It was a banner year for Cal State Fullerton as it achieved its goal to boost the six-year graduation rate to 60 percent two years ahead of schedule. The graduation rate now stands at 61 percent, the highest in CSUF history. Among other accomplishments:
In 2015, Cal State Fullerton was highlighted as a leader in efforts to close the achievement gap in the Campaign for College Opportunity’s 2015 State of Higher Education in California: The Latino Report. The achievement gap for underrepresented students dropped from 12 to nine percent.
The campus also was named among the top 25 institutions in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Latinos entering health professions and related programs by Excelencia in Education.
For the third year in a row, CSUF was ranked first in the state — and moved up to fifth in the nation — for awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic students by Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Diversity Issues in Higher Education ranked the University No. 5 in the nation for graduating underrepresented students.
The institution continues to be among the nation’s “Best Bang for the Buck” universities, according to Washington Monthly, which rated CSUF No. 7 in the West and No. 5 in California for “best value.”
The online degree programs in business (No. 6) engineering (No. 16) and education (No. 21) are among the nation’s top 25 in their fields, according to rankings announced in January by U.S. News & World Report.
In September, the U.S. News would list Cal State Fullerton No. 7 in its national “Top Public Regional Universities” in the West ranking and as having the second-lowest percentage of graduates in the “Least Debt” category in the West among regional universities.
The University was one of eight California State University campuses that were recipients of Awards for Innovation in Higher Education, statewide honors that recognize campuses for their implementation of innovative techniques to increase the number of degrees awarded and to make the graduation process more timely and efficient.
The campus also was recognized as a California State University Center of Excellence for Supplemental Instruction and selected to serve as a model for other CSU campuses. Philip Janowicz, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, is interim director of the center.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized CSUF with its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. It is the second time the University has been so honored.
In recognition of its sustainability efforts, CSUF was awarded the coveted California Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practices Award and a Better Buildings Alliance “Exemplary Higher Education Site” for 2015. The honor recognized innovative project teams from both public higher education systems. In April, CSUF partnered in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, a national effort to “encourage colleges, universities and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of $1 billion in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements.” The campus also signed up as a partner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge, a national effort to provide or increase access to EV charging stations at workplaces across the country. The campus currently has 12 charging stations on campus.
In February, the University responded to the needs of the aging population with a new concentration within the master of social work program. The new program will “educate master of social work students to meet the needs of older adults and their families as professional social workers after they graduate,” said David Chenot, chair and associate professor of social work.
Through the efforts of the College of Communications, the University signed an exchange agreement with the University of Havana in June. The agreement will enable students from the two countries to travel and study between the two campuses.
“Al Día,” the first Spanish-language newscast at Cal state Fullerton, offers students preparation in Spanish-language television.
The College of Engineering and Computer Science launched the Center for Cybersecurity, supported with seed money from Raytheon.
A number of anniversaries were also recognized in 2015, including 25 years of helping young women succeed in mathematics through Project MISS (Mathematics Intensive Summer Session) and the 10th anniversary of the Cal State DC program, in which students studied and served in the nation’s capital.