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Chancellor-Emeritus-White-Award-Kerr-2022.aspx
  
12/9/2022 6:33 AMKelly, Hazel12/9/202212/9/2022 11:30 AMLeadershipStory

​CSU Chancellor Emeritus Timothy P. White was recently named a recipient of the 2022 Clark Kerr Award.

Awarded by the UC Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, the Clark Kerr Award recognizes those who have made extraordinary and distinguished contributions to the advancement of higher education. One of two awardees, White was named along with San Diego Community College District Chancellor Emerita Constance M. Carroll 

Chancellor Emeritus White is honored for his distinguished service for both the CSU and UC systems, along with other public universities. As stated in UC Berkeley's award announcement, White's educational and academic career path exemplifies the brilliance of Clark Kerr's vision when creating the California Master Plan for Higher Education.

Born in Argentina, White immigrated to California as a child, and was the first in his family to pursue higher education. He attended Diablo Valley College, earned a bachelor's from Fresno State and master's from Cal State East Bay. He earned his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Berkeley, and then served as a professor and chair of the Department of Human Biodynamics there, before moving to the University of Michigan as a professor and chair of the Department of Movement Science. 

As an academic leader, White served as dean, provost, and executive vice president at Oregon State University from 1996 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2008 he was president of the University of Idaho. As Chancellor of UC Riverside from 2008 to 2012, White led enrollment growth and strategic planning, securing gifts and financing for a new School of Medicine. From 2012 to 2020 he served as CSU chancellor, overseeing 23 campuses, with an enrollment of almost half a million students at the time of his retirement. One of White's lasting accomplishments was launching the Graduation Initiative 2025 effort to increase graduation rates for undergraduates and close the equity gap between underserved students and their peers. During White's tenure, enrollment, graduation rates, state investment and donor support reached all-time highs.

“I am humbled and deeply honored to receive this award, and this recognition would not have come about without the hard work of the leadership, faculty, staff and students of the California State University during my tenure," said White.

UC Berkeley's Academic Senate created the Clark Kerr Award in 1968 as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of UC President Emeritus Kerr. Past recipients have come from inside and outside the Berkeley community, including former California Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute immediate past president and noted physicist Shirley Ann Jackson, and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.

 

Learn more about Berkeley's Clark Kerr Award and Chancellor Emeritus White's legacy at the CSU.


CSU Chancellor Emeritus White engaging with students at Cal State Dominguez Hills
CSU Chancellor Emeritus Timothy P. White Receives 2022 Clark Kerr Award
How-the-CSU-is-Prioritizing-Students-Needs.aspx
  
12/9/2022 9:56 AMThropay, Janessa12/8/202212/8/2022 4:20 PMAs a national leader in studying the prevalence of food and housing insecurity for college students, the California State University understands the significant role basic needs play in student success. Basic Needs InitiativeStory

As a national leader in studying the prevalence of food and housing insecurity for college students, the California State University (CSU) understands the significant role basic needs play in student success. With 23 universities and nearly 460,000 students, the CSU engages in a number of systemwide efforts and community and university partnerships throughout California to maximize the support services available to its students.​

In 2015 the CSU implemented Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI 2025), an ambitious effort to ensure that all students regardless of racial, ethnic or financial background have an equal opportunity to earn a college degree. Student Engagement & Well-Being was identified as one of the initiative's six operational priorities and the CSU developed a full-scale, systemwide effort to take a holistic look at students' well-being, both inside and outside the classroom, from housing and food security to mental health, to better support students on their path to graduation.

“As we work towards achieving our Graduation Initiative 2025 goals, it is of critical importance to ensure our students' wellness inside and outside of the classroom," comments Henoc Preciado, systemwide manager of the CSU's Basic Needs Initiatives. “Basic Needs Initiatives across the CSU aim to provide our students with the equitable supports needed to ensure that they have food security, housing security, financial stability, and their overall needs met so that they can focus on their coursework and persist to graduation."

All 23 campuses have a food panty or food distribution program, as well as offer on-campus emergency housing or vouchers for off-campus housing. Additionally, every CSU campus offers application assistance for Cal Fresh, a federally funded program that helps eligible students buy the food they need. In order to capitalize on every opportunity and ensure that all students have access to the services available, each campus has administrators or staff who manage programs and connect students to resources in their community.

Here are some examples of how CSU campuses are supporting students this holiday season:

SAN JOSÉ STATE

​San José State University (SJSU) recently kicked off their second annual “Share Your Spartan Heart" campaign to raise awareness and generate donations for their basic needs program,
SJSU Cares, during the holiday season. Last year, the campaign raised almost $14k to support students who needed additional assistance.

Along with their annual campaign, SJSU continues to monitor requests for assistance and provides support to urgent cases even while the campus is closed for the holiday break.

​STANISLAUS STATE

F​or the third consecutive year, Stanislaus State has supplied students with fall and winter dinner kits during the months of November and December. These turkey or tamale dinner kits include all the items needed to prepare a delicious and nutritious seasonal meal.

This supplemental food service was first launched in November 2020 during National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW) when the pandemic was in full effect. In an effort to explore new ways to enhance food security for students and their families, Stanislaus State developed the dinner kits as a way to provide a special meal during the holidays, and students loved them.

SAN DIEGO STATE

In addition to the various resources available to students in need through  SDSU's Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT), San Diego State's residential communities will remain open and staffed over winter recess. If any students need housing during winter break and live in a building that does not remain open, the office of housing administration works with the student to complete a room switch request form so the student can be moved to a building that remains open and staffed.​

These examples highlight only a few of the many ways CSU campuses are providing for students needs this holiday season. Visit Student Resources for more information on the services available at each campus.

 

To learn more about how you can partner with the CSU this holiday season, visit CSU Cares or get involved by donating to your local campus' food pantry.

CSU students volunteering at campus food pantry
How the CSU is Prioritizing Students’ Needs
CSU-HSI-Community-Grants.aspx
  
12/5/2022 12:34 PMRuble, Alisia12/5/202212/5/2022 9:00 AMNearly $2 million awarded to 17 finalists as part of the hub's CSU HSI Community Grants.STEMStory

As part of its first initiative, the Global Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Equity Innovation Hub (EIH) at California State University, Northridge recently awarded​ the first round of CSU HSI Community Grants. Nearly $2 million will be awarded to 17 finalists to support their efforts to inspire the next generation of creators and innovators to pursue high-demand careers in STEM and the creative and tech industries.

The Equity Innovation Hub was established​ in August 2021 through a partnership between the CSU, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Apple—who will fund the programming—to transform HSIs throughout the CSU and nation, increase student success and equip Latinx and other historically underserved students with skills for high-demand careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Amanda Quintero, senior advisor to CSUN President Erika Beck for inclusive excellence and the equity innovation officer for the hub, says there are three main initiatives: cultivate promising practices at CSU HSIs that accelerate educational equity and innovation, act as a connector to national organizations and partners that serve HSIs and the Latinx community at large, and serve CSUN's regional community through the physical building.

Faculty and administrators across the CSU were invited to submit grant ideas and proposals for “innovative practices in STEM that work across disciplines, and leverage technology and collaborations with educational, community and industry partners to activate diverse talent and build a more inclusive workforce," Quintero says.

“The response was amazing," she continues. “Those selected will activate the brilliance of our students across the CSU."​

When calling for proposals, Quintero and her team defined six primary focus areas the projects and initiatives should address, which reflect the hub's top priorities:

  • Activate equity-minded leadership and institutional transformation at CSU HSIs
  • Innovate PK-20 education to career pathways
  • Inspire innovators and creators of the future
  • Accelerate justice and bridge the prison-education-workforce divide
  • Amplify equity by design
  • Create next-generation student supports and develop future leaders

Learn about a few of these projects and initiatives.​

California State University San Marcos

"CSU San Marcos Seal of Excelencia Project"

​​CSU San Marcos Fall 2022 Convocation


CSU San Marcos will use HSI Community Grant funding to better understand and adopt the Seal of Excelencia framework, a comprehensive institutional strategy for serving Latinx students developed by Excelencia in Education. Institutions earn seal certification by demonstrating alignment across the three core areas of data, practice and leadership.

The CSUSM Seal of Excelencia initiative will establish a cross-divisional team who will participate in technical assistance trainings to better understand the Seal of Excelencia framework and lead discussions across the campus on what it means go beyond enrollment to intentionally serve Latinx students and their families.

