico State's Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, speaks to students in a multidisciplinary course. Photo courtesy of Chico State/Jason Halley​


Two woman at a table looking at laptop computer
CSU Faculty Recognized for Innovation and Furthering Student Success
leading-amid-adversity.aspx
  
9/15/2020 10:40 AMMcCarthy, Michelle8/24/20208/24/2020 8:00 AMThe CSU’s ASI presidents are poised to help students navigate uncharted territory in the time of COVID-19. Student SuccessStory

Leading amid Adversity​

The CSU’s ASI presidents are poised to help students navigate uncharted territory during COVID-19. ​


 

Benjamin Disraeli, twice prime minister of the United Kingdom in the 19th Century, wrote: "There is no education like adversity." Never has that adage been more prescient than now; the 2020-21 school year will go down in history as one of the most challenging times for the CSU community. When hardships like this year's COVID-19 pandemic arise, leaders emerge. And there are no finer examples than the CSU’s Associated Students, Incorporated, presidents. While the upcoming semester will bring new experiences and unexpected challenges, these leaders are already working for the common good and finding ways to ease their fellow students’ apprehension.

We asked some incoming ASI presidents to offer advice on how to approach the new semester and how they plan to lead.​

Zahraa Khuraibet

ZAHRAA KHURAIBET | President, Cal State Student Association

“The years ahead of us are going to be incredibly difficult; however, we will eventually return and adapt to our new normal. The path out of this crisis and to a better future is through higher education. It is critical at this time to be patient, show care to one another and, most important, reach out when you need help. There are resources available that are beyond academic support, virtual and in person. It is absolutely essential to lead with compassion and strength. Students need a firm voice that will highlight the disparities and hardships they’re experiencing. Collaboration within the CSU community is key to finding solutions and applying them to ensure the student experience remains, as it should always be, a high-quality and equitable education.” ​


CYNELLA AGHASI​

CYNELLA AGHASI​ | ​Stanislaus State​

“My advice to students who may have reservations about the school year due to the pandemic and virtual learning is that even though we cannot physically see one another right now, we are all in this together. I encourage students to be gentle with themselves and others as we flow through this transition period. At Stanislaus State, we’ve constantly been working together to make this remote learning transition smooth and safe for our students. ASI has not stopped working since we went virtual to ensure the student voice is present at the decision-making table, as well as planning virtual events to support student success.”​​


Christian J. Holt

CHRISTIAN J. HOLT​ | San Diego State

“Remember the reason why you chose to pursue higher education and do not let go of that. Many of us are here to gain access to a better life after college. This fall will bring uncertainty, but there is a lot of opportunity to implement ideas that have never been done before, build community in ways we may have never thought of and really focus on what we find important as a community. As CSU leaders, we must look at the silver linings that will come from this year and the chance to further engage students.”


LUCY YU

LUCY YU ​| Cal Poly Pomona

“I don't know if I’ve ever seen our campus community come together and be so tight-knit. Our CPP students are unique. They’re all unbelievably hard-working, passionate and dedicated—not only to their education, but to our generation. Our students are what make our campus strong enough to weather the upcoming storm. Take the leap. I know our world right now seems confusing and scary, but I promise you can still have an amazing college experience if you jump in and immerse yourself in our virtual community. Your journey is what you make of it.” ​


OMAR PRUDENCIO GONZALEZ

OMAR PRUDENCIO GONZALEZ​ | Cal State Long Beach ​

“I would advise scholars to prioritize their mental health and well-being to find the motivation to thrive this academic school year. It’s important to engage in healthy and mind-energi​zing activities such as reading something fun, working out and catching up on favorite shows and films. What makes us ready to weather this COVID-fueled storm is the character and drive of our students and staff. I’ve only been in office for a couple months, but I’ve already witnessed so many people do so much and change their entire way of doing things to make sure services continue. It’s that dedication and drive that make me t​he most confident in The Beach.”​


GRACIELA MORAN

GRACIELA MORAN | Cal State San Bernardino​

“Although this is a unique time to lead the students, I’m honored to represent CSUSB. Above my role, I am first a student; virtual learning has made me resilient and able to adapt. I’ve found so many resources our CSU system has to offer. This is a unique year; although we will not be in person and having that hands-on experience, I view education in another light. You are investing in your future in higher education. It’s an outlet for change. College students are the future of this nation.”


