2011 Facts About the CSU
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Facts 2011
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Scope and Mission

The California State University provides high-quality, affordable higher education to meet the changing workforce needs of California, making the CSU indispensable to California’s economic prosperity and diverse communities.

The CSU:

  • Is the nation’s largest university system.
  • Has 23 campuses and nine off-campus centers.
  • Educates over 412,000 students.
  • Employs 43,000 faculty and staff.
  • Stretches from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south.
  • Is renowned for the quality of its teaching and preparing job-ready graduates.

Master Plan for Higher Education

The CSU system was created in 1960 under the state Master Plan for Higher Education. The CSU draws its students from the top third of California’s high school graduates and is the state’s primary undergraduate teaching institution. Continuing to expand its educational scope, the CSU offers independent educational doctorate programs at a number of campuses designed to meet workforce demands for advanced training for administrators in California’s public K-12 school systems and community colleges. In addition, in 2011, the CSU started the planning process to offer independent Doctor of Nursing Practice programs and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs at several campuses.

Working for California

The CSU plays a critical role in preparing outstanding candidates for the job market. With 95,000 annual graduates, the CSU is the state’s greatest producer of bachelor’s degrees and drives California’s economy in the agriculture, information technology, business, hospitality, life sciences, health care, public administration, education, media and entertainment industries.

For every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns $5.43
  • For every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns $5.43.

The CSU sustains more than 150,000 jobs in the state.
  • The CSU sustains more than 150,000 jobs in the state.

  • CSU-related expenditures create $17 billion in economic activity.

The CSU also reaches out to California’s growing, underserved communities, offering affordable opportunities to pursue a college degree that enable students from diverse backgrounds to succeed. The CSU provides more than half of all undergraduate degrees granted to California’s Latino, African American and Native American students.