“At CSUSM we want to not only promote access and enroll more Latinx students, but we also want to make sure they succeed in pursuing their educational goals," says Viridiana Diaz, Ed.D., CSUSM's Vice President for Student Affairs. “To do this effectively, we have to build mechanisms to collect and share data about the Latinx student experience on our campus and use that data to inform our strategies to implement, leverage and expand impactful support services."

The team will work directly with departments providing services to Latinx students to offer consultation, data, planning and analysis support to establish ways to incorporate action plans aligned with the Excelencia framework and establish long-term, evidence-based measurements to support continuous improvement.

“Having robust, valid and actionable data to guide decision making will let us evaluate interventions to identify high-impact practices in Latinx student support to expand their reach and impact," Dr. Diaz says. "It will also let us identify gaps or areas of opportunity for improvement to address unmet needs and ensure we are supporting our Latinx students holistically across every stage of their student life cycle."

CSUSM will apply for Seal of Excelencia certification in Spring 2024. Currently, five CSU campuses have been awarded seals, out of only 30 institutions in the country: Channel Islands, Fresno, Fullerton, Sacramento and San Diego.

California State University, Fullerton​

"Biomanufacturing Workforce Training Program for Students from Historically Underserved Communities"

​​CSU Fullerton, Fall Back to School


In response to a growing need for biomanufacturing technicians in Southern California, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach​ and Cal State LA formed a consortium with industry association BIOCOM California Institute to develop a new Biomanufacturing Technician (BMT) program set to launch in 2023. The program is designed to prepare diverse STEM students for entry-level positions in the biomanufacturing, biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries.

The consortium plans to use funding from their HSI Community Grant to recruit and retain students from underserved communities for the BMT program, working with the Orange County Department of Education, Los Angeles County Office of Education and local high schools and community colleges to promote the program.

Cal State Fullerton Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Sagil James, Ph.D., says the team will offer a free pathway program that provides a refresher on basic STEM principles and a learning and information-sharing platform for students to get acquainted with essential skills, explore various career options and interact with career professionals that will make them competitive in the biomanufacturing job market.

“We want students from historically underserved communities to know they can succeed in a program they may have felt is not for them," Dr. James says. “Our goal is to provide an adequate foundation in biomanufacturing-related basic scientific and engineering concepts so that these students do not face any difficulty while navigating through the BMT program."

BMT program participants will complete three 40-hour courses, one from each campus in the consortium, that will help them develop a theoretical and experiential knowledge of biomanufacturing including various state-of-the-art techniques and processes, instrumentation used in biomanufacturing industries, research and discovery and process development.

James says the success of this project will depend on whether the team can “ensure biomanufacturing career readiness for a diverse student population and provide a highly skilled workforce for the biomanufacturing industry."

California State University, Chico​

"STEM Peer Coaching Initiative"

​​Karen Martinez (left) and Isaac Ramirez (right) work in the Chico STEM Connections Collaborative study lab


Leveraging the success of a similar program for first-time STEM students, called STEMCAT Mentoring​, Chico State​ will use HSI Community Grant funding to pilot the STEM Peer Coaching initiative which targets second-year STEM students from historically underrepresented communities as well as other first-generation and low-income students who are on academic notice.

According to Teresita Curiel, Chico State's Latinx Equity and Success Director, first-year STEM students can experience some of the most high-unit, academically rigorous courses early in their campus experience and can be more susceptible to academic notice. If no intervention is made in their second year, students may be less likely to persist to graduation.

“These conditions can be further exacerbated for underrepresented students who are mostly first-generation to college and from low-income backgrounds," Curiel says. “Hence, this pilot aims to provide target students with timely, individually tailored and culturally-responsive support through near-peer coaching to improve their academic standing and successful progress at the university and in STEM."

The project links and intentionally leverages peer-to-peer academic coaching as a demonstrated method in promoting college student retention and success and cross divisional partnerships with existing federal HSI grant projects in STEM, academic support services like supplemental instruction, tutoring and writing assistance and the collaborative network of professional academic advisors.

“Upward social and economic mobility is the promise that often draws students from historically underrepresented, first-generation to college and low-income backgrounds to the CSU," Curiel says. “Through the student-centered, high-impact work of the STEM Peer Coaching pilot, our campus reinforces our commitment to student success and a life-changing educational experience."

California State University, Northridge

"From Prison to Computer Science Careers: ​​Creating a Pipeline for Formerly Incarcerated Students"

​​CSUN University Library


Building on prior work through Project Rebound, a CSU program that supports the reintegration and education of formerly incarcerated individuals, ​CSUN Project Rebound will partner with Homeboy Industries, a gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in Los Angeles, to create access to careers in computer science for people with criminal backgrounds.

The project will be developed and implemented by Maria Martinez, a recent CSUN graduate and former Project Rebound scholar. Martinez became involved with Homeboy Industries as a volunteer while pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science, offering free tutoring in computer science and coding.

“When I paroled, the only skill I had was, maybe, hemming pants," Martinez jokes. “My sister is a software engineer for a gaming company, and she helped me get into a computer science apprenticeship, but I don't want to be the only one to benefit from this kind of experience. I want to help more people in my position improve their lives after incarceration."

Project Rebound at CSUN will establish a community fellowship program at Homeboy Industries to train ten formerly incarcerated community fellows on computer literacy and fundamentals of JavaScript code. Martinez and several current Project Rebound Scholars will also prepare fellows to apply to a paid software engineering apprenticeship program through Next Chapter, an organization working to create pathways for formerly incarcerated individuals to obtain gainful employment in the technology sector.

“Tech companies like Dropbox, Slack and Zoom are making job opportunities available for formerly incarcerated people, but a lot of them lack basic computer literacy skills needed to pass entrance exams," Martinez says.

The main objective is to help at least four community fellows successfully enter Next Chapter's apprenticeship program in Spring 2023 and help place at least two of them with a host company for an onsite engineering apprenticeship program in Fall 2023.

“Eventually my goal is to recruit more formerly incarcerated women into computer science careers, especially those with children," Martinez says. “I want to give them an avenue to break the cycle of poverty and provide a better example for their children, so they won't also end up in the system."

California State University, Channel Islands​

"Serving Black Students at CSUCI"

​​Sunrise at CSU Channel Islands Bell Tower


The CSU Channel Islands Division of Student Affairs (DSA) has been awarded​ an HSI Community Grant to focus on broadening support for the university's Black students through innovative initiatives and programs.

The grant will support dedicated staff for student programming and efforts to coordinate anti-Blackness training for DSA staff and leadership training for students, engage Black alumni and create a student-led podcast for storytelling in Black voices. The overall objective for this proposal is to amplify retention rates for Black students by fostering a community that celebrates African American and Black culture.

CSUCI Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs Doreen Hatcher, Ed.D., says serving Black students is different than serving Latinx students. Most [of CSUCI's] Black students are not local, but from the Los Angeles area, so providing opportunities for them to build community and create a network of support will increase cultural awareness and belonging on campus. 

“Additionally, many support programs focus on supporting first-generation students, but there is a larger percentage of Black students whose parents graduated from college than Latinx students," Dr. Hatcher says. "Helping them persist to graduation requires different strategies."  

Hatcher says she hopes to create a physical space for Black students to gather for movie night or talking circles. She also wants to go a step beyond anti-racism and anti-bias training and offer training on cultural competence for students, faculty and staff focused on interacting with Black students.

"We must disaggregate the data to identify the true characteristics of CSUCI's Black students instead of lumping them into a catchall group of underrepresented students," Hatcher says. "Once that occurs, we can cater programs and services to support the Black student college experience." 

San Francisco State University​

"Inspiring Challenge-Based Learning at the Latinx Student Center"

​​Students at CSU San Marcos


San Francisco State​'s Latinx Student Center (LSC) will use its HSI Community Grant to fund two projects that will leverage technology to solve real-world problems impacting the Latinx student community through challenge-based learning that helps students develop as future leaders and professionals in the creative and tech industries.

The first project is the creation of a video blog with multimedia and social media for the LSC. A team of six to eight students will use a blog and social media channels like TikTok and Instagram to provide updates on the activities of the LSC, including programs and activities run by student clubs through the LSC, and other campus events relevant to the SFSU Latinx community.