ANDREW CARILLO

ANDREW CARRILLO | San Francisco State ​

“A leader, especially during these times, needs to be present and grounded in the ideals of servant leadership. Leadership is not a one-person show—it's about bringing together​ a team that works to pursue a common goal and is constantly bettering the lives of our peers. Be persistent in your studies and your life path. Our generation will lead our society into a more progressive one. SFSU is driven by our principles and will tirelessly work to support our students in a virtual environment.”


DIANA CHAVEZ

DIANA CHAVEZ | Cal State LA​

“If anyone can weather this storm, it’s Cal State LA students because our campus is very diverse. We’re all going through the same thing, and it’s important that we have a positi​ve outlook. Don’t be afraid to ask your student leaders for campus resources that will allow you to succeed academically. They can provide additional resources that one may not be aware of. I firmly believe that our CSU students can adapt through adversity.”

Leading Amid Adversity
2020-bond-ratings.aspx
  
8/20/2020 10:17 AMKelly, Hazel8/19/20208/19/2020 8:10 AMThanks to prudent financial management, liquidity and strong demand for a California State University education, the CSU's systemwide bond ratings are stable. CaliforniaStory
​​​​​National bond rating agencies Moody's Investor Services and Standard & Poor's Rating Services have both affirmed ratings of California State University's systemwide revenue bonds in the agencies' latest reviews. Despite the current challenges facing higher education with COVID-19, the CSU's bond ratings are stable, thanks to prudent financial management, liquidity and strong demand for a CSU education. 

Moody's issued an Aa2 rating with a stable outlook and S&P assigned an AA- rating with a stable outlook.

According to the Moody's report published August 12, “The assignment and affirmation of the Aa2 reflects continued excellent demand for the CSU, good liquidity to manage through near term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and outlined operational and financial adjustments that should enable the system to adapt in fiscal 2021 without impairing credit quality."

Additionally, the Moody's report cited:

  • “The CSU was among the first universities to announce that instruction would be predominantly online in Fall 2020. Announcing the system's plans early to move instruction online for the fall gave the campuses more time to recognize the revenue, expense and operational implications."
  • ​“The Aa2 also incorporates the system's very good strategic position as the nation's single largest four-year higher education system by enrollment and leadership's effective operational management as it implements key strategies for student success."​​
​​“The positive reviews from Moody's and S&P are a confirmation that our prudent financial management continues to pay off and reflects our exceptional stewardship of the financial resources entrusted to us by the state of California," said Steve Relyea, CSU's Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer.


A look down at CSUN campus from the air
Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s Affirm CSU Bond Ratings Despite Higher Education Outlook
Virtual-Learning-for-CSU-Students-will-be-Supported-by-Gift-of-Logitech-Headsets.aspx
  
8/12/2020 9:25 AMSalvador, Christianne8/12/20208/12/2020 10:45 AMLogitech donated 2,300 headsets to support the virtual learning experience for students throughout the CSU.AccessPress Release

The California State University (CSU) announced today the receipt of a gift of 2,300 Logitech headsets to support the virtual learning experience for students throughout the university.

To safeguard the health and well-being of students and employees, this fall all CSU campuses will offer the vast majority of instruction in virtual modalities. Campuses are increasing investments into IT hardware and software and faculty and staff are participating in professional development opportunities to provide a rich virtual learning experience for students. This generous gift from Logitech will further aid students as they pursue their higher education goals.

The headsets will be delivered to all 23 CSU campuses over the summer and will be distributed at no cost to students needing additional tools to support success in a virtual learning environment.

“We are grateful to Logitech for their demonstrated commitment to student success and their generous donation on behalf of CSU students," said Michael Berman, CSU's chief information officer. “These headsets will help students concentrate on their coursework and engage more fully in a virtual classroom setting."

“Logitech has the products to make learning at home easier for all students so we know our headsets will help with this transition," said Michele Hermann, vice president of mobility and head of education solutions at Logitech. “For students who may be sharing their learning spaces with others, it's important they stay focused. We are proud to support students in their academic endeavors by providing them the tools they need to continue their coursework without interruption."

