Campus: CSU Northridge -- November 12, 2004

Report Says Cal State Northridge's Impact Immense

More than $4 is generated for every dollar the state invests in California State University, Northridge, according to a community impact report released Thursday by the university's Center for Southern California Studies.

"We have known all along, through anecdotal evidence about the tremendous impact we have on the region's economy and social well-being," said Northridge President Jolene Koester. "While the data in this report is overwhelming evidence of that, we are just as proud of the effect we have every day on the individual lives of our students and members of the community."

The report, available online at, took a look at the university's impact on the Los Angeles area in four categories--economy, work force preparation, cultural opportunities and community resources.

Among the report's findings:

Economic Impact: From a state investment of about $164 million, CSUN's impact on the Los Angeles economy is estimated at up to $686 million, with the greatest influence in the sectors of service, foreign and domestic trade, and government. The university expands the service industry by about $277 million, including $72.7 million in the finance, insurance and real estate industries and $69.7 million in health care. Altogether, the university spends about $334 million annually in Los Angeles County.

University activity creates about 6,000 jobs in addition to its own 5,800 employees. About 48 percent of jobs created as the result of university activities were in the service sector, followed by 22 percent in government, and 18 percent in retail and wholesale trade. Construction and manufacturing accounted for about 8 percent.

Work Force Preparation: Cal State Northridge is a national leader in the number of students who go on to earn doctorates in science, engineering, the social sciences and psychology. The university also is among the nation's leaders in awarding bachelor's degrees to minority students and hosts one of the largest deaf student populations in the country.

CSUN produces more than 6,100 graduates annually, and the degrees granted closely mirror the work force needs of the county. About 20 percent of the university's graduates are in business and economics, 18 percent are in social and behavioral sciences and about 15 percent are in arts and entertainment.

Northridge is the top choice for area graduates beginning career preparation. The university leads the region in the number of Los Angeles County high school graduates enrolling at an area institution with nearly 6,000 annually, a figure that is 30 percent higher than any other university in the region.

CSUN also is a leader in the state and the nation in the number of teachers produced, about 1,700 annually.

Although comprehensive data is not available, the report found at least 60 different university outreach programs in area schools. The programs, valued at about $6.5 million, are supported in part by external grants and involve about 30,000 K-12 students at hundreds of area schools. In addition, there are about 1,800 teacher-credential candidates student teaching in area schools.

Cultural Opportunities: Last year, more than 74,000 people attended cultural events at Cal State Northridge. Since 1980, the university's Art Galleries have hosted more than 500 exhibitions on campus--averaging more than 20 every year--and bringing about 25,000 to 30,000 visitors to campus annually. Musically, more than 250 recitals were performed last year for more than 19,000 people. CSUN's Cinematheque, the only venue of its kind in the area, presents retrospectives on classical films and contemporary releases in conjunction with guest artists and panel discussions. It hosted 127 feature films last year.

Community Resources: The university's applied academic research is supported by about $27.3 million in external grants--a figure that has doubled in the past four years. Support has come from such organizations as the National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Education. Altogether, students and faculty work on about 200 applied research projects, many of which benefit the community and provide new information that help community and business leaders make informed decisions.

The university's commitment to service learning, through which students earn academic credit by applying classroom theory to activities in the community, also benefits the region. In 2002-03, more than 700 students participated in courses with a service-learning component. Students and faculty used their expertise, training and university facilities to assist community members in such diverse areas as emotional counseling, physical disabilities, health care ethics, diagnostic and therapeutic services, quality nutrition, and finances.

"Beyond the impact on the economy and the work force, Cal State Northridge brings to the San Fernando Valley tremendous academic intellect, crucial social services, and countless cultural opportunities, while serving thousands of first generation college students, and helping form responsible political citizens, who serve their communities," said Koester.

The community impact report is based on the fiscal year 2002-03, the most recent year for which sufficient data was available. The report used economic modeling, statistical analysis, state and local economic information, data from the 2000 census, and dozens of informal interviews to reach its results. It used the economic model "Implan," which has been used by hundreds of governmental and educational institutions, including six other California State University campuses.

At the California State University Board of Trustees meeting next week, the CSU Chancellor's Office will release an Economic Impact Report on the effect of all 23 campuses on the state, and on specific regions throughout the state.

Northridge has 31,000 full- and part-time students and offers 61 bachelor's and 42 master's degrees as well as 28 education credential programs. Founded in 1958, it is among the largest universities in the nation, and is the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley and beyond.

Contact: Ken Swisher, (818) 677-2130,

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