Funding also includes an Apple Technology Grant that will be used to purchase equipment necessary to produce the video blog including a computer, video camera and microphone.

“The creative and tech industries are drivers of upward mobility, especially in the Bay Area where these two key industries overlap," says LSC Director Emmanuel Padilla. “The focus on challenge-based learning that leverages technology builds students' capacities for creative problem solving and is key to nurturing students as future leaders."

The second project is the piloting of problem-solving learning circles where three groups of five to seven students will engage in challenge-based learning by working together to solve a real-world problem related to their community. For this pilot, the problem will be the equity gap for retention and graduation rates of Latinx students at SFSU.

“These teams will spend the first semester collecting data and conducting qualitative research with their Latinx-identifying peers, a tactic that can reveal some interesting results," Padilla says. “Students are typically more comfortable and open with their peers, so this can be a way for us to identify barriers to graduation—and ways to alleviate them—that administrators may not be aware of."

The teams will spend their second semester creating an intervention that tries to address the problem and inform future Graduation Initiative 2025 efforts at SFSU. The initiative has shown progress in improving four-year graduation rates for first-time students systemwide, and more work is being done to eliminate equity gaps.

 

The CSU is committed to being a leader in elevating the lives and experiences of Latinx individuals. Learn more about how the university supports its Latinx students. ​

two students studying in a classroom
CSUN’s Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub Awards Grants for Statewide Impact
Statement-on-Pending-Retirement-of-Cal-Maritime-President-Cropper.aspx
  
11/28/2022 2:33 PMThropay, Janessa11/28/202211/28/2022 2:20 PM“Throughout his tenure leading the California State University Maritime Academy, President Thomas A. Cropper has done exceptional work to integrate our most unique institution into the California State University system."LeadershipPress Release

The following statement can be attributed to CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester:

“Throughout his tenure leading the California State University Maritime Academy, President Thomas A. Cropper has done exceptional work to integrate our most unique institution into the California State University system and the Vallejo community, while enhancing the academic excellence of the university.

In his decade-long service, President Cropper has consistently demonstrated a commitment to student success and to improving the student experience. He spearheaded facilities improvements across campus and helped to secure funding for a new training ship. Under his leadership, the university has undertaken a series of meaningful actions to advance diversity, equity and inclusion and to serve as a national model for maritime academies.

Cal Maritime cadets graduate with critical leadership skills and a global perspective that allow them to make immediate and positive impacts in the maritime industry and in their communities.

I applaud President Cropper's long and distinguished career of service to the CSU and to the maritime industry."

 

On November 28, 2022, Cal Maritime President Thomas A. Cropper announced that he would retire from his role on August 1, 2023.

An interim president will be appointed to lead the university, and the CSU will launch a national search to identify Cropper's successor. Under university policy, the chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, Wenda Fong, and Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester will select a committee comprised of campus and community stakeholders who will be publicly announced at a later date. Thereafter, campus and community input will be sought in an open forum held on the Cal Maritime campus.​



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing 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 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Cal Maritime President Cropper at podium during graduation ceremony
CSU Statement on Pending Retirement of Cal Maritime President Thomas A. Cropper
6-Stories-You-May-Have-Missed.aspx
  
11/28/2022 8:34 AMBeall, Alex11/28/202211/28/2022 11:05 AMTake a look at stories from the CSU you may have missed this year.Student SuccessStory

​​​As the California State University endeavored throughout the year to offer a high-quality education while leading the state to a better future, there were plenty of empowering stories from across the university of students, staff, faculty, alumni and communities working toward that goal.

1. Looking Out for the Coast

​​Student collects sand samples on the beach.

On October 1, 2021, approximately 28,000 gallons of oil spilled from an underwater pipe off the coast of Huntington Beach, California, sparking coordinated efforts to contain it, rescue wildlife and clean up the affected area. While the official cleanup ended in December, there remained questions around possible long-term effects. In response, the CSU Council on Ocean Affai​rs, Science & Technology (COAST) offered emergency response funding for projects addressing the Huntington Beach oil spill.

Read about the CSU faculty members who launched research into the spill's impact.

2. What is a Polytechnic University?

​​Students study lichens and bryophytes in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Recognizing the impact of the CSU on the state's economy and workforce, California Governor Gavin Newsom made a significant investment of $458 million in his 2021-22 state budget to help propel Humboldt State University's transition to become a polytechnic university. The funding will enable California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt to add new academic programs that will help fill workforce gaps, modernize existing facilities and build new infrastructure and increase access for the state's students seeking science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees.

Find out what it means to become a polytechnic university.

3. Changemakers in Wine

​​Woman looks over vineyard.

Four million people globally are proud to call themselves alumni of the CSU's 23 campuses, and one in 10 employees in California is a CSU graduate. With those numbers, it's no wonder the impact that CSU alumni have on California's economy. One of the state's key industries is also uniquely impacted by CSU alumni: California wine. But the industry lacks diversity. Thankfully, California's wine industry is benefitting from a handful of female pioneers, including inspiring CSU alumnae who are exploring new frontiers in a male-dominated business.

Meet four CSU alumnae making their mark on California's wine industry.

4. The Healing Power of the Arts

​​Incarcerated individuals create a Mandala Circle.

Annie Buckley—director of the Institute for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Justice at San Diego State University—founded the Prison Arts Collective in 2013 with the mission of encouraging “self-expression, reflection, communication and empathy" through the arts. Today, PAC has chapters at several CSU campuses working in 13 prisons across California and features arts courses, from creative writing to music to painting, led inside the prisons by CSU faculty, students, volunteers and peer facilitators.

See how PAC has transformed the lives of hundreds of currently and formerly incarcerated individuals.

5. How the CSU Transformed Them

​​SDSU student poses with her stole.

The CSU conferred an estimated 134,000 degrees on graduates from the Class of 2022 this spring, welcoming them into an alumni family that is already more than four million strong. These graduates are California's next leaders—in policy, philanthropy, science, social justice and more—and behind every one of them is a parent, mentor or friend who cheered them on and stood in awe of their achievements.

Learn how the CSU transformed these student leaders from those who helped them on the path to graduation.

6. Opportunities for Growth

​​Students garden in a raised bed.

From growing bunches of kale on a vertical planter to cultivating a field of corn, campus gardens and farms often perform a key role in their campus communities. Not only do they offer hands-on learning experience for agriculture or horticultural students and foster social connections among student volunteers, but their yields can put food on the table for students in need.

Discover how these four CSU campuses cultivate opportunities for growth to address basic needs.


6 Stories You May Have Missed
CSU-Trustees-Strengthen-Policy-with-Approval-of-New-Executive-Consulting-Assignment-Program.aspx
  
11/17/2022 8:35 AMThropay, Janessa11/16/202211/16/2022 11:00 AM​​​​​The California State University Board of Trustees today approved a new Executive Consulting Assignment program for eligible executives.PolicyPress Release

​​​​The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees today approved a new Executive Consulting Assignment program for eligible executives. Participants in the program will provide institutional support and consultation to a new administration on a campus or at the Chancellor's Office. The Executive Consulting Assignment program will replace the Executive Transition II program which had been in place since 2006 and was suspended to new executives in March 2022 pending a review by the Trustees.

“The CSU is continuing to strengthen institutional policies and practices and the Executive Consulting Assignment program further demonstrates our commitment to uphold our fiduciary responsibility to our stakeholders," said Wenda Fong, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “This new policy establishes clarity about the responsibilities of participants and transparency about reporting, while ensuring that institutional knowledge and access to our leaders is preserved during a transition in leadership."

Executive Consulting Assignments are at-will assignments that will not exceed six months, while compensation for the assignments will not exceed fifty percent of the executive's base pay at the time of resignation from their executive position.  Various responsibilities during an executive consulting assignment can include:

  • Conferring and bestowing institution- and campus-specific knowledge to the incoming president/executive.
  • Providing history and status on current institutional and campus issues, donor relations, legislative relations, strategic partnerships, legal matters, and CSU-wide initiatives.
  • Making introductions to key state and community stakeholders and campus supporters.

Different versions of the CSU's Executive Transition Program have been in existence dating back to 1981. All were implemented to ensure that an executive's accumulated institutional knowledge and unique insight are available to new and existing leadership.