Ensuring students have the opportunity to be successful is the foundation of the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025.

For more ways to support students facing challenges during this critical time through the donation of funds, technology or tools, visit the CSU Cares 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.

Virtual Learning for CSU Students will be Supported by Gift of Logitech Headsets
From-Incarceration-to-Graduation.aspx
  
9/15/2020 10:41 AMMcCarthy, Michelle8/10/20208/10/2020 10:40 AMCalifornia has the largest prison system in the country. Through access to education, the CSU provides an opportunity to break the cycle of recidivism.CaliforniaStory

From Incarceration to Graduation​

California has the largest prison system in the country. Through access to education, the CSU provides an opportunity to break the cycle of recidivism.

jump to main content  

Even though the United States represents about five percent of the global population, we account for nearly a quarter of the world's prisoners. In the United States, 2.3 million people are behind bars. California's rate of incarceration is 581 per 100,000 people.

“Since the 1970s, instead of addressing and resolving social problems related to unemployment, housing insecurity, food insecurity and mental health, the U.S. criminal justice system has served as a catch-all solution," says Brady Heiner, Ph.D., chair of the CSU Project Rebound Consortium and executive director of Project Rebound at California State University, Fullerton. “We need to address the underlying social problems that lead people to the track that lands them in prison."

The CSU firmly believes that education can create alternatives to the justice system's revolving door policy. The university's ​commitment to offering options to those touched by incarceration is evident in programs such as Project Rebound, which is active at multiple campuses, and the Prison BA Graduation Initiative at California​ State University, Los Angeles.

Ultimately, these students aren't the only ones who benefit from such programs. For every incarcerated person who doesn't return to prison, the state of California saves $75,000 per year. And, eventually, the majority of them will leave prison and return home. Education is key to their ability to find employment and contribute to their families and their communities when they do.    

“For incarcerated men and women, education can provide ways of reflecting upon what led them to prison, not just individual choices, but also the broader social set of forces and conditions that shaped their lives," says Bidhan Chandra Roy, Ph.D., Cal State LA English professor. “For many, this can provide a deeper sense of awareness of the conditions of incarceration and the possibilities for transformation for themselves, their communities and the world."

Find out more how the CSU is transforming the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students. ​


PURSUING A BACHELOR’S BEHIND BARS

Students become higher-education advocates in Cal State LA’s Prison BA Program.

Meet them
 
PROJECT REBOUND: THE ROAD TO REDEMPTION

The CSU’s groundbreaking program offers formerly incarcerated students a hand up.

Find Out How
 
PROJECT REBOUND: THE ROAD TO REDEMPTION
 
EAR HUSTLE

Sacramento State professor’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated podcast eavesdrops on life in San Quentin.

Listen In​
From Incarceration to Graduation
back-to-school.aspx
  
8/31/2020 10:11 AMMcCarthy, Michelle8/10/20208/10/2020 9:15 AMAs the dog days of summer slowly fade away, the excitement of the upcoming school year takes hold.Student SuccessStory
60 YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Back to School

"Back to school" is a very different experience in 2020, as CSU students and faculty redefine higher education during COVID. But for much of the university's 60-year history, the upcoming school year generated a special kind of excitement as the dog days of summer melted away. There was a rush to stock up on essential supplies, register for classes and—for some students—move into residence halls. Things will be different this year, but who knows ... we may see new traditions blossom and new methods of connection flourish, creating an extraordinary chapter in the history of the California State University. ​

Students in the Sierra Madre Dorm in 1986. (courtesy of our Kennedy Library archives) 

San Luis Obispo

Students visit in the Sierra Madre Dorm, 1986. 

Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Library archives.

At the start of Cal Poly’s WOW or Week of Welcome student orientation program, WOW leaders, in yellow, welcome their WOWies

At the start of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s 2019 Week of Welcome (WOW) student orientation program, WOW leaders, in yellow, welcome their WOWies, in green. 

Photo: Joe Johnston

 
At the start of Cal Poly’s WOW or Week of Welcome student orientation program, WOW leaders, in yellow, welcome their WOWies 
San Francisco State kicked off its fall semester on Aug. 21, 2019 with GatorFest! 