The chancellor, executive vice chancellors, vice chancellors and university presidents comprise the CSU executives who may be eligible for an Executive Consulting Assignment. All assignments are offered at the discretion of the chancellor (after board consultation), with the exception of an assignment for a chancellor which is offered at the discretion of the chair of the board in consultation with the chair of the Committee on University and Faculty Personnel.​

To be eligible to request participation in the program, an individual must have served at least five years in an executive position at the CSU and must be in good standing at the commencement and duration of the assignment. Deliverables include a monthly report to the chancellor describing the activities and milestones completed.

The 25 incumbent executives who were eligible to elect to participate in Executive Transition II – all appointed prior to March 22, 2022 – retain that opportunity upon resignation or may instead request an Executive Consulting Assignment. Executives appointed after March 22, 2022, may request to participate in the Executive Consulting Assignment. 



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing 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 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester and accompanying board members at September board meeting
CSU Trustees Strengthen Policy with Approval of New Executive Consulting Assignment Program
Cynthia-Teniente-Matson-Appointed-President-of-San-José-State-University.aspx
  
11/21/2022 10:15 AMThropay, Janessa11/16/202211/16/2022 9:05 AMThe California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Ed.D., to serve as president of San José State University.LeadershipPress Release

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Ed.D., to serve as president of San José State University (SJSU). Teniente-Matson currently serves as president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio.​

“San José State is a nexus of history, innovation, the sciences, the arts and so much more. As the founding institution of the California State University system, the university boasts an unparalleled history of service to the region and state. It also serves as an exemplar for research and discovery with graduates impacting industries and communities throughout Silicon Valley," said Teniente-Matson. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside all of the talented and dedicated faculty, staff, administrators and friends of the university to accomplish our collective goal of providing opportunities for students to benefit from the transformative power of an SJSU education."

“Dr. Teniente-Matson has been a forward-thinking leader who has excelled at identifying and implementing new and innovative ways to improve student achievement," said CSU Trustee Christopher Steinhauser, chair of the SJSU search committee. “Her experience, skill set and dedication to student success make her the ideal candidate to lead SJSU in the next exciting chapter of the university's history." 

While president, Teniente-Matson has led Texas A&M University-San Antonio's transformation to a comprehensive master's university that has also achieved Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation from the U.S. Department of Education. Among the strategic initiatives and partnerships the university has developed under her leadership are the creation of the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders, Institute of Water Resource Science and Technology, Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center, and the university's first Facebook CyberSecurity University Program. She is an engaged leader focusing on the collective impact of university-community partnerships such as the ASPIRE partnership leveraging the power of collective impact for seven South Bexar County Independent School Districts, and a partnership with Workforce Solutions Alamo to advance the City of San Antonio's 1/8-cent sales tax Ready to Work initiative to advance training and degree completion. She has developed support from elected officials to build an economic regional hub for south Bexar County and partnerships such as the Espada Tract development with the San Antonio River Authority and the University Health expansion at its West entry on Jaguar Parkway.

Her dedication to advancing equity and inclusion led to the creation of the President's Commission on Equity.

Her appointment as president of SJSU marks a return to the CSU for Teniente-Matson who previously served as vice president for administration and chief financial officer for California State University, Fresno from 2004 to 2015.

Teniente-Matson earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, an MBA from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a product of the CSU having earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State.

Teniente-Matson will assume the university presidency on January 16, 2023.



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing 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 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter. ​​

Cynthia Teniente-Matson smiling with hands crossed over each other
Cynthia Teniente-Matson Appointed President of San José State University
CSUs-Dilcie-Perez-Tapped-for-Statewide-Task-Force-to-Advance-Housing-Security.aspx
  
11/15/2022 12:13 PMThropay, Janessa11/15/202211/15/2022 11:50 AMPerez is working collectively with campuses to provide financial support to students for housing, reduce homelessness among the CSU community and address the immediate basic needs crises.Basic Needs InitiativeStory

Between California's chronic housing shortage and tremendously high housing costs, the number of residents who are experiencing homelessness is climbing. Californian's struggle to find housing has trickled down to higher education institutions statewide – and it has even reached some California State University (CSU) students.

The CSU and its dedicated employees are working to find a solution. They are doubling down on efforts to ensure that students have a safe, stable and affordable place to live while pursuing a college degree. Dilcie Perez, who was brought on as CSU Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs, Equity and Belonging earlier this year, has made addressing housing insecurity among her first priorities.

Perez and the Academic and Student Affairs team understand that the high cost of housing in California presents a complex challenge for students. They are taking steps to safeguard students with access to high-quality and affordable housing, as “Student Engagement and Well-Being" is one of the six key operational priorities of Graduation Initiative 2025. With housing falling under the area of “Student Engagement and Well-Being," Perez is working collectively with campuses to provide financial support to students for housing, reduce homelessness among the CSU community and address the immediate basic needs crises.

Beyond the CSU, Perez is also working to change the narrative about homelessness and affordable housing throughout the state. Perez recently joined the Shape the Narrative Task Force, a multi-sector coalition dedicated to ending homelessness in California. The Shape the Narrative Initiative—which is led by Housing California in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and TheCaseMade—aims to create homes, health and economic security for all citizens of California.

“Having spent more than a decade advocating for affordable housing, I am thrilled to use my experience to collaborate with some of the greatest minds throughout California to help end homelessness and create affordable homes for all," said Perez. “I look forward to working with this all-star team to shape the narrative around homelessness, build power and change policy, and end housing insecurity for students and residents alike."

The Shape the Narrative Task Force held its first meeting late last month in Sacramento, Calif., to share ideas on how to change the current narrative about homelessness into one that engages people and helps them to make sense of a complex housing system.

During the initial meeting, Perez along with more than 40 affordable housing advocates achieved the following:

  • identified the time-sensitive opportunities to shift the narrative around health and housing;

  • addressed impediments to action in the effort to shift the narrative and build more public support statewide; and

  • shared perspectives that will allow for strengthened partnerships among health, housing and diverse sectors across California.

“We are excited to add Dilcie to our cadre of storytellers who will shape the narrative around homelessness and affordable housing," said Unai Montes-Irueste, narrative and strategic communications director at Housing California. “Dilcie's dedication to the cause will be key in helping build public awareness as well as inspire people to act and push for meaningful change."​

In addition to helping identify strategies to build awareness around housing insecurity, Perez will receive training and resources to support people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. Perez's continued work on the task force will also provide her with new insight and tools on how to further advance housing priorities that most benefit CSU students.

Students moving their belongings into their student housing.
CSU’s Dilcie Perez Tapped for Statewide Task Force to Advance Housing Security
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11/14/2022 12:38 PMBeall, Alex11/14/202211/14/2022 2:15 PMA state investment in CSU agricultural programs will ensure graduates lead the industry to a more sustainable, resilient future.AgricultureStory

The Changing Face of Agriculture

A state investment in CSU agricultural programs will ensure graduates lead the industry to a more sustainable, resilient future.

 

Food, fiber and fuel make up the trifecta of agriculture. As we approach Thanksgiving and reflect on what we’re grateful for, those provisions often spring to mind—especially in time for cooking up holiday feasts and keeping warm in the cooler months. But rising threats like climate change, political instability, growing populations and increasing prices are upending the security of those agricultural products across the world.

Researchers at the CSU are seeking ways to make agricultural practices more sustainable and climate-resilient to ensure the industry will meet future global needs. To support these endeavors, the California 2022-23 state budget awarded the CSU one-time funding of $75 million, split evenly between Chico State, Fresno State, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

See how these four universities are enhancing their agriculture programs, preparing the next generation of experts and securing the industry’s future success.

Student harvests peaches at Chico State.

Chico State

Chico State’s C​ollege of Agriculture is home to the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems and a fully functioning University Farm with orchards, crop fields and four animal units including the first organic dairy unit established in the western U.S. All these facilities are dedicated to improving the quality and sustainability of their products and will benefit from the upgrades funded by the $18.75 million from the state.

Using about half that funding, Chico State will build a new Agricultural Learning and Training Center at the farm, which will increase the number of classrooms and classes, expand community event space and enhance research facilities.

​“It will be a forum to discuss any challenges that not only the North State has in terms of agriculture, but statewide, nationally and globally,” says Patricia Stock, Ph.D., dean of the College of Agriculture. “Agriculture is global, and the challenges and the needs that we have in one specific area also project to the rest of the world.”

A student works in Chico State's organic dairy unit. A stu​dent works in Chico State's organic dairy unit.


In addition, the farm will upgrade to a more water-efficient irrigation system. “This is a key need considering the challenges we have in terms of water management and resources,” Dr. Stock says. “We want to make sure we have efficient ways to utilize water, and the new technology at the farm will provide a training opportunity not only to our students, but to farmers and ranchers in our region and beyond.”​

With such improvements, the University Farm will be even better equipped to provide students with hands-on learning in both agriculture production and the emerging technologies and practices that will define the future of agriculture.

“Whatever we produce, it will impact the health of every organism on our planet,” Stock says. “We are training and educating students to be global leaders, with multidisciplinary knowledge, skills and tools that will help address current and future challenges in agriculture.”

Students process Chardonnay wine grapes.

Fresno State

Using its $18.75 million, Fresno State's Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology plans to “repair, renew and renovate" its 1,000-acre farm, including installing an efficient irrigation system and adding battery-powered vehicles.

“We want to look at our energy portfolio and our water footprint on the farm and … be very deliberate and intentional about the way we use that funding," says Rolston St. Hilaire, Ph.D., dean of Jordan College. “We're looking at some broader initiatives that position our university for the future​ in terms of capturing what our students need to learn about climate-smart agriculture, sustainable agriculture, and positioning our students for the modern workforce."

The goal is to give Fresno State students experience with production, marketing, sales and more on a full-scale farm before they reach graduation to prepare them for the future of agriculture.

Student harvests corn. Jose Ortiz, Fresno State plant science student and vegetable unit student assistant, harvests sweet corn.

“The face of agriculture is changing in terms of some of the techniques that are used in modern production," Dr. St. Hilaire says. “As an institution of higher learning, we train our next generation of students to become farmers, ranchers and policy makers. One of the unique things about Fresno State is that it has a large farm footprint and that serves our students well because now they're practicing in an environment that they will see in a normal work environment."

Ultimately, this training will go beyond enhancing their own professional experience to helping address the global challenges around food security as graduates work to transform agriculture—a main goal of the university's recently launched Global Agriculture and Food Security Initiative.

“Food insecurity—although it may happen in an isolated area or region—is really a global problem, and that fact was made clear during the pandemic when we saw how vulnerable our food supply chain can be," St. Hilaire says. “It is important for students to learn to take care of what's happening regionally and locally, but they also need to be aware of and be attuned to what's happening globally. … The students who are being trained here at Fresno State are in this unique space where they can make major contributions to global food security because they are at the​ epicenter of the world's most productive agricultural region.

Aquaponics in Cal Poly Pomona's greenhouse

Cal Poly Pomona

The Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture at Cal Poly Pomona—which houses urban farms, the 20-acre AGRIscapes outreach center and the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center—has proposed putting the state funding toward three projects that will give faculty and students the opportunity to work in climate-smart agriculture to make it more productive, resilient and sustainable.

“Our talented students and faculty are already leading innovation in the agriculture and food science industries," Huntley College Interim Dean Martin Sancho-Madriz, Ph.D., said in a CPP article. “And with this commitment of state funds, they will have access to additional state-of-the-art technology to increase their ability to contribute to climate-forward research and drive change in agriculture."

A student participates in Cal Poly Pomona's bee science class. A student participates in Cal Poly Pomona's bee science class.

The first project is an apiary lab for research on protecting bee populations—which are highly important to crop pollination and agricultural production—from the effects of climate change. The university would also upgrade its agriculture equipment to reduce the amount of water, pesticides and fertilizers used at the campus farms. Paired with CPP's recent acquisition of drones and sensors, these upgrades will “provide students with access to additional state-of-the art tools and equipment and … allow students to develop improvements in sustainable agricultural practices."

Pending additional funding, the university also hopes to establish a plant processing lab, where researchers could develop plant-based protein alternatives, including for use in various cuisines, and test the products with customers.

“With this investment, campuses can accelerate their contributions to the livelihood of the state of California as learning laboratories for agricultural innovation, sustainability and cutting-edge practices," the article states.

Students work in the college's greenhouse facilities.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students and faculty have access to 10,000 acres of land—living classrooms and labs—dedicated to various agricultural operations where they can experiment with practices in the field. The state funding will help make upgrades to its facilities and equipment to ensure they are working with the latest in climate-smart and sustainable technology.

“California is the world's largest producer of food, with a farmgate value of $50 billion per year," says Andrew Thulin, Ph.D., dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. “The food, agriculture and environmental science industries foresee double-digit job growth over the next 10 years. Building climate resilience is critical to the future of farmers, food producers and land, water and air resources. On behalf of Cal Poly as well as the entire CSU, we thank Governor Newsom for his support of and investment in educating tomorrow's workforce."

Specifically, the university will replace its farm equipment and fencing, make upgrades to reduce the environmental footprints of its facilities and livestock operations, enhance greenhouse facilities and modernize production at its dairy—the largest student-run dairy in the U.S.

Student with a cow at the Cal Poly Dairy Unit. A student cares for a cow at the Cal Poly Dairy Unit.

In addition, a portion of the funding will kickstart the development of a Plant Sciences Complex to provide students an opportunity to conduct research in the interconnection of soil health, water, air and plants; food safety and biosecurity; and growing vegetation in a controlled environment.

“Today's investments in climate resilience through sustainable agriculture seek to build long-term stability for food and agricultural systems in the face of intensified weather events and changing climate patterns," Dr. Thulin says. “At Cal Poly, this is what we teach our students to do every day—develop critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills to make a difference, starting on day one."

Finally, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo also received an additional $20.3 million to aid in rebuilding its ​ Swanton Pacific Ranch, which burned in the August 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fire. The university will add an Education Center on-site focused on programs in fire resilience.


Learn about the impact of the CSU’s Agricultural Research Institute.



The Changing Face of Agriculture
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11/8/2022 2:04 PMKelly, Hazel11/8/202211/8/2022 12:50 PMCalifornia State University San Marcos earns top honors for graduating more economically disadvantaged students at lower tuition into good paying jobs. Social MobilityStory

Multiple California State University campuses have again placed among the nation's top performers in economic mobility in CollegeNET's 2022 “Social Mobility index" (SMI), showcasing the unparalleled value of a CSU degree in elevating the economic trajectory of alumni and their families.

CSU campuses claimed eight of the top 20 spots in this year's rankings, with four campuses in the top 10. CSU San Marcos (CSUSM) claimed the No. 1 spot out of over 1,400 schools measured this year by CollegeNET.

“I'm thrilled that the 2022 Social Mobility Index recognizes the critical work we're doing in this area," CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt said in a press release​. “We're building upon CSUSM's reputation as an escalator of social mobility. At a time when the value of higher education is being called into question, CSUSM stands out as a beacon of hope and opportunity. This recognition reflects the incredible work of our entire campus community to put our students and our region first in all that we do."

The eight CSU campuses included in the top 20 of the SMI are: San Marcos (1), Long Beach (4), Los Angeles (9), Bakersfield (10), East Bay (11), Northridge (15), San Francisco (16), Pomona (17). These universities collectively provide more than 190,000 students with the tools and resources to take charge of their future, pursue good paying jobs, and make a positive impact in their communities. As quality and affordability are staples of a CSU degree, alumni are able to walk confidently into the workforce without the financial repercussions of high college debt.

The annual SMI report measures the extent of a university's impact in providing opportunities for economically disadvantaged students to graduate into well-paying jobs. Methodology is based on factors like cost of attendance, economic background of the student body, graduation rates and early career salaries. This year's rankings also included a new metric called Ethos, measuring how well a school's messages and communications inform students and the public about its mission and the value of a college degree.

At the CSU, nearly one-third of undergraduates are the first in their fam​ily to attend college, and nearly half of CSU students are from underrepresented communities. In addition, half of CSU undergraduates receive the Pell Grant, indicating financial need.