San Francisco

San Francisco State kicks off its fall semester with GatorFest!, a week-long series of information sessions, games, concerts (like the one pictured, on the University’s West Campus Green) and other events designed to pump up students for the academic year ahead, August 2019.

New students pose for a photo on move-in day on Aug. 22, 2019. ​

San Diego

A proud Aztec mom helps her daughter roll "just the essentials" into her campus housing, 2019.​ ​

New students pose for a photo on move-in day on Aug. 22, 2019. ​ 
A student poses for a photo with her family on Oct. 11, 2019 during family weekend. ​ 

An incoming freshman poses with her family at SDSU's annual Family Weekend, a chance to get an inside look at student life, 2019.​

Students looking at a list of add/drop classes in a window of the Administration Building at Cal Poly Pomona in spring of 1974.

Pomona

Students review a list of add/drop classes in a window of the Administration Building at Cal Poly Pomona, spring 1974. ​

Students looking at a list of add/drop classes in a window of the Administration Building at Cal Poly Pomona in spring of 1974. 
Medina Murphy-Oats gets a hug from her dad, Larry Oats as he helps her move into her dorm room at Cal Poly Pomona 

CPP student Medina Murphy-Oats receives a hug from her dad, Larry Oats, as he helps her move into her room at Encinitas Hall, September 2010.

Students and families fill the main quad during orientation on June 15, 2018. ​

Monterey Bay

Students and families fill the main quad during orientation, June 2018. ​

Students and families fill the main quad during orientation on June 15, 2018. ​ 
Students pose for a picture with Monte Rey on the first day of classes, Aug. 13, 2012. ​​ 

Students pose for a picture with CSU Monterey Bay mascot Monte Rey on the first day of classes, August 2012. ​​

Humboldt State lecturer Amanda Admire wears a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic while filming river geomorphology .

Humboldt

Humboldt State lecturer Amanda Admire wears a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic while filming river geomorphology for virtual field trips along the Mad River, July 2020. ​

Humboldt State lecturer Amanda Admire wears a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic while filming river geomorphology . 
Working from home and campus on July 8, 2020. ​ 

Working from home and campus, July 2020. ​

Kian Balbus, left, greets Zhar Ismal on their first day of classes after a summer apart on Aug. 26, 2019.

Fullerton

Kian Balbus, left, greets Zhar Ismal on their first day of classes, August 2019. ​

Kian Balbus, left, greets Zhar Ismal on their first day of classes after a summer apart on Aug. 26, 2019.  
Antonio Gonzalez, left, picks up his textbook for his geology course on Aug. 26, 2019.  

Antonio Gonzalez, left, picks up a textbook for his geology course, August 2019. ​

CSUEB resident assistant Arsheep Sidhu, left, prepares for move-in day with residence life professional Gisela Ramirez.

East Bay

Cal State East Bay resident assistant Arsheep Sidhu, left, prepares for move-in day with residence life professional Gisela Ramirez. Precautions are in place during the COVID-19 pandemic and under the shelter-in-place order, including the use of PPE and limiting the number of people who are allowed to help students move in.

CSUEB resident assistant Arsheep Sidhu, left, prepares for move-in day with residence life professional Gisela Ramirez. 
The CSUEB orientation team poses for a photo on July 20, 2020.  

​CSUEB's orientation team poses for a photo, July 2020. ​

Thousands of incoming Chico State students form a giant "C" for a commemorative class photo.

Chico

Since 2013, thousands of incoming students have gathered on the field of University Stadium during Wildcat Welcome to form a giant “C” for their commemorative class photo. 

Photo: Jessica Bartlett

Thousands of incoming Chico State students form a giant "C" for a commemorative class photo. 
dmissions Peer Advisor Emily Zarback leads a Summer Orientation session in her home 

Admissions Peer Advisor Emily Zarback leads a Summer Orientation session in her home as the normally in-person program shifts to a virtual environment due to COVID-19. 

Photo: Jason Halley ​

SHARE YOUR Back To School PHOTO

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

​​
60 Years of Educational Excellence: Back to School
making-the-switch.aspx
  
9/15/2020 10:32 AMMcCarthy, Michelle8/3/20208/3/2020 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
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