Across the CSU's 23 campuses, there are countless examples of alumni who have enhanced their lives with a CSU degree. One such example is CSUN alumna Lynn Gay who remembers thinking, “life is too short," before deciding to attend college. “That decision changed my life, and I can honestly say it is the best decision I have ever made. I went from scraping by to earning six figures in a matter of years. I got the first job I applied for out of college and am currently in my 23rd year of working for iHeart Media," said Gay in a 2021 interview with Calstate.edu. Gay is part of the CSU alumni community that's more than 4 million strong, powering the economy and improving communities across California.

The CSU also prioritizes students who transfer from other institutions, creating programs and initiatives geared toward providing the necessary guidance and resources for transfer students to have the smoothest transition possible. Last year, 21 campuses were recognized for their support of transfer students, highlighting the success of Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT)—a program started in 2010 that provides California Community College (CCC) students with a clearer, more effective pathway to a four-year degree.

As a leader in the national conversation around economic mobility, the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025 is focused on helping students earn degrees in less time—finishing with less debt and entering the workforce earlier. The CSU continues to focus its initiative on closing stubborn equity gaps between students from underrepresented communities and their peers.

 

Learn more about the rankings and accolades the 23 CSU campuses have received. 

CSU Among the Top in Social Mobility Across the Nation
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11/7/2022 9:44 AMRuble, Alisia11/7/202211/7/2022 10:40 AMIn their own words, student veterans reflect on their time in the armed forces and the community they found at the CSU.VeteransStory
two military cadets perform a flag raising ceremony

Servicemembers to Students

In their own words, student veterans reflect on their time in the armed forces and the community they found at the CSU.

jump to main content  

The California State University joins the nation in celebrating Veterans Day on November 11, a day to honor those who have served in our country’s armed forces. To commemorate the event, we asked student veterans about how their military service has shaped them and how their university helps them achieve greatness. Read their reflections.

Casey Hulls, Chico State

Junior, International Relations and Economics
U.S. Army

Photo of Casey Hulls  

Casey Hulls, Chico State

Junior, International Relations and Economics
U.S. Army

Have you faced any challenges since leaving the military? How have you overcome them?  
Personally, the lack of commonality and single purpose with the community around me was the most challenging aspect. I have overcome these challenges by getting involved with Chico State’s Student Veteran Organization (SVO) and Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) office. The community here feels very familiar and is immensely supportive. Not only do I feel like I belong, but I also feel like I am discovering what I am passionate about, outside of my military career and influences.

How are you able to draw on your military experience today whether academically or professionally? 
The biggest military influence for me academically and professionally is community. It is the ability to look at my fellow classmates or professors with a sense of inherent respect and fortitude because, ultimately, we are a team at Chico State. Not only are we contributing to our college, but we are also committing to careers and professions to make our communities, nation and world a better place. The military taught me to look at the people beside me as my brothers and sisters, and although college is different, that same thought process pulls through every day. My classmates and my community allow me to build bridges, make friends and work towards common goals together rather than individually. It allows me to look past differences to see commonality.

What’s one piece of advice you have for student veterans beginning their college careers?
Through the SVO, the VETS office, my academic department and the community, I have been given so many opportunities and moments to show myself how truly great, unique and capable I am. I would tell a veteran transitioning and returning to school: You are far more qualified, intelligent and resilient than you believe you are. And if you reach out to the VETS center, the SVO and your academic department, and follow your interests, everyone around you will give you opportunities to embody that greatness. It has been a wonderful experience coming to Chico State, and everyone here wants you to succeed and believes in you, even if you still don’t believe in yourself yet.


Marco Diaz-Perez, San José State

Senior, Business Administration
U.S. Army

Photo Marco Diaz Perez

Marco Diaz-Perez, San José State

Senior, Business Administration
U.S. Army

Have you faced any challenges since leaving the military? How have you overcome them?  
Absolutely! I wasn’t prepared to take online courses and couldn’t fully engage in the course curriculum. And, in the Army I was surrounded by soldiers that were at least six years older than me, which made it difficult for me to connect with people my age. The SJSU Veterans Resource Center and SJSU Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) welcomed me and helped me get to know others my age who share similar backgrounds.

What’s it like to be part of a unique student population? How have you built a community on campus?
At first, I was very nervous to go back to school because I never had a chance to socialize with people my age or with a similar mindset, but after meeting several students who were prior service, I felt more comfortable. I decided to work for the Veteran Resource Center and even became the President of the Veteran Student Organization, which strives to support military affiliates reintegrating back into the community. In addition, SJSU does a great job hosting many events from different programs, clubs and organizations that make the campus feel more welcome. 

How are you able to draw on your military experience today whether academically or professionally? 
Serving in the military builds character and key leadership skills, which I have applied to my academics and workplace. Communication is a vital skill that I continue to develop throughout my life because it’s very important for me to manage a team and present myself in a professional manner. In addition, it taught me responsibility and commitment to a task or duty, like showing up to class or committing to graduating.


Itzel Barakat, Cal State LA

Senior, Psychology
U.S. Air Force

Photo of Itzel Barakat  

Itzel Barakat, Cal State LA

Senior, Psychology
U.S. Air Force

What has been the most surprising thing about returning to school?  
It took me a long time to get here, but once I found my current path I really started to fall in love with school. I'm the most focused I think I've ever been. Even in the most challenging classes, my experience has still been constructive. I'm really grateful for that.

How are you able to draw on your military experience today whether academically or professionally? 
Discipline, drive and, most importantly, consistency make you relentless. I've had incredible opportunities to connect with organizations that are in line with what I want to do in the near future—provide mental health support services for military-connected, first-response, queer and BIPOC individuals. It has been an eye-opening experience and has helped me excel within these organizations to better serve these populations.

What kind of support have you received from your university?
The Veterans Resource Center​ (VRC) has been my number one resource. They have been there since the beginning of my journey at Cal State LA. I'm grateful for the support they have provided and continue to provide, and they have definitely lent a helping hand in my academic success.


Nikole Sauter, Cal Poly Pomona

Junior, Manufacturing Engineering
U.S. Navy

Photo of Nikole Sauter

Nikole Sauter, Cal Poly Pomona

Junior, Manufacturing Engineering
U.S. Navy

What’s it like to be part of a unique student population? How have you built community on campus?
The age difference between me and the general student population was shocking, so it’s nice to interact with people who understand some of the things you’ve been through [through the Cal Poly Pomona Veterans Resource Center]. We share our experiences and reminisce about the “good ol’ days.” The veteran community at Cal Poly Pomona is very close, and we’re always willing to help each other out. Whether it’s academically or on a more personal level, we have each other’s back.

What kind of support have you received from your university?
I have been given many opportunities to prepare for my future career as a manufacturing engineer and have some of my professors and the Veterans Resource Center to thank for that. My résumé looks fantastic, and I have been networking with people in the industry. It’s hard to accomplish all this stuff by yourself, so it’s comforting to know there are people standing in your corner who want to see you succeed.

How are you able to draw on your military experience today whether academically or professionally?
The Navy helped me develop my work ethic and leadership skills. I apply these skills towards both my school and work. I have the mentality that I can’t go home until the job is done, and I think those that have worked with me before can attest that I am willing to go above and beyond to accomplish whatever task is at hand.


Luigi Torres, CSU Dominguez Hills

Senior, Business Administration
U.S. Marine Corps

Photo of Luigi Torres  

Luigi Torres, CSU Dominguez Hills

Senior, Business Administration
U.S. Marine Corps

Have you faced any challenges since leaving the military? How have you overcome them?
I cried when I left Camp Pendleton for the last time. Suddenly, I was all alone after what felt like a lifetime of serving alongside my brothers. It was really my faith and the family I started when I got out that helped me make this difficult transition.

How are you able to draw on your military experience today whether academically or professionally?
The values and principles that were taught to me in the Marine Corps are embedded into my soul. They don’t go away. What motivated me in my service to my country is what helps me face any challenge in my life, including academic ones. I try to be a big brother to veterans, and to non-veterans. It’s about passing on knowledge—​​how to move in life; how to be kind to others; how to accept people for who they are.

What’s one piece of advice you have for student veterans beginning their college careers?
All that energy you have when you get out of the military? Put it somewhere. Harness it. I got out of the military in July 2015, and I started college in August. For me, it just lined up that way. Keep moving. Work hard. So many veterans need help. It was such a relief when I walked into the CSUDH Veterans Resource Center (VRC). They know what they’re doing. I wish more veterans knew about the help they offer.


Johnathan Rodney, CSU San Marcos

Senior, Biochemistry
U.S. Navy

Photo Johnathan Rodney

Johnathan Rodney, CSU San Marcos

Senior, Biochemistry
U.S. Navy

What has been the most surprising thing about returning to school?
The most surprising thing about returning to school was the leniency of the professors. I was very hard on myself if I didn't get an assignment in on time or if I couldn't grasp a concept right away. I found that my professors were very understanding and worked with my schedule to make sure I kept up with the class. I guess I just expected everyone to be as strict as they were in the military, but in academia most people are very understanding and approachable.

What kind of support have you received from your university?
My university has supported me tremendously, from scholarships to volunteer opportunities to letters of recommendation from my professors. I am incredibly grateful to California State University San Marcos for the support I have received. I really believe that my chances of getting into medical school are greatly increased by taking classes and being involved in the community here.

What’s one piece of advice you have for student veterans beginning their college careers?
One piece of advice I would like to give student veterans who are just starting their college journey is to not rush your college experience. I started school as a freshman with the plan of graduating with a Spanish degree in three years. Now I am on my fourth year, I have switched to biochemistry and I am applying for medical school. I stopped chasing the end goal of a degree and started enjoying the journey. I really like the saying, “Life's a marathon, not a sprint.”


Colton Williams, Sonoma State

Senior, Economics
U.S. Air Force

Photo Colton Williams

Colton Williams, Sonoma State

Senior, Economics
U.S. Air Force

What kind of support have you received from your university?
The support I’ve received from Sonoma State has been great. The veteran programs that are set up for veterans and their family members are spectacular, just like the staff that runs them. They make you feel like part of a team, not like any other student.

What’s it like to be part of a unique student population? How have you built community on campus?
It’s certainly different being a veteran at SSU. Most college students are younger, and some may have never even had their first job yet. As student veterans, not only have all of us had important jobs and tasks we have been asked to do, but some of us have even seen combat, deployed across the globe on a moment’s notice and much more. I personally haven’t built a veteran community (yet) on campus, but that’s something I’m looking forward to doing soon.

What’s one piece of advice you have for student veterans beginning their college careers?
My one piece of advice to student veterans beginning their college careers would be to use your unique experiences and perspectives to help yourself, and maybe others, engage in class. Most students will see you as a role model or leader once they know you’re a veteran (we are good at hiding in plain sight), so sharing those things can help everyone involved.


To learn more about how the CSU supports student veterans, visit the Troops to College website.

two military cadets perform a flag raising ceremony
Servicemembers to Students
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11/2/2022 9:31 AMThropay, Janessa11/2/202211/2/2022 8:55 AM"President Robert Nelsen is a brilliant, compassionate and student-focused leader who has successfully guided Sacramento State through a period of remarkable growth and transformation."LeadershipPress Release

​The following statement can be attributed to CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester:

“President Robert Nelsen is a brilliant, compassionate and student-focused leader who has successfully guided Sacramento State through a period of remarkable growth and transformation.

Sac State's student body is larger and more dynamically diverse than ever before. Most important, the university has made extraordinary progress in helping that talented and diverse group of students reach their academic goals. An unwavering focus on student achievement has led to more than tripling the four-year graduation rate for first-year students.

This remarkable feat has not gone unnoticed, with the university receiving accolades and recognition from federal higher education officials and national media.

President Nelsen's tireless efforts to identify new and innovative ways to provide access and opportunity for area students led to the expansion of Sac State's footprint, first with the establishment of Sacramento State Downtown as well as the future construction of the Sacramento State Placer Center. Sacramento State is an exemplar of community engagement and partnership and, under President Nelsen's leadership, has solidified its position as a vital anchor institution for the region while enhancing its statewide and national reputation.

I congratulate President Nelsen on these achievements and on a shining legacy that will span generations."

 

On November 2, 2022, Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen announced that he would retire from his role at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

The CSU will launch a national search to identify Nelsen's successor. Under university policy, the chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, Wenda Fong, and Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester will select a committee comprised of campus and community stakeholders who will be publicly announced at a later date. Thereafter, campus and community input will be sought in an open forum held on the Sacramento State campus.



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing 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 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Sacramento State University President Nelson smiling and talking with students
Statement on Pending Retirement of California State University, Sacramento President Robert S. Nelsen
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10/31/2022 9:32 AMKelly, Hazel10/31/202210/31/2022 2:50 PMThe CSU provides a high-quality education at an unparalleled value, making a four-year degree within reach to more students.ApplyStory

​The mission of the California State University is to ensure that students from all backgrounds achieve the lifelong, life-transforming benefits of a college degree. With over 4,000 majors, 477,000 current students and over 4 million engaged alumni, the California State University is the largest, most diverse university in the nation. 

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Here are 3 ways the CSU makes college within reach of thousands of students each year:

 

1. The CSU offers one of the most affordable tuitions in the country.

At $5,742 a year (plus campus-based fees) for full-time undergraduates, the CSU has the lowest tuition of all comparable institutions

In 2022, all 23 campuses ranked among the top 100 “Best Bang for the Buck" universities in the West, according to Washington Monthly.

 

2. More than 80% of Cal State students receive financial aid.

In the 2020-2021 school year, 81 percent of students received some form of financial aid—with 388,000 students receiving a total of $4.2 billion. To help students turn their dream of college into reality, the university offers a variety of financial aid options including grants, loans, scholarships, fellowships, veteran's aid and work study.

 

3. A CSU degree can transform lives.

Nearly a third of CSU students are the first in their family to earn a degree, changing the trajectory of graduates and their families. Half of CSU students are underrepresented minorities and nearly half of undergraduates receive the Pell Grant. 

CSU campuses consistently rank high each year in CollegeNET's “Social Mobility Index"—which measures to what extent higher education institutions are helping solve the declining levels of economic mobility in the U.S. 

 


Find your place at the CSU. All 23 CSUs are currently accepting applications for the fall 2023 term through November 30: calstate.edu/apply


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3 Ways the CSU Makes College More Accessible
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12/5/2022 3:32 PMRuble, Alisia10/31/202210/31/2022 8:00 AMStudents serve California and gain relevant experience for future careers through the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program.Service LearningStory

A new statewide service program is providing meaningful work experience to college students and helping them pay for their education while building more equitable communities across California. Launched in January by the Office of the Governor's California Volunteers, the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps connects students with service opportunities in fields like K-12 education, food insecurity and climate action.

California Volunteers has selected 45 colleges and universities statewide to serve as College Corps partner campuses including 16 CSU institutions: CSU BakersfieldChico StateCSU Dominguez HillsCal State East BayFresno StateCal Poly Humboldt, Cal State Long BeachCal State LA, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly PomonaSacramento StateCal State San Bernardino, San Francisco State, San José State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Stanislaus State.

California Volunteers recently inducted 3,200 students into the first class of College Corps fellows, more than 1,300 of whom are from the CSU—roughly 60 percent of the entire cohort.

“The CSU is proud to be a part of this important statewide initiative that so closely aligns with our mission and core values," CSU Chancellor Jolene Koester says. “This next generation of service-minded leaders will not only earn funds to support their higher education journey, but they will also make a positive impact in their communities that will span generations."

​​a large group of people gathered together

California Governor Gavin Newsom (center), Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday (center) and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond (right) attend a College Corps induction ceremony in Sacramento, Calif.

​​Providing Relevant Experience

“College Corps connects students with work opportunities that directly impact their career path and prepare them for navigating a complex workforce," says Christina Gonzalez-Salgado, College Corps Coordinator at Cal Poly Pomona. “Additionally, 90 of their service hours can be used for professional development—​from their service site, campus and California Volunteers—including training specific to their fellowship and on topics like navigating supervisor relationships, time management, career development and self-care."

CPP College Corps students, for example, are performing a wide variety of roles in which they tutor children in underserved neighborhoods, learn how to install solar panels, provide information on urban and community farming, help those with disabilities develop motor skills and even manage social media marketing and promotion.

Natalie Gudino Quiles, a Cal Poly Pomona senior studying hospitality management, turned her passion for tackling food insecurity into a College Corps fellowship with the Lopez Urban Farm.

“As an advocate for the farm, I help grow and harvest produce for the community and educate community members on urban farming and making healthier food choices," Gudino Quiles says. “The work I am performing through this program is completely relevant to my career goals and gives me a professional setting to gain experience in the industry."

Stanislaus State junior Ruben Marquez Jimenez—a fellow with the Stanislaus County Office of Education​ (SCOE)—says what he values most is how much the work relates to his future career aspirations. Marquez Jimenez is majoring in political science and Spanish with minors in history and Latin American Studies and is passionate about helping people pursue higher education through his fellowship.

“In addition to working closely with the Stanislaus Cradle to Career Partnership and the 6 Cups to College Mentoring Program, I'm helping organize a pre-law day to educate community members on the steps to becoming a lawyer and expose them to the field," Marquez Jimenez says. “I am also really interested in immigrants' rights and immigration reform, and I love that I get to pursue those interests while benefiting my community."

Marquez Jimenez says that, unlike some typical jobs for young people, his site supervisors are sensitive to his needs as a student and are committed to mentoring him and introducing him to professional connections.

“They understand that being a college student comes first and they want us to gain skills in our field more than anything else," he says.​

​​a college student helping two children with homework

​​​​CSU Bakersfield sophomore​ Alondra Carreno helps children with an enrichment activity as part of her College Corps fellowship with the Boys & Girls Club. 

​Helping Pay for College

Through College Corps, students can earn $10,000 for completing 450 hours of service to their community. CSU Bakersfield sophomore Alondra Carreno, an after-school teacher's aide with the Boys & Girls Club at Donald E. Suburu Elementary School, says the money has been a huge help for her.

“My financial aid doesn't cover all of my expenses, so I had to take out loans my first year," Carreno says. “Receiving this money means I don't have to stress about how I'm going to pay for school, groceries and other expenses, and I can continue living on campus while I earn my degree."

The statewide service program is also the first of its kind available to AB540-eligible Dreamers. Marquez Jimenez says he is grateful that the College Corps program is inclusive of undocumented students like him who don't qualify for federal financial aid or work-study, as well as many internships and fellowships, because of their immigration status.

“But we still have the same financial needs as other college students," Marquez Jimenez says. “This program allows for students like me to benefit from professional development that we don't usually get."

College Corps also has the potential to open doors for more students from underserved backgrounds who may not think they can afford to attend college. In fact, CPP's Gonzalez-Salgado says she's received inquiries from students who have decided to apply to the university because they may be able to get some extra financial help through the program.

​​a young person wearing a suit posing in front of a photo of the white house

​​​​Stanislaus State junior Ruben Marquez Jimenez​ visits Washington D.C. to accept a national Youth Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. 

​Fostering a Sense of Belonging

To be a College Corps partner campus, universities and colleges applied separately or as a consortium and were awarded grants from multiple sources, including the state and AmeriCorps. The program is administered at the CSU by the selected campus partners and supported by the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) housed in the CSU Chancellor's Office.

Each participating university has a program coordinator who recruits students and helps them complete the application process, locate a service site that serves their interests and stay on track to fulfilling their required hours. Staff also regularly check in with fellows to ensure they are doing well academically and personally.

“College Corps fellows are guided through their service year by staff who are invested in their personal and professional development, and their well-being," says CCE Director Judy Botelho. “Students become more connected to their campus and to their community, which increases their sense of belonging and encourages persistence to earning a bachelor's degree."

​The College Corps program is very much aligned with the CSU's own mission of public service and decades-long commitment to providing opportunities for impactful community engagement for students, particularly those from historically underserved communities. In 2020-21, more than 38,000 CSU student volunteers contributed 728,000 hours of service to their communities through service learning.​​

To learn more about how the CSU serves California through service learning, visit the Center for Community Engagement website.

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CSU Partners with California Volunteers to Benefit Students and Communities
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10/28/2022 11:35 AMThropay, Janessa10/28/202210/28/2022 11:10 AMIntentional focus across all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses continues to result in increased student achievement.Student SuccessPress Release

Intentional focus across all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses continues to result in increased student achievement, with Graduation Initiative 2025 efforts leading to the highest 4-year graduation rate for first-year students in the CSU's history. In 2022, 35% of first-year students earned their bachelor's degrees within four years, nearly doubling the rate since the launch of the initiative in 2015.

“Earning a degree from the California State University transforms lives. I have witnessed it firsthand for nearly four decades, and seeing our talented and diverse students achieve their academic goals is a great joy and my highest professional honor," said CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester. “A CSU degree not only prepares students for success in their professional careers, but it also elevates their families and positively impacts the communities where they live and work."

This year, the hard work of students, faculty and staff has resulted in nearly 110,000 students earning their bachelor's degrees. This is 23,000 more graduates when compared to the 2014-15 academic year—the year before Graduation Initiative 2025 began.

Systemwide rates at the time of the initiative's launch, rates for 2021, preliminary rates for 2022 groups and 2025 goals are as follows:

Student Group         2015    2021    2022    2025 goal

4-year first-time           19%      33%      35%      40%

6-year first-time           57%      63%      62%      70%

2-year transfer             31%      44%      40%      45%

4-year transfer             73%      80%      80%      85%

In addition to the increase in 4-year graduation rates for first-time students, 6-year rates for first-year students remained steady (63.2% to 62.4%). The global COVID-19 pandemic appeared to have a greater impact on the success of students who transferred to the CSU from California Community Colleges, with the two-year graduation rate declining by four percentage points, while the 4-year rate saw an incremental increase (79.6% to 80.3%).

Despite systemwide efforts, eliminating equity gaps—the difference in graduation rates between students from historically underserved backgrounds and their peers—remains an ongoing challenge, with the equity gap for Underrepresented Minority Students staying flat (12 percentage points) and slightly increasing (to 11 points from 10 points) for Pell Grant recipients.

"The global pandemic has impacted all of us, but none more than our most historically marginalized students," added Koester. “I continue to be inspired by their remarkable tenacity, perseverance and resolve, and our university community is wholeheartedly committed to their success. Over the past year, we have identified a number of key strategies to address common challenges and are well positioned to support our students in the coming months and years as we progress toward our ambitious goals."

Most recently, the CSU is re-engaging underserved students who have disenrolled, expanding the use of digital degree planners, reviewing and restructuring courses with inequitable low-pass rates, bolstering student opportunities to earn credits during summer and winter sessions and eliminating administrative barriers. The Chancellor has also enlisted two new strategic work groups to develop longer-term frameworks for ensuring Black student success, improving retention and graduation rates and closing equity gaps.

The university remains committed to achieving the goals set at the start of Graduation Initiative 2025 and eliminating equity gaps for all CSU students—particularly for underserved students of color, first-generation college students and students from modest-income families.

Final data—including data disaggregated by race and ethnicity—and further analysis will be presented during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting taking place on November 15 and 16, 2022. The data will be published to the CSU website shortly thereafter.



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing 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 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

California State University student on the shoulders of another student during commencement ceremony
Four-Year Graduation Rate for First-Time Students Hits Historic High with CSU Graduation Initiative 2025
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11/28/202211/28/2022 2:20 PM“Throughout his tenure leading the California State University Maritime Academy, President Thomas A. Cropper has done exceptional work to integrate our most unique institution into the California State University system."
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11/16/202211/16/2022 11:00 AM​​​​​The California State University Board of Trustees today approved a new Executive Consulting Assignment program for eligible executives.
CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester and accompanying board members at September board meeting
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11/16/202211/16/2022 9:05 AMThe California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Ed.D., to serve as president of San José State University.
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Sacramento State University President Nelson smiling and talking with students
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California State University student on the shoulders of another student during commencement ceremony
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California State University, Los Angeles campus
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Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson speaking at a graduation ceremony.
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10/6/202210/6/2022 10:05 AM"The decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the ruling that the DACA program is unlawful is both deeply disappointing and detrimental to the future vitality of our communities, our state and, indeed, our nation."
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9/12/20229/12/2022 10:00 AMThe California State University (CSU) has selected 23 students, one from each university, to receive the 2022 Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement.
2022 CSU Trustee Scholars Awardees
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8/31/20228/31/2022 3:15 PM​The California State University (CSU) has appointed Ed Clark, Ed.D., to serve as Chief Information Officer.
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8/30/20228/30/2022 9:45 AMThe recent action to preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy comes as welcome news and a relief for many of the best, brightest and most dedicated students and employees of the California State University